The Right To Life

There are some things that are readily denounced by African Christians, like the video footage of a black man being brutally beaten by two men in a Russian train years ago or white policemen killing unarmed black men. These issues spark controversies and debates on social media. Much is said about the sanctity of human life, appeals are made to selected Bible verses about love and tolerance and sometimes, commentators pray that God should deliver our world from wickedness.

But how much of condemnations do we hear over what I’m about to recount next? In South Africa, the body of Duduzile Zozo, a 26 year old lady was found in a toilet. She was half naked and a toilet brush was stuffed into her vagina- she had been raped. What was her crime? She was a lesbian. A week to this incident, another 17 year old lady was raped multiple times for being a lesbian and was charged with murder for killing the last man who raped her. (Its fairly common for lesbians in South Africa to be raped by men to make them “straight”).

When many Africans (especially Nigerians) read stories like these, they change their approach. They switch their Bible verses. They alter their prayers. They begin to say “well, they deserved it, they are gays and lesbians. They are devils!” These attitudes have names: prejudice and hypocrisy.

I don’t care how much people try to paint it in rainbow colours, its UNCHRISTIAN and UNETHICAL to kill a fellow human being because of his/her sexual orientation- *unless* his/her lifestyle is endangering the survival of others. You can call me a heretic or whatever, I don’t care. As a Christian, I will not give consent to the murder of people whose lifestyle is not a threat to my existence. Sometimes you just wonder why there so much intolerance and hate in our country? Why do we enjoy eliminating people for not fitting into our boxes? Why do people get murdered so cheaply to please someone else’s prejudice? And why are we Christians, who are supposed to be messengers of life and hope lending a support to these?

Why is it always easy for us to see the hate and intolerance of the heathen against us, but choose to be blind to our own bigotry and intolerance against others? Yes, I’m dealing with something deep here because prejudice is something that has been instilled into many of us even before we could walk or talk. We were taught to hate anyone who is “different.” Blacks against whites; blacks against blacks; tribe against tribe, and what have we gained so far? Nothing!

Some people should be killed for practicing something unAfrican? Really? So when did African culture become the standard of morality for a Believer? Do you know one thing about hate? It grows! Once you hate someone for being different, murdering him or her wouldn’t be so hard a task.

That was why some men think publicly beating up a woman over what they term “indecent dressing?” is the right way to go. This is a primitive mentality. There was a video of two men- allegedly gays- being beaten by a mob. From the language being spoken in the background, the video came from South Western Nigeria. And you could see some people (including policemen) standing by as these men were being beaten, enjoying the show. These two guys were killed eventually. How are these folks any different from those who slash the throat of “infidels” for not embracing Islam or whites who beat black people to death? If we condemn one, we must condemn the other. Would the Lord Jesus approve of murder in such a case? Absolutely not.

There’s this reckless hate that has entrenched itself within many “Christians” such that they even use distorted Bible verses to cement such barbarity. Yet the religious leaders who incite them into such violent acts are actually the “the chief of sinners” themselves. If there is nothing a gay, lesbian or transgender can do except to freely reach out and ask Jesus to save him or her from sin, then murdering them is self-defeating. It means you are sending them into a Christless eternity, cursing the very name which alone could save them. That’s unbiblical, illogical and devilish.

We are not under the Old Testament laws where people get stoned for breaking the sabbath. Some Christians need to switch their ideologies from Deuteronomy to Acts of the Apostles! We are not in Medieval Europe where people get sent to the Inquisition room for not subscribing to our dogmas. There is better way to live. Its wrong to force people to live right or to be as we are. We present the message of love and hope and if people reject it, we still love them nonetheless. It is God who converts people, not our guns and machetes. The message and the spirit of New Testament Christianity is of grace and forgiveness (see Luke 9:51-56).

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The Ugly Truths about Porn

Shelley Lubben, an ex-porn star (now a Christian) blew the lies of the porn industry out of the water with her book, The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn. She wrote:
“[Porn stars] get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lie because this is their occupation. Porn stars are paid professional liars who know how to ‘act’ and they do it well”.

The world of porn is based on lies and deception. These lies pander to the liberal western or conservative African culture. This is why some Nollywood porn stars doubletalk:
Judith Okpara (“Afrocandy”) – “I…want to solemnly clear the air here and now that I do not act porn movies, never acted in any porn movie and I am not a porn star…”
Collins Owochei– “I did not shoot or act in a soft porn movie…I have no interest in nudity”
Mimi Quaker– “Its only make-believe. You are not having sex but making it look like you are having sex.”
Cossy Orjiako– “I can act in a porn movie, but I can never go nude myself.”

Notice that these are the same things most drug addicts will say in public: “Oh no, I’m not a junkie, I’m clean! I was never a drug addict! I hate weed! Its just make-believe. I’m just making you people think I was smoking that crack.” Jennifer Case, an ex-porn star agrees: “One thing I remember was trying to separate the real me from the porn star me. I became two people and turned it on and off when needed. My other personality ‘Veronica’ was just a fake front to protect the real me and get the job done”.
This applies both to the porn makers and their consumers. And this is why the first step to freedom from porn is to stop living in denial.

Porn is so destructive because its needs a dark place or a “fortress” within the mind in order to survive. So to uproot it, you need to stop shielding it. After delving into porn, a young man observed: “I had never had severe social anxiety, but I noticed that I found it hard to look people in the eye, I became very lazy and unmotivated in my teenage years going to bed late, waking up late”. He began to lack self-confidence in “approaching many women because porn was easier, and the fact that the guys in those scenes are huge and I’m an average Joe”.
This spiral descent is fairly common. There are several effects that looking at porn can have on people.

Gary Wilson in his article Brain on Porn, demonstrated with several cases that porn addicts commonly show symptoms like tiredness, social anxiety, depression, isolation, insecurity, erectile dysfunction, poor academic performance, relationship/marital issues and a lack of interest in anything other than porn. Porn materials stimulate a hormone in the brain called Dopamine which desensitizes a user such that a porn that seems “hot” to him today will seem “boring” tomorrow. This is why most porn addicts seek different types of new porn materials in order to maintain the thrill.

“I was exposed to porn at the age of 12 by spelling a URL wrong” says Tunde, “I quickly closed it because I wasn’t interested.” But one day while browsing, he logged on to a porn site. “A whole new area with tons of porn images and videos and livestreams started coming up” he says “then it started to where I was searching Google images and I started watching live cams and stuffs like that. It grew from watching just nude girls to actually sex porn videos.”
This illustrates how sin – particularly porn – quickly grows and when it has properly grown, it brings death and one of the first things it kills is one’s relationship with God (James 1:15).

“I was having thoughts of self-injury because of the pain and anger and shame from my addiction to masturbation and pornography” wrote Alex, “the Devil has constantly been telling me that I’m fake and not worth God’s time because of this.” Virtually every Christian struggling with this habit also struggle with guilt and even depression. Most people resort to porn to “escape” from an emotional pain, such as rejection, or boredom. So a good starting point to freedom is to find out why you keep falling into it.

But no matter how long one has struggled with it, porn can be overcomed in Christ just like every other sin. It has to repented of however, and this implies eschewing all porn materials/websites. To maintain your freedom, you will also have to actively resist porn and this involves discipline – and takes time. In some cases, a struggler may need the help of a matured Christian to counsel and pray with him regularly. Personally, there are some magazines, movies or TV programs that I consider very dangerous for a person who is just recovering.

“If you are viewing porn or addicted to porn, you are trying to fill a void inside of you that only God can fill” says Jennifer, mentioned earlier. “Whenever you look at porn, you are making the void bigger and you will destroy your life. Its evil; its a drug and it is poison and a lie.”