The Mystery In Church By @semioneabi

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I was in church on Sunday not to serve God, but for all the wrong reasons. I just decided to be less serious for once and look at the things that are going on in church every Sunday. Though I knew some of them, I didn’t really give them a shot until last Sunday. I realized I’m not the only one who went to church for all the wrong reasons, but I got a lot of followers.

Another thing I realized after three years is how holy we Nigerians in Nigeria carry ourselves in church, like Christ is going to come down on a Sunday.

For those of you that have had the opportunity to go to church outside of Nigeria, (Catholic Church to be precise) you will agree with me that though the catholic faith is the same, the way it’s been practiced in Nigeria and the way its practiced in other places is not totally the same.

I used to think we Africans are holier-than-thou (because I thought Nigeria is Africa), and I thought the whites don’t know how to serve God. But I got to know now that Africans are not holier than thou, they really know how to serve God in their own way, and whites really know how to serve God too. But Nigerians are holier-holier-than-thou; we think we really know how to serve God, but I bet if there’s even a Nigerian in heaven right now (just kidding though, if no Nigerian is in heaven, means heaven don’t really exist).

You go to church and you see lot of pretense cooked up in one bowl all in the name of serving God in truth and in spirit, meanwhile outside the church they are the devil themselves. Serving God isn’t really about going to church and pretending to be holy, or wearing the best clothes to go show off in church on Sundays, but wearing anything you want to church without being criticized. What I noticed in Nigeria is that church is a fashion house, people go there to show off, and the space from where you sit to where the offertory box is, is the fashion walk way where you get to do all the bouncing steps and cat walking so people will notice you and what you are wearing. But serving God is not by what you wear or how you dress, but by heart.

Let me give you example of holier-than-thou attitudes in Nigerian churches that are not outside.

In Nigeria, you dare not wear anything revealing to church, you must cover your hair properly, you must not do this or that because it is not holy in the side of God or you will go to hell. Well if going to hell includes what you wear to church, then majority of the people that’ll go to heaven will come from 9ja, because we sure know how to make the church look like a fashion arena. That is why ‘we no dey carry last.’

Outside Nigeria (oversees) it’s not like that. The first day I entered church, I went out and checked the sign properly if I didn’t enter the wrong church, or maybe it’s a protestant church that had it alter dressed like the Catholic Church. The first thing I saw was girls, women, ladies all in their different hairstyles without even a handkerchief to cover it up, ‘you dare not try that in a catholic church in Nigeria, because the church wardens will not even let you smell the entrance of the church

The next thing I saw is a very sexy thing coming to sit in front of me; I could see the line of her panties in the extra tight slightly revealing jean trouser she wore to church, and her top that indicated that she had no bra on. ‘Something you will NEVER see in a catholic church in Nigeria.’ I was amazed at the different things I saw that didn’t even relate to Catholicism in Nigeria. But then it doesn’t matter if you go to church naked or dressed like a ‘Hijab’ without revealing any part of your body, what matters is the heart. I tried my possible best and got close to the girl that sat in front of me that day, we dated for some months and trust me she serves God to the core, and she really believes in him.

Then there were guys coming in, some with earrings on, and others wearing a singlet’s like shirt that revealed their body. And then there were altar servers, dressed on their vestments with palm sandals and crazy hairstyles. As a mass server then, we were never allowed to wear even school sandals to serve mass or you will be suspended, it must be cover shoes or don’t serve at all. Then there were lay readers going to the altar to read without having their hair covered, ‘ABOMINATION.’ Then during consecration, I saw a woman go up to the altar and help the priest in giving out communion. That was the abomination of all ABOMINATIONS people.

I couldn’t believe myself. If she was a reverend sister, it would have been a different case, but she is married and has kids, and she helps the priest out for communion? As a boy that lived 90 percent of my years in Nigeria with priests, and as a mass server and a lay reader I have been, I tell you I was SHOCKED. I didn’t even go out for communion that day because as far as I knew then, only seminarians and sisters were allowed to give out communion to the people, not even the catechist. Most seminarians were expelled because of the way they handled the communion. I remember around 2005, a deacon, who had just few months left to be ordained as priest was expelled because he gave the consecrated communion in a ciborium to a mere altar boy to hold. That is how HOLY Nigeria is, yet we do the worst things on earth. But eventually, I got used to all of these things, and I got to know that here, the diocese, with the help of the parish priests chose men and women, train them and they help out with the giving out of communion.

But then it doesn’t change the fact that wherever it is that you go in the world, people have different missions when there go to church. Some go for the girls, some go for the boys, some go to show off, some go to laugh at others and some go to serve God. When people like me and many other guys out there go to any church, the first things we look out for are ‘fine and fly chicks’ in the church.

Like I said earlier, I went to church last Sunday for all the wrong reasons, and it was really fun fishing out people. You can’t go to church to serve God and at the same time fish out people, God will not even think of letting your prayers get to his ears talk less of answering them, so I just settled for one.

There are guys that you see every Sunday well dressed and looking fly, you may think they came for God but during mass, they strategize and have the girl they want to meet outside the church fished out. And the ladies are always and ever ready.

There are men that look all holy on Sundays with their entire family, if you see them you may think they are always like that, like the way they look on Sundays… but most of them do the worst things in town. I saw a guy I know on Sunday, it was the first time I was seeing him in my church. To be sincere I didn’t know the dude was married with fine kids, but this guy used to date one of my school mate and they always looked good together. But there he was, with his kids and his super fine wife and they were all happy as a family and I wondered if his wife knew he was cheating on her, and if God answer prayers of such people.

I saw this very super fine lady that sat in front of me. When she entered, I admired her from the back. Her super sleek tight Beyonce gown had her behind all out and looking like a 20 year old, but then she had a kid on her hand, and two walking behind her. The next person I saw coming right after her is this dude I have seen a couple of times in a restaurant where I usually go to use Wi-Fi connection. The many times I have seen this guy, I have never seen him with a particular girl, I see him with different girls and he has never bought anything more, other than a can drink and maybe burger for his girls. And the most annoying thing is that this dude turned out to be that lady’s husband. I would have screamed if I wasn’t in church. How could you have that fine wife with three kids and still play around with under 25s? It’s really annoying how we men do these things. The funny thing is that the guy don’t only cheat, he is stingy with his girlfriends. He is rich, and as far as I know, he has never bought more than a burger and drink and the good thing God has blessed him with is that the girls he carries are not Nigerian, Ghanaian or Sierra Leone girls, if not there would have sucked him dry by now. I’m sure he knows what he’s doing, because he is actually a Ghanaian and Ghanaians’ reason like Nigerians. But all the same I pity his wife. If I was older, I would have tried my luck on her knowing the kind of person her husband is.

There are women, married women that always have their eyes on the young guys. I see them always, whenever I am sitting at the altar, I see everything, just like the priest does. Priests know virtually everything that goes on in the church that’s why I like reading often so I see things. The unfortunate thing is that church here is not like it is in Nigeria. Church in Nigeria is always fun, and if you sit on the altar, you will see all the seductresses. The guys trying to seduce the girl that is reading with you with their eyes, the girls trying to seduce the priest with everything there have, the guys gossiping about the girl next to them and vice versa.

I said it, people go to church for different reasons.

Priest and seminarians in Nigeria are like celebrities, girls will do anything to go to bed with them. I know this because I have stayed with priests, and as a brother to a priest, I know what I’ve enjoyed only bearing the title “FATHER BROTHER”. So basically priests, seminarians and the boys staying in the parish house are like celebrities, because there can get any girl they want if they want and at anytime. But since the priests and seminarians are holy, we the boys are not the ones wearing the white garment, so we are far from holy and we do whatever we want whenever we want with whichever girl we want. After all, we are church/parish house celebrities.

The situations where older women like to undress the younger guys with their eyes, is everywhere you go. And everywhere you go you find ‘sugar mummies’, and in my church, I know the ‘sugar mummies.’

There are boys and girls that will make sure they keep a fine face when coming from communion, and there are girls that never change seats. In my church, there are six girls that have never changed seats ever since I started attending the church, (I’ve been in the church for two years plus now) these girls actually think there are the finest in the church. They always sit together, they always make sure they go to communion first so that they can come and sit down and confuse people like me with their eyes. Most times my eyes meet with theirs and it feels like a million arrows pointing down at me.

There are guys that like showing off too; they always wear earrings to church and some never remove the dark sun glasses when they are inside the church.

There are color rioters, kids that never stop crying, the holier-than-thou people, the ‘I too knows’, the ‘I too fines’, the ‘I too sexys’, there are ‘the really dope ones’, there are ‘the voodooist’: these ones actually amaze me the most. You see them with charms in church, some on their ankle, some on their waist, and some on their arms, and I begin to wonder why they even come to church at all if they think the charms protect them that much…’s appalling.

Above all, there are ones that really came to serve God. I give much respect to those people, they are the best.

Finally and above the above, there are people like me, people that go to look at others and write about them. And there are people like you, people that actually read this to the end. What’s the difference between me and you? Hehehe we are both gossipers, because you read this and along the way you were nodding and agreeing with me. Why? Because you know I’m right and because you know all these kind of people exist in your church. So we are birds of a very colorful feather that really flock together.

God forgive me that I went to your house and instead of serving You, I was busy doing ‘congonsah.’ But it’s fun sometimes to be less serious and notice what is going on around you

Well, on this note, I rest my case.

You can try doing what I did, and you’ll see how fun it is. But make sure you pray for forgiveness afterwards.

Semione Abi

Semione Abi

Semioné is a 21st century law student, born and raised Nigerian but studies in The Gambia. A playwright, poet, and a lover of anything entertaining. I write when I'm inspired and when I'm bored and basically for the fun of it. I'm a law student, but the type with no interest to study sections of some funny and boring law books. But I just have to warn you that I can sometimes be boring, so when you read anything boring, don't say I didn't warn ya, because then you'll be OYO. *wink* Follow on Instagram: @omg_itsz_semione

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