Sunday. I had chores to do in the morning, about which I will not be writing, because some things are private, you tatafo reader always looking to peep through the windows of my writing and look into my life. I faced my chores squarely, and then while I was rounding up, the rain came down, and watered the earth to make some nearby farmer happy, because their crops would need the rain to grow. This particular farmer (myself, since I studied agric science) wasn’t too happy though, since the rain effectively hampered me from doing some things I was going to have done, and made me go to church a little bit late. Well, to be honest, more than a little bit.
So I had just jumped off the okada that brought me to church, and was hurrying in, when I was accosted by brother XYZ. This was what our conversation went like:
XYZ: Brother Catchup, you are very late this morning, very much unlike you. What happened?
Me: ah, Brother XYZ, good morning. I was busy at home, had a few chores to tidy up, and then the rain came again, and messed up my plans, that’s why I’m just coming.
XYZ: but brother Catchup, what if I told you that you were going to meet Bill Gates or Dangote, would you not shelve everything you’re doing, and forget all the chores, and abandon all the chores, and come, even if it is raining heavily. You will even swim if there is a flood.
Me: Yes, I guess you’re right.
XYZ: Brother Catchup, is God not greater than Bill Gates, Dangote, and all the other big men?
Me: Yes o, He exceeds and supersedes them by far. They are mere mortals, while he is Baba God Himself, the Arugbo Ojo.
XYZ: So you will hurry for Bill Gates, hurry for Dangote, and then you won’t hurry for the God who made them? That is a very wrong attitude, brother Catchup, it is idolatry, to treat a man higher than you would treat God.
Me: I suspect it is you, brother XYZ, who do not understand. Would you really call that treating man higher than God?
Me: what if it was God that sent them? Would my going to see them late be disrespect to man or to God? When last in living memory did God or a heavenly being come down to hand a person an actual physical object?
XYZ: Brother Catchup, I do not see the relevance of this question you are asking to the situation at hand.
Me: Brother XYZ, If I were to, for instance, give a beggar #200, and put #100 in church as offering, would it be counted as putting man before God?
XYZ: Yes, Brother Catchup, it would mean that you are putting the beggar, who is a man, higher than you put God. By virtue of what you gave them, it would appear as if you value the beggar more than God.
Me: But what if the beggar had been praying for God to send someone to help him with #200 all the while, and when I came, instead of giving him the #200 that was laid in my heart, I gave him #100, and went on to put the #200 in the offering bowl, so as not to put man higher than God, would that be counted as disrespect unto man or unto God?
XYZ: Erm… Brother Catchup, I don’t know, but you should not put man higher than God.
Me: But my disobeying the voice of God, which told me to put #200 in the beggar’s hand, in order not to, as you have put it, to put man higher than God, is it a good thing or a bad thing?
XYZ: Disobeying God can never be a good thing, brother Catchup, for the Bible says that “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Me: So, you would agree with me that it is better to obey God and give the beggar #200, than to come into church and sacrifice the #200 that could have been spent on meeting the needs of a beggar who needed the #200 more than the church?
XYZ: It is always better to obey God than to obey man.
Me: So, in actual fact, have you seen God come down to church to take the money offered to him?
XYZ: No, brother Catchup, the money is used to do the work of God
Me: and when God lays it in your heart to bless someone a beggar at that, with a specific amount, and you do it, please whose work is that?
XYZ: It is the work of God, brother Catchup.
Me: the church has you, me, and several hundred others. That money for that project will be raised. That beggar, he has just me. We have no way of knowing who else will offer him anything.
XYZ: That is correct, brother Catchup.
Me: But going back to your original question, brother XYZ, for you, brother XYZ, to assume that God, in his fully divine nature, would be limited by space and time, is downright insulting. Even pastors pray on social media these days, and stream services online, and receive offering payments online, and you are here, suggesting that the God who made that possible, the supreme ruler of the universe, is limited by time… it’s like you don’t have respect for God.
XYZ: Brother Catchup, I did not say so now, why are you…
Me: (cutting in) If pastor can pray on youtube, facebook, twitter, skype, and Instagram, and people receive their healing, but to connect with God, the God they pray to from all areas and distances, you have to be at a physical building at a particular time, I think you too are putting man higher than God.
That too is idolatry.
Me: Brother XYZ, good morning.
Oya, tell me what you think.