Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti Person With Disabilities (PWD), on Wednesday, sought for equal voting rights from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls as well as the 2019 general elections. Making the advocacy, in Ado-Ekiti, through the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) the PWDs said the measure became imperative…
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“The good news is what I want to share with everyone today. I was married for 12 years and my husband abandoned me under demonic influence and eloped with another woman. After three years of waiting though without any child, I decided to travel abroad in search for greener pasture. As a child of God, I promised God that I will not remarry until my husband comes back to me; I maintained same as several suitors were turned down. As I started aging, I prayed for divine blessing. My husband with the lady as I was told had three children together but he did not fulfill any marriage right on her. He refused to go to my parent to collect back the bride price he paid. There were several revelations on how the lady used charm on him in order to steal his heart. All the men of God I know have been praying without solution. I have been reading your article on line and have been enjoying all you have been teaching us. On one occasion, in fact, it was early last year, I decided to contact you about this problem and you advised me to order three bottles of your oil and to pray with same. As God may have it, I did as you instructed and the oil was sent to me here in UK. After using it, my husband and her girl friend were staying in Lagos while I am in London. I was surprised to hear that my husband sent the girl away and when his eyes were opened, he went to my father and started asking of me, my number was given to him and he called me and apologised to me, I forgave him and arranged for a visit to Nigeria immediately. During my visit, God blessed me with pregnancy and I had the baby last month here in Uk. God is alive and I am a witness…” Anonymous.
The human body is the oldest, the most profound and most universal of all symbols in creation. The Greeks, Persians, Egyptians and Hindus considered a philosophical analysis of man’s triune nature to be an indispensable part of ethical and religious training. The mysteries of every nation taught that the laws, elements and power of the universe were epitomized in the human constitution; that everything which existed outside of man had its analogue within man. Man therefore becomes the core identity of the profound symbolism of the unmoved mover-God.
The above informs why God communicates to humanity in symbols. This means of communication has indeed obfuscated the consciousness of man and has since generated serious controversies that haunt humanity in form of creed and credo. However, it is not sin to question tradition, it is rather a sin occasion by ignorance not to question anything one does not understand. One may overlook a healing truth by following a particular tradition buried in symbolism literally at instance of religious teachings. I am convinced that we must not allow error which in my term is misunderstanding of reality or believe without understanding to indeed confuse us on a matter of spiritual reality. Again, we should avoid our own preferential procedure for determining spiritual truth. Many have erred here and have hitherto considered their erroneous theology as sacred creed; those who find themselves in such congregations sing doxology to the God they are ignorant of his teachings. This in my term is the profound outcome of religious hysteria-opium in leap.
Literalizing biblical assertions is an invitation cum foundation for continues ignorance. I am of the cosmic conviction that knowledge must increase and The Reformer must play his part in this context. In my quest for proper understanding of life, I embarked on a second PhD programme at IMSU in 2011. My dissertation or thesis was on “Symbolism in Igbo Traditional Religion…” On the day of my defense, the external examiner (Prof. W.W Weneka) of University of Port Harcourt was thrilled with my research work which was as well supervised by Prof G. C. Egbucha (a renowned Professor in African Studies) and Rev.Fr. Prof. J.I Obilor.
My second PhD programme was the result of my discussion with Prof. G.C Egbucha on various topics on symbolism; thus he motivated me to embark on another research on Igbo studies. He taught me so many hidden symbols in Igbo cosmology and finally supervised my dissertation. The thesis coded in spiritual symbolism is an eye opener in the area of Ethno-philosophical studies and Religious Anthropology.
The External examiner realizing my Local Government of origin consequently wished that I had done this research on the Njaba Sacred Python Symbolism. On that note, I decided to do another research which was published last year on “The Sacred Python as Collective Conscience of Igbo Morality-Studies in Anthropology of Igbo Traditional Religion.” The point here is that I have done extensive research on symbolism; that informs why I have always emphasized on not taking the sayings of great religious sages literally.
Christ spoke in symbols, yes; almost all his sayings were coded in symbolism. The various interpretations on our ecclesiastical alters today is the reason for multiplication of churches which in turn has become the pestilence cum bubonic plague that is haunting our spiritual civilization. Nevertheless, wisdom must triumph over ignorance. In matters of symbols, nothing is to be taken literally. The Bible reports, “All these things spoke Jesus to the multitude in parables, and he did not speak without parable Matthew 13:38.
Spiritual text must be evaluated in line with spiritual understanding of symbolic meanings. Literal meanings are responsible for error and lack of spiritual growth. Taking symbolic teachings literal is associated with the word “LETTER” in the Bible. Some gospel ministers of nowadays are preachers of the LETTER. Be not a minister of the letter means not to take the scripture literally. The Bible authenticates this thus, “…Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter but of the spirit for the letter kills but the spirit gives life” 11Corinth 3:6.
The above biblical assertion bears evidence to the fact that one should not take biblical statements literally.
The way and manner Jesus responded to so many questioned in the Bible shows that the psychology of his original heavenly plane is in great variance with ours. The way he related with both his Apostles and Disciples in no small way authenticates the fact that he came from a plane that is of divine origin. He demonstrated advanced discipline, taught unassuming theology, separated himself when necessary, refused to disclose certain things to humanity, lived by example, and above all coded his mission and teachings. He is a great Master!
The Bible once more reports, “I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known and our fathers have told us” Ps. 78:21. The two key words here are PARABLE and DARK. Both words were used symbolically. Here the Bible is telling us that we must begin to understand not with the brain per say but with the mind of the spirit. Dark sayings of old are simply words that have hidden meanings. No doubt that hidden texts written thousands of years ago must be revealed through revelation of the wise. Here we are talking of “dark sayings of old”. The Bible in Proverbs 1:6 says, “To understand a proverb and the interpretation, the words of the wise and their dark sayings.”
This simply shows that there are dark sayings of old and in order to understand them, the assistance of the wise is needed. In this context therefore, wisdom is needed and wisdom in this context is in understanding symbolic writings. The dark sayings are those sayings that have hidden meanings. Such hidden meanings have great impact on those that understand them. The Bible says, “The most high dwells not in temples made with hands” Acts 7:48. Here the spiritual language and its hidden meaning is that God does not dwell in our conceptual holy temples and material structures. Yet he dwells there in a symbolic manner, consequent upon the fact that his name is attached to it.
In line with spiritual principles, God is absolute and anything that is attached to him, assumed his nature. This simply means that God is associated with anything that is associated with him in truth and in spirit. Mundane religious leaders are not ignorant of this yet for thousands of years; people have been slaughtered over the location of temples which are made with hands in the defense of their faith.
“The kingdom of God is within you” asserted Christ (Luke 17:21). In I Corinthians 3:16 the bible affirms that “You are the temple of God. For the temple of God is Holy which temple you are.” This is another confirmation of the assertion that what is considered the temple or tabernacle is actually the human mind. The bible contains the hidden keys if properly applied would lead to open the vast ocean of the mind.