On Critics of the Hallelujah Challenge


Couldn't help it

Honestly, I didn’t really want to talk about this because talking about it validates it; gives it credence. But after thinking about it for about ten seconds, I decided to. Again, when you are quiet in the presence of bullies, you enable them.

I mentioned  here that Nathaniel Bassey started something called the Hallelujah Challenge on Instagram.

Err.. what’s that about? You ask.

At 12am everyday [Nigerian time] he hosts a live event of praise and prayer for an hour. It’s supposed to last for the entire month of June. And it has seen a rapid increase in participation: from about 13k people when they first started to now more than 60,000 people joining in everyday on Instagram alone, not counting the tens of thousands on Facebook live as well. Lives have been changed, testimonies have been recorded, and a sense of community has been formed. People are genuinely enjoying worshipping God.

That sounds pretty harmless and awesome Ife, so what’s the deal; what are you writing about?

Well, thank you. I thought it was pretty awesome too. I still do. However, some days ago I had a couple of minutes to spare and thought hmmm, what do I do with this free time? So I went on Twitter: first to ask a friend for a  favor and also to figure out what was pissing off millennials that point in time. Because I kid you not, something is always pissing people  off. On this particular day, it was the Hallelujah Challenge. Apparently, some people thought it was ridiculous and made no sense. Some said it was a "passive aggressive competition Christians came up with because of Ramadan". I'm not making this up guys. Yes, someone tweeted that. Some said it was performative and just...bothersome. Someone said it really was just "annoying them". Again, I did not make this up. Some lady even made an entire Facebook post criticizing Christians, calling [ALL] Christians hypocritical and irresponsible for participating in such crowd mentality activity rather than changing the world, and solving Nigeria's many problems.


You know what I love about living in 2017? You know why I agree with my G and forever POTUS (Barack Obama) that there is no better time than now to be young and just, you know fly? Because it's a free freaking country. It's a free freaking world. Of the many groups to identify with, of the many identities that now abound in this world, only VERY few so willingly criticize each other as much as Christians criticize each other. What I mean is, seldom would you hear Yoruba people criticize and insult other Yorubas. Or Buddhists insulting other Buddhists. But us Christians, we own our faults. We know we are flawed and fallible and we are quick to call this out. Before you say we are hypocrites, honey we already say it. I know this because I myself have criticized the Church and Christians over and over and over again; for its lack of empathy sometimes; for constantly not living as Christ would. But you know what, screw that. Yes I said screw that...at least for now.

Lmao I gotta credit M for this one

If people participated in a Hallelujah Challenge while neglecting their responsibilities either at work or just as citizens, I would understand. But this is being done at 12AM, literally not disturbing the peace of anyone, completely voluntarily, yet they are being vilified. The question for the aforementioned critics is: what are you doing during that hour that Christians ought to be doing to make this world a better place? Go on, tell me.

How can you collectively assume that over a hundred thousand people are doing their OWN religion wrong? So not one of those thousands of people is doing it right? How can people working out their salvation the way they know how to bother you so much? I would be a liar if I said my philosophy in life was "live and let live". Nah, it's not. But no one believes in equality as much as I do (this blog could pass for an advocacy blog lol). I also don't believe in using one religion as an oppression of other people. I don't believe everyone has to abide by the doctrines of any one religion. But I carry my faith on my head. My most important identity is "Child of God" and I'm unapologetic about it. However I choose to work this out, let me be. Christians are fallible is why they/we need Jesus. If we were perfect, there would be no need for Him to die on the cross for us. If we knew how to make this world a perfect place; if we had it all figured out; pray tell, what do we need saving for then?

I was talking with M and we concluded that everyone is sorta free to be anything now, except you are a Christian or you believe in God. Well in that case, you are the village idiot for believing in something you can't see. LOL. Again, the best part of the world we live in now is the freedom to be what you can, when you can, and how you can as long as you don't hurt anyone or break any law. If I decide today that I no longer feel like the gender I was assigned at birth, you would take my word for it based on nothing other than what I tell you. Not only that, you would go a step further to encourage me to be comfortable in what I feel like. And yes, everyone should proudly wear their identities. In fact you would not dare question such a person because you would be scared of being politically incorrect. So I reckon you should let people worship God however they deem fit. Yeah indeed, you may have constructive criticism whatever, but truly, objectively speaking it's none of your business how I live out my faith. It really isn't.

Even when I shade so called evangelicals in America (ahem ahem) who would use Christianity for everything except help the poor and the oppressed and the marginalized, I know I really can only talk; I have no claim over them or their religion. When American politicians (who are public servants and rightly deserve scrutiny) would rather monitor wombs, give everybody guns than provide healthcare (America though, really?!!!),  at the end of the day I can only vote them out; I have no right to question their faith or indeed I can, but they have every right to be offended when I do.

So seriously, DO YOU. And let others BE. Sheesh.



No comments