MAKING A SUCCESS OF CONTRACTED CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM MARRIAGE

Unequal yoking

by
Babatunde Fagoyinbo

INTRODUCTION

Christian-Muslim Marriage

We need to have a good understanding of the scriptures before delving into the affairs of marriage; otherwise, we shall be confused. Let us begin from creation “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: So God created man …male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion …” (Gen 1:26-28, KJV). This implies that man is in two components, male and female. The word man refers to both sexes and that will be the concept of this article. There will be no need to use alternative man/woman, boy/girl, he/she. This also does not prevent the use of man for males only and specifically mention woman when only the female is referred to. That was creation. Man was created last.

You do not think of who to employ until you have decided and planned what business you are going into. And the Lord God saw his loneliness “… the Lord God said, … I will make him an help meet for him….And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast …And Adam gave names to all … but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (Gen 2:18-20, KJV). This implies that Adam was brought into physical existence before other living creatures. To give him a wife “… the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam … and he took one of his ribs, …And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman… she shall be called Woman…Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother… and they shall be one flesh…” (Gen 2:21-25, KJV). This is God’s original plan for man. To be one with his wife; not throw her out at will. When Adam was formed, Eve was part of him.

Irrespective of the number of years that Adam had been in existence before the physical Eve, there was a component of Adam that was Eve. Adam knew that Eve was part of him when he woke after her extraction from his ribs “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen 2:23, KJV).

Husband-Wife Relationship

You will ask about our patriarchs who had multiple wives. You are right for the Lord Jesus answered the Jews on that matter that “…For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept” (Mark 10:5, KJV). God did not make provision for divorce for God is united in Himself and since He created us in His image, He expects us to be one flesh “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. .. one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:6-9, KJV).

Saul discussed the God-man-wife relationship as “… the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3, KJV). To Muslims who are in doubt, the Qur’an says “So if you are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, then ask those who are reading the Book before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it). 10:94”.

Muhammad was aware of dissidents among the children of Israel “Is it not [true] that every time they took a covenant a party of them threw it away? But, [in fact], most of them do not believe” (2:100). Was God not aware of this scenario when He advised Muhammad to consult the people of the book? That advise still stands today and always, for God declared “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal 3:6, KJV). Aisha says that Khadija took Muhammad to a Christian convert who used to read the Gospels in Arabic” from Bukhari vol.4 book 55 ch.17 no.605 p.395. Note that Muhammad studied under a Christian convert; not just any Jew or Hebrew

Sonship of Adam

What makes you know that you are the child of your father? I’m from the most homogeneous state in Nigeria. My father’s cousin saw me in the heart of Oyo town and recognised me. I was shocked. She had never seen me before, even as a baby! What did I receive from my father? A tiny drop of sperm, not feasible to the naked eye, meets with my mother’s egg {about 100 microns (millionths of a meter)}, or roughly the thickness of a strand of hair) and then God nourished it until it becomes me. Who is the father?

The LORD God created us like He created the angels but He didn’t form us like them. He formed us in a way that would relate us close to our domain; the earth. God wants us to cherish the earth, to love it and to adequately take care of it in a sustainable manner. Knowing the earth as a component part of our body would cause us to honour and cherish it. Angels don’t have domain but man has. After my father dropped that sperm, he went about other businesses only occasionally asking my mother “How’s the baby doing? “ But God continued with the work of bringing me into the world, nurturing and caring for me so that I would be well shaped and that everything that would make me function well is done for me “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7, KJV).

Can you quantify the breath of life inputted into you? The breath that makes you a living soul! Can you compare that precious breath with the tiny sperm measuring about 0.002 inch (about 50 micrometres) from head to tail? Your earthly father has no choice in what you are: tall or short; fat or slim; light or dark; male or female. But the LORD God takes interest in everything concerning you, your mother, your siblings, your father, the resources they need to take care of you.

You say that you are the servant of God! How? What work do you carry out for him? Clean his farm/ Wash His clothes? Make his bed? Cook His food? What work do you do other than work out your salvation? Now, let’s look at it this way, Dictionary.com says that a servant is a person employed by another, especially to perform domestic duties. A cook is a servant. You are an old person and a cook is employed for you, then you cook falls sick and cannot enter the kitchen. You’ll starve that day except you look for an alternative to cook for you.

Now, tell me what assignment you are charged with by God that if you don’t carry out He will have to desperately look for an alternative. God created us as His children but we fell short and descended to the rank of a servant. No, not of God but of Satan “… wasted his substance with riotous living…. How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough… make me as one of thy hired servants” (Luke 15:12-19, KJV). But for His compassion, we have not truly repented and returned to the Father for forgiveness and reabsorption into His Vineyard but we go about labeling ourselves servants of God when, in actual sense, we are slaves to sin. The prodigal son raised his heart and his soul and looked towards his home and sought to repent. He did not just think it, he took a step of faith and headed home.

Have we got to that level? Have we repented? If we are truly servants what have the nearly 200,000,000 of us done about the Ogoja Five?

True Sonship

The Police impounded my 23-year old car in Nsukka because I was not carrying the bill of laden. I had to send the driver back for the paper. When I went to retrieve the car, I met a man who came to bail out his son that was arrested for harassing a woman on her farm. He was not ashamed to call the young man his son. If the man is decent he would, on reaching home, scold the child and threaten to disown him and declare. “You are not like me!”

Man is not only in the image of God but also in His likeness “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen 1:26, KJV). This informs God’s decision when He sent to Pharaoh “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn” (Ex 4:22, KJV). If we have not accepted Christ we overrate ourselves if we call ourselves His servants. Christ said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34, KJV).

In the course of time man began to multiply in response to the blessing at creation “That the sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name) saw the daughters of men (those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness) that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (Gen 6:2, KJV). The generation coming out of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own purity and in detestation of the apostasy. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain (MH, 2006). Their choices were guided by physical beauty; based their choice on the assessment which their own corrupt affections made without regard to divine instructions and became unequally yoked with strange women. No doubt, they must have married their daughters out to them too.

What Does Marriage Entail?

As a teenager, I used to read Denise Robins’ novels but when I started work I noticed that nearly all my colleagues who were married did not have the same ending as Denise Robins’ “they both lived happily thereafter”. There were mountains to climb, rivers to cross and swamp lands to pass through. Notwithstanding, I still had problems with my first relationship. I saw the problem about two years earlier than our breakup but I couldn’t leave. I kept on praying that the relationship should be terminated by God. I knew my error. I picked a relationship by myself; I never consulted Him but kept on praying that He should make her my wife. God kept on revealing to me that she was not for me.

When the break came, it was not easy but I made up my mind I won’t enter into any relationship for two years. I’d known better: I asked God to provide His choice for me. He did. My first sighting of her the spirit told me that she is my wife. We were in close proximity for about two weeks and I had every opportunity to drop a hint on having a relationship but I never did. Then, she left. I did not even blame myself for not taking the chance. The following day, she was back with an errand to her brother who was my colleague. Had she not been sent back I don’t think we would have met again.

The following morning was when I remembered the first day that I saw her and the voice that I heard. Today, we are blessed with four children and grandchildren. I have not, on any occasion wondered why I did not marry someone else. We have our differences but they make us stronger.

Conversion

An elder cousin of mine dated a Muslim babe and they eventually got married. After marriage, the babe reneged on her promise to become a Christian. My cousin never bothered himself about it until their first baby was 40 days. Then he told the wife “Our daughter will be dedicated tomorrow.”

“That’s Ok. Mama will mount her.” She replied.

“Mama is not her mother. She cannot present her to the priest.” He stated emphatically.

Notwithstanding his wife’s refusal to go with him to the Church, he instructed everybody in the family not to collect the child from her. 30 minutes later she joined them in the Church. The following week she was ready for service ahead of the husband.

Another case was a friend of mine who converted to marry a Muslim girl. The day after the marriage the father-in-law told him “Waheed, you have demonstrated love by converting to Islam to marry my daughter. By virtue of my position in Islam and the family, I cannot give my daughter in marriage to a Muslim. Your wife should also be able to demonstrate her love to you. The two of you should decide what faith you would follow but you must be of the same faith.” This is not a narrative. I was part of the system from conversion to reversal. The girl had assured him of reversal after marriage. They are happily married.

Already Married

In the case of a marriage between a Christian and a Muslim, the Muslim has acted in faith as the Qur’an allows it (Qur’an 2:221; 5:5). Even if the Muslim does not understand it at the time of the marriage, there has been no violation. However, the Christian has violated the ethics of the Christian faith. They now have the right to re-oil and rekindle their lamps, drain the oil and put off their lights or keep their lights glowing and continue praying for the spouse.

ON THE PERIPHERY

There are four possible situations that can create marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian: both were unbelievers before marriage but one of them received the light and got converted; one was a Church goer and married a Muslim but now has submitted self to Christ; One is a warm Christians married to a Church goer and One is a Christian but pushed God aside and followed their passions.

One of Unbelieving Couple Got Converted

Unequally Yoked

If one partner becomes a Christian after the marriage, the inherent struggles of living under two different authorities quickly become apparent: values will clash, attitudes will conflict, priorities will differ and desires will be at odds.  It won’t be easy for the new convert to grow in the faith. They won’t be able to share the newfound source of wisdom, comfort and joy with the spouse they loved the most. Making the other partner understand may generate ridicule.

The onus of success rests on the convert. They must be prepared for the storm. They must learn how to live their faith in a way that will attract the other partner rather than repel them, how to grow and even flourish in their relationship with Christ, irrespective of discouragement from the spouse and admit possible mistakes to restore stability to the family relationship.

A Church Goer, Married a Muslim and Became Born-again

Their case is akin to that of an unbelieving couple of which one got converted, but in addition, they carry the guilt of deception to self. This is the most common among Christian-Muslim marriages. Marriage is hard enough when you have two believers who are completely in harmony spiritually.

Warm Christians married an in-name-only Christian

The genuine Christian should’ve known the situation of the nominal Christian during the courtship days and should have taken adequate care to decide on the course of action In-name only abound all over and in every congregation.

One is a Christian but Pushed God aside for Their Passion

The temptation to get romantically involved with a non-Christian is usually not hidden and an attempt is usually made to justify it to themselves and co-worshippers. Any feeling arising from any infatuation to a non-Christian is a temptation to call right that which God calls wrong; generally, such feelings are not accompanied by any affirmation from God. You’ve definitely told a lie: “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4, KJV). You should repent from your sin of deceit.

The Christian had probably got romantically involved having spent a great deal of time with the opposite sex one-on-one. This was what happened in my first relationship. I was coaching her for admission into a Teachers’ college. If you don’t want to get romantically involved with someone, don’t spend hours one-on-one.

Possible Outcomes of Christian–Muslim Marriage

There are only three ways an unequal marriage can turn out, (and by unequal I am willing to stretch a point and include genuine, warm Christians who want to marry an in-name-only Christian, or someone very, very far behind them in Christian experience and growth). The followings are what you are experiencing now:

  1. There is a need to sacrifice such essential Christian activities as devotional life, hospitality to believers, missionary support, tithing, raising children in the faith, fellowship with other believers;
  2. The deep unity and oneness of a marriage cannot flourish when one partner cannot fully participate in the other person’s most important commitments: this would result in the unbelievers seeing themselves as marginalised.
    1. A cousin of mine was dating a Muslim. I noticed in their album they never sat or stand fully side by side. Their sitting and standing positions were always looking in different directions. I asked him why but he dismissed it as superstitious. I told him he thought they lovd each other but that their spirits were not in agreement. They got married. Within three months there were tensions in the family. I wasn’t married then. The wife insisted he must become a Muslim. It was after they separated that my cousin regained his senses, repented and asked God for forgiveness. He loved the woman and never searched for an alternative. He was shocked , after three and a half years of separation, when the womn packed her things and came back home, unannounced; and
  • Stress, loneliness and unhappiness will result from forced co-habitation or eventual breakup.

Prayer is a wonderful instrument in this matter. The Christian should exploit this resource.

THE BIBLE HAS THE SOLUTION

Staying On

Christians are not meant to live solitary lives “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen 2:18, KJV); they need to find support from outside sources such as the Church and Bible study groups for the Scriptures enjoined “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb 10:25), KJV). Being married to an unbeliever does not alter the sacredness of the relationship, so it should be the priority of every Christian to pray for their spouses and set good examples, allowing Christ’s light to shine brightly “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Phil 2:14, KJV).

It is often said that each believer has their own experiences and priorities “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations “Jer 1:5, KJV) that influence their unique collection of ideas, beliefs, practices, and all the other parts that make up the sum of what they mean when they say “I’m Christian,” or such remark as those who share the same religious affiliation does not necessarily share the same opinions on important issues. But it is ever ethical for Christians to commune together on what the Bible says on important issues. If we want to use our wisdom or our own experience we would falter. The Bible provides the benchmark.

The Bible is a complete manual of life and goes deeply into every situation. It is consistent on all matters. As a young Christian, I wondered why Reuben’s relationship with Jacob’s concubine and David’s illicit relationship with Uriah’s wife were recorded. The Bible wants us to know. Is God’s word not true to-date? “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (Gen 16:12, KJV). The Bible recorded all so that we would learn the fact that every action we take has a spiritual impact on the creation and spiritual consequences on the immediate environment made up of you and your generations.

Let’s remind ourselves of what you’ve done by marrying an unbeliever or what situation you’ve put yourself in the period of ignorance. If you’re selected for military training, the first task you are put on is repentance “for being a civilian”. Now that you are a Christian, the first task is to realise that you are a sinner and have to repent. Repent of what?

God’s image: You are to display God’s image (Gen 1: 26) in obedience to His commands (Deut 7:3-4). Marriage is to display God’s image by obeying God’s commands for fruitfulness and dominion (Gen 1:28). Obeying God’s word is doing what pleases God. Otherwise, you are either pleasing yourself or others. And that’s idolatry.

Marriage is a partnership for God’s service: God formed other living creatures before forming Eve. To fulfil the blessing of prophecy/priesthood/kingship contained in Gen 1:28, God had to provide a suitable help in Eve. He created man and woman in relationship for competence to fulfil his calling to His image. Samson is a good example of not being able to fulfil God’s purpose when you ignore His commands “… Let me die with the Philistines. … the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” (Judg 13:1-16:30, KJV).

He was aware of God’s purpose for his life. Have you realised God’s purpose for your life? Having a Christian spouse will assist you to be focused and accomplish. Had Samson prayed aright, repented and asked for full restoration, he would have received both his sight and his strength.

Marriage is harmed by sin: While Adam went about his business in the Garden, Eve glorified God. Her relationship with the husband was as designed: “a help meet”. There was a reversal of God’s will in “…thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen 3:16, KJV). In a Christian marriage, spouses have the opportunity to call each other to submit their respective sinful wills to God’s perfect will. An unbeliever would not understand this and thus lose out on the blessing of having a spouse who calls you to submit your will to Christ, and instead have a spouse who has no interest in being called to submit their own will to Christ.

God’s commands warn against marrying unbelievers: (Deut 7:3-4; Josh 23:12). Gen 24 revealed the extent to which he planned that Isaac would not be unequally yoked. Isaac did the same to Jacob “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan” (Gen 28:1, KJV), being disgusted with the marriage of Esau to the Hittite women. Jacob’s children refused to intermarry with unbelievers “…The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter… give her him to wife. … We cannot …to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us (Gen 34:8-14). The hidden intention of the Shalemites is contained in “Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us” (Gen 34:23, KJV).

God positively pictures believing marriages: The book of Ruth presents the most beautiful picture of believers marrying. Boaz provided and protected; Ruth trusted and took the Godly initiative. It’s a wonderful love story of how a woman who has come under the wings of the Lord comes within the love of a godly man.

Christ endowed the Old Testament: Christ declared “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: …  but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:17-19, KJV).

What to do

Now that we have a good picture of God’s stand towards marriage we can look at what God expects of us “…to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. …, Let not the wife depart from her husband: … For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife… For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? …” (1 Cor 7:2-17, KJV).

Christians married to unbelievers will need to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to profess Christ and live in the light of God’s presence (1 John 1:7). They should seek God’s transforming power to change their hearts and produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A Christian wife is obligated to have a submissive heart, even toward her unbelieving husband (1 Peter 3:1), and she will need to remain close to God and rely on His grace to enable her to do so.

Procedure

Divorce is UnChristian: Being married to an unbeliever does not alter the sacredness of the relationship, so it should be the priority of every Christian to pray for their spouses and set good examples, allowing Christ’s light to shine brightly. Exiting from the marriage is not the solution “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matt 5:32, KJV). Matt 19:4-8 also emphasises on this. Paul was emphatic about it “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord” (1 Cor 7:39, KJV). In the same way is the husband

Praying unceasingly: Christians married to unbelievers will need to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to profess Christ and live in the light of God’s presence (1 John 1:7). They should seek God’s transforming power to change their hearts and produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A Christian wife is obligated to have a submissive heart, even toward her unbelieving husband (1 Peter 3:1), and she will need to remain close to God and rely on His grace to enable her to do so.

Encourage your spouse: You are called simply to love your spouse (Eph 5:21-25; Tit 2:4). No matter how strong one’s walk with God, sacrificial love is a daunting standard. Indeed, the depth, breadth and intensity of the divine standard for husbands; of love, of providing for the family, of guiding the family spiritually,  may cause them more stress than we realise. So also are the homecare demands, the care of the children (the husband inclusive) etc. on the wives. ·

Although your eyes naturally fall on areas in which your spouses need to improve, you should instead look for ways to bless them with encouragement.

Love is enjoined: “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph 5:33, KJV)

God is aware of our shortcomings: God has made adequate provisions for our shortcomings and desires our salvation. He uses every opportunity to manifest His glory. You’ll be amazed when He takes over “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29, KJV). Howbeit you have to be patient and persevere.

Next: The Fundamentals of Major Religions

REFERENCES

MH (2006). Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.

THE PLACE OF A CHRISTIAN QUEEN IN A NON-CHRISTIAN CULTURAL SETTING

Pictur showing the traditional induction of Prophetess Şilękunǫla Moronkę Naomi as the wife of Oba Ooni

by
Babatunde Fagoyinbo

INTRODUCTION

In the World of Traditional Religion

Ife, the Origin of Yoruba Culture

It fell on us to evangelise one elderly man one of those days in Teachers’ College. It was a sunny morning and the Baba was reclining on his easy chair under a strangler fig tree (ǫdan). The way we met hm made us believe that he was a well-to-do man. His house was moderate; a four-room, two-parlour, face-me-I-face you bungalow. It must have been built with sandcrete blocks. It has a balcony with well-designed handrest made of burnt clay bricks.

“Good morning, Baba.” We greeted, prostrating.

“Welcome, my children.” He responded and called on one of the children around to bring us chairs to sit on. We declined the chairs but he insisted. “You are from St Andrew’s, Abi?”

“Yes, Baba.”

“Some of you, school children, don’t prostrate to greet old babas like me. You only nod your heads. But you came in and greeted me as if I’m your father.”

“Baba, you are our father. We can even that believe you are our grandfather. You’re definitely older than our fathers.”

“What can I do for you, my children?”

“We bring good news to you, Baba.”

“Is the government sending me to Cuba?”

“Better news than that, Baba.”

“I know then, the Gospel!” He declared.

“Yes, Baba. The good news of salvation.”

“Jesus loves me! I know that He does. All my children are Christians. All of them.”

“Baba. Salvation is a personal matter. Your children’s faith cannot save you!”

“I’m an Ifa priest. I cannot change at this age. I’ve gone too far. I shall not disappoint my disciples.”

“Baba. Save yourself and save them too.”

“My children. Ifa is a belief in one God, Olodumare, Olodumare is the Creator of the heaven and the earth. Ęla is His grand Orişa, Ęla. Ęla had no earthly father. He was sent by Olodumare to correct our negative attitudes and reconcile us with Him. The people hated Ęla because he would not compromise their behaviour and conspired against him. He was slain. The life history of Ęla is identical to that of JEşus. We must have been part of the Jews. The Jews wrote their history but our own is oral history. And you know that in oral history there would be omissions and additions.

“Orunmila is the common name but His real name is Ela. He is the Father of wisdom the Witness to creation. When Olodumare created the universe, Orunmila was the only Orisa allowed to witness all of creation. Orunmila is the father of divination, our only guide through life. Orunmila is Ifa. Those who possess the wisdom of Ifa and have been consecrated are known as Babalawo. A Babalawo would be compared to a priest or a reverend.”

“But Baba, you believe in other gods.”

“Yes. They are His errand staff. You see the population of our land and how many countries there are. We approach Him through those other gods.”

“Baba, you are limiting God.”

“You believe that God uses angels. Don’t you?”

“Yes, Baba.”

“The problem with you children of today is that you see things only through your own angle. Don’t you see that you are also guilty of your accusation against people of traditional religions? You are limiting Him too.

“Since you know He is capable of doing all things by Himself He shouldn’t have angels. You see, these gods have their respective roles. Şango is in charge of thunder and lightning, Ǫsun takes care of Ǫşun River, Ǫya takes care of Ǫya River, Ogun is in charge of metals. He ordained Şǫnpǫna in charge of infectious diseases.”

“Baba. Our concern is your salvation.”

“Don’t worry about that. All my children are Christians. I raised no objection to their accepting JEşus. They have their lives to lead”

“Salvation is a personal matter, Baba!”

“I know. You think that God is wicked!. If I’m in the wrong, God knows. The fact that I raised no objection to their accepting JEşus is enough credit for me to His presence. If my Ifa worship is acceptable to Him, then I’ll have double honours.”

“Baba, please consider submission to Christ. Can we ask a question before we leave?”

“Even if your question will lead to others, I’m all ears.”

“Why do you worship Satan?”

“We worship Eşu, not Satan. Satan is Elenini, not Eşu. Elenini is even a coined name. The English language does not have a name for EŞU, just as the Yoruba language doesn’t have a name for Satan. EŞU is one of the Yoruba Orisa that was a great confidant of Orunmila. Eşu Odara is who travels between heaven and earth not only reporting our deeds but delivering our wishes, fears, prayers, offerings and sacrifices. Whoever made the error has done the worst for the Yoruba race. Just write down this oriki (Praise names). Please, my children, I’m not evangelising Orunmila to you. But please, don’t be ignorant of any religion around you

Eşu laalu
Ogiri oko
Onile OritaBakere ǫdada
Afęyinju legun lǫAyigbin !
Ǫba nilę Ketu
Egbe leyin ęlębǫ
Enini lęyin ęni-o-kǫrǫ-Odumare
Eşu ma şe mi
Ǫta mi ni ki o şe
Eşu, the honor of the city
The big and strong stone
Whose residence is road junctionBakere, the instigator
He who possesses eyes that are capable of chasing away bad forces
Ayigbin!
King in the city of Ketu
The support behind those who make sacrifice
The devil behind those who refuse God’s messageEşu, please, do not turn against me
It is my enemy you should turn against

In the Palace

In Yoruba traditional practice, an Oba is not a Christian, not a Muslim, not a Sango worshiper, not an Ogun worshiper, not….not….not. He belongs to all religions in his domain because he is expected to take part in every festival and has his own roles to play. However, within him he knows what faith he holds.

In this era of Christianity and its injunction, what should a Christian Oba do?

There are two possibilities, which are having accepted Christ before ascending the throne and ascending to the throne before accepting Christ.

Let’s look at the first two anointed kings of Israel. They have some things in common. They went through Judaic schools, were kings over the United Kingdom of Israel, they first started ruling over their respective clans and they were both anointed by Samuel. However, the thing that they did not have in common is crucial to kingship; trust

They were not chosen using the same criteria. Saul was given to them as a result of their rebellion against God. “…when Samuel was old… he made his sons judges …his sons walked not in his ways… took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations’ (1 Sam 8:1-5). They asked for a king that would judge them like other nations and God gave them “Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people” (1 Sam 9:2, KJV). That was the pattern of their kings among their neighbours. In the case of David God cared less of a man’s countenance “… the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature…ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he…” (1 Sam 16:7-12, KJV).

King Saul was anointed by the God he could not fully obey (1 Sam 15:3-9, 22) and did not trust (1 Sam 28:7) while David had absolute trust in the God of Israel (1 Sam 17:37-46) and would ask Him for direction (1 Sam 23:1-2).

Darius (Dan 5:31-6:3; Dan 9:1-2) and Cyrus 2 Chron 36:22-23 () did not know the God of Israel but they did His will and God counted it for righteousness with Darius trusting in the power of the almighty (Dan 6:27-28)

Olori Şilękunǫla Moronkę Naomi Ogunwusi

Call to Responsibility

Queen Mothers are the epitome of power. They are women who have reached one of the highest positions of power. In Yorubaland, Olori Şilękunǫla  has been highly esteemed. Who would ever have believed that one day she would become the mother of all Yoruba? But God works His purposes out.

The call she has is a call to responsibility:

  1. To move Yoruba race back to the original place of honor;
  2. To take Christ to all palaces across the whole of Nigeria and the entire coverage of Ife and Oyo Empires;
  • To wake up mothers to the responsibility of establishing families in Christ; and
  1. To promote the unity of the entire Yoruba race.

Moremi did it and the Lord, our God, will equip her to accomplish the responsibility He has entrusted to her.

MARRIAGES IN THE BIBLE

The first recorded marriage in the Bible which was detailed is that of Isaac and Rebekah except for that of Adam and Eve which was by direct extraction of Eve from Adam’s body

Isaac Weds Rebekah

“But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. …And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham…Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water… And let it comes to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master… And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold… And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren… And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses… And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master” (Gen 24:4-54, KJV)

Jacob Weds Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah

“And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan…And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her… And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid” (Gen 28:1-29:29, KJV).

Can you notice that Laban was instrumental in all the marriages? When parents desire that their children should marry into wealthy homes, don’t begrudge them. It has been like that for ages. Abraham stocked his servants to show that the wife was not coming into prosperity.

Ishmael Weds ‘an Egyptian’

“And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt” (Gen 21:21, KJV).

Samson Weds ‘a Philistine”

“And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel…So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do” (Judg 14:2-10, KJV).

Boaz Weds Ruth

“When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her…And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz…My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?…the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day…And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it…And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day…So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son…and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David” ( Ruth 1:1’ 4:17, KJV).

We can see connectivity and divine intervention in this matter.

Harvesting of Deeds

  1. Isaac reaped from his father’s righteousness. Even Eliezer, Abraham’s servant reaped from it
  2. Jacob’s deceitful nature was visited on him. There are more such visitations waiting for him ahead.
  • Samson did not keep to God’s injunction. He handled dead bodies, even of rotten dead animals and even ate from its product, took alcohol, married storage women, was fornicating, etc. God sill used him but he missed the benefits
  1. Ruth’s righteousness was repaid with absorption into the lineage of Jesus

QUEENS THAT BLESSED THEIR HOMES

Esther

Queen Vashti disobeyed the orders of drunken King Ahasuerus, her husband, and got divorced on the advice of the princes and for deterrence to women (Est 1:1-22). He sought a new queen, the most beautiful woman in the land. A young Jewish orphan, Esther, was chosen (Est 2:1-18).  She kept her Jewish identity secret under the instruction of her foster father, her cousin Mordecai (Est 2:19-20). Mordecai, a servant of the king, overheard an assassination plot and warned his master through Esther (Est 2:21-23). Haman, a descendant of Agag the king of the Amalekites, was promoted after the plotters were executed (Est 3:1)

Haman sought to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews in the Persian Empire when he observed that Mordecai paid him no respect (Est 3:2-15). Mordecai informed Esther of the plot and together they fashioned a fasting prayer programme to avert the disaster (Est 4:1-5:14).

Ahasuerus remembered the source of the assassination attempt and sought to reward the informant. Haman recommended the award and was instructed to carry it out. It was a great humiliation for him to herald his arch enemy around the city of Shushan (Est 6:1-13).

Esther turned the tables on Mordecai through two banquets she gave, and Haman, being invited to the banquets committed grievous errors that led to his execution on the gallows that he prepared to hand Mordecai on (Est 6:14-7:10). Haman’s estates were given to Esther and his position given to Mordecai (Est 8:1-2)

King Ahasuerus mandated Esther to issue a decree that allowed the Jews to defend themselves against any attack in his name (Est 8:3-8)

Letters were sent throughout the kingdom repealing the decree and the Jewish people in Persia were saved.. There was great rejoicing, and an annual festival was celebrated to commemorate the courage of Esther and the deliverance of the Jews. This festival was called Purim Est 8:9-9:32). And “Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed” (Est 10:3, KJV).

Esther is described as beautiful (Est 2:7) and obedient (Est 2:10), and she appears to be pliant and cooperative. When she first learned of Haman’s plot and the threat to the Jews, her reaction was one of helplessness. She could not approach the king without being summoned and the king had not summoned her in thirty days, implying that she has fallen out of favour (Est 4:11) but in obedience to Mordecai’s persistent prodding, she resolved to do what she could to save her people,; staking her life “and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Est 4:16, KJV). The pliant and obedient Esther had been transformed into a woman of action.

Abijah

“Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah” (2 Chron 29:1, KJV). Hezekiah was born of an idolatrous father “Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel” (2 Chron 28:1-3. KJV). From above passages, we will see that Abijah lived with wicked Ahaz for at least twenty-six years.

Lessons to Olori Şilękunǫla

Esther

When the king was sufficiently beguiled by her charms, she revealed her true purpose: the unmasking of Haman and his plot and her identity as a Jew and accused Haman of the plot to destroy her and her people. The volatile king sprang to the defence of the woman to whom he was indifferent to thirty-three days earlier; the power of prayer is demonstrated here.

Christian and Judaist scholars are troubled by Esther’s failure to live as a Jew: had sexual intercourse with and married a Gentile, lived in the Persian court and did not follow Jewish dietary laws. In addition, Esther has been taken to task by both female and male commentators for her apparent willingness to participate in Persian harem customs, and by Christian commentators for her evident bloodthirstiness in destroying Gentiles (Est 9:1–15).

I chose the Book of Esther to demonstrate to Christians (not only Olori Şilękunǫla but also males and females in a position that are subordinate) in a relationship with unbelievers in power that it is possible to achieve success in such positions without giving up one’s identity as a Christian. The Books of Ezra, Daniel and Nehemiah also demonstrated this.

Women are essentially powerless and marginalised members of society; notwithstanding the status of their culture, they cannot simply reach out and grasp power, as a man can; whatever power they can obtain is earned through the manipulation of the public holders of power. In this sense the exiled Jew could identify with the woman: he or she too was essentially powerless and marginalized, and power could be obtained only through one’s wits and talents. But, as the actions of Esther demonstrate, this can be done. By her faith, prayers, astutely using her beauty, charm, and political intelligence and by taking one strategised risk, Esther saved her people, brought about the downfall of their enemy, and elevated her kinsman to the highest position in the kingdom. Esther becomes the model for the mother of the Yorubas, Her Imperial Majesty Queen Evangelist Prophetess Olori Şilękunǫla Moronkę Naomi Ogunwusi.

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans” (Dan 9:1, KJV). Darius is believed to be the son born to Ahasuerus by Queen Esther and so shall the Lord give you sons and daughters who will function for the upholding of the glory of God in Yorubaland.

Abijah

Abijah was married for at least, 26 years to a very powerful man who lived his life as described in 2 Chronicles 28 as summarised below:

  • He completely rejected the Lord and worshipped idols of all kinds (v1-2, v22)
  • He burned his own sons as sacrifices to idols (v3)
  • He was a complete loser as a leader (v5)
  • He was humiliated (v9-15)
  • He instigated everybody around him to all kinds of sin and crime (v19)
  • He shut down the Temple and prohibited everybody to worship God (v24)
  • He had obvious demonic anger outbursts, destroyed anything that had to do with God and completely submitted himself to demonic practices. (v24-25)
  • When he died, he was buried with no due respect or no regret outside the city cemetery (v27)

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done” (2 Chr 29:2). He reconciled the people with God “He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place” (2 Chr 29:3-5, KJV). And appeased God for the people“Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us” (2 Chr 29:10, KJV)

Our Olori Şilękunǫla “ be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense” (2 Chron 29:11, KJV).  As your name depicts, she is destined to restore the Yoruba race to honour and the Lord our God, by the power of the Holy Spirit will grant her that favour.

REQUIRED ACTIONS

As the Grand-Mother or Grand-Queen of Yoruba, the responsibility is enormous on Olori. Remember that Queen Esther “has not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days” (Est 4:11, KJV) implies that she had lost favour with king Ahasuerus. But with prayer and fasting, God granted her favour. God will grant our Grand Olori favour in the name of Jesus. Esther knew what to obey, what secrets to keep when to appear, what to ask for, etc. not of her wisdom but of God’s guidance.

Olori should remember that “Ǫpa t’a fi na iyale wa l’ori aja fuo iyawo” (Young, 2018) but we pray that that whip on the rafter will not touch her. The whip that was used for Vashti did not touch Esther because she laid her problems at the feet of her God; so will it be for Olori Şilękunǫla. However, she must know that while Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is the Baba of all Yoruba, she Olori Şilękunǫla is the custodian of his heart, his wife, his sister, his confidant and above all his mother. He is ever her last baby; irrespective of the number of births.

With her, God will reopen the door of honour to the Yoruba race> However she needs to:

Establish a regular meeting of all the Olori of all crowned Obas to be known as Council of Oloris;

Establish a League of QueenMothers which will be made up of mothers of proven characters, accomplishments and who would be known to have mentored younger women, irrespective of religion;

Establish a regular praying team that will focus on the restoration of the status of Yoruba in the nation, unity within the Yoruba race, understanding of our problems, restoration of productivity habits of the Yoruba race;

REFERENCES

Young  (2017). What Led to Olori Wuraola and Ooni of Ife’s Marriage Crash – Report. Accessed 26 Oct 2018. http://www.informationng.com/2017/08/led-olori-wuraola-ooni-ifes-marriage-crash-report.html

RELIGION, FAITH, EMOTION AND INTERFAITH MARRIAGE

Interfaith Marriage

By
Babatunde Fagoyinbo

Introduction

Qantara.de – Dialogue with the Islamic

Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu was born September 1, 1940, to an Igbo father and a Fulani mother of Katsina. One of his cousins (would be about 5 years younger than Ike) happened to be close to me. He said his own mother was Ike’s mother’s cousin and his father Ike’s father’s cousin. He claimed that his father knew his mother through Ike’s mother. The cousin claimed that Ike’s mother is of the royal family in Katsina. Knowing the royalty in Katsina, these could not have been accidental marriages and to borrow the language of the Kara tribe in Ethiopia, the children could not have been mingi children.

It amazes me is that in the 1940s, when our literacy rate was lower than 20% Christians and Muslim could marry without any misgivings (even in the royal family in Katsina) but now that our literacy rate has gone up to about 50% we raise dust even on Facebook page about Christian-Muslim inter-marriage. Some of the pages include:

  1. Dawud AlBritaani on Wed 10 Oct “…why I consider it impermissible to marry a non Muslimin the West even though the Qur’an gives a general permission to …
  2. The Gospel Herald 15 AugustA Muslim … sentenced to death … shot and killed his son-in-law because … his daughter had disgraced the family by marrying a Christian man.
  3. Francisco Jimenez 16 September at 05:15Her mother raised her as a Christian, even though the father was Muslim. Married a Christian. Ordered to recant her faith or die.
  4. Islamic court permits pregnant woman to give birth before she is hanged Sudanese court says that Meriam Yehya Ibrahim who faces a death sentence for apostasy can have her baby
  5. Christian News Network 20 AugustA Muslim man … sentenced to death …engaging in two “honor killings” … his daughter … converting to Christianity and marrying a Christian.
  6. Muslim Immigrant Sentenced Over ‘Honor Killing’ of Christian Who MarriedHis Converted Daughter
  7. The Christian Post 22 September at 23:05Pakistan: Christian Girl Thrown Off Roof for Refusing to Marry Muslim, Convert to Islam
  8. Sharique Sharoshared a link to the group: Friends who like Mufti Ismail Menk.29 September at 12:28 A muslim man never marry a christian girl now a days
  9. COM Muslim man shouldn’t marry christianwoman nowadays #HUDATV
  10. Abdulwahab Ibrahim Kehinde‎ toThe World of Islam 3 October at 19:31 Is it good for muslim marry to christian
  11. com Breaking News 4 October 2017· … the perfect match for her based on the prayers they have done. 😍💞 Do you think there is any big deal in her marrying a Christian?
  12. My father said I would regret it if I marry a Christian – Muslimlady cries out after being threatened by her father for wanting to marry a Christian.
  13. Roberts Emmanuel‎ toIni Edo GossipMill 18 June Can a Christian marry a Moslem
  14. H Corede Adam‎ toI AM MUSLIM 14 September at 11:23 Pls, can Muslim marry a Christian…
  15. Itz Rhosheed Harkhintaryhorwas thinking about a lot of things with Oluwatobiloba Aribaba and 24 others. 24 September at 10:55can a muslim married a Christian,or …
  16. Joshua Lordrick Okoyeshared Taofeek HoluwaPelumi Soliu‘s post. 25 August Can a christian marry a Muslim?
  17. Taofeek HoluwaPelumi Soliuis with Olamide Adebisola and 3 others. 20 March
  18. Can a christian marry a Muslim?
  19. Friendly Atheist 15 AugustAli Mahwood-Awad Irsan was convicted of killing two people to punish his daughter for leaving home and marrying a Christian.
  20. PATHEOS.COM Muslim Extremist Who Committed Two “Honor Killings” Gets Death Penalty He won’t hurt anyone ever again.
  21. Winnie Thuku-Craig 2 October at 06:52Interfaith Marriages- Faith is a very personal matter and is of little significance when it comes to human relations. Two individuals belonging to entirely different faith systems can be an ideal couple. Faith matters little in the modern world and humans are judged by their attitudes and behaviour and not what they believe in!

Above are some of the posts that I got on my fb page within August and now (11102018). I shall neither comment on the posts nor edit them but examine what the scriptures say.

Religion, Faith and Emotion

Religion: Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviours and practices, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organisations that relate humanity to the supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. The practice of Christianity and of Islam is a religion.

Faith: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith goes beyond trust and beyond belief.

You have a friend who you trusted very much and he invites you to a function. When you get there you discover all the seats carry name tags. You search out your seat and seat down. I’m sure you will not put the seat to structural test before sitting. That is belief. However, you are about waking up and you hear a voice that says “My son, take up your Bible and proceed to Sambisa forest, ask for Abdulwaheed Issah and ask him to follow you back to Kaduna.” You’ll need faith to respond positively to that.

The Bible allows you to test the faith. God was not angry with Gideon’s requests of confirmation that the messages received were from Him (Judg 6:17-18; 21-22; 36-40). Your faith must take into consideration the fact that God will do what would bring glory to His name. Shadrach, Meshak and Abednego were sure of God’s capability to deliver them from the burning fiery furnace but at His own will; not theirs “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Dan 3:16-18, KJV).

Emotion: Emotion is any conscious experience described by intense mental activity and a certain degree of pleasure or displeasure. It is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioural or expressive response. Emotion is often intertwined with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation. Those acting primarily on their emotions may seem as if they are not thinking, but mental processes are still essential, particularly in the interpretation of events.

Religious Practice

Both Christianity and Islam grew out of Judaism. It is true that Isaac and Ishmael were both from the loins of Abraham. So were the children of Keturah who were blessed with gifts but dismissed from the land of Canaan which God promised him in Isaac. Isaac remained in the faith of ONE GOD but Ishmael went into idolatry; his mother’s religion.

Christianity

Christianity grew out of Judaism still upholding the commandments of God. Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt 5:17, KJV). However, man’s infusions were removed “…For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept” (Mark 10:5, KJV).

Christ was born as a Judaist and every right, custom and sacrifice that needed to be carried out were observed, however, His mission was to reform the minds of the people and direct them aright to the path of salvation.

The Jews were awaiting His coming as their savior. The salvation they wanted was to deliver them from Rome, conquer Rome and appoint them as overlords so that they could revenge on Rome. Christ’s mission was liberation from the pangs of satanic forces. Their hopes were dashed. As far as they were concerned He was not like David that liberated from the Philistines; why should they accept this weakling who wanted them to continue paying taxes unto Caesar? They are still expecting their ‘Savior’ who would take over the administration of the United Nations Organisation, merge the world into one country and appoint them as clan leaders.

Islam

Prophet Mohammed had a pagan background. His grandfather was a chief man of Banu Hasim of Quraish and the guardian of Kabah but Mohammad grew up to believe he should not worship man-made god. It is claimed that Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid bin Asad introduced Mohammad to a Christian cleric who introduced him (Mohammad) to the gospel (muslimhope.com  (2008)). In his trade visits to Jewish land, he interacted with Judaists, with the idea of ONE GOD. He studied Judaism with all the infusion of their hearts and adapted it into Mohammedanism. Jews were astute tradesmen, so it suited him to relate with them. They would transact their businesses and relax with the religious practices of Judaism. He learned the story of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. The respective views of Christians and Muslims over Isaac and Ishmael are outside the scope of this article.

Inter-faith Marriage

Christianity

That a person bears Mary, Martha, Matthew or Moses does not make him or her a Christian. Christianity requires that you study the word and live by the word. Just this week a fellow declared at our House Fellowship that less than ten per cent of attendees listen to sermons. To confirm this view you may ask worshippers immediately after the close of service what the sermon was and you’ll hear “O, it was a powerful sermon, the preacher actually exposed the topic. He was eloquent. The Holy Spirit used him to deliver the message..” They may not even remember the topic. Majority carry their Bibles to Church on Sundays only. Many do not know how to access any of the books in the Bible. Many do not know which books the stories of Jesus, Abraham Moses, etc. are in the Bible

It’s immaterial if they attend such Pentecostal Churches as Living Faith, Redeemed, Greenlight, Dayspring, HighMountain, lowValley Churches. They are worse than those that attend the Orthodox Churches in accessing the Scripture books. They can speak in tongues and teeth. Their pastors fall people down in prayers. I am yet to come across a passage in the scriptures where Jesus, Peter, Paul, etc. made people fall in prayers

The Jews were given a set of commandments to distinguish them from the neighbours they would have by the time they would arrive at the Promised Land. God gave Noah to eat everything but the blood of animals (Gen 9:1-4) while there were prohibitions to the Jews (Ex 22:31; Lev 11; Lev 17:13-14). As to marriage “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly” (Deut 7:3-4, KJV) succinctly states why the children of Israel should not contract marriages with unbelievers for their offspring. Other passages referring to this include but not limited to Ex 34:16; 1 Cor 7:39; 2 Cor 6:14.

Abraham arranged for Isaac to marry from his own relation (Gen 24:3-4), notwithstanding the distance and “Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan” (Gen 28:1, KJV). We do not have records of Jacob marrying for his children but for Joseph who married the daughter of an Egyptian priest. He was isolated from his people and God knows how to take care of such situations (Rom 8:26).

Esau was a dissident. His marriage to Hittite women was “a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah” Gen 26:35, KJV. See also 28:9). But the consequence was that he had no portion in the blessing of Abraham. Other dissidents include Samson (Judg 14:1-7; 16:1-28).

Equally yoked

Even though Paul was a controversial figure, he shed some light in “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? “(2 Cor 6:14. KJV). Yoking requires that the bullocks should be equally matched, otherwise the work will be retarded, the stronger one overloaded and the weaker one strained to death.

Love can develop between a Christian and a Muslim but the issue of faith should be straightened out before marriage. The Muslim must convert as the Christian is barred from marrying a Muslim; either way, male or female.

This short story will lighten this matter. I have a couple as god-children. Both were newly converted. I noticed a strained relationship between them and it was heading for divorce.  They were just about seven years in marriage.

“What’s the problem?” I asked my god-daughter.

“He smokes cigarettes and keeps late nights.”

“When you were courting, what time was he leaving your hostel?” My god-daughter was a student during their courtship.

“About 3 am, even sometimes around 4 am.” She replied.

“Did you notice he was smoking?”

“Yes.”

“What did you do about it?”

“I thought he would change” her voice dropped. She was sobbing.

My verdict was that she had no right to leave the husband. She should be ready to bear the burden of praying for him to drop the habits, otherwise, she must live with them. For new converts, it was not easy but glory to the Almighty God they are still together and their third and last child is about finishing in the university.

Islam

Muslims have the same problems as Christians. Less than 5% of them understand the religion they practice; even the clerics. Majority of those that attended Islamic schools can recite the Qur’an without a single hitch but are ignorant of the contents. Mohammed had two Christian wives, namely: Ramla bint Abi Sufyan and Maria al-Qibtiyya. Muslimhope.com (2008) quoted “Aisha says that Khadija took Mohammed to a Christian convert who used to read the Gospels in Arabic” from Bukhari vol.4 book 55 ch.17 no.605 p.395.

Qur’an (2:221) and Qur’an (5:5) emphatically grant permission to Muslims to marry Christians. However, a true Christian cannot be accessed because he/she would stick to the Bible passages stated above.

What it means is that a Muslim can propose to a Christian if, and only if, he/she is ready to convert to the Christian faith.

Interfaith Marriage

Interfaith marriage is a marriage between spouses professing different religions and in this case, Christian and Muslim. In an interfaith marriage, each partner adheres to their own religion; this excludes a marriage of a Christian to a Muslim who has converted to Christianity and vice versa.

Christianity not only frowns against but prohibits interfaith marriage. It is known as unequal yoking. Islam, on the other hand, accepts interfaith marriages with “people of the book” who incidentally are either Christian or Judaist. Christianity and Judaism prohibit interfaith marriages for the preservation of spiritual purity.

References

muslimhope.com  (2008). Why Did Mohammed Get So Many Wives? Accessed 12 Oct 2018. http://muslimhope.com/WhyDidMohammedGetSoManyWives.htm

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