Faith

About the Hypocrisy of Fellow Christians and Making Demons of Other Faiths

About Hypocrisy of Christians

I am a child of God. I am a woman of faith. I am a Christian. And I have been all my life. I come from a Christian family, and our matriarch was my grandmother, who had a mainline to God.

I have a podcast called Jesus & Jollof (2 things I can’t live without). I wear a crucifix around my neck. I pray every day. I have a favorite scripture (Psalm 91). I hit Christian bingo!

My faith is really important to me. It is also intensely personal. It is a journey of one, and it is a choice. It is MY choice. Christian is the holy box I check, and it is no more or less valid than anyone else’s choice of faith (or lack thereof). I do not think my box is more true than anyone else’s. Except for Scientology. That box is nutty. Bless up.

Christianity is the label I use to pick the book I read for divine instructions. My holy manual is the Bible. For me to turn to someone who uses the Qoran or reads the Torah and laugh in their faces, would be for me to go against everything that I should represent as a Child of God.

titus amen

Who is God? To me, God is The Ultimate Creator, who created this Earth and all things within it. What does God want? For us to commit to leaving the world better than we found it, commit to being truly KIND to fellow humans, doing our best to not destroy others’ lives. For us to truly care about the wellbeing of people and things, big or small. We move with this Greater Good in mind in all we do. In between there, we send up prayers of thanks to The One who created all this.

That is my interpretation of the point of us being here and that is what I think God wants us to do. Anything else is extra. If I do all of that, and it is not enough to see Heaven, then well shit, I did my best.

Instead, we weaponize our spirituality by acting like it is some sort of cosmic competition. Us holy rollers spend our time saying we shouldn’t judge folks while judging others on HOW they serve God and in what language their holy books come in. We think only our version of a Higher Power makes sense.

Lemme borrow the words from my first book I’m Judging You:

Most faiths follow the same tenets: Do good. Love your neighbor. Pray to a higher power. Don’t be satan’s minion. In one way or another, we all also believe in some magical, floating being (posse optional) and some rules that attempt to teach us how to be better people, so that we can get into an ideal place where the sun shines all the time and your shoes will never hurt your feet; I call that place heaven/nirvana/Idris Elba’s bedroom . . . whatever works for you.

So the fact that we think OUR magical floating being with special powers and great hair is more valid than the next person’s is absurd. People be all: “OMG, sharrap! Prophet Muhammad was NOT real. Jesus Christ was, though.” Okay, how do you figure? How can you prove one and disprove another, when they’re basically different forms of the same symbol?

We specialize in hypocrisy. I wrote a WHOLE CHAPTER about this in my first book. You should buy it, if you haven’t already.

All of this is relevant as debates fly online about Beyoncé being demonic and practicing witchcraft because of her use of imagery and symbols from Ifá religion in her work. It goes back to her dressed as Osun when she was pregnant with her babies, to the yellow dresses she wore in LEMONADE and now Black is King.

Beyonce Oshun

People are on Chinua Achebe’s internet, calling Beyonce Knowles-Carter a witch because of the water rituals and face adornments and Yoruba prayers she’s using in her art. Wonders shall never cease.

Ain’t no hypocrite like a Bible thumper who thinks their ability to memorize some tiny words on paper makes them superior humans. We are quick to throw out Matthew 7:1 “Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged” when someone asks us why we made it to the club on Saturday but not to church on Sunday. And then we turn around and then we judge folks for not worshipping OUR particular God or using the word we use for Them.

So as I’m seeing posts calling Bey “demonic” from Christians, I want to double down on turning the mirror on how people need to face their fake ass holy front because the pot calling the kettle ritualist is unproductive.

Let’s talk about Ifá religion. I’ll give you cliffnotes version. It is an ancient divinity tied to the Yoruba people of West Africa (fun fact: I’m Yoruba). It is actually older than Christianity and the faith believes that the world was created by a supreme being called Olódùmarè (Oh-low-doo-ma-ray). There is an agent of confusion referred to as Esu (A-shoe). There is a cabinet of orishas, who are deities. The faith believes in destiny but prayers and invocations can work things in your favor as needed. Sounds familiar? It should.

Spiderman pointing Spiderman

It is steeped in rituals and symbolism. It is now practiced around the world and is referred to by other names like Santeria, Candomble, Lucumi, Voodoo. It is BLACKITY BLACK BLACK. But it is also considered Untouchable by Christians.

Why? Because it is misunderstood. Because white supremacy has done deep work on us and made us hate even the slightest things that it did not create. As people call Africa “The Dark Continent” and as the dictionary uses negative words to define the word “Black” so is a religion that was created by Black people, considered evil. It is thought of as a religion of spell casting and life ruining, instead of being another form of connecting to the supernatural realm.

The debates online about Black is King are also loud amongst Nigerians who are Christians. It’s not surprising but it does take me aback because we, especially, shouldn’t be so othering of Ifá when some of our version of Christianity resembles it. There is an arm of Naija Christianity called Celestial Church of Christ, which to me, feels like a mesh of Ifá and modern Christianity. So it’s wild to see how folks who practice Cele or even Cherubim and Seraphim could fix mouth to critique it when their practices and symbols aren’t allllll that dissimilar.

Christianity, in general, is steeped in rituals. But what we consider holy because it is under the umbrella of white Jesus (btw, Jesus wasn’t white, everyone. Dude had hair of wool), we consider demonic when the deity is a reflection of Black people, or doesn’t center whiteness as Godliness.

Beyonce Black is King water

There are countless parallels in Ifá and Christianity and I wonder why people won’t ask themselves the necessary questions to make these connections.

Are prayers not chants? Isn’t the whole book of Psalms a collection of invocations? Are some prayers not curses? Anybody who has been to a night vigil or a Redeem Church gotta know they’ve heard a few of those. 

Isn’t baptism a water ritual?

Isn’t the powder we get on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday face adornment/paint?

What is the holy communion if not the symbolic feasting of flesh and blood? Why is it cute when Catholics do it on Sundays, but when it is presented as a thing in Ifá, it’s barbaric and demonic?

Are orishas not similar to saints or prophets? And aren’t candles lit for saints in reverence as they are for Osun and crew?

Do Christians not consult prophets to see what could be, as Ifa practitioners consult the oracle?

Isn’t paying tithes making literal offerings to God?

What are the altars we Christians create as holy grounds in our homes? Aren’t those also how altars are used in Ifa?

Are the white clothes people wear in their year of iyaworaje not like sutanas that Cele and C&S Christians wear?

Aren’t ileke (beads) like crucifixes we wear around our necks?

Isn’t catching the holy ghost being in a trance?

Aren’t babalawos priests?

Isn’t the Pope similar to the position of Orunmila? And Catholics kiss the Pope’s hand. Isn’t that a form of idolatry?

Isn’t Olodumare (also Olorun), the Supreme Creator in Ifa just God in another language (Yoruba)?

Should I keep going? What are we really talking about here, fellow Christians? Celes are the same ones who don’t let women enter the sanctuary when they’re on their periods because they’re considered “unclean” and they must do a purification before they can come in again. Rituals upon rituals upon rituals steeped in misogyny but that in itself is a separate piece.

Hypocrisy is strong

Abeg, what are we saying?!?

For every “demonic” symbol you can point out in Ifa, there is probably a parallel in Christianity. The only difference is one was colonized. The main difference is how the story has been told. White supremacy has done so much work on us that even when we don’t realize it, we are helping to uphold it.

Let’s respect ourselves. The mirror is not all clean before we wanna fully demonize religions of our ancestors, just because we fell in love with blue eyed, flat-ironed hair white Jesus with rosy cheeks. Christianity is probably Ifa remixed and wrapped in Caucasity. What if it was La Croix Santeria, because what we’ve learned is that white folks stole more than land and people from Africa and watered down everything?

So whose faith is more valid? No one’s. Why do we hold up our worship system as the right one in this modern day game of telephone version? Isn’t there a cult culture to how Christians caste others out? See: evangelism in America as proof of all that is wrong with it.

Let’s not make demons of ourselves and others by demonizing culture that feel too different from ours. But those who are of the culture are even disrespecting it so what’s the hope for others?

I’m constantly disappointed in the superiority complex that us Christians carry as we castigate others for not following some random sets of rules in a book written who knows when by who knows what and their agenda. We are playing religion Olympics when there are no real medals to be won.

Jesus Flip a Table

I believe the God I serve is not just All-Knowing but is also not petty. Christians insult God constantly, by seeing Them as this narrow-minded being who trifles in tedium and trivial things. We ascribe frivolousness to the Alpha and Omega, with our assumptions of what it means to live good and well. Ending up in Heaven or Hell ain’t about whether we had an orgasm before we get married. It’s not about wearing pants even though we are women. It’s not about whether or not we eat shrimp because it crawls. It is certainly not about whether we fall in love with someone who has the same genitals as us. Why should God care about any of that? Are we so selfish that we think God is keeping track of every time we curse and using it do decide whether we make it to Promised Land? We go so far, that some think God gets mad if you aren’t dressed modestly. How petty do we think God is, to think that salvation could be tied to whether my ankles show in my clothes?

What is this, the Good Place? (shoutout to that show, btw. I highly recommend you watch it).

My God, who I praise and give glory to wants us to love radically. That God would approve of the Jesus who hung with the sex workers and the destitute. That God high-fived Christ for flipping tables in a temple when people were being out of pocket. That God, would disapprove of us making beasts of all beliefs that don’t use the same words as us.

Black Jesus

Jesus Olakunle Christ is probably tired of us.

I feel like when God is finally sick of our shenanigans as a species and comes and collects us, we are gonna get a 4,000 year lecture. “So y’all really spent this Blessed time I gave you on MY Earth, arguing about whose ME was most on point? Y’all wasted MY GOOD graces, trying to one up each other on how much your ME was better than their ME? I’m so disappointed. I knew I didn’t give y’all enough sense but I figured you’d somehow get it together.” And we’d just hang our heads and be all “Sorry, God. We really messed up.” And we’d be sent to our heavenly rooms for another 1,000 years to think about what we’d done.

There is so much we have to unlearn. In this time of reckoning, we must investigate our own biases, and how we wield them, even against our own. We must ask ourselves why we are willing to study Greek Mythology without casting shadow on the gods of Mount Olympus but we deride the Orishas of Ile-Ife. Why are we so willing to light the candles of Surfer dude Jesus, but wince at other people’s choice to pay homage to the Olodumare of Yorubaland? Why do we defend, preserve and evangelize the teachings of King James but disparage any thoughts of Yemoja and Obatala? We do not have to practice any of these, but even on a scholar level, we shun the knowledge, then shun anyone we think might dabble in it.

Do Better Tracee

People are chastising Beyoncé for symbolism, but our scolding is bigger than her. It is proof that some of the work we must do right now, is to decolonize the way we examine the work, the beliefs and the existence of Black marks as we often welcome, without question, emblems that are white-approved. See also: why Islam is placed on the fringes too.

Maybe us Christians should go face our own demons, of the countless cruelty people under our umbrella of faith have perpetuated in the world, creating wars, and decimating cultures all in the name of fighting for a God who we are constantly disappointing.

Again from my book:

I am judging all of us for allowing religion to essentially ruin us and divide us. Jesus needs to fix it. Buddha needs to bind it. Allah gotta come through and amend it. Vishnu gotta bring some velcro to get us back together, and Zeus can zip it up. I’ll send a telegram to the orishas to overhaul it, too. ALL these deities need to come together and tell us to get our lives right, because humankind needs its edges snatched for what we do in the name of religion. We do not know how to behave.

I am a Christian, fully aware of all the problematic things that being under that umbrella comes with. It is why I have to use my religion privilege in this way.

I am a Christian, without denomination or loyalty to one church. I follow Jesus, the revolutionary who fought for the voiceless, and wanted nothing more than for no one to suffer, even if it meant He sacrificed himself. That guy sounds dope. The teachings of that being make sense to me. At their core, it’s not about quoting Him or the crucifix I wear. It is about living with intention to be like Him in some flawed way.

So, let’s do better. And face our front. And stop thinking our way is the only way. MY God is good, and yours is too.

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25 Comments

  1. CH
    August 4, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Things did not fall apart for this behavior to be the result. I just knew the vitriol was gonna spew when they hit upload on this fantastic piece of art. It’s so odd to me (a former PK, current follower of Christ’s teachings with an admitted issue identifying as “Christian”) that THIS, this narrow-minded lens with which to view religion is what so many of our people cling to (when it suits them), unable to see the very parallels that exist between your religion & others. That tells me you don’t actually KNOW or truly LIVE the tenets of your religion. I’ll just say this: I’ve never felt more blessed or cared for than when someone from another religion genuinely says they’re going to pray for me. Me. You’re going to go to YOUR deity, your culture’s HNIC and lift little ole ME up in prayer bc I’m having a hard time. Like… do you know how much of a blessing that is? But my own “church” can’t even see past its own nose on ANY given Sunday. If they don’t get they uneducated, ain’t never seen nothin before asses outta here. 😒

  2. RonNikki
    August 4, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    All I can personally say is “THANK YOU”! I am so PLEASED to know that I’m not the only who notices the judgement that the “modern day” Christian’s has put on society! The hypocrisy is so real! And the only way you’re going to see it is by first allowing the judgement to start within yourself and acknowledge whether or not if you are operating from a place of “real love” or operating from years of what u were taught as a child. No matter whose religion be it right be wrong, I believe that “true Christians” are NON JUDGEMENTAL and understand that there is one ultimate judge. I appreciate your article LUVVIE , keep on keeping on because its definitely motivation to me to be what I know I am yet I’m sitting down on the talents in which I was given….keep on pushing me, #thankyou

  3. Ifeoluwa Asiyanbi
    August 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    This is so wrong 🤦🏾‍♂️

  4. Adil
    August 4, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    I am a Christian too, and I believe that God is magnificent and incomprehensible to our human minds. All of us around the world that strive to know God grasp at these holy books and religious practices handed down to us, and there’s truth in all of them but God cannot be captured in a text or a tradition. We can seek but we can never know. God is the center of all things and the religions of the world are spokes on a wheel. No path is wrong if it seeks the center.

    • Serenity
      August 4, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      Asé Luvvie, Asé!!!

      I am a Ifa devotee and a Palo Mayombe Yayi and I grow tired of Christians who feel rightful in judging me harshly and consistently. In America, we are SUPPOSED to have freedom to worship as we choose. But that right for me has to be hidden.

    • Denise
      August 4, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you for this Luvvie! We can totally be hypocritical as Christians and most of us don’t do research about our beliefs.

  5. August 4, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you sincerely for ALL of this.

  6. Chizoba Morah
    August 4, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Unfortunately, religion of all kinds in general has become a weapon to be wielded against people and certain parts of the population (especially women). But, like you, I focus on Christianity because it is the box I check. The things I hear and see being done in the name of God and under the cover of Christianity leaves me speechless and sad. You are right. A lot of people who claim Christianity have corrupted it. Everyone who lives differently must be demonized. If Christ judged and kicked out everyone who did not believe in him, even we who call ourselves after His name, will not be here.

  7. August 4, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    Art. That is what I viewed Black is King. I viewed it as art. I wasn’t trying to manage Beyonce’s worship just like I don’t tell people in church to sing louder. I am so sick of “so-called Christians” whose fruit is rotten. One of the most important aspects of my relationship with Jesus is to love.

    What Beyonce did was give us/me a history lesson, one that was needed about my history and the history of the world. What I do know is Jesus is constantly face-palming based on how so many people are using him to promote their shenanigans.

  8. Iha
    August 5, 2020 at 3:26 am

    So are you a Christian that doesn’t believe Gods word(the Bible) that says you can’t serve two Gods because God is a jealous God.? Reading this article it just seems that you don’t believe what the Bible says. The reason that I’m saying this is because the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:9-14 says that the use of divination, or an observer of times, or a charmer or a consulter of familiar spirits, or an enchanter or a witch, or a wizard or a necromancer is an abomination. I’m a Christian as well and I do believe the Bible wholeheartedly. It breaks my heart to see so many people worshipping Beyoncé and not just Beyoncé but these other celebrities as gods. Black is king is very demonic any way you spin it it goes against what the Bible says with all the witchcraft and uplifting people as gods it goes against God and if God says it’s wrong then it’s wrong. Not to mention that the majority of what she talks about is sinful like vanity, sex and money. And Not to mention her talking about demon time and starting a onlyfans. It’s so sad that black is king is suppose to be catering to children and none of that is what children should be watching. Disney is evil anyways with all the witchcraft and sorcery it’s got going on. I pray that parents keep their children from watching black is king. This all reminds me of Matthews 13 the parable of the sower some people that start out as Christians are going to let satan lead them away from their faith in The God Almighty. Oh and just in case your wondering I am a black woman and happy to be a black woman.

    • Irewamiri
      August 5, 2020 at 3:10 pm

      That first line question. It needs to be answered!!!! A lot of lukewarmness I’m reading in her post.

    • Laura
      August 5, 2020 at 5:23 pm

      Unfortunately you missed the whole point of the article. It was not to attack your religion or world view. Just because someone doesn’t have the same viewpoint about God as you do, doesn’t make them evil. Our early ancestors were not Christian; they were forced to convert because of white supremacy as she clearly stated. She’s not worshipping Beyonce or any celebrity but instead celebrating the diverse religions of the world and especially in Africa. People seem to forget that the word of God is not meant to be debated; that is stated in the Bible and it goes for Christians and non-Christians. ALSO….the Bible says that forcing him on others is also unrighteous in his eyes. People love to pick and choose what suits them in the Bible and then throw it back at others when they don’t understand the culture or religion. This is nothing new; it has been going on for CENTURIES!…Apparently you are one of those Christians as well.

      • Lily
        August 5, 2020 at 5:38 pm

        @ Laura,
        “Just because someone doesn’t have the same viewpoint about God as you do, doesn’t make them evil.”

        Very true statement. Viewpoint & practice are different though.

        “Our early ancestors were not Christian; they were forced to convert because of white supremacy as she clearly stated.“

        Our ancestors didn’t know Jesus, but we do. What is wrong with us calling out what they did back in the day? Okay, forget “Christianity”, there are other religions too in Africa. Are we wrong for not following the ways of our ancestors? If we heard our ancestors killed people & ate them. Do we follow that now? Nope! Why? We don’t see it appropriate & inhumane. Some things/practices we need to leave in the past!

  9. Nengi
    August 5, 2020 at 3:36 am

    This is really hilarious and very misleading. It’s obvious that you do not know what Christianity is. The fact that you are sense ruled is pretty obvious.

  10. Oyaama
    August 5, 2020 at 3:44 am

    Chiiiile…you. aint. NEVA. lied.
    ….
    ….
    ….

    We gotta pray for sis.

  11. Fatima
    August 5, 2020 at 4:05 am

    Thank you, thank you and thank you again for reminding us that kindness and care for our fellow man is what ALL religions preach.

    Them judgy, wudgy Nigerians (and their compadres) should suck it!

  12. Ma
    August 5, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    You invalidated everything when you made mocking remarks about Scientology. I am not one (I do have a graduate degree in Religious Studies), but. if you look at each basic tenet of Scientology, there’s an equally “wacky” Christian belief or practice. If you’re going to preach equality and fairness, be fair.

  13. Irewamiri
    August 5, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Your post became very misleading & ignorant once you mentioned white garment churches. It would’ve been respectful if you would’ve educated yourself on the practice that they do, and you would’ve seen that everything is biblically based. Wearing of white (Revelations 4:4, Revelations 6:11, Luke 9:29). Ifa is a religion that is in similarity, but not EXACTLY what white garment/ Christian churches practice. Why? Because white garments calls on the name of Jesus. (Huge Game Changer). And doesn’t it say in the Bible, in perilous times things of this world will try to resemble the Holy way, but it won’t be. (2 Timothy 3:13).
    All your comparisons of Ifa to Christian religion says “like” so it ISN’T the same. At the end of the day; Jesus is King.

    Just because certain deities are apart of our culture doesn’t mean it’s okay & just because our ancestors practiced it, doesn’t mean we should be complacent with it either.
    People are suffering from the covenants their ancestors made with these Orishas. (Generation Curses). Let’s walk in the light!
    Connecting to the spiritual realm through Orishas, are not the Holy way and in the Bible, God makes it clear if it isn’t His way, it’s not the Holy way! It’s that simple.
    Christian or not, connecting to spiritual things and not understanding what these deities give reverence to is VERY important. Your post is based off several assumptions, misinformation, and ignorance.

    I will say, I don’t believe Beyoncé is demonic for the visual album. But her lack of knowledge of the African culture will lead many down a slippery dangerous slope. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

    I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to teach you & guide you.

  14. Desti
    August 5, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Your a Christian, yet your book title is “Im judging you.” Whew Chile.
    Your neutralness in everyone having their own “gods” is baffling. John 14:6!

    • KS
      August 5, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      And what of the multiple religions older than Christianity Desti? The holy books older than the Bible? Yet you really think your version of “god” is the only one. Rude and hypocritical not to mention flat out WRONG.

      • Desti
        August 5, 2020 at 5:45 pm

        @KS, to think of going by religions based on “dates” is simply preposterous. I don’t know where I said anything about my version of God, or “only one”. Please don’t assume.
        But what I will say there is a God above all other gods, King of all kings, The Holy One.
        This is a spiritual life, there’s definitely other gods, but they all are under & will never equate to the supreme one which is God of the Holy Trinity.

        God bless!

        • KS
          August 5, 2020 at 7:12 pm

          Uhmm yes? Because MOST of the tenets of Christianity originated from the religions that WERE ESTABLISHED BEFORE IT. So yes, those dates matter. Because Europeans colonized and brought the religion with them so now that’s the “only” one.

          So your “holy trinity” matters to YOU.

          “They are all under” ha!

        • Desti
          August 5, 2020 at 8:39 pm

          @KS, It’s so crazy how a whole religion is discredited because it’s Europeans who brought it to Western Africa. Christianity started in Africa regardless. The “who” is so emphasized & the ONLY argument people use to discredit Christianity. Do you think these other religions were spread across the world peacefully? Cmon.

          Yes, the gods are all “under” and if that stirs your spirit. Peace be unto you. Jesus loves you!

  15. ama
    August 7, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    You gave me life.That same day I was watching a video on Orishias and I was telling my self or speaking it out and said I need to find a Nigerian person who understand the Ife faith and Christian faith that are not bias.And Bammmmmmmmm here came your article.You made so many valid points ,thoughts I’ve had but was to scared to entertain them.Now I know and understand who the creator is better.If you only knew how much you’ve changed my perspective and answered my questions…Hmm God bless you and thank you for standing for truth.

  16. Laura Schmitt Olabisi
    August 8, 2020 at 7:26 am

    Amen! Not to mention that Christianity as practiced in America and in much of the world is *rife* with pagan symbols from pre-Christian Europe. Christmas trees, Easter eggs, wreaths, Celtic crosses? All pagan (our celebration of Christmas at the winter solstice in December: also pagan). Objecting to Beyoncé’s symbolism and not these European pagan symbols, to Luvvie’s point, is hypocritical and white supremacist.