Making Christian arguments should go beyond just being emotional

A lot of us Christians seem to just talk or argue from emotions when making a defense of our faith, which is good, but sometimes, a little bit of facts will help our arguments. We are obviously in an era when one will have to rely on a great dose of wits even as a Christian, just to win a single soul, or advance a case for Christ. It’s like this generation of unbelievers are so knowledgeable and not just ‘blindly’ stuck in their worldly ways, but they have a lot of ‘convincing facts’ to support the things they do. It’s like a facts-based generation and any Christian who attempts to witness to this generation must aside being sentimental, equally have his/her facts well laid out, such that it makes sense.

It’s like Christianity no longer makes sense to a lot of folks out there…unless we present very convincing facts. However, many a Christian will not even research just a little into the things s/he is for or against…and then falls short when an argument erupts with an unbeliever. Of course, it’s the Holy Spirit that convicts, which is the ultimate truth, but isn’t there a reason why God gave us brains too? I fear if we do not know our Bible so well, and get as much additional knowledge as possible, we will soon lose out and be ineffective in our missions because gone are the days when we were witnessing to “illiterates”.

Our tasks in recent times (in this generation) have become bigger and while we are at it being “emotionally” sentimental and discrediting our exalted faith with total disregard for basic professionalism and Christian ethics (given all the many scandalous acts or antics of our men of God), the world we must win is strategically studying, effectively planning and “falsely and enticingly dividing our word of truth”. It’s not just sentiments that will win us the battle in an era where the tables are turning and paganism (in all its forms and vices) is taking foothold and is being exalted above all that is comprehensible to the Christian mind.

I feel when you study and you know, you have a firmer grounding and cannot be easily swayed, but that’s the Christian’s problem today, because we are only looking to the “pulpit” for the very least Christian knowledge. We would rather spend our time championing our Pastors rather than studying the word for ourselves. Because our focus is only on our Pastors, we have become the kind of Christians that could be easily misled or deceived by our Pastors without even realizing it.

Perhaps, it is high time we move beyond just being over emotional as Christians anytime our faith comes into question. There is a lot at stake and being just emotional may not cut it; it’s important for a Christian to be well studied and seek knowledge so as not to fall short.

Some may rightly argue on the basis of 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 that wits doesn’t bring any man to the kingdom and it is only the Holy Spirit that truly draws a man unto Christ by His own power. The argument is also rightly made that men may begin to trust in their methods for “reaching” and “winning” souls, when in fact, all it takes is God’s own Spirit, working through a man, studied or not.

“and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Those are very good points or arguments to make. However, the thrust of this post is not to promote intellectual cunningness. I still believe though that in our day and time and just like the very learned Paul, our ministries are and will be more effectual when we are well studied, with not only knowledge from the Bible. I do not in anyway want to push the Holy Spirit to the background and assume that it is man himself who wins a soul.

But, I still think Paul was very effective in his ministry also to a large extent because of his high learning…judging from 1 Cor 9:22. I can boldly say he didn’t use illiteracy to witness to the gurus of knowledge, neither did he just go manifesting the Holy Spirit to the learned and just winning them like that. There are accounts of he using intellectual battling (plus the help of the Holy Spirit) in winning “strong learned hearts who try to defy all truths”.

Hence, there’s always a methodology we must use…Jesus had his methodology and didn’t just go manifesting Holy Spirit anyhow to win souls, I guess. Paul had his. Peter had his. Yet still, we must understand the balance, that not all will be won by mere intellectual discourse; some will have to be “only by prayer and fasting” like in Mark 9:29.

Happy Easter! Christ is risen, a victor from the dark domain and lives forever with His saints to reign! May Christ’s death and resurrection bring us wholeness and victory in every area of our lives!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

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Owning up to our realities

All there is to life is facing reality. You can’t escape the realities of life; you can only live through it (facing one reality after the other) and hope to grow through it. Nobody’s life is easier; we are all facing realities, but just differently.

Reality is always staring us in the face but we always try to look the other way. Many times, we truly just don’t want to face reality. Perhaps, it’s a much bitter pill to swallow; so, we keep trying to run away from it…forgetting that we may only be plunging ourselves into another reality in a different form.

If you think somebody’s life is rosier than yours, think again. If you think somebody’s relationship/marriage is better, happier and shinier than yours, think again. Accept yours as it is and invest in it. If you think those who are married are better and more fulfilled than you, think again, my dear. If you think those living in cosier houses, environment and own expensive cars are way much better and happier than you, think again. If you think those who are academically more accomplished than you are better than you, spare yourself a moment and think through again.

Perhaps, you also think those who have never experienced a relationship failure (“broken heart”) are better than you? Think again. Do you know what they might have lost in life? Well, maybe you might also be thinking those who married young are better than you who married late? Think again, for in this life, nothing is ever a sure guarantee.

No permutation is ever a sure bet in this life, trust me. We’ve seen young people die in their prime. We’ve seen young marriages collapse. We’ve seen far too many young people becoming widows and widowers. We’ve seen people’s fortunes turn upside down just overnight. We’ve seen and heard all the unthinkable happen! Why then do we place so much confidence in this life and worry ourselves to death, thinking we are perhaps the only ones experiencing the harsh realities of life, and trying to wish it away? You may be surprised that life is fucking everybody up!

It’s important you enjoy your own little life and be thankful for it, for the day you hear people’s full stories, you would wish you were never them. If life could be traded or exchanged, many will regret purchasing other people’s lives. People only show you what they want to show you, and trust me, there’s so much gabbage in people’s lives that you wouldn’t want to buy or even envy, if only you knew the full story. People are fighting hidden battles we are never privileged to see.

Sometimes, it is only when God opens our eyes to see what is going on in other people’s lives that we become thankful and accepting of our own realities. In such moments we realize after all, that our own lives and realities are perhaps better off than we thought or imagined.

We should make the best of our time here on earth for life in itself is not promised (guaranteed). Here today, gone tomorrow. That’s the life we’re truly living. Grace is the only differentiator.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

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Why label Christians judgmental just because they do not support your cause?

Every one in life is entitled to their choices. God gave each of us that right. Society through human rights has also given us same right.

Nonetheless, you will find that in any human setting, even in the animal kingdom, we all can never agree on one thing, or follow the same path. This is simply because we are all different. Yes, we are all different and so will always disagree; there will always be differences in society, including people who will always form majority and others in minority. Even science keeps talking about mutations, and I don’t know if that can simply be explained as “variations from the norm”. The norms do change too, even if rarely, bringing up new differences or variants to deal with.

Similarly, I believe as human beings, we all have our different experiences of life and hence, our different opinions. Whether we feel something is right or wrong, we are entitled to share our opinion about whatever affects our life and the ultimate wellbeing of society. The same society we live in, I believe, wants us to share our opinion freely without being labelled hateful just because another set of people do not see our reason, or agree with our stance. However, it is always important to realize that where one person’s right ends, another person’s begin.

I believe we can all appreciate the fact that even where there is love (like in marriage), there still exists disagreements brought on by our natural differences. However, the fact that you disagree with your partner (or share different opinions, likes and dislikes) does not necessarily mean you are hateful! Does it? Even married people have different sexual preferences. Some like doggy sex, others don’t; some like oral sex, others you can never get to agree to oral sex. There are people in marriage whose only sexual preference is missionary style, any other style is unnatural to them and can never change their preference for a million dollars. The sexual preference differences is endless in marriages, but does it simply culminate in hate? You will be amazed at people’s views and stance about the simple subject of sex, even in Christian marriages.

We all exercise the right to be different or be heard, irrespective of our backgrounds, cultures, religious stances, sexual orientations, etc. However, when you find yourself in the minority and want something to be accepted in any setting, you stand on a point/foundation (whether religious, social, biological, humanitarian, etc) to push your argument through. You don’t do that yet deny someone else the right to present opposing argument. We see that always in parliaments and various settings. Even at our workplaces, when you feel you are being overlooked by your bosses or want to push a different idea or practice from the norm, you won’t just be embraced without having to push through your argument.

So, must the expression of disapproval for any act or action always be labeled as HATE? Where do we really draw the line, to not always attempt to equate disapproval to hate?

I identify as Christian yet do not HATE anybody who identifies otherwise or engages in anything unchristian; neither do I take away their right to freely speak of that which they believe in or hold as true. Even among us Christians, we disagree on a number of things but that doesn’t mean we HATE or are JUDGEMENTAL of others.

I will really appreciate it so much if people stop labeling Christians whose opinion differ from a certain group as JUDGEMENTAL and HATEFUL people anytime they share an opinion that someone else disagrees with. You know why? That’s because, funny enough, whilst trying to condemn Christians, you are in essence being judgemental towards them…sometimes without even realizing it; the same thing you’re trying to avoid. See the circle? Right!

This applies to every topical issue in life, including the ever sensitive LGBTQI+ discourse gaining momentum in all parts of the world.

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Love Sometimes Gets Messy

Love is a good thing; people make it messy.
Be careful the kind of advice you give to people in love or blinded by love…for good or for bad. Some people are not wise enough to read between the lines when you offer advice.

Someone once told me “when two lovers fight in a toxic relationship and you advice one to leave the other, the next time they have make-up sex and re-establish their bond, the mess will be on you, because the one you advised will surely tell the other you proposed that they break up”.

Yes, it happens all the time. That’s how unwise love makes some people.
So, it is always best to avoid rubbing your mouth into people’s love affairs, and be especially wise even when they invite you themselves into it!

We all get tangled in that web sometimes and you just don’t know what to say or not to say.
It’s not our fault though; love sometimes just gets so unavoidably messy! 😊

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

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Christmas

Christmas is here again and for some, it’s just one of those festivals… that great time for wild partying, boozing and doing all the worldly fun stuff.

Fun is healthy and good for the soul, and it’s worth remembering, connecting and celebrating with family and friends. And Christmas offers a perfect time to.
But, Jesus Christ would want us not to just get caught up in all the merry making and wild partying.
He would want us to also take a moment and remember the man of the season, our Jesus, our Saviour.
Reflect we must, about His love, and the fact that He wasn’t only born, but He died too; then think about His place in our life and what value He holds in our life. But, why do all these?

“People don’t remember, let alone celebrate something of no value”.

To celebrate Christmas should surely mean that Christ must have some very important value as someone who ever lived (and still lives) and has impacted lives positively. He must have left remarkable footprints in our hearts to merit remembrance and celebration.
He must therefore take glory in our joyful celebrations, and we must lift Him high like a banner that flies across every land, so all men will see and know that He alone is Christ our Saviour, the risen Lord, the soon coming King, and the only true way and promise to heaven!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
May our celebrations glorify God as we spread love and happiness this season.

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

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Dear Women, It’s International Men’s Day! Hello?

International Men’s Day is celebrated on 19th November every year to celebrate men and address some important male issues. Unfortunately, it appears the day doesn’t receive as much buzz as its opposite, International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8 every year.

I know it’s somehow sad that an important day as International Men’s Day passes every year without some women in our lives even realizing it. The least they could do is to use the day to recognize our existence as men and the positive roles we play (no matter how little) in their life and society as a whole, but somehow, it often appears there’s a grand scheme amongst some women to pretend not to know what day today is and what every little bit of appreciation means to men.

Maybe it’s not a grand scheme after all. Perhaps it’s just a sad reality that only a few men out there are influencing women’s lives positively enough to warrant a great celebration or recognition by the large army or population of women.

Perhaps, the reality might also just be that it is time for us men to embrace the sad fact that the world is progressively becoming feminine, and our essence in this new world might continue to be downplayed. We might as well awaken to the fact that it’s not just gender equality or balance that is being sought but female domination.

Perhaps, all men are needed for by some women in this “new feminist world” is to be sperm donors. If we are not lucky, that’s the only recognition we may continue to get. We may only find our worth when our “new age women” get tired of their dildos, so let’s fast and pray they do real quick…for our own good. 😂😜

In any case, may the good Lord continue to bless and lift up all women who continue to recognize, appreciate and celebrate the men in their life. Thank you for being our support system and life blood! 🙏🏾

Happy International Men’s Day to all men! May we continue to play our divine roles and fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. The world can still not do without us, under God’s divine order. 👏🏽💪🏽🙏🏾

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

A Philanthropist in Need?

Sometimes, the people who make the big sacrifices, who readily go out of their way to help others, don’t get help easily when they need it.

Maybe people just don’t believe their helpers can also ever be in need. How can a Philanthropist ever be in need?

But thank goodness there’s a God who supplies man’s every need.

Man out of his limited resources will draw, but God’s resources are limitless; what better helper than Him? He alone remains our help in ages past; our hope for years to come!

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Witnessed a mix of good and bad fatherhood

Our fathers are great (not all though), but we do not want to be like them when we become fathers…we want to be better. Yes, better than they are or were! Come on fathers, a charge to keep we have…!

A charge to keep…🤔

My view of fatherhood has been a balanced one because of my personal experiences. Even though I focus most on the good, I appreciate the ‘bad’ as well.

Ultimately, dad has been a great dad, but he had his good times and bad times with parenting. I had a fairly balanced experience of fatherhood growing up. I grew up to witness at first hand, both the good and the bad. Dad had largely been a great dad; but at a point, he admittedly became a bad dad and neglected his responsibilities towards us. I wouldn’t say he is fully to blame for my parents’ divorce and our bitter experiences of growing up in a broken home, but he obviously contributed. Mum single handedly shouldered a lot of responsibilities until her untimely demise. But I’ve been blessed to also see Dad acknowledge his shortcomings openly to us following mum’s death and trying his best to make amends. I have seen a beautiful lesson of a Dad pick himself up and try to be better.

Even though it had to take the shock of mum’s death to perhaps bring our Dad back to his senses, I guess he really did his best to reunite with his children. Ten years on, after mum’s demise, he’s still trying his best to be there for us in every capacity as a Dad, obviously having learned his lessons. On our part as his children, I wouldn’t say there’s still any bitterness towards him for the way things went (trust me, words can’t describe how really broken our relationship with Dad was), except that we do sometimes wish mum hadn’t gone that early.

But we also do know that there are no guarantees in this life and that our story or experiences is obviously still better than many people who had to go through worse. Whether we like it or not, the obvious truth is that, there are families much more devastated by divorce and failings of parents. It is therefore important to have that balanced thought and always be reminded that, no matter what we are going through or facing today, our story is still better than millions out there.

So, on every Father’s Day going forward, we just feel blessed that things turned around for us and our Dad, when we never even imagined it would. And then, we also remind ourselves of our resolve to do better and be better.

Indeed, a charge to keep we have and a God to glorify! Happy Father’s Day to all you amazing fathers out there! Keep giving fatherhood your best shot, God being our help! 🙏🏾

Been grateful for this one thing…all my life 😊😁

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Take a stand against rape and all other sexual violations

Here in our side of the world, we have demonized everything sexual so much that it blinds us to real issues on the subject. Sadly, this apparent demonization makes it all the more difficult for people to be openly expressive about their sexuality and prevents open discussions on sexual abuse issues, especially rape. Quite sadly, innocent victims who try to speak out about their abuses rather get labelled, or their situation made light of.

Very frankly, there is a general kind of hypocrisy here in our side of the world, of everybody behaving like saints who have never had sex before, talk less of ever being abused sexually or ever coming close to being violated. Our “outwardly religious but inwardly sinful” nature will never allow us to openly make a stand against sexual violence. And that is how we allow it to even take root right in our Churches (the house of God) and yet pretend it is not happening.

Sometimes, it is difficult to place a hand on the real causes of rape especially. However, there is some positive feeling that, perhaps the culture of over sexualization of women which has seen almost every man growing up to see women as sexual objects (for the most part) to be dominated and to be used at will for their satisfaction, could be a major contributory factor. Trust me, even in today’s developed world, if a man and woman should be involved in a sexual abuse issue like rape, the man will simply have the upper hand and one wouldn’t be surprised if no blame at all is given to the man and made to walk free. The man’s power or ability to coerce a woman to have his way with her will be totally overlooked and it will surely be the usual rhetoric of it is the woman who doesn’t know how to keep her legs closed or her breasts covered enough, or doesn’t know how to carry herself modestly enough to avoid being raped, etc.

Yes, women are beautiful and many times could be objects of sexual desire, but that shouldn’t mean that it is okay for men to find women worth raping. Of course, any man would find a woman with all the right curves in the right places very attractive, appealing and desirable, but that obviously must not give any man a justification for birthing the slightest thought of rape.

Sexual objectification of women, as we see even in so many works of art, may contribute somehow to the culture of rape but it still is not okay. Let us not forget that women desire or lust after men too, but we rarely see them always going about raping men all over the place.

Obviously, the argument is not that women must absolutely be believed and to not hold any blame in a sexual abuse case (because men get abused too), but there just shouldn’t be any systemic bias towards men, and women must be given a voice to speak out against their abusers and demand justice. It is also important that the wheel of justice does not continue to grind slowly for female victims of sexual abuse, as it appears to be the case. Justice delayed could be justice denied.

We certainly need more public outrage, support and demand for justice in the fight against rape, like in the recent rape and murder of the young Nigerian student Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, right in a church where she felt was a safe haven to go and study in. The growing silence of us as a people only gives room for sexual abuse cases to keep growing and for the offenders to even feel free to walk about in society and continue to perpetuate more evil. We must all continue to lend our voice to the fight against sexual abuses because just one day, it could be any of us or our family members falling victims.

Maybe it is easy for me to relate with this rape and sexual abuse thing because someone very close to me almost got raped by a Pastor she held in high esteem and trusted as a brother and friend. Such traumatising experience is one that lives with victims their whole life and only God knows the damage it creates on various aspects of their life.

Maybe that is why a big part of my problem with rape and all other forms of sexual abuse is mostly with the Church, who I expect to take some lead in the fight against sexual abuses, but somehow they seem to play a laid back role and rarely add their voice against this social canker. But that’s not surprising because hardly would you find any Church on the surface of this earth that has not somehow tried to shelve issues of sexual abuse right in the Church under the carpet. If the Churches are constantly seen to be practicing and encouraging sexual abuse, how would they then have the moral right and confidence to come out and speak boldly against the practice?

It’s a really tough world out there for women to get justice for sexual abuses because this male dominated systems or support structures (including the Church) seem only interested in preying on women. The best we see them do is offering women a platform to hear them out but that’s where it seems to end; meanwhile what is of more essence to the victims and the public is real action or justice beyond just being heard. It’s really important for our justice systems and social support structures to be seen to be working effectively.

Perhaps the real work starts with all of us playing our part in creating a safe society for all and really taking a stand against sexual violence. May we not be seen to rather encourage it by either being silent or shielding offenders because they might be our Pastors, employers, family members, friends, and what have you. A victim somewhere is perhaps depending on us. We can all be the voice of the voiceless.

#SayNoToRape #NoToSexualViolence

Kindly share your opinion with us, for together, we can all become a strong voice in creating a safe world for all.

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©Mark Gadogbe (2020)

The good girl bad girl balance

I guess the sexy churchy girl balance is very important when it comes to marriages and/or relationships. Most men, I guess, want a good balance between holy and sexy; they want their woman’s ‘bad girl’ game to be just as good as her holiness game. Obviously, a woman’s sex appeal must be top notch to continually attract her man. Men want the good girl and the bad chick, all in one package.

Somehow, a woman must be a bit of a ‘bad girl’ and a ‘church girl’ to be perfectly right for a man. Women who switch both roles perfectly well are great at keeping their men and their home. Women who downplay physical attraction often lose out because the rare truth is that, it is mostly hard for a man to feel a sexual or romantic connection with a woman he is not physically attracted to. That is why a woman must invest in always looking attractive and appealing to her man; she must invest in everything that makes a woman look and be sexy.

A man would crave a bit of the ‘bad girl’ when all a woman offers is too much of the ‘good girl’ character. When it’s all too religious, it gets boring. Obviously, that must be the real reasons why I lot of christian sex books had to be written to at least teach church girls how to be sexy, act horny, play a little ‘dirty’, spice things up and have great sex? Godliness is of course a great gain, but a woman must not only learn how to be a prayer warrior.

Similarly, the ‘good girl’ will be most desired when all a man gets is the ‘bad girl’ stuff. Too much of everything is obviously bad, right? That good balance of a good girl bad girl trait is absolutely a winner with men.

The reverse is also true, just so we don’t put it all on the women. Women also want a good balance of the playboy and church boy traits in their men.

Obviously it’s all about times and seasons, knowing when to be churchy and when not to be, right? 😊

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…And do share your opinions with us!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020