Over the years, natural scientists have insisted that our body is 60% water, and so had social anthropologists been establishing that religion influences 60% of our actions and idiosyncrasies The same way, social scientists teach that man is homo-politico (political being), these anthropologists add that Man is also homo-religious (he is inborn religionist). Consequently, religious convictions, without appeal to any particular sex, inform people’s daily choices. And the choice of who becomes their spouses is not exempted in this respect. Inadvertently, it expresses itself, in the decisions of, to whom we commit our future as spouse. So, how did we arrive at the conclusion that women ought not have church/religion until they’re married? Saying that they are not entitled to have religion/church until they’re married is the same as saying that women’s salvation depends on their husbands, not on themselves and Christ.
If such postulation is true, then it follows that they don’t have souls till they are married. And their souls (which comes into being on their wedding day) and its eternal destination is tied to that of their husbands. So funny! The other day, a bride cancelled out her wedding, when she realized her man is of a different sect/ denomination from hers. She refused to compromise her decision that she can only marry a man who is a member of her church, where she believed her salvation race is better serviced. And everyone condemned her! Insults poured in drones. She’s foolish, stupid, religion has done harm to Africa, bla bla bla. I know as you read this, you may be arguing in your heart – “church doesn’t matter, religion won’t take anyone to heaven.” My dear, let me shock you, church actually matters, and even if religion can’t take you to heaven, it can take you to hell. It’s people who hold such opinion as you that felt so free attending any church they see, till they patronized Pastor Emeka Ezeugo (Reverend King’s) church – Christian Praying Assembly in Lagos and got bastardised by the cannibalistic pastor. Religion doesn’t matter, but Eddie n’ Nawgu, whom members of his church nicknamed in Igbo: “Ejima Jesus” – “Jesus’ twin” confessed to having killed severally for money rituals in his ‘church’.
You support the statement that “Church doesn’t matter” but you detest the church of satan. Why won’t you just subscribe to their biddings, since they’re ‘church’ as well. The truth is that where you nourish your spiritual life matters a lot. Many fake churches abound in and around town. It takes people with a spirit of discernment to know where the spirit of Christ is holding sway, and fellowship there. The bible we use as a yardstick for salvation discourses was authored, compiled and approved by a particular church. The fact that we all accept and use that same publication as standard for our faith means a lot. Therefore, it is important to choose one’s assembly of faithfuls wisely and strictly. There was a bible with the seven books of Moses, we rejected it because it lacked canonical approval of the mother church, yet you argue that “church doesn’t matter?” If it doesn’t matter, why won’t you use the Gospel of Judas Iscariot? Or have you not heard that there are other books of the bible which were censored out and not authorized for use by the Mother Church? Why not buy/ download and use them. The great Vatican II council declared that all are called to the holiness of life, each in their respective vocation and profession.
This ultimatum was not gender-based. It didn’t specify men or women, but every human being. The petty catechism of the Catholic Church gave us the reason why we were made: “God made me to know him, love him, worship him in this life, in order to live with him forever in heaven”. Again, it is not gender-sensitive. This implies that if a girl finds a suitor whose religious inclination doesn’t support this divine destiny of hers, as outlined in the catechism, prudential instinct demands that she should reject him, if she is faithful to her baptismal calling. So, it is tyrannical for a man to think that his religion or denomination suffices for his prospective wife’s, unless she is originally a member of his religion/denomination, or he is able to convince and convert her into knowing, deciding and accepting that his church will serve her soul better. On another note, I would like to say that any girl who has no taste of her own choice of religion, is not worth the companionship of any reasonable man, as a wife. In the 1988 movie – Coming To America, Eddie Murphy (Prince Akeem) left his kingdom in Africa to faraway America, to find his bride; a woman with “grace, elegance, taste and culture.” He vehemently rejected the one in his native land that was prepared to “obey his every command.” In the film, he was betrothed to a woman who from birth was trained never to refuse anything he says; “she was raised to think and speak and act like a queen” his Father, the king told him. This was, to Eddie Murphy, like marrying a dog, because only dogs are to obey without owning opinions.
And so, he left the land of his birth in search of “a woman, who will arouse his intellect as well as his loins.” A woman who has principles and not just a fluidly-minded bride. That old movie was lesson-parked for singles who want to marry. I wonder how some men can enjoy (throughout life) the companionship of a woman who has no opinion of her own, with no firm standing with her God and where she feels He is worshipped befittingly. Women of “anything can go!” Some will rise, with the admonition that girls who reject suitors on the basis of their religious inclination, will end up perpetual spinsters. My take is: maybe that was why the bible said that “not all will be married.” (Matt. 19:11-21, 1cor. 7). If she became a permanent spinster, because she rejected suitors for the sake of her affinity for the kingdom of her Maker, then she is a heroine of true faith, because surviving the stigma that accompanies it, is enough sacrifice to win her the halo of martyrdom. Life does not have an almighty formula. It is ridiculous how some people tend to pontificate over another person’s choices in life as if they’re infallible in matters of faith and morality.
For faithful Catholic singles, the Canon Law (Can 1055 -1165) made the following provisions for marrying person of a different sect or faith (mixed or ecumenical marriage): “Without the express permission of the competent authority, marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons, one of whom was baptized in the catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act, the other of whom belongs to a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the catholic Church. Can. 1125: The local Ordinary can grant this permission if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions are fulfilled: 1° the catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power in order that all the children be baptised and brought up in the Catholic Church; 2° the other party is to be informed in good time of these promises to be made by the catholic party, so that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and of the obligation of the catholic party. 3° both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage, which are not to be excluded by either contract.” (CCC, Book IV, Part I, Title VII, Chapter VI; Revised code of canon law 1055- 1165).
So when you see a Catholic lady refusing a suitor on grounds of his church/religion, know she’s obeying the law of faith she believed in, and which the suitor refused to believe in. So incompatibility stems from there. Though some, in self-deception may choose to ignore those early warning signs, they would still resurface midway in the union. The earlier we align with these realities the better. May daylight spare us!
• Jude Eze is a Lagos based Medical Laboratory Scientist, Columnist and Public affairs Analyst. He can be reached on 08099062006 (WhatsApp/sms only).