Award-winning Nigerian writer Olutimehin Adegbeye recently documented in a set of tweets the accusation that the voice behind Big Brother, in the currently running programme – Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) did sexually assault her in an awfully humiliating way, a few years ago.
Judging by the explosive outrage that followed the COZA saga, I did expect a powerful boycott of BBN, several calls for the sack of Andre Blaze Henshaw or at least for the spear-headers of the COZA saga on social media to quit their commentaries on BBN until the organisers do the decent thing and ask Mr Henshaw to step down amid this shameful accusation.
The story did not even trend.
A lady on this Facebook who claimed to be a defender of the Christian faith and who in fact held a press conference on the COZA matter, has to my utter shock, continued to entertain her Facebook audience by running BBN commentaries on the housemates and their fornication on international television.
Ms Adegbeye has only received “sorries” and “take hearts” on twitter and to the best of my knowledge, nothing more.
So why has there been this massive difference in the response of the Nigerian Social Media to both events, even though there are more than enough similarities between them?
Because, shocking as it may seem, the Nigerian woke society really has no problem with sexual violence. It rather has a problem with any thing that has to do with God and religion.
It was acclaimed author Chimamanda Adichie who once said:
“If you criticise X in women and you do not criticise X in men, you do not have a problem with X. You have a problem with women.”
To bring it home, I’d paraphrase.
“If you move placards for sexual violence in the church and you do not move placards for sexual violence in BBN, you do not have a problem with sexual violence. You have a problem with the church.”
So, what should our response be as believers when the world shows its faux concern about the wrongs happening in the church?
Firstly, understand that worldly outrage is never and can never be in the interest of the Christian faith.
Friends, no matter how good intentioned the world appears to be in fighting for justice and fairness in the church, it is always and will always be an enemy.
Hatred for the church of God is at and will always be at the centre of any sort of “concern” for the church, from the world.
Secondly, believers are urged to speak up when our faith is under threat by charlatans.
“Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.”
(Ephesians 5:11; NLT)
When a man sitting at the helm of affairs amongst God’s people is accused of being a wolf in shepherd’s clothing, it is the godly thing to do for him to step down from that position or to be made to do so, until the allegations are either refuted or confirmed. Standing on the pulpit to minister with a foul-smelling reputation trailing behind,
should be vehemently opposed in the church.
In outlining the qualities of a Christian leader, scriptures say:
“Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.”
(1 Timothy 3:7; NLT)
But while we are engaged in the business of earnestly contending for the faith and exposing the unfruitful works of darkness, it is crucial to understand that our motives should stand ramrod straight, independent of the response from society.
The world may be driving a narrative of pseudo-justice, as can be seen in the scenarios painted above, but never should we identify with their cause, even though we stand for what is right. Reason being that our motives can never be the same as theirs.
So while they carry their placards, dear believer, stand aside. Make your position clear and stand aside. You are not the same with the placard carriers.
For while your motive for not keeping silent on issues like this is to earnestly contend for the faith, theirs is to destroy the faith.
Dear World, Ms Olutimehin Adegbeye has cried out to you.
She has revealed gory details of the sexual violence she suffered at the hands of the voice behind your current entertainment – How he groped and fondled her body, violated her dignity and used a sex-toy on her while she was incapacitated, in the full glare of other people.
Will you fight for her?
Will you boycott Big Brother Nigeria until Mr Henshaw is fired and an investigation carried out?
Will you deny yourself the pornography you are currently enjoying in solidarity with a broken woman?
Will you cease to run commentaries on nudity and immorality on your Facebook walls until justice is done?
Just as you shouted “Shame on you!” to the worshippers at COZA, will you do the same to yourselves, who continue to enjoy this lewd and abysmally useless programme?
Is sexual violence no longer that serious?
Is your entertainment by fornication and adultery way more important than justice for Olutimehin?
Where is your outrage?
Where are the bloggers?
Where are the placard carriers?
Where are the investigative journalists?
Where are the press conference organisers?
A woman as credible as Ms Adegbeye, an award winning writer, TedX speaker par excellence and human rights activist has wailed very loudly to you.
But the total silence from you has been incredibly deafening.
It has ruptured my tympanic membranes.
We believers cried ourselves hoarse when a pastor was so accused.
We stood on the Lord’s side, asking him to step down until the matter is cleared, that the name of God be not blasphemed.
We stood up for righteousness.
The babies and undiscerning among us even foolishly identified with you in the cacophony of it all.
Now, your man has been accused.
Your morality has been put to the test.
But porn has proven itself again to be more powerful and way more crucial to your lives than justice for a violated woman.
You never did have a problem with sexual violence, dear world; and never will you have.
You rather have a problem with the Most High and his people.
Dear world, disappoint us this once and move the placard train to BBN House. Will you?
No, you will not.
Because it is not in you to do what is right.
So even in our duty to earnestly contend for our faith, we will never identify with your faux concern, for we understand that behind the placards lie not the thirst for justice but the dark desires to destroy the Christian faith.
And what a shame it is.
Thank you for reading.