Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CAN A Christian Lose Their Salvation? The Weaknesses of Eternal Security and Calvinism.



There are many who believe that once save, one is save for good and they give variable reasons. The first of such reasons is that we are saved by grace; man has no ability to work for his salvation (Eph 2:9-9). Another reason they give is that, God will never abandon his own. Theologically, this topic will not suffice with a single paper as many scholars have written on it. However, I will glean through the most important verses to establish a case that a Christian could still lose their salvation for various reason I will explain below. By just saying that once saved, one is saved for good would establish that man has no freewill of his own. By freewill I mean no decision making power on whether he does evil or good; whether he goes to heaven or hell, or whether he abandons God or follows Satan.  

Does Grace Exempt Works?
Many have taken Epph 2:8-9 and Gal 2:16 to mean that once saved we are saved for good because we are not saved by own strength; we are saved only be grace. That though would be in direct variance with James 2:14-26. Permit that I situate the context of Ephesians. Ephesians were people from Ephesus, the current Turkey. It was written by Paul in AD 60 while he was imprisoned in Rome. It falls under the type of writing called epistle which is different from a letter. It was written to a group for public reading and it was sent through Tychicus (Faithful) who was the bearer of the letter to the Colossians, Timothy and Titus too. The church did not have any problem as we see in the text, and also as we read from the revelation to John at Patmos. It is one of the churches that was commended for their faith. It had an outside threat from the Nicolaitans: an outside ritualistic and sexually immoral sect that was antinomian.  In Revelations, there are three expressions ("I know thy works", "Thy labor" and "Thy patience") which would refute the thought that the passage exempts works. God knew their works (daily activities), their labor (struggles; life's difficulties) and their perseverance (steadfastness and perseverance). To balance both Eph 2:8-9 and gal 2:16 with James 2:14-26, they simply mean that man has done nothing to merit the salvation of God. However, God sent his son to die for mankind to give humanity the salvation. When you are called from darkness unto light, you must live now as someone who walks not in darkness but in light.
You must now grow good works in you to show that you have been handed salvation or the process thereof. Otherwise, you will go nowhere as it would mean you have not received anything or you receievd it but lost it. That is why Simon the sorcerer could not buy it (Acts 8:9-24). If they start to sin back, they are devoured by the devil (I pet 5:9). That is if we do not abide in the things of God, we transgress the doctrine of Christ (salvation) and we lose the reward (2 Jn 1:8-9). If what is preached to us does not benefit us, then we will not come to his rest (Heb 4:1-2). “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Heb 4:11). Why would we labor to come into his rest if grace alone in abstentia of works is good enough?

Does Man Have Freewill?
Jacob was the first person we see ask his family to make a choice by getting rid of the foreign gods (Gen 35:2). Joshua asked the Israelis to choose between God and the idols and the people chose God (Joshua 24:15-16). In Judges 6:10, God rebukes the Israelis for not listening to him even though he had told them not to worship the gods of the Amorites (Judges 6:10). Why would God hold them accountable if they have no power to make any choice? Naomi told Ruth that Orpah was going back to her parents to worship their pagan gods. She asked Ruth to go with her, but she refused and promised to die with her (Ruth 1:15-17). As if these people have not been faced with the alternative, we have Elijah asking them to cure themselves of aboulia. He could not understand why they kept halting between following God and following Baal (I Kings 18:21).  Why would Elijah make them to choose between God and Ball if they have no freewill of their own? Did the people choose then? Nebuchadnezzar had Israelis choose between worshiping the golden image and death. Daniel and his companions chose the latter, albeit were saved by God (Daniel 3:18-30).  Micah and the people promised that even if the nationals walked in the name of their gods, they were going to walk in the name of their God forever (Micah 4:5).Wasn’t that freewill they had? How will they exercise a freewill they do not possess? We will not end with the Old Testament.
Pilate asked the people to choose between Jesus and Barabbas and the chief priests engineered the people to choose Barabbas, a notable criminal (Matthew 27:16-26). Peter lamented why the devil could make Ananias and Saphirra to choose lies and deception when it was their right to not even give at all (Acts 5:1-5). The whole bible is replete with freewill because that is how man was created. Man was not created without one. If not Adam and Eve would not have had to choose between eating every fruit in the garden except one. If they did not have one, why would God ask them to exercise one? By saying that man has no freewill, we mean that man is like a puppet. How on earth will God hold accountable a puppet man?

Can A Christian Fall Away From Grace?
The Bible clearly prophesied some would fall away (Acts 20:28; 1 Ti 4:1). Why would Luke and Paul prophesy the falling away of some if one is save and saved for good? If they do not exhort them, the weak brother or sister may perish (1 Cor. 8:11). Isn’t that a loss of salvation because they perish in eternal damnation? Paul and James encouraged the Christians to restore those who have fallen. Why would they be restoring people who can never fall Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19-20? By the way, what are they fallen away from? It is very clear that the elects could fall away; otherwise they will not be exhorted to be steadfast (Lk 9:62; 1 Cor 15:58), put on qualities that will take them to heaven (2 Pe 1:5-11), will reap what they sow (Gal 6:9) , be encouraged to practice things through which God will reward them (Phil 4:9), or even being faithful unto death (Rev 2:10; Rev 3:5). The Bible clearly states that Children of God; those who have been called unto salvation could fall from grace (Gal. 5:1-4, 13); the same grace they have acquired freely. Simply because someone obtained something freely does not mean they cannot lose it. It even establishes the easiest way people fall from grace which is by erring from truth with error in belief (Romans 11:19-23; James 5:19-20; 2 Pet. 3:17; Col. 1:21-23). The desire to acquire the things of the world will led many astray (1 Tim. 6:9-10; 2 Pet 2:20-22; Jam 5:19-20).That means they were initially on the right path! Or they weren't?
Some fall away bymerely denying Jesus or depart from the living God (2 Pet. 2:1; Heb. 3:12). How could the disciples be drawn away (Acts 20:17, 28-30) if they are undrawable? Paul even cites examples of people like Hymenaeus, Alexander and Philetus who fell away from grace (I Tim 1:18-21; 2 Tim 2:16-18)
When anyone denies the Lord or God, they leave from no condemnation in Romans 8:1 and now fall into condemnation (James 5:12). They depart from their first love (Rev 2:4-5; Rev. 3:16-17). Once that happens, the individual is cast away (I Cor 9:27) and becomes accursed (2 Pet 2:14). The book of Hebrews stresses in no unflattery terms enough the fact that those who have once tasted salvation could lose it (Heb 6:4-6; 10:26-27; 10:38-39).
Falling away is such a great issue that God took his time to remind the Israelis via Ezekiel lest they wallow in some fallacy thinking that once they have been declared righteous, they were righteous for God. He told them that your past righteousness does not overweigh your present sinful condition. You must keep being righteous to make it to heaven else everything good you have done will be forgotten (Ezekiel 3:17-20; 18:24-26). Why would Paul and Peter exhort Timothy and the people to protect something he will never lose (1 Tim 4:1; Tim 6:20-21; 2 Pet. 2:1; 3:17; 2 Jn 8-9)?  
When one gives their life to Christ, they are not entirely saved; they are on their way to salvation. It means theretofore, they have engaged themselves on the way of salvation/. It is like receiving a good seed and nursing it to grow and bring forth fruits. If the ground become barren or grows weeds and tares, the seed will die and the ground will be without fruits.  That is why Jesus tells his disciples to abide in him because he is the only one who can furnish them the strength and ability to overcome the viles of the devil to retain their offer of salvation. Aren’t the dead branches ( Jn 15:1-6) and wicked slaves who hid their talents (Mt 25:14-30) and wild branches (Rom 11:13-23)  symbolic of Christians who fall away?


Sometimes even those who claim to believe in God and Jesus will even challenge the authority of the Bible, disregarding even its own declaration of infallibility just to defend their point. They seem to unconsciously disparage the word of God in an attempt to defend their viewpoint. Jesus Himself believed every word of the Old Testament and quoted indefatigably from them.  If anything Paul said was incorrect or subjective, the bible will not make these claims I am going to make below.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. “2 Tim 3:16-17.

If every scripture is by the inspiration of God, then Paul’s words are inspired and you are unqualified to shoot them down.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Rom 15:4

If whatever thing was written for our learning, then I will adjure you to read and believe.

“Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. “ 2 Pet 1:20-21.

If no word of God came from the interpretation of man, then there is no word from Paul that came by his personal interpretation.

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim 2:1

To counter your arguments, I will merely make a horizontal study by juxtaposing the parallels of the verses you used. Rom 8: 33:35 is en media res of the letter to the Romans. At this juncture, Paul’s considering everybody as living by works and grace as he has already in 8:1. Take note of the linear presentation. “There is NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTYER THE SPIRIT.” In others words, if you are in Christ but still walk after the flesh and not the Spirit, there will be condemnation. He stated that clearly in Romans 6: 1 when he rhetorically asked them if they expect grace to abound while they wallowed in sin. He replied again that God forbid!
Eph 1:7 is stating the vehicle through which humanity obtains salvation. It is through his blood, which is a synecdoche for his life. Consequently, it could be transliterated as “it is because God is so gracious that we are saved.” If you go back to Acts 26:16-18, you will see the full elements of soteriology in display. That does not exempt works, even one bit. It requires both to go hand in hand.  
I want you to revisit the plot of the parable of the prodigal son. Although he was his child, he had lost his place as a son and was living and working in a pig sty; synonymous to those who backslide. And then he recollected himself and came back to his father. His return reactivates his filial relationship. In his absence, he is considered “dead”. These backsliders can still come back to God. While they are away, if the prodigal son had died, would anyone had known that his father was wealthy? Not at all! That is why they treated him that way. When you live like a pig, albeit a Christian, you forfeit your right of sonship and are treated as a stranger to the kingdom. That is why John The Baptist asked the people to produce fruits worthy of repentance. (Lk 3:8). The Pharisees and the chief priests misconstrued that because they were Jewish, they automatically had obtained salvation. So he told them, don’t even use that as an excuse; you should produce fruits to show that you have repented. It is unequivocally stated that those who believe in Christ must produce fruits to match up their salvation gift; otherwise, they will not keep it. The US gives you a green card and tells you that you must not live out of the country in an entire year without visiting once. Does that mean you did not have the green card? However, you must show that you live in the US to obtain citizenship.  
If there was no works involved with the woman caught red handed in the act of adultery, Jesus would not have told him go and sin no more. You saw the unlimited grace, but you failed to see Jesus requesting for works when he said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (Jn 8:11). In other words, now I have shown you unrestrained and unlimited grace, but do not abuse it. Do not continue in your adultery. In other words, produce better works of someone who has received the gift of salvation. I don’t have time, so I will stop here and we can continue the discourse when we come back from the festivities.


Until Then, a Christian can lose their salvation.

St Arrey of Ntenako.


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cameroon: A reenactment of the Tantalus Myth.


         
  


    Cameroon is the exact reenactment of the Myth of Tantalus. Tantalus was punished to live in a garden with fruits and living springs. However, each time he wanted to pluck a fruit and eat, the tree regressed away from him. When he became thirsty and tried to drink, the stream recessed too. Cameroonians are in all these minerals, but they are still very wretched. What can Cameroon really show for all its natural resources? We don’t even have a good soccer stadium. I mean just a soccer stadium when soccer has been the opium of the people. Please take a look at natural resources in Cameroon and explain to any sane person why that country should still live in the doldrums of poverty.

Cameroon has petroleum, but people don't have light. Cameroon was the fifth rank producer of petroleum in Sub-Saharan Africa. They still ration light in Cameroon. At times Yaoundé: the Capital is in darkness for 3 days, talk less of the villages which still do not have light. Fifa asked that the World Cup qualifying match between Cameroon and Tunisia should be played at 3 pm for fear of darkness if the game went to prolongation and penalty shootouts. Cameroon is 113th in the world on electricity production. The people of Meme Division where Petroleum is produced at Rio Del Rey do not even have roads, schools or even electricity. In Douala, another petroleum place has become poor that the Dualas are now living like scavengers in Douala. They are now like endangered species because they have sold all their lands to strangers and Chinese. If you doubt it, ask Petit Pays.
If we had some manufacturing industries, we would have benefited from the cotton produced in the north and the timber found all over the country. Kids will not still be walking naked and some villages will not lack schools to attend classes in thatch houses.
We produce Bauxite, but we import cement from abroad. Cameroon has just one cement factory called: Cimenterie du Cameroun. Due to serious shortages, Dangote from Nigeria had to intervene.
Cameroon produces diamond, but the country has very few X-ray machines. Cameroon can only boast of Camtel to supply home phone service in a monopoly.
Cameroon produces limestone, but all they get are muddy roads. Construction should be booming now in Cameroon, but we actually hire Korean and French companies to do construction (engineering) with materials from abroad. Where did our own engineers go?
Cameroon produces Cobalt, but very few people have orthopedic implants and no industries to produce radioisotopes.
Cameroon produces gold, but many Cameroonians do not have teeth, not a single electronic or its accessory is made in Cameroon, and many are dying with arthritis. We don’t even have our own monetary unit, so we use French francs. The franc coins are not even made by us. Frances prints it and shares it to our BEAC before BEAC distributes it to commercial banks and COPECS. WE lack medical equipments (made form gold) that we have to transfer seriously ill patients to France and other Western countries. We cannot boast of any medical equipment made in Cameroon. Perhaps we do boat of one thing; witchdoctors and soothsayers.  Surgery is carried at times raw in Cameroon with no anesthesia.
Cameroon produces iron ore, but the country does not have a single manufacturing automobile industry.  Cameroon boasts only of one rail road now from Ngoundere to Yaoundé, to Ezeka, Douala and then branches off to Kumba and Loum Panja. That is all. No railroad in the South west and Northwest provinces. Out of 10 provinces, only 5 have a single railroad track. Cameroon is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, has many rivers and streams, but the fishing industry is still underdeveloped, so people import expired European frozen pork and chicken feet. Every province has at least a river capable of doing great fishing. Unfortunately, we cannot even build our own vessels. Child malnutrition has increased.
Cameroon produces nickel, but Cameroonians can only boast of "makokots".
Cameroon produces uranium, but the country cannot boast of any nuclear power plant. There are hospitals without a single X-ray machine.
Can someone tell me why Cameroon is still that poor? is the How can a people be in water and soap enters into their eyes? How can Cameroon be blessed with natural resources, yet Cameroonians live a cursed life? How can a country be that rich yet in such a debt? Cameroonians still make 600 FCFA (1 dollar) for diurnal perdiem. People are quick to compare it with the US, but the US has infrastructures to show.

Until then, Biya must go.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

                

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Is Twerking an African or an American Dance?


Is Twerking an African or an American Dance?
“Rev do you agree that twerking began in America, and do you think that our kids should dance it?”
I feel disheartened to read that twerking began in Florida.[1] That is very untrue! It is a style of dance that came from Africa; especially from the Manyu people that was danced exclusively by virgins. It was called Monikim[2] and later evolved to other names. Bate Nico, the African King of folklore has snipets of it in this video.[3] The woman prostrated her head and lifted her buttocks a little bit up and then gyrated both buttocks to whatever rhythms that were played. They were always dressed in yellow dresses, red skirts and a green piece of cloth crossed over their shoulders with lots of beads to produce the music. The Banyang have danced Monikim as long as they have lived in Manyu. This was before even the advent of colonialism. There is no beauty for the woman to dance without gyrating and twerking her buttocks. It was never a taboo dance. It was amplified by Oriental Brothers[4] who were people of the nearby Calabar in Nigeria as these two groups are even interrelated. This treatise is to unveil the evolution of the dance in Africa throughout the ages. Permit that I repeat myself in the excerpt below from one of my articles.
A former classmate from Mbeva quarters in Ntenako City was selected to become a Monikim dancer. Firstly, she had to be trained for six months in a locked down situation where she appeared outside only to be taught how to dance and gyrate her hips. The lady that was selected was not the tadpole type without bherackghanet (lustful buttocks). She had it all in one package that when she swang it to her left then to her right everyone fell the jingling of the beads on her waist or as her behind swung “jiggiri jiggiri.”[5] The people gathered, sang and watched everyone learn how to dance. The young men hovered around trying to pick up young girls for mami and papa. It was usually a time of diversion for the young people, and she was usually like a role model whom most young girls wanted to emulate. They coordinately gyrated their hips like whirligigs to the musical rhythm played from locally made drums and flutes. The Monikim disciple wore foot bells that jingled and produced a subtle and soothing music as she dances.[6] She also had beads on her neck and a red hat with feathers and beads. Dancing Monikim was not for adventurers, wanabes or even impostors because any defiance was rewarded with a heavy fine. [7]

It is great to see that it has evolved to the whole world to a level where foreigners like Miley Cyrus have incorporated it into their dance routines. The only unfortunate thing is that our own very Miley Cyrus does not even have the butt she is trying to swing or Twerk with. As you trace the Slave Routes and plantations so too will you find twerking. In Brazil, the same dance the Banyang call Belle Sumbu or Band Dance is what they call Lambada. The Brazilian Lambada is the equivalent of the Bayang’s Belle Sumbu or Band Dance or the North West Bottle Dance. It is not the same as twerking. Again, it is important to note that even the Surinamese dance by twerking.[8] Twerking is typically a Bantu dance style. The African migrants try to replicate these relics each time they came together.[9] 
In the Mid 2000s, the Congolese will drop in Ndombolo.[10]  Ndombolo was initially censured in all of central Africa for indecency. In late 2000s, DJ Mix and DJ Eloh had a hit song which was also a dance style called Bobaraba.[11] This will take us into the Early and late 21st Century. There was no major difference with the earlier dance moves, but it did show that the people in the Congo Basin all dance the same: twerking.[12] I mean even the mentally ill, twerk.[13]  Koffi Olomide amplified it.[14] As time went on, young African males due to the lack thereof of fancy buttocks to gyrate like their female counterparts, incorporated fanciful leg movements to keep the contest alive. However, those who could still twerk, did it. Take a look at the movement of their hips and buttocks too and you will see that twerking seems to run in their blood.[15]
In such historical cyclicism, the Ivoirians again will introduce the dance style called Ndombolo which is twerkign another form.[16] In the late 80s, the Ivoirians will introduce a new dance called Logobi which went with gyrating the waist and some leg moves.[17] At this time too, the Congolese were not going to be outdone as people like Danny Engobo kept the dream alive.[18] Another young Congolese too whose dancers twerked way before the Americans even thought about it was Awilo Longomba.[19] 
In the 80s, it was called Soukous.[20].  If you watched Chantal who danced with Kanda Bongo Man, then you will understand better.[21] The Sierra Leonians called it Shakam[22] which was a mixture of  Soukous and Ndombolo because they being the byproducts of free slaves came back with the remnant of the twerking they had in their veins and the western style of dance they assimilated during the process.
Back to Cameroon where the dance actually started, I want to run through a couple of tribes who dance merely by twerking. Gyrating with the waist is just an African dance that in almost every tribe in Cameroon most of them dance only with the waists and buttocks like the Bassa Assiko dancers.[23]
The Congolese will actually transform it from a female dance to a unisex dance as demonstrated by Djouna Mambafu.[24] In Africa, twerking has since evolved greatly from a female dance to even males, and this year again Petit Pays demonstrated that.[25]You could not talk about this era without mentioning Werrason.[26] The Chadians call it the Pigeon Dance because they winded their buttocks and flipped their hands like the pigeons flip their feathers.[27]. Even the Sudanese Bridal Dance consists of women girating their buttocks.[28] In Mombassa, they call it Chakacha.[29]
In the late 20th century, then came the dance called Coupé-Décalé, introduced and highlighted by Ivoirians émigrés.[30] Twerking became more accentuated and other aspects were incorporated into the moves like swinging the head. Werrason again will incorporate the Zulu dance moves that will take Africa by storm.[31] 
After Coupé-Décalé came, Mapouka which was still twerking but more towards twerking in striptease format.[32] Mapouka will even go a step further than Ndombolo. Do not forget that it was totally an Ivoirian traditional dance. The West called it African Booty dance.[33] Mapouka consisted mainly of shaking the buttocks in seminude bodies.[34] Women with little or no buttocks relegated themselves to clappers and left those with huge behinds to entertain the people.[35] 
Therefore, it is well established that twerking is not an American dance and did not originate from America. How can a dance that Americans just found out in the 2006 begin in America when the same dance was reigning in Africa since the 18th Century? In addition, there is nothing bad with twerking as the dance initially did not harbor any malice. It has always been used for pleasure and to excite feelings, the purpose for which we entertain. What is any work of art that does not touch the audience or participants? The purpose of twerking in most of our African dances was to incite a feeling of love for one’s husband or wife. It will be pleasurable for wives and husbands to twerk for each other, peradventure it becomes the missing link in their insipid relationship. Consequently, I will encourage twerking for anyone who can and wants to!

Until then, twerking originated from Africa, and there is nothing wrong with it.

St Arrey of Ntenako.







“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

The Secrets of Leadership.

The secrets of leadership. You know, most people want to be leaders, but very few are really leaders. Leadership is a very simple phen...