I Met a Traditionalist (Part 2): What I Said to Him

By: Deji Yesufu

The first part of this article narrated my encounter with the traditionalist. I explained what led him to renounce Christianity and I shared a few of the questions he asked me. In this piece, I want to narrate what I told this man and then I will venture to provide answers to his questions.

No one who hears this man’s story will blame him for the conclusion he reached as far as the Christian religion is concerned. God says “My name is blasphemed among the gentiles” because of the actions of his people (Romans 2:24). The 16th century Reformation was sparked over the contentious issue of money. The Pope was building St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and needed money badly. He then began to send out his emissaries all around Europe, promising that if people gave to the church, God would suddenly release the souls of their loved ones from purgatory into paradise. Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, challenged this thesis from scripture and the result was a reformation and the creation of the Protestant churches. When men face difficulties, they find a way to think through the philosophical bases on which their lives stand. Mr. T reached his conclusions based on the available data in his hands.

After hearing his story, I began to show Mr T that his situation was not unique. In fact, I am in ministry for this very reason. I then told him the story of the birth of Providence Reformed Baptist Church, Ibadan. Our church was founded on the principle that church can be done differently. In a recent dialogue with members of the church, I explained to them that while the church is a Reformed Baptist assembly, only the people who will enter the ministerial cadre will be required to subscribe to the confessions of the church: The London Confessions of 1689. Those who will become members will be required only two things: first that they are born-again individuals and second that they hold the Bible as the sole authority over their life and faith.

I then added that in my ministerial experience, money was the last thing needed in the church. I showed him that since Providence Church has been meeting in 2019, we have not collected a Tithe or an offering. Yet we have an bank account that has never turned red, we support church members financially and we have enough to pay for our meeting space. We have people who give but we do it biblically: with utmost secrecy, such that the right-hand does not know what the left is doing. The implication is that our finances are low, but it also means that we can trust God more and wait on God in faith to meet our needs – just like any other organization within the Nigerian system. When money issues have been removed from church leadership, the people you find left there will be genuine.

Afterwards, I endeavoured to provide Mr. T with answers to his questions. To be sincere, I cannot argue against the Old Earth theory. I’ll rather put this in God’s hands, with the belief that what I cannot explain today, we can know tomorrow, or in eternity. The biblical position is one of a young earth. From Adam to Moses is approximately 2,000 years old. Moses to Jesus is another 2,000 years. Jesus to us today is 2,000 years old. Making the age of the earth approximately 6,000 years. I cannot explain how artefacts are found to be tens of thousands of years old. I cannot explain the presence of dinosaurs. I have a dogmatic commitment to holding scripture as true and I am convinced that what cannot be explained today, will be sorted tomorrow.

As to the position that Christianity was a white man’s religion, I have sufficient data to dispute this. Probably the best course I read in seminary was Church History, which traced how Christianity came to us in Africa. The Christian Faith started in Jerusalem, following the death and resurrection of Christ. After Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD70, Christians dispersed all over the Roman world – with key Christian leaders, like Paul and Peter, going to live in Rome. But Christianity was mostly in the Eastern nations and in North Africa (Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia). The rise of Islam in the 8th century began to eat at the Christian presence in the East so most Christian thinkers began to emerge from Western Europe. It took military might for many countries in Europe to ward off the encroaching influence of Islam on European countries in the medieval period.

And with the fall of Constantinople in Turkey to Islam, the only other Christian power left was Rome. The Roman Catholic Church ruled most of Europe until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The protestants took their evangelism zeal from Britain and America first to the Indian nations in the early 19th century, before heading to Africa later that century. Thus, it is safe to say that two kinds of white men came to Africa: the colonisers and the evangelists. And because of so few human resources, these two groups often relied on each other for the success of their missions. The colonisers used the preachers to reach the natives. The preachers used the colonisers for protection. Regardless of motive, we received the gospel and today we rejoice. So, Christianity’s primary centers moved from the middle east to Europe and now to Africa.

What will make a grown man renounce Christianity and then lead his wife and children out of religion into traditional practice is not a small matter at all. I trust God that in my third instalment on this subject, I can lay out a philosophical defense for the truth of the gospel, while at the same time defending it against the fraud that much of religion has become in our day. My aim in the first part is to show our sins to the churches and to call those with ears to hear to repentance. This second part aims at answering Mr. T’s questions. The last instalment will be a worthy summary of it all.

I will also request that good-hearted Christians should pray for Mr. T and his family, that God will open them to the truth of the gospel.


Posted by Deji Yesufu

One Comment

  1. May the Lord keep sustain and nourish you even more in His vineyard


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