In the domain of sociology, culture has been an identifying mark of people of different ethnic localities of the earth. It is obvious that humanity of any race or nation is primarily and culturally identified by the characteristics developed and disclosed in the .global society. Invariably, culture depicts the behavioural development of a person, group of persons in the community, religious organisations and any other constituted body of the society.
Professor A. S. Hornby buttressing this point in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English at page 210 mirrored culture as advanced development of human powers; development of the body, mind and spirit by means of training and experience, evidence of intellectual development in human society, state of intellectual development among a people, that is, particular form of intellectual development. Furthermore, that culture relate to “all the arts, beliefs, social institutions, characteristics of a community, race et’ cetera.
Realistically, the above descriptions have vindicated some cultural norms of a people as addicted by syndrome of juju worship. In fact, juju has many connotations contrary to the culture of Christianity in Africa. Most African cultures are rooted in fetishism, black or magic acts. These black acts are results of greed and unloving favour, which has occupied the heart of man.
However, one is compelled to ask: “What is Juju?” It was described as West African charm or fetish and its magic power by the renowned Professor Hornby at page 459 (ibid). Close observation has shown that mankind has degenerated so low to believe and hold tenaciously on these charms and fetish powers, which have been used to eliminate precious souls both masculine and feminine genders, old and young alike.
Of course, the elements called juju, charm or fetishism have become the peoples’ gods and they are entangled, enslaved by these gods which had made them lose sight of a Divine Being who has created all things out of nothing, both visible and invisible animate and inanimate in the heavenly places as well as beneath the surface of the earth.
At this juncture, it is pertinent that since the advent of Christian religion from the early Missionaries into the black race with the objective to diminish the becloudness of primitivism and uncivilisation amongst the people, yet so many are still living in stark darkness, believing the gods of fetishism and charm. In the African dispensation, juju has become part and parcel of the people’s way of life, especially in most West African ethnic environment. Evidently, one dare not have a little misunderstanding with another, the only way to seek redress would be to summon the person to juju and/or make an invocation in a more aggressive and destructive manner. Truly, these inhuman measures have led so many souls to the great beyond and the perpetrators delight in such delight in such devilish practices without being remorseful.
Without doubt, these ugly practices are under the insinuation of the enemy of God and mankind, that is, the dragon or Satan the Devil. Through these mediums the Devil used his spokesman in the person of Rabshakeh in propaganda to intimate the children of God in Judah under the Pastoral leadership of King Hezekiah, as recorded in the prophetic book of Isaiah Chapter 36, limiting the power of God Almighty to the gods of the nations which could not resist King Senacherib – the Assyrian Warlord.
The worship of gods (juju) in its various forms under the platform of religion is so rampant these days even in Christendom. Christianity has become a cover as people are having the form of Godliness but denying the power of God – see 2nd Timothy 3 v 5. This is an indication of worshipping the true God through mediums, thereby belittling the power of the Supreme God to idols.
Nevertheless, King Senacharib of Assyria died in the process of worshipping his god known as Nisroch in his house as he was smitten by Adramelech and Sharezer his own sons based on the divine intervention of the only wise God of Israel for dishonouring and blaspheming God (Isaiah 37 v 38). Of course, the gods or images that people depended strongly are described as vanity and that those who worship them would as well be like the images, compare Psalm 115 vs 7, 8 and Isaiah 41 v 29 respectively. It is imaginable that mankind has devalued and mortgaged his original position to the beast due to the superstitious belief in creatures which were supposed to be under the dominion of man, a moral being created in the image of God to reflect Him on planet earth as cited at verses 27-29 of Genesis Chapter 1.
Having sold the domineering position which tantamount to the violation of the first and second commandments of God which stipulate that man should not have any other gods attached to the God of creation, nor make any graven image or any likeness of it or warship such gods for the fact that God Himself would not take it kindly with whoever that does that, as a jealous God. It was reiterated that God’s anger would be visited upon the children of the dissenters even up to the third and fourth generations because it was attributed to the hatred of God. However, mercy and good judgment have been promised to as many as do the Lord’s biddings – Exodus 20 vs 3-6.
During his tenure on earth two thousand years ago, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and labelled them as hypocrites who exalted the tradition or human culture above that of God. The Omniscient read their inward thoughts and without hesitation told them on the face that they draw near to God with their mouth and rendered lip service; but their heart is far from the true God. That they worshipped God in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men – see Matthew 15 vs 1-9; Isaiah 29 vs 13 -15.
In fact, idol or juju worship has eaten deep into the fabrics and marrows of Christendom in disguise. In view of these syndromes, a Hebrew scholar, Dr. Roy Gane asserted that idolatry destroys a unique, intimate relationship with God by replacing Him with something else. Similarly, Prophet Ezekiel also mirrored idolatry as spiritual “adultery” (Ezekiel 16 vs 15-19; Jeremiah 3 vs 6-9).
Furthermore, the Hebrew scholar went on that if an idol was intended to represent the true God, as the golden calf made by the impatient Israelites in the wilderness, the Lord rejects it as a likeness of himself.
G. N. Ominyanwa