BY Fr Pat Amobi Chukwuma
LEARNING is not a finished product. After obtaining my post-primary school certificate in flying colours, I had a divine urge to go into the seminary in order to become a priest. I approached my parish priest then and informed him of my holy desire. He took me to his office and gave me a recommendation letter to the bishop. I approached the bishop with every alacrity and devotion. He gave me a hopeful welcome. He asked me why I wanted to become a priest. I answered vividly, “I want to serve God and humanity and to go to heaven at last.” The bishop smiled and said, “Very good, my boy. You have to do one year trial apostolate. If you are successful, then you will be sent to the senior seminary to study philosophy for four years and theology for another four years.” I exclaimed, “What a long time!” The bishop then asked me, are you ready to undergo the long process?” I shook my head up and down as a sign of consent.
However, I told the bishop that I had already learnt how to celebrate Mass as an Altar server. I requested him to ordain me a priest after the one year trial apostolate because I had a great zeal in me to preach the gospel. He laughed and said, “My son, are you dreaming? That is impossible. Don’t be faster than your legs. You must study philosophy and theology in order to equip yourself well.” I obliged and sought for his Episcopal blessing, which he showered on me abundantly.
Immediately after the successful one year trial apostolate in the junior seminary, I proceeded to the senior seminary at Ikot Ekpene to study philosophy for four years. In the first year, I learnt that Philosophy is the study of wisdom. I was happy to become a wise man at graduation. From year two to four, I was tutored into the branches of philosophy ranging from Logic, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Anthropology, Natural Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Ethics, etc. At graduation I became so inquisitive. I began to ask questions about everything. In other words, I started to philosophize left and right. Even when I went home I asked my mother, “How am I sure that you gave birth to me?” My mother tearfully asserted, “My son, are you out of your senses? Why are you asking questions about everything since you came home for vacation?” I told her to cool down because I was only exercising my philosophical ingenuity.
Having graduated in philosophy, my Local Ordinary sent me to one year senior apostolic work in junior seminary as a class teacher. Also I utilized the one year to brush my inquisitive acumen. At the end I was sent to Enugu to study Theology for another four years. I then asked him, “My Lord, is four years’ philosophy not yet enough for me to be ordained a priest? I want to go into the Lord’s vineyard because the harvest is plenty but labourers are few. The apostolic zeal in me is trying to explode.” He told me that I must study Theology in order to dilute my philosophical beliefs. Hence I had no option than to begin my four years’ theological course at Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu.
In the Theology class I started bombarding the lecturers with philosophical questions. I was warned to take it easy before I fall into heresy. Philosophy deals with rationality while Theology is embedded in Faith. You reason to believe. Faith begins where human reasoning stops. In fact, I saw the fruitful marriage of Philosophy (reason) and Theology (faith). Theological is simply the study about the divine (God). If you study philosophy and theology, then you become balanced between heaven and earth. Every Catholic priest is a philosopher and a theologian. He reasons and theologizes.
In one of the geography examinations in my secondary school days, there was a crafty classmate of mine who normally used two pages to clear the bush before dealing with the question asked. Likewise, I have cleared the bush leading to this write-up titled “The Concept of Meology.” In an examination hall, the students were instructed to attempt all questions. One unintelligent student wrote two sentences on each question number. See what he wrote: “I have attempted this question. Please kindly give me pass mark.” The examiner was mad when he saw the answer script of the student. Furiously, the teacher summoned him to explain himself. He stupidly told the teacher that he attempted all the questions as instructed. Did he not?
New terminologies and vocabularies develop from time to time in the learning industry. One of the newest terms is known as Meology. Let me now attempt to define it. The term comes from the pronoun “me” and “logy” (study). In concrete terms, Meology can be defined as the study adduced from personal concoction. It is a branch of study that is self centered, which promotes confusion in the society. Meology has similar onomatopoeic sound with Theology. Any teaching about human life, animal kingdom, worldview and the divine that are contrary to the teachings of the Church is regarded as Meology. It is a personal concept which is fallacious and heretical. Often it can be logical but incoherent. It satisfies the ego and the world. The meological teachings are many today.
Some men of God teach that God did not create anyone to suffer. Many Christians today believe in this meological concept of suffering. If you go to many Christian prayer sessions you will be hearing: “Suffering is not my portion! Back to sender!” I overheard a pastor telling his congregation that God did not create anyone to suffer. I wanted to enter that church to challenge him, but the law of freedom of religion stopped me. I hope he will read this article to see my challenge in black and white. If suffering is a taboo, why would Jesus Christ suffer on the Cross in order to redeem us? Why did he not save us miraculously? Is it not Jesus Christ himself who said, “If you wish to be my follower, renounce yourself, take up your cross and follow me” (Lk. 9:23)? The 12 Apostles suffered like their Master. Eleven of them were martyred. Many Christians along the centuries suffered and died also for their faith in God. Hence it is said that the blood of the Martyrs is the seed of Christianity.
Yes, Jesus performed many miracles for the people to believe that he is the Lord and Saviour of mankind. Even today miracles occur in the Church in many ways. But we need not see miracles in order to believe in Christ. Therefore, those Christians who go about looking for signs and wonders end up in meology. They accept whatever appeal to their senses and not their souls. Some use magical powers to deceive unsuspecting victims. Often some people are duped financially in the name of God. Some pastors bury live animals or human beings in the foundation of their church edifice and then use occult powers to work wonders. The fear of suffering is the beginning of doom. Suffering is part and parcel of humanity. There is no victory without the cross. You ought to take the path of the cross before any meaningful achievement on this earth. Materially, it is said that money is hard to get but easy to spend.
Before you become a priest of God, you must undergo the rigorous processes. It is unfortunate that some persons ordain themselves pastors and bishops without sufficient knowledge and divine mandate. Such pastors and bishops are nothing but religious job seekers. Many, who have failed in life, open churches here and there. They teach nothing but meology in order to attract believers. Along my ancestral home, there are three shop churches in addition to the Catholic Church at the entrance. Hence my home address presently is: No. 1 Church Street Aguluezechukwu, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State, Nigeria.
At creation, God ordained marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. Adam and Eve were the first couple. God blessed their marriage and commanded them to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Gen 1: 28). Hence, man + woman = marriage. Unfortunately meology has proposed marriage these days between a man and a man; a woman and a woman. Thus we hear of gay marriage, which is even now constitutional in some countries of the world. In such countries you dare not speak against it. They are even encouraging the gay couples to adopt children. If marriage should exist only between the same sexes, who then gives birth to those children that would be adopted? Scientifically you can only form a human embryo by fertilizing female egg with male sperm. Can sperm and sperm or egg and egg form a human embryo?
Meology promotes homosexuality and lesbianism. Even bestiality is not left behind. Today we have National and International Associations of Homosexuals and Lesbians. The other day I came across a middle-age man who was boasting to be a notorious homosexual. Hear him: “I am proud to be a homosexual. In the next world, I shall be a homosexual again.” I glanced at his face with disdain and walked away quickly before he infects me with homosexual virus. Prevention, they say, is better than cure.
Those who kill in the name of God practice meology because God forbids willful taking away of human life. “You shall not kill” (Ex. 20:13). The meologists permit abortion. How can one spill human blood and expect to be rewarded in heaven? Suicide is also abominable. Euthanasia (mercy killing) is forbidden. The terrorists all over the world today are lavishing the lives of innocent people going about their businesses. Kidnappers and armed robbers have no regard for human life. Some politicians in order to win elections make human sacrifices in one way or the other. Theology teaches that the means justifies the end while meology teaches that the end justifies the means. Any politician who vows to win election by all means or with the last drop of his or her blood is a meologist. He or she is also a sadist. Any politician who blasphemes or takes an occult oath to win election is the son or daughter of the devil. Anyone who rigs election by any means will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In normal parlance, man eats to live. On the contrary meology teaches that man lives to eat. He or she who lives to eat is the same as brutes. Such a person believes that human life ends at the grave. In other words there is no life after death. In his temptation at the desert, Satan tempted Jesus Christ who was extremely hungry and ordered him to turn stones into bread. Jesus replied, “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mtt. 4:4). Man is composed of body and soul. The body is mortal while the soul is immortal. Death is the end of earthly life and beginning of eternity. God’s judgment comes after death. What follows is eternal reward or eternal damnation. Meologists believe that the merciful God cannot allow any soul to perish in hell fire. If so, then it means that the just and the damned will co-exist in heaven. Impossible! God is just. He rewards the righteous and the unrighteous accordingly.
Meologists also deny the existence of Purgatory. They believe that when we die, we either go to heaven or to hell; no more, no less. For them there is no repentance after death. Yes, there is no repentance after death, but the doctrine of purgatory is real as the Catholic Church teaches. If God does not temper justice with mercy, how many people will be saved? It then means that heaven will be almost empty while hell will be full. Who can boast of being perfect at death, except very few (by God’s grace)? Saint Paul asserts that some will be saved but as through fire (1 Cor. 3:15).
Saint Peter elucidates more in these words: “If you see your brother committing sin, a sin which does not lead to death, pray for him, and God will give life to your brother. I speak of, of course, of the sin which does not lead to death. There is also a sin that leads to death; I do not speak of praying about this. Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, but not all sin leads to death” (1 John 5:16 – 17). In other words a person that dies in the state of venial sin (sin that does not lead to death) is purified in purgatory before going into heaven. One also goes to purgatory to atone for the punishment due to forgiven mortal sins while on earth. But dying in the state of mortal sin (sin that leads to death) is a direct entry into hell
– Rev Fr Patrick Chukwuma, a role model, teacher, writer, an epitome of humility, is the regular Wit Corner columnist of Fides Newspaper, author of the book series, “Wisdom of April Fool” and the administrator of St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka,
-The opinions and views expressed in this article are solely those of the writer/author, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Headline News Nigeria.