We thought it would be great to have candid, open conversations about God, His son, His church and everything in between as part of the God Narratives Project. So I got together with a good friend of mine, Freddy , to do the first instalment of the WLMVT interview series. We were right in the middle of The Campus Kitchen (UEA Campus) so it was a bit awkward and noisy with the laptop recorder and everything but we got it done! WLMVT will be doing a lot more of these with different people wherever we find ourselves (and perhaps some video ones too) so watch this space!
1)Is there anything like church clothes/christian attire?
F: I don’t think so … you don’t have to dress up particularly just for going to church – come as you are. As long as you know that God is with you, and you have this faith in mind, you don’t have to worry about the clothes because God would not care about this and God would accept anyone who has faith in him.
How about if.. like I know women get judged a lot with what they wear, especially if she says she’s a Christian. What do you think in relation to that?
F: It depends on where she goes to. If its to the church with really revealing clothes then that’s unacceptable, but to the club or a pub then that’s fine. I’m not saying women are not allowed to wear whatever they want to wear, but I’m saying it’s not appropriate for them to wear such clothes in a holy place. I don’t know how God would feel about it, but at least they have to show some respect to other people in the church.
Do you think that people should conduct themselves the same way they do in in church …outside church?
F: Personally I would do that
I guess either way, no one should be judgemental about it
2)How can you make people think about God?
F: Serving in church is one of the best ways to do that. I think I realised that by joining the First Impressions Team in church … as a member of the team, and while serving I feel really energetic and optimistic because I know that I’m delivering the spirit of God to other people and letting them know that God is with us.
Yeah I think it also takes you to a different level in your relationship with God, because you feel like you’re a part of his church and a part of something.
F: Well… My recognition of God and Jesus started when I was 6 or 7 years old. After knowing the story of Jesus and all the things that he has done for us, I just felt that Jesus is …awesome!
But honestly I don’t know how to answer this question because I was born a Catholic. So, I had already been told something about Christianity and established the connection with God a long time ago.
4)Who are your three worst neighbours, … How can you love them? (Matt 22:37-39)
F: I don’t think that I would rank them… I don’t think I’ve made a list or anything. Yeah I don’t like some people but I wouldn’t rank who I hate the most.
Speaking of how I can love them, well honestly … I don’t think I can achieve this goal in a short time because I do hate my neighbors at the moment.
It’s not like I hate my neighbours or the people around me , but if sometimes they cross my boundaries then I will react. But that doesn’t mean I would keep the hostitlity because God’s taught us to forgive people and to love
So what practical ways can you love someone who’s wronged you?
That’s what we do in ur flat… we have a prayer list for people who’ve wronged us. There’s this quote that goes something like… ‘When you pray for someone it actually works more on you than the person.’ When you pray it’s like you’re putting yourself in that person’s shoes and it sort of changes your perspective and you have more empathy towards them
F: Yeah or maybe just talk about it with friends from church … that’s what you and I did a few weeks ago
5)What do you enjoy about a relationship with God?
F: Well, as I said before, it gives me energy, makes me feel optimistic, and uh… and with God I think I can do anything and achieve anything because you know .. I wasn’t connected to God for such a long time but when I was down God was the one that accepted me and God was the one that gave me hope
Its amazing isn’t it? It’s a good feeling
N: Ok so now I guess you can ask me questions
Laughs. Just pick any two from the list
1) Different clothes for Sunday than every other day of the week? Y/N , Why?
N: No.. I just dress the same casual way. I feel like I need to present myself in a way that shows who I really am… I don’t have to hide or pretend.. back in Nigeria , people dress up on Sundays. People wear their best clothes. For me, it makes church feel like a performance or just going for an event. I feel like church should be a lifestyle. It should show throughout your life not just one day
F: Yeah true, but probably its just the way those people worship God
N: True, that could be
2)What is the Bible?
N: That’s a hard one.. why did we put that there. Laughs
The bible is a collection of books, it’s the word of God – it was written by humans but it was communicated to them by the spirit of God, its how God communicates with us, its like our manual for life you know. Theres so much wisdom in the bible that can sort of guide us through life. There’s never been a time where I’ve looked in the bible and an answer wasn’t there. There’s always an answer in there – there’s nothing new under the sun, literally, all the things that happened thousands of years ago, they happen now today still
The bible is also historical documentation and the things you see in there, you see them documented outside of the bible too. I feel like its so accurate in that way because those things documented are also documented outside .. so . The bible’s important! Laughs
F: Yeah a lot of stories mentioned in the Bible are really meaningful. I mean… the Bible teaches me a lot – How to love and forgive people.
N: Yeah it’s a lot of wisdom. And its spirit food as well. Like, how we eat food for our physical body, we’re getting food for our spirit, cos it feeds our spirit things that it needs in life. Its good stuff.
***Disclaimer: These are just conversations :), its a discourse and the point is to provide a safe space where people can engage with things to do with God and with some questions people ask that no one really answers. It’s to encourage people to open up about things to do with faith outside of church. Do examine anything you are unsure about with the Bible.
Thanks so much to Freddy for doing this with me! Comment below to share your thoughts and don’t forget to subscribe!
Do you have any questions you think would be good to ask in these interviews? Anything you’ve always wondered but have never got round to asking/engaging with the topic? Would you perhaps want to join in on doing these interviews with the people around you for the blog? Write in the comments below, email us or tweet at us @worldlightmvmt
Love and light!