A Nigerian pastor refuses to live his life by this framework—and he wants to help the African church get there too.
Godwin Adeboye saw something interesting where residents of Ibadan, a city in southwest Nigeria, were dumping their garbage.
At one location where people left trash, the government had posted a sign saying, “Do not drop your refuse here. If you do so, the government will charge you.”
In another spot, someone else had written a different message: “If you put your dirty material here, I curse you in the name of my family god.”
“If somebody says, ‘If you dump refuse here, you will die young, lose your fortune, or lose all your children in one day,’ nobody goes there, because they fear curses,” said Adeboye, a pastor and research director at ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All) Theological Seminary in Igbaja, Nigeria.
The weight of curses wasn’t just something that Adeboye saw from a distance. When he experienced numerous family members die, seemingly from mysterious causes, many suggested that curses might responsible. These arguments led Adeboye to study this phenomenon from a biblical perspective and author Can a Christian Be Cursed? (Langham, 2023).
“I wrote this book out of my own experience and what I see my African brothers and sisters experiencing,” he said. “Many Africans, even Christians, sometimes believe their financial, moral, or marital failures are because a particular ‘spiritual’ curse is tormenting them, instead of taking personal responsibility.”
Further, Adeboye felt compelled to address a significant issue in African Christianity from an African Christian perspective.
“I’ve read many books written on African Christianity, and many authors are not empathetic to the African experience,” he said. “To make …