The God Who Does Not Exist, By Femi Aribisala

Femi Aribisala, Ph.D
Femi Aribisala

I feel very sorry for people like Douglas Anele who maintain God does not exist. 

At university, I was a student of Philosophy.  You had to be, if you studied Political Science.  I therefore find it highly amusing that, in a discussion about the existence of God, Douglas Anele tries to dazzle me by dropping the names of philosophers like David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Bertrand Russell.  But I need no such shenanigans in order to confound Douglas’ atheism.  I will only present here a token of my relationship with the God Douglas foolishly says is non-existent.

“Non-existent” meeting

I was standing in the parking lot of the building where I lived in Lagos, talking to Bimbo Dada, now Director of Library, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, when a man walked through the gate and came to talk to me.  He said he worked for an oil-company but had recently been posted out of town.  There was a lunch-hour fellowship meeting every week in his house and he was at a loss what to do about it now he was leaving.  So he had been asking the God Douglas says does not exist for guidance.

On that particular day, the “non-existent” God told him to stop praying.  He told him to go out of the house and walk down the road.  When he got to our gate, the “non-existent” God told him to go in.  Then he said to him: “You are to hand over the lunch-hour fellowship to that man talking to the lady over there.”  So the man said to me: “The Lord says I should hand over the lunch-hour fellowship meeting in my house to you.”  After getting the confirmation I required from the God “who does not exist,” I agreed to take over the fellowship.  That was how I inherited a 20-man lunch-hour fellowship in 1994.

Soon, I rented a flat in Victoria Island for the fellowship from Chief Olisa Metuh, now PDP National Publicity Secretary.  Two years later, the God “who does not exist” told me he has given me an entire building.  I jumped to the conclusion he had given me Olisa Metuh’s building.  As a Christian then schooled naively in the sacrificial system, I concluded God would sacrifice the landlord’s interests for my sake.

I got a prayer group to surround the building and quickly claimed it in the name of Jesus, according to the principles of Joshua: wherever the soles of my feet tread, I take possession. (Joshua 1:3).  I don’t know if someone quickly alerted Olisa Metuh he was in danger of losing his building to a determined prayer-warrior.  Or perhaps he received a warning about me in a vision or a dream.  But shortly after I embarked on these ungodly prayer-sessions, the landlord gave me summary quit notice and I had to move out.

Hand of God

When I started looking for alternative accommodation, my estate agents, Diya Fatimilehin, first took me to a big dilapidated building in the same Victoria Island.  I did not like it and rejected it out of hand.  But later that evening, the “non-existent” God told me the building I despised was the one he had given me.  Therefore, I went back the next day to take a second look.  I discovered my “Promised Land” was formerly occupied by the Palestinian Embassy and, significantly, it has quite a number of fruit trees.

I moved into the building in 1997 and spent a small fortune renovating it, confident it belonged to me.  In 1999, at the expiration of my lease, the landlady, Eniola Vanderpuye, offered to sell the building to me through her lawyers, Abiola Morgan & Associates; even though I never asked to buy it.  I later discovered she had never even seen it before.  It had been willed to her by her late father.  But she lives in Chicago with her American husband and has no desire to return to Nigeria.

The realtor she hired to value the building turned out to be Pastor Seinde Adegbonmire of RCCG, a good friend of mine.  He asked me how much I could afford.  We finally agreed on a price convenient to both the landlady and me.  Moreover, I was allowed to pay unconventionally; in instalments over four years.  Nevertheless, after four years, I was still unable to complete the payment for the building.

God’s bailout

One day, Mrs. Nike Shonibare, a woman I had never met before came to see me.  She was then Head of Commercial and Community Banking at MBC International Bank.  She told me her bank would like to encourage me to buy a new car.  I would deposit one-third of the cost in their bank and they would finance the rest.  She told me to go to Coscharis Nigeria Limited to choose any car I liked.

I went there and chose a Land Rover Freelander.  But while the deal was still being negotiated by my lawyer, Pastor Tokun Pedro of RCCG, the “non-existent” God told me he did not send Mrs. Shonibare so I could buy a car.  He told me he sent her so I could secure a loan to pay off my outstanding debt to Eniola Vanderpuye.

Accordingly, I borrowed N10 million from MBCI (now First Bank) to pay off my former landlady.  I serviced the debt and brought it down to N5 million.  But then I fell on hard times and it grew back to N10 million.  Then the “non-existent” God appeared to me in a dream and promised to send me money “from Canada.”  Within eight days, I received miraculously a number of unsolicited gifts totalling N11 million.  One friend I had not seen for years, walked into my office and said: “The Lord says I should give this to you.”  He placed a cheque on my table face-down.  When I turned it over, it was for N6,300,000.

I asked for a meeting with MBCI and insisted they should knock N2.5 million off my debt since I was prepared to clear it outright.  They agreed to knock off N2.1 million.  Thus, I completed the payment for the building, while still leaving me with a generous balance of nearly N3 million.

Foolish atheists

In effect, the “non-existent” God gave me a lunch-hour fellowship.  He then gave me a big building at 12 Babatunde Jose Street, Victoria Island, a prime location in Lagos, in which to have the fellowship.  He then arranged a loan for me to finance the payment for the building.  Then, he arranged for gifts to enable me clear my debts.  Today, barely nine years later, the value of the building given to me by the God who is “non-existent” is now over fifteen times the purchase price.

You can now see why I feel very sorry for people like Douglas Anele.  They use Philosophy to negate the existence of God.  People like Douglas are victims of their own conceit.  Since they don’t know God, they conclude he does not exist instead of humbling themselves in prayer and asking God to reveal himself to them.

Jesus says: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight.” (Matthew 11:25-26).

Femi Aribisala is the fellowship coordinator of Healing Wings. Healing Wings is a pentecostal Christian fellowship which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He blogs at Femi Aribisala . E-mail: faribisala@yahoo.com


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  • GP

    Funny! You attribute your trade success to an imaginary God. Why did you embark on the ungodly prayer if he was always talking to you? Is he the one telling you to call people foolish? Note that those who brought the religion to you were the same dubious merchants. Why does God talk to few of you, leaving others out? Nothing pragmatic in your story about his existence. I do not pray to, or wait for, him to tell me, but my wishes get actualized. Has he not told you to go and save christians in Maiduduri particularly? Paradise was the goal before, now it is wealth/success, good health, etc. Stop deceiving people and learn to tell yourself the truth. Don’t you think that your prayer to acquire Metuh’s building was fraudulent?

    • KK

      GP, You’re so foolish!

    • GP: I seem to have struck a nerve in you. That’s good. That is what I do. I don’t remember telling you I am a trader. Neither did I say I am a pastor or that I own a church. I was the one who admitted my prayers were ungodly. I prayed the ungodly prayers because I did know any better. Merchants brought no religion to me. You seem to be perpetually mistaking me for somebody else. I follow Jesus because he reached out to me and established a relationship with me. God only talks to a few people because people like you are not interested in hearing from him. Before I prayed foolishly for Metuh’s building, God had already given me a building. He told me so. Therefore, I committed no fraud. I made a mistake and was corrected. It is God who tells me to call people like you foolish. “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” It is up to you and not up to me whether the scripture applies to you.

      • segun

        This is sad Mr Femi, the man gave you facts that disproves your beliefs and here you are with fairy tales. How many of the despondent 70 million Nigerians who seek God daily have the connections to pull gifts of 8million Naira? Your lopsided experiences which I believe are mostly hit and miss are not common to all, there are many more xtiams out there with no results for their devotion and mind you they “hear God” too.

  • 77Akemini

    The fool had said in his heart ” there is no God”

  • George

    Where exactly in this rambling narrative is proof of God’s existence? There is nothing here that you have written that is out of the ordinary, and even if it were, it does not amount to a conclusive proof that God exists. A pattern of random events which brought some good fortune to the narrator is no proof of the reality of a supernatural being? How do we know that the voice that was whis[ering to you all along is not that of a spaghetti monster? Your sympathy for Douglas Anele is misguided. You should feel sorry for yourself.

  • skepticus

    I’d rather be a humble agnostic than a stuck-up believer or atheist. Both are very arrogant and stupid.

  • Lanre

    Egbon Femi. Thank you for this nice piece. May we be able to listen to His voice and understand. I have seen His Power and I am forever grateful. Unceasing Prayer. Oh by the way, do you know scientists and (I believe) philosophers are looking for the God Particle (Higgs Boson). Won wa nkan ti o sonu (They are looking for what is not lost). May we continue to Follow and Listen to His Voice at all times. Amen.

  • TheBitterTruth

    At a time in history there were debates on the existence of undiscovered worlds … the Americas, Africa etc. Some found it inconceivable and untrue, however, a few brave and daring adventurers set out to prove the existence of these exotic worlds … Vasco Da Gama, Chirstopher Columbus etc. Herein lies the same challenge to agnostics, if you believe there is no God, why not take the bold step and seek Him? If you don’t find Him, He will meet you. I guess a number of these folks are too scared of what they would find?

  • Dr Jide Ojo

    This is a very interesting testimony, man of God. but I don’t know how much of it will be meaningful to Dr Douglas. I happen to speak the language of the same community of faith as a Christian like you. I am also in good position to understand Dr Douglas if I could find the patience to follow his logic. As a doctorate degree holder in Philosophy (from the same Unilag for 23 years now) I should know what is meaningful, meaningless or simply nonsensical in the context of philosophising. I believe your experience is absolutely true and authenticate the reality of God you are communicating and whom I believe too. But let us be fair to Douglas, his entire logic is outside the logic of our own faith. Strangely I am very sympathetic with him in his intellectual abundance but spiritual emptiness. The god of his reasoning is not the same God of your own experience. The two of you are not really communicating because you are not speaking the same language. There is a categorical difficulty here. So, man of God, please pray for Dr Douglas and the members of his school for his spiritual eyes of understanding to be enlightened. Until then, there wouldn’t be any meaningful conversation.

  • The
    problem with humanity is not people like Dr. Douglas Anele, but people
    like Femi Aribisala. Let me explain. I am a christian.I understand the
    mindset of people like Dr Anele and Femi Aribisala to a humble degree. A critical analysis of the works of
    Dr. Anele will reveal that he is not necessarily an atheist. He is a
    man frustrated by the evil and curse that has been inflicted upon
    mankind by religious fundamentalists like Femi Aribisala who confuse the
    god of PDP to JEHOVAH YAHWEH

  • Lolu

    I don’t understand why the Nigerian press promotes stuff like this; it’s very irresponsible. Making the unfortunate people who don’t have access to quality education to keep believing that unicorns or God or one Superhuman up above will save you from your poverty and our sorry state in Naija. While people in developed nations are developing science that improves their standard of living. Millions of people, little kids included, die from diseases, hunger, and natural disasters every bloody year and your “good” God is nowhere to be found. It’s beliefs like these that keeps us from working hard to achieve something as a nation.

  • Wale

    It appears to me that you have mistaken greed for messages from God. Everything that happened in the story you just told can be summarised by the law of attraction and not inspiration. It is fuelled by inordinate ambition. It is true that when a man desires some benefit for himself, he gets ideas on how to proceed. Usually, if he wants it hard enough, he gets it – there is nothing like God talking to you about it. It is sad that at your age you are still operating under the illusion that your destiny is in Jesus Christ’s hand – a fellow human being. Shame

  • Where does your fellowship hold sir?

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