Soteriology relates to humans without exception; cosmic, national, and personal. The term encompasses the real work of God, which He did to rescue man from the power of sin and eternal damnation. My research examines the Mediation, Doctrines, Rituals, and Practices of Yoruba Ifa Mythology and Christianity. My research critically analyzes the salvation perspectives of the two religions to determine the true mediator to God. It is to disproof the widely held claim that God answers all prayers in respective of the medium used and that Ifa truly divines the mind of God. It also exposes the idolatry nature of sacrifices offered to deities (divinities) in the garb of worshipping God.
The reality of eternity makes a man desire Salvation, but how is this done? The Christian belief is that Salvation is perfected only in Jesus Christ, but in Ifa religion, Salvation is seen as an ongoing process through rituals and sacrifices through divinities.
Ifa consultation gives the adherents meaning and purpose for their past, present, and future. The five fundamental beliefs of Yoruba Traditionalists are:
- Belief in Olodumare/Olorun (God);
- Belief in Divinities;
- Belief in Spirits;
- Belief in Ancestors, and
- Belief in Mysterious Powers.
On the other hand, Christianity is anchored on the critical teachings that Jesus Christ died for the world’s sins. Jesus Christ arose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and will come again. Therefore, belief in the risen Christ is eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). It is evident that there are common grounds in the two religions, but the mediator differs. Yoruba Mythology refers to Ifa/Orunmila as the Son of God. He faced death on behalf of humanity, just as Christians believe that Jesus is the only ‘Son of God that died for the sins of humanity.
All religions seek to transcend the divide between everyday life’s ordinary, mundane world and the spiritual. Religions also seek the eternal and mysterious dimension beyond the typical human experience. Ifa consultation cuts across other religions in Yoruba land. It is a widely accepted norm in communities to consult Ifa when in trouble or in doubt of an action to take on essential matters. Tradition demands consultation of Ifa, especially when kings and chiefs’ are to be crowned or a community leader is to be chosen. When there is a war between two or more communities, they must consult Ifa to proffer solutions to win the war. When a child is born, Ifa is consulted to discover the child’s mystery and what the child might likely become. That is the reason some Christians patronize the Ifa priests.
Continuation is Series No. 3
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