Permit me to quickly react to the outcry of the Christian leaders in Nigeria over the so-called Islamization of Nigeria. I describe this lamentations as unnecessary self-pity. You will soon agree with me that the Christian leaders in Nigeria have been sleeping. The more they continue to sleep the more the opponents will continue to gain access into their members and their territories. Unfortunately, we have so many church goers in Nigeria but few Christians. These church goers can easily be bought over by any foreign or even indigenous religion.
Few days ago the Vice President of Nigeria, who is also a Christian Pastor blast his fellow men of God who are lamenting that the Leaders are trying to Islamize Nigeria. According to him, “Part of the problem is the failure of Christian leadership to take its rightful place. We focus our minds on something we call the Islamic agenda. We look for it everywhere as if we are looking for demons… But where is the Christian agenda. Are we not entitled to one?” He further describes the disunity among the Christians as one of the factors preventing them from establishing a Christian agenda. The VP laments, “We are too divided as Christians to have an agenda. The key to the unity and progress of Nigeria is in the church.” I wonder how many people are aware of this – that without the church uniting and progressing, the nation will never unite.
In his letter to the Romans 15:20 -21, St. Paul proudly declares, “My ambition is to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written, “They shall see who have never been told of him, and they shall understand who have never heard of him.” If this is the case, and if I may ask,
1). Why is it that present day men of God are busy building on what others have built? Nobody wants to break new ground. Most men of God are busy practicing copying and duplicating what others have established. It is very difficult to get people who are directly inspired by the Holy Spirit. We keep repeating ourselves.
2) Why is it that present day men of God are trooping to the cities, especially where the faith has been preached and accepted? Does it mean there are no souls in the rural areas. Those people in the rural areas are they not human beings. Are they not entitled to salvation?
3) Why are men of God dragging members from other people’s church? Instead of moving to mission ground to look for new converts men of God are busy dragging members of their neighboring Churches. This is not what evangelization is all about!
5) Why is the Church dragging and buying landed properties in the cities whereas there are cheaper land in the rural areas? Most of the rich and bigger Churches in the Nigerian cities are busy buying people’s landed properties and even houses. They have even rendered some tenants homeless, just to erect a church buildings. Almost all the streets in the cities have churches; whereas in the rural areas, especially the Northern part of Nigeria the distance between one church or another or far unimaginable.
6) As the Muslims are busy penetrating most of the Christian territories in Nigeria, why are men of God slow to move into mission land, like Northern parts of Nigeria and other Muslim territories for evangelization? Is not what our Lord Jesus Christ told his disciples when he said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). If we are not ready to embark on evangelization then we should not envy those who are into evangelization.
7) Why is it that money is now the essence of Christianity whereas Jesus told his disciples, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). The Church is not a business centre and it is not all about money. In his first letter to Timothy 6:10, St. Paul even describe money as the root of all evil. Unfortunately, we are living in world where the rich are celebrated over and above the poor. Some men of God are even worshipping the rich; all because of money.
8) Why is it that Christian Politicians are more secular and less religious than their Muslim counterparts? Muslim leaders hardly compromise with their faith whereas Christian leaders are ever ready to sell their faith for ordinary porridge. Muslims leaders are ever ready to use their position in the society to defend their faith whereas Christian leaders are ever ready to sacrifice their faith for their position in the society.
9) Apart from few members of Jehovah witness, why is it that men of God and other followers of Christ are not moving from house to house preaching the message of peace as Jesus ordered them when he says, “Whatever house you enter say, peace to this house” (Luke 10:5). Most of us are only waiting for people to come to us before we preach to them. This is not what evangelization is all about.
10) Why is it that majority of men of God, especially my fellow Catholics are afraid of healing and deliverance ministry? whereas Jesus clearly declared, “This sign will accompany those that believe, in my name they will cast out demons… they will lay their hands on the sick and the sick will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18). You don’t know a believer base on his or her academic qualifications. A believer is not those who occupy position of authority in the Church but those who are willing and able to do what our Lord Jesus Christ did; and among them is healing and deliverance.
11) Why is it that some religious leaders are afraid of night vigils whereas our Lord Jesus Christ told Peter, the head of the disciples with James and John, “Stay awake… watch and pray.”(Mark 14:38). Shortly before his arrest Jesus spent the whole night praying. He was the One that started prayer of night vigil.
12) Why are men of God fighting themselves when our Lord Jesus Christ said, “A kingdom divided among itself cannot stand? (Matthew 12:25). Instead of fighting themselves Christians should unite and fight their common enemy which, is the devil.
13) Do you know that so many Igbo people, where you have the heart of Christianity in Nigeria, were ready to renounce their faith as Christians and embrace Judaism, just because of Biafra. Some of them are even claiming to be of Jewish origin. That shows that Christianity is yet to be deepened in Nigeria.
14) Why is it that the present day men of God are residing in parishes where they only preach to the same set of people who manage to find their way to their parish. Same people end up preaching the same message to the same people and to the same territory – as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end – Amen!
15) have you ever asked yourself why is it that most Christians leaders accept bribe. Why do we still have corruption in the Southern part of Nigeria that is predominantly Christians? Christian territories should have been the fairest territories in the world.
There is no doubt, the Muslim leaders may have an Islamic agenda, the best way to go about it is not to lament. No amount of lamentation can solve the problem. Instead of complaining and lamenting the Christian leaders should come up with a Christian agenda. They can only achieve this goal when they are united. The first and most urgent thing the Christians in Nigeria should do is to be united. They should start practicing true Christianity.
Finally, our Lord Jesus Christ gave the following instructions to his followers: ” “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)
Child of God, do you know that as a Christian, people are watching you. The fruit you produce as a Christian should speak louder than your voice. Do you even know that your life could be the only bible which someone could read and give his or her life to Jesus Christ? Above all, do you even know that you are called to win souls into God’s kingdom? God bless you as you key into the Christian agenda.