I write about a lot of subjects, but one area I develop cold feet is when it has to do with the Church. Many times after writing about the Church I end up deleting all I have written. Peradventure the write up may generate so much heat, perhaps people can see these write ups and use it as a tool to attack the church, perhaps those whose hearts are bruised may attack and think my case is hopeless.
But maybe the courage I developed today, after seeing a message, well a WhatsApp message. This post is in no way a generalization, but an observation.
One scripture that pricks my heart so much is this:
Revelation 2:4-5 KJV
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
What was the first love of the Nigerian church? “Love for community”. Mary Slessor would leave Scotland her country of birth, and come to Nigeria not minding the horror and scourge of malaria; She would invest her life in the ancient city of Calabar plagued by killing of twins, widespread human sacrifice and lack of Western education.
She would eat local diet, learn how to speak Efik, save hundreds of twins left to die in the bush, she would help stop the determination of innocence by drinking of poison, adopt four native children and do all within her power to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
She was a driving force behind the establishment of the Hope Waddell Training Institute in Calabar, which provided practical vocational training to Efiks and has so many notable Nigerians as alumni, the school is still standing today.
Go through the history books and you will see how the early Christians invested in education, health, industry, leadership, morals and character. In fact the schools that held sway in the past had missionary roots.
The early church was so engrossed with the progress of the community where they were situated. In fact in the first church, members sold properties to help support fellow church members. Widows were supported and Stephen and Phillip who were full of the Holy Spirit were assigned with the task of sharing food to widows.
Today however, this is not usually the case, these days we have bigger churches but fewer morals, richer churches but a poorer society, more powerful church leaders but more corrupt national leaders. We have more people rushing to church to prosper, but less actually hungry for God, we prefer our enemies dead than them accepting Christ, we prefer politics to the enthronement of Jesus Christ.
We have members in churches who cannot afford quality education, members with no handiwork looking for miracle jobs, members with little education hoping someone more qualified is dislodged for them, members with poor work ethics.
We have members conformed in the image and likeness of their pastors, than in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. We have rich churches in poor communities that do not feel what these communities feel. We have churches detached from the dreams and aspirations of people in their community.
This post in no way looks down on the great work being done by many Christian churches, no I know a lot of churches are involved in helping out, but this is a genuine call to do more.
This is a call for the church to start proffering solutions to the many societal questions begging for answers. This is a call to church leaders to start talking sense to their members who occupy sensitive leadership positions; this is a time for them to explain our part in civic responsibility and national transformation, and stress the importance of dignity in labour.
I will stop here for today, and get ready for the bullets that would follow.
In another news
Matthew 7:21-23 NLT
Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’
But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.
Let’s get back to our first love and start “Christianizing” Nigeria; and yes the church is you and I.
Credits : Wikipedia