Some will say I have come again. But I said it two years ago, I will never stop advocating if I feel uncomfortable with what I see. The Coronavirus issue and the temporary regulation of attendance at religious centres prompted this. A couple of churches resisted the government instruction. I was grieved.
From general feedback on this and more, the Church either through the CAN or whatever needs to look inwards. If truth be told, and from so many things we hear and know, and even the response to the rebelling churches, many many people, and especially Christians don’t approve of the current state of the Church. They are unhappy but don’t seem to have a choice.
The affinity that should exist between the congregation and the clergy and the leadership appears to be waning. Just read the many comments on the social media. When it gets to the point where believers are describing churches as business ventures then the leadership of the Nigerian Church must worry.
The Church leadership needs to do a lot of introspection, deep soul searching, work with many professionals, reposition the Church, rebrand it, set new rules, de emphasize money and material projections, build a warmer more humane Church that will primarily offer comfort and hope. Like Christ did.
Not the one that literally opens its mouth waiting for just offerings and tithes and first fruits etc, even when situations are so, so so tough. It’s such a shame. See it’s one thing to hurl comforting scriptures at suffering people. It’s a better thing to give them. Jesus shared the word but also gave.
And I am happy I am not a very young man. I am also happy I have been a believer since 1987 and a pastor since 1992; my late father was also an Anglican Revd. And I attended a mission school in Ibadan: St Luke’s owned by the Anglicans. It was so inexpensive. Even for that period. Almost free. And it came with meals. They built hospitals etc. None of the reverends even had cars. They shared one car. There were a lot of white missionaries. They lived modestly. Indeed many of the Pastors and Ministers today who are after material gains benefitted from these orthodox churches.
Just today someone sent to me a post from a church that shared 10 bank accounts where offerings and tithes must be paid because there are no services as a result of the closure due to Coronavirus. I thought while it wasn’t wrong, it was insensitive. At a very very difficult period for Nigerians, the Church should be concerned how the members are doing. Not how to chase after them and their money. 10 bank accounts!!!!!😡
Listen, I predict that as time goes by, except the Church repositions itself, using Scriptures to compel people to give and give and give will become tiresome. People can get tired you know. I know a church where people simply got tired of giving and left.
Imagine one of the traditional churches even said if you are unemployed, if someone gives you some money, you must sow it as first seed. How now? So what does the person spend? Instead they manipulate faith scriptures and urge you to trust God as if bible verses work in isolation. How could they be copying something like this from Pentecostals? They should be correcting us the Pentecostals because of our excesses. This was cruel!
Sadly the impression many people have is that our churches are business ventures, well organized to get as much money as possible from the people. I am a Pastor and have nothing against the church being funded. But let’s bring humanity and compassion back into Christianity. Pastors should not be put under pressure to deliver as if Churches are Plcs. Jesus was always full of compassion for the people. He fed them. He healed them. He raised their dead. He never took from them. He GAVE. Compassion produced miracles. The only thief in his group died a terrible death.
Our churches are very very very wealthy and we thank God. But let churches show compassion as Christ did. Some churches try. They feed the poor. And do many other things. Praise the Lord. Plus let some of the church leaders live a more modest lifestyle. Where many congregants are so so poor, I would never ride a Rolls Royce, except I had independent sources of income. You have stylishly moved from necessity to luxury. Even the head of the biggest church in the world, the Pope does not. The head of the Anglican Church doesn’t. They have no private jets. They fly commercial. And few church leaders travel like these two. AND TRUST ME THEY HAVE A LOT OF MONEY AND CAN AFFORD JETS, NOT JET.
Let’s remember: ALL THINGS MAY BE LAWFUL, BUT NOT ALL ARE EXPEDIENT.
CAN. PFN etc must be sensitive to this growing discontent in the church where every meeting and crusade raises more offerings than the dead or sick. Something isn’t right anymore. Seriously.
Let me stop here.