CHRISTIANITY, AFRICA AND BEYOND – 9News Nigeria
Christianity is 2000 years old. All faith began when Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, gave his life as a ransom for the salvation of mankind. It was for the restoration of the relationship between Man and God. You will probably remember that the relationship between God and humans deteriorated in the Garden of Eden, after which Adam and his wife, Eve, were driven out of their garden. They were told to go and take care of themselves by plowing the ground from which they had been taken.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, which was a propitiation for sin, humans who wanted to have a new relationship with God were invited to do so. The Lord Jesus Christ, after his resurrection, personally commanded his disciples to go out and tell everyone the good news. Christianity has never looked back since despite fierce opposition that tried to prevent its spread.
The impact of faith must then be recognized. Christianity, and the light it has brought, has been widely recognized as the foundation and fulcrum on which many developments have been built. These included Western Civilization, the Industrial Revolution, and several technological breakthroughs and inventions. Fortunately, the main purpose of Christianity has never been forgotten. It was to transform lives from the new birth.
Africa was not left out of the new development as one of the first Africans to become a Christian was an Ethiopian eunuch. Do you remember him ? He received Christ as he returned to Ethiopia from a trip to Jerusalem. It was between AD 33 and AD 70. It is found in Acts 8. European missionaries also came to Africa, but that was much later. Many of these missionaries arrived in Nigeria just under 200 years ago.
Without an iota of doubt, we can say that the missionaries left a great legacy because they were faithful to their vocation. They were generally known for their simplicity. Who can forget their work in several parts of Nigeria and Africa. The work done by Catholic, Anglican and Baptist missionaries stands out. Their hospitals and schools have always been the best. Notably, they did what they did for the love of God and humanity.
Along the way came independence from colonial rule for many African countries. However, in Nigeria, the politicians who succeeded the colonialists were themselves driven from power by soldiers after only five years, and many of them were killed. It was because of poor management. Unfortunately, the military adventurers only made the situation worse. The country has yet to recover from the inexcusable tyranny of the military era. Meanwhile, Christianity was still in fairly good shape.
However, things took a dangerous turn in the late 70s and early 80s when standards began to drop rapidly. Among other things, governments had begun to take over institutions, including missionary schools. It was during this time that personality cults were built around the leaders of the Church. It was also the beginning of one-man churches and ministries. One man/family ministry was an American pattern. It was popularized in Nigeria by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa. It is no surprise that many of the former general overseers we have in Nigeria today were his products, but these aggressive millionaires, like their mentor, refused to see simplicity as a virtue. The age of the pastor-taker was upon us and with it the abandonment of sound biblical teaching in the Church.
The rot was now setting in, with the arrival of large-scale lying and false doctrine in the churches. In the absence of the rule of law, satanic religious leaders, false prophets and teachers were encouraged to practice their dubious craft. It was deception galore, as most of the faithful of the Church no longer knew what it really meant to be a Christian. People were now beginning to see material and financial prosperity as a sign of Christian growth and a sign that God was smiling on them. This period coincided with an increase in serious crimes like kidnapping and ritual murder as more occult churches were established.
More seriously, with all these things, could we say that the Christian Church has failed? Could it be honestly said that Christianity has brought more problems to Africa? I can boldly say that Jesus never fails. The Lord says in John 16 that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Christian Church. However, there is no doubt that Christian leaders in Africa, especially in Nigeria, have failed miserably, with the CAN and NFP spiritually comatose. In Nigeria and most of Africa, the Church is not playing its role as the PILLAR OF TRUTH. The Church has been so weakened that it cannot control the excesses of federal and state governments without direction.
The resulting situation has been an unprecedented increase in ungodliness, sins and iniquities as occult bishops, pastors and prophets dominate. The Church of Jesus Christ has been turned into a den of thieves and a great partner in sin with conscienceless government officials. This is despite the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest emancipator known to man. Sadly, it would seem that Christ’s efforts to empower Africans spiritually and by every other means are being thwarted by a shameless coalition of pastors, politicians and traditional rulers.
You may ask: what is the output? My opinion is that Christians in Nigeria and all over Africa must start relying only on the Holy Bible and avoiding these corrupt Christian leaders. Serious intercessors must arise by the millions to pray that the Lord may recover His Church from these marauders. People should start meeting in homes and serious Bible teaching should return. There is no doubt that these would lead us into a mighty revival. Don’t forget that a revival is a revolution in itself. It is a spiritual response led by the Holy Spirit against the forces of evil. What it lacks is the bloodshed that usually accompanies a political revolution.
However, should people think that it is normal for things to go on as they are, that they should be left severely alone? Chances are then that those who refuse to be guided by the radar of history will be instructed by the rocks.
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