By Austin Emaduku
The Christian Faith which I Profess is on trial and I am Concerned. It is time for every Christian to speak in defence of the Faith. The saying that evil thrives when Good Men keep quiet is true of every facet of human society including the Church of Christ.
“Custodians” of the Faith, Men and Women who are Supposedly called to Shepherd the Faithful are throwing muck on the Face of the Church.
The trending, online viral video of Pastor Melody of Light Way Ministry, Warri, also reported on the popular Pararan news platform, wherein he and his cohort confessed to paying people to fake miracles in his Church is just one of the many malfeasance that is increasingly becoming the ugly face of the Church.
I know Pastor Melody. He is a Pastor of a trendy Pentecostal Church in my area. He drives a fancy shimmering black SUV, wears a stylish haircut and trendy suits. He generally cuts the image of a very successful Music Star or Movie Actor. He is very Handsome and comely with an image that can easily hoodwink. The likes of Pastor Melody are the more visible and Prevalent Face of the Church today. Little wonder then that the Church is daily assailed with scandal after scandal.
The Church is no longer represented by morality or piety. It no longer preaches modesty or moderation in all things. The church no longer preaches salvation and the afterlife. The Church today is worldly and earthly bound. The admonition by Christ that it will be easier for a camel’s head to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to go into the Kingdom is no longer preached because the Pastor himself is stupendously rich. His Net worth is more than that of all members of his congregation put together.
Where the Exponential rise in Christianity and building of mega churches corresponds with the rise in Moral Decay, corruption and culture of wealth without work in Society, then it reflects what the Church is teaching or encouraging amongst the Faithful.
Whereas we have churches brimming to the rim with attendance during Sunday and weekly Programs, the Society where the Church exists continue in Abysmal descent into putrid decadence. What then is the church Teaching? What exactly are we harvesting souls for? For heaven or for hell? For GOD or for Mammon.
The Church is where it is because, instead of being an instrument for shaping Society, it has allowed society to shape it. Just as the Nigerian Masses have surrendered the Nation to their leaders to run as they wish, so have Christians surrendered or bequeathed the ownership of the Faith or Church to a desperate and evil few who are giving it its present image.
Yes, the Church is being labelled and the tag is not good. Islam professes to be a religion of peace and indeed the ordinary Muslims we live and interact with everyday are peaceful people, but a handful of fanatics have today given that religion the toga of violence and terrorism the world over. We have always had Fulani cattle rearers in our backyards but a criminal few have today given the Fulani herdsman the toga of of killer herdsmen. This happened because of the failure or neglect of the majority to fish out or speak out against the criminal activities of the few.
Where evil thrives amongst a minority in a group and the majority in that group fails or neglects to speak out against such evil, it translates to acquiescence and that evil eventually presents to the outsider as the face of the group.
Nigerian Christians must rise to defend the Faith from the charlatans who have appropriated the faith and the Church as personal properties.