One cannot ignore the noise going round in the country without being accused of indifference; Terrorism, Gay marriage and Islamic Banking. Let me state that none of these issues is peculiar to Nigeria or our generation.
Terrorism is everywhere in the world today in their different dimensions. Most countries in the middle East today have adjusted to it as way of life- Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, but to mention a few. We are only beginning to feel what those we neglected to reach with the gospel have been living with for decades. Each time missionaries come to our gatherings to ask for mission support, our leaders announce that it is time for widow’s mite. Some even divert funds meant for these missionaries for their insatiable materialistic desires. When we are told to pray for missionaries martyred by the governments of these countries living the best way devil would want them to, we rush over it to continue with our kill and bury prayers. It was when Afghanistan was liberated from Taliban control we heard that two lady missionaries- Heather and Mercie- had been held in a dungeon waiting for death.
Even in the bible, religious extremism and terrorism is mentioned. That was what killed Jesus Christ and James the brother of John. Some forty men bound themselves under an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed Paul (Acts 23:12-13).
There is this one we have ignored because we don’t see the blood of those that they kill- journalism terrorism. Newspapers publish fear instilling reports which are not verified. Where one person was killed, they say hundred had died. Where there is no trouble any where they manufacture them just to sell their papers. Ray Ekpu the chief editor of Newswatch magazine once said on an interview, that bad news sell more than good news. You can understand why newspapers propagate more bad news than good news. United Nations Organization (UNO) and Western world powers keep circulating fearful reports about African countries and their economies so that their citizens will see no reason to put confidence in their leaders. They even told us that Nigeria will not stay for another fifteen years, and some powerful Nigerians are putting in every effort to prove them right. They tell us we are so corrupt there is no hope for us.
But are they better? How did we learn fraud? Right before we knew our left from our right, white men gave our fathers bottles of dry gin in exchange for their brothers and children who they used in their plantations as slaves. Only last year an American was jailed for helping the late Nigerian dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, defraud Nigeria. How? They gave people free eye-glasses and took away millions of Dollars. Some come here to give us ministry cover and promise to take us to see their wonderful country. We pay seven thousand Naira registration fees to them, multiply that by one thousand and see how much you have. Because we believe that everything from them is better, we can’t see that a ministry cover from an organization in Britain or USA is of no use to somebody in Africa. Now the prime minister of Britain, David Cameron is threatening us, lower vassals that unless we become as vile as he is and accept same sex marriage as he has done, he will stop sending us what he calls aides. How does he get the money he sends as aides? Stolen money! The money our politicians paid into their banks that had yielded so much interest for the government. Another way is that they know where to buy crude oil and other natural resources at the official rate but will rather encourage our people to steal it and sell to them at cheaper rate. To facilitate this, they give us guns and encourage us to fight for resource control. So the cycle continues. These are all terrorism in their different forms. Thanks to the God of justice, we hear that what a man sows he shall reap. International Monetary Fund (IMF) will have to take their services home now. France, Britain, Greece, Sweden and many more European countries need them badly. We all should remember how they forced these loans down our throat through our ignorant but corrupt leaders. We only knew what we had eaten when our stomach began to turn.
Same sex marriage or sexual relations was here in the days of Abraham and continued to the time of Paul, not only in Britain but all over the world. For crying out loud, it is here in Nigeria. It is reported that most show persons involved in it. There is no government policy backing armed robbery, prostitution, adultery, political thuggery, public fund embezzlement, use of magic and occultism. Yet, all these are going on today unrestricted. Same sex marriage is not the only sin which the bible condemns which is going on around the world. Nigeria has not legalized abortion, who can deny the fact it is going on unrestricted.
Why are we now disturbed about this? That is because many pastors have never mentioned this as sin. Some are too busy raising fund for glass houses and air-conditioned auditoria so that they have no time to deal with issues that concerns personal lives of their members. We are becoming more and more further from reality in our teachings and activities. Some criminals have hijacked our political class and they keep warning us to keep out of politics. Some Christian leaders even boast that they don’t involve in politics. Those who go close, go to look for contracts. Even pulpit people are so hungry for power that they abandon their pulpits to contest for political office. Something Jesus Christ was offered and he turned it down, his servants want to accept.
If our pulpits become fiery voice of God again and preachers follow the examples of John Wesley and John Wycliffe, we will rule Nigeria from our churches. As long as Nigeria is concerned today, political and economic power are with the church of Jesus Christ. Not because of political office holders but our numbers are more and we have spiritual upper hand. No other religious organization can boast of the spiritual control we command in Nigeria. That is why they have to resort to violence and legislation. As in United States of America ,so Nigeria is. Legislation doesn’t govern USA, churches do.
Islamic banking- Here again our sins stare us in the face. I just can’t understand what our leaders are talking about. If we lived as the bible commands us, nobody will have need for Islamic banking. Our Christian leaders tell us to give for God’s work as they build universities, but after the tuition in these schools are so high that those who built them can’t afford them. Even pastors in these organizations have to send their children elsewhere; I begin to wonder which god owns the school. Our G.Os fly private jets and go about with bullet proofed cars escorted by fierce looking policemen while most of us are begging the state Governments for eighteen thousand Naira minimum wage per month, and they say nothing.
Let us get this clear; we don’t need a government banking system to keep our members and win converts. Just do what the bible says, He that has two coats share with your brother, extend help to people, not survival allowance. There is so much suffering in the land that if we reach out to people with the wealth God has put in our care, Islamic banking will be no threat at all. Some of us pay our security men ten thousand Naira monthly, while the same men are sent to buy foods for pet dogs to the tune of hundred thousand a month. Why won’t such a man go for any another religion where he is valued more than a dog?
God did not make Ishmael richer than Isaac; all religious groups in Nigeria put together are not richer than Christians. We all saw the show of shame in the banking sector, those who claimed to be Christians ran the house of fraud in the name of banks. One of our sisters, who was a bank executive, claimed she gave her house-help loan to the tone of thirty six million Naira, but we know the truth. Most of the bank executives were and are still prominent members of our churches who pay in large sums of their stolen money into our cathedrals. If they valued their religion in any way, we will see this wealth in the life of the ordinary man on the street, and then who will have time for non-interest banking. When governments of some States in Nigeria returned schools to Mission organizations, what was the result? Tuition rose astronomically so that almost all the students in these schools were thrown out. If we showed value for those students they won’t face the temptation for going for non-interest banking system of another religion. Does the bible encourage the Christian to lend to his brother on interest? Why are we now threatening to have our own banking system only in response to Islamic banking? So now it was not adopted we go back to comatose, never taking the initiative.
Finally I dare to say, let the Christian leaders return to teach the truth of the bible and it won’t be long before all this noise will disappear. Let us go back to messages that deal with everyday living of our members and also practice same, and the walls of every other system will tumble like Jericho’s wall. No questioning the fact that Christians are in charge in the world because our message is reasonable and practicable and holds true hope for now and the life after. Jesus Christ did a thorough job, it is only for us to follow his footsteps and the victory is already ours.