Christianity is 2000 years old. The whole faith began when Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, gave His life as a ransom for mankind’s salvation. It was for the restoration of the relationship between Man and God. You will probably recall that the relationship between God and humans went sour in the Garden of Eden after which Adam and his wife, Eve, were chased out of their garden home. They were told to go and be taking care of themselves by tilling the soil from which they were taken.
Due to the sacrifice of Christ, 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 ordered His followers to go and tell everyone the Good News. Christianity has never looked back since despite the fierce opposition that tried to prevent its spread.
The impact of the faith then needs to be acknowledged. Christianity, and the light it brought, has largely been credited for being the foundation and the fulcrum on which several developments were built. These included Western Civilisation, the Industrial Revolution and several technological breakthroughs and inventions. Fortunately, the main purpose of Christianity was never forgotten. This was to transform lives starting with the new birth.
Africa was not left out of the new development as one of the earliest Africans to become a Christian was an Ethiopian eunuch. Remember him? He received Christ while he was returning to Ethiopia from a trip to Jerusalem. This was between AD 33 and AD 70. This is found in Acts 8. European missionaries also came to Africa but this was much later. Several of these missionaries arrived in Nigeria a little less than 200 years ago.
Without an iota of a doubt, one can say that the missionaries left a great legacy as they were faithful to their calling. 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 stood out. Their hospitals and schools were always 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 took over from the colonialists were themselves kicked out of power by soldiers after just five years, with many of them being killed. This was because of mismanagement. Sadly, the military adventurists only worsened the situation. The country is yet to recover from the inexcusable tyranny of the military era. Meanwhile, Christianity was still in a fairly good shape.
However, things took a dangerous turn in the late seventies and early eighties when standards began to plummet rapidly. Among other things, governments had begun to take over institutions, notably mission schools. It was around this time that cults of personalities were building around Church leaders. It was also the beginning of one-man Churches and ministries. The one-man/family ministry was an American model. It was popularised in Nigeria by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa. Not surprisingly many of the older General Overseers that we have in Nigeria today were his products but these aggressive millionaires, like their mentor, have refused to see simplicity as a virtue. The era of the pastor-preneur was upon us and with it the departure from sound biblical teaching in the Church.
The rot was now setting in, what with the coming of large-scale falsehood and false doctrine in the Churches. In the absence of the rule of law, Satanic religious leaders, false prophets and teachers were being emboldened to practise their dubious art. It was deception galore as most Church goers no longer knew what it actually meant to be a Christian. People were now beginning to take 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 killings as more occultic Churches were being established.
On a serious note, with all these things, could one say that the Christian Church has failed? Could one sincerely say that Christianity has brought more problems to Africa? I can say boldly that Jesus never fails. The Lord says in John 16 that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Christian Church. However, there is no doubt that Christian leaders in Africa especially in Nigeria have failed woefully, what with the spiritually comatose CAN and PFN. 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 check the excesses of directionless federal and state governments.
The resulting situation has been an increase in godlessness, unheard of sins and iniquities as occultic bishops, pastors and prophets hold sway. The Church of Jesus Christ has been turned into a den of robbers and a grand 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 appear that Christ’s efforts to emancipate Africans spiritually and in every other way are being thwarted by a shameless coalition of pastors, politicians and traditional rulers.
You may ask: what is the way out? My opinion is that Christians in Nigeria and all Africa must begin to defer only to the Holy Bible and shun these corrupt Christian leaders. Serious intercessors must rise up in their millions to pray so that the Lord can reclaim back His Church from these marauders. People should start meeting in homes and serious bible teaching should return. There is no doubt that these would usher us into a mighty revival. Do not forget that a revival is a revolution in itself. It is a spiritual fightback 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 okay for things to continue the way they are, they should be left severely alone? The chances then are that those who refuse to be guided by the radar of history shall be taught by the rocks.
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