I’ve long been greatly troubled by the state of Christianity in Nigeria which alone is said to have over 10,000 independent denominations. And for good reasons, I’m restricting my observations to the happenings in Nigeria, having not had the luxury of traveling out the country. I should nevertheless state without hesitation that despite whatever advantages there are in traveling out of the country, I really don’t feel any sense of loss. After all, Nigeria used to be the country of destination for many foreigners in dire need of greener pasture. How times have changed that the reserve is now the case.
If I’m not a witness to happenings in the land, it wouldn’t have been easy for me, like Thomas, to believe that there’s so much division in Christendom.It’s such an irony that the people who proclaim to be the children of God have found themselves so divided.We’re still in a season of Easter, by far the most significant festivity in Christendom, yet, Easter season doesn’t make sense to some Christian churches.It’s an appalling circumstance, isn’t it?
I don’t know what gain there’s in such divisions. The word of God is one but in reading it, there have been very many interpretations and misinterpretations. Why should the word of God, an otherwise simple to grapple position and straightforward Good News be understood differently?No doubt, the more these churches mushroom, the more they get themselves in their common practice of abusing the scripture in their deceit of the people.
The first miracle which our Lord Jesus Christ made took place in Canaan. There, He turned water into wine. Till now, there’s on-going fiery disagreement over whether the wine Christ made from water is alcoholic or not. Why the content of wine has become controversial is what I don’t understand. Yet, the dictionary defines wine as “an alcoholic drink made from other fruits or plants.” For whatever reason, our brothers and sisters in some Christian denominations who also use the same dictionary have refused to accept the simple definition of wine.
To them, the wine that Jesus Christ turned water into in Canaan is non-alcoholic drink.
You see, the exit of Martin Luther from the first church has indeed come with its problems instead of being any solution. Luther’s exit was just the genesis of divisions in Christendom. One would have been happier if, when in 1524AD, Luther, a German, bolted out of the Catholic Church and created his Lutheran Church, no other break occurred. But as we all know now, in 1534AD, Henry VIII of England, tore apart with his CMS Anglican Church. He was followed by the Presbyterian, and so on and so forth till 1874AD when a certain American called Charles T Russel, founded the Jehovah’s Witness sect.
Till date, there isn’t anybody who can say with certainty, the number of churches in Nigeria alone. Such proliferation and disunity bring upon us all, a great scandal in the body of Christ!
I’m particularly worried by the incursion of this group called the “Jehovah’s Witness” sect because they preach so much of heresies. One of these is in the current edition of their “Awake!” journal, which disputes that Jesus Christ was never crucified. Relying on the book of Acts 5:30, the publication writers were blinded to read the book of John 19:17 to balance their writing. Something should be done about this sect before they mislead us all.
Trinity is one other area of disagreement. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the teaching of three in one is in contest amongst the people of God. God didn’t wish His people divided. It’s common also to see Christians as they start praying with “In Jesus name.”There can’t be Jesus Christ without the Father and the Holy Ghost/Spirit.
At the beginning of all your prayers, there necessarily must be observance of the sign of the cross. It’s not enough just to say “In Jesus name,” as some Christians do, or just to voice “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost/Spirit,” as our other brothers do. There must be physical demonstration of the sign of the cross, using your right hand. Anything outside of this is just not getting it right.
How do you pray? You kneel down, or stand up or sit down? Any of these is okay, depending on the circumstance.I even hold the strong opinion that the best way to pray is by locking up oneself in your house, strip and go on the ground in absolute surrender. Must you close your eyes? To avoid distraction which your sight may cause, please do, otherwise, I don’t see anything wrong in opening them. Interestingly, the Bible has already taught believers how to pray. The great book says, “… when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full…. when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
God says pray thus: “Our Father, who at in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”See Matthew 6.
Everybody’s a sinner. In fact, as the Bible puts it, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Since this is so, where then lies the hope of all who nurse the hope of making heaven? It’s only by His grace that anyone can make heaven or enter His kingdom. I’m appalled each time I hear our brethren speak with such authority that they neither know anything about nor possess, as if they know better than others. Yet, these are people who, after four months of reading through the passages of the Bible, come out thinking that they’ve been armed well enough to teach the word of God. How can they be well equipped to do such a tough assignment when some others, after spending upward of 12 years, aren’t perfectly equipped to spread the Good News?
Question them on their limited schooling and they’ll ask you, “Which schools did Jesus Christ attend for the rich learning he espoused?” You see, they compare themselves with Jesus Christ, forgetting or pretending not to know that He’s divine.
In the same way, these brethren who often say that the only thing they’ll do is that which’s in the Bible, fail to realise that Jesus Christ did many other things that aren’t in the Bible. Even by Bible’s acknowledgement, there’s no space to record everything that Jesus Christ did, See John 20:30 and 21:25. And they also question why a set of Christians will go on confession before a fellow man when it’s God who forgives. They conveniently forget that the book of John also has it that “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” See John 20:23. Many areas of disunity in Christendom!
Christendom is indeed in crisis.
Is there any surprise that every other sphere of our life is fast collapsing?
Baba God, do you say that such men and women are made in your image and likeness? I’m tempted to say tufiakwa!

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