Since the fall, man’s appetite for anything God has increasingly dwindled. There’s an overwhelming preference for the desires and dictates of the flesh which is what the devil has reduced man to. Man is moving farther and farther away from Kingdom values and principles. The result of this is the increasing darkness (ignorance, cluelessness, calamities, wars, corruption, ravaging poverty etc) we are all witnessing today.
The Church as purposed by God is the completion of His plan for humanity. The Church upholds the singular standard of the Kingdom, in a world that is increasingly abandoning the ways of the Creator. As described by Paul in his letter to Timothy, the Church is the ground and pillar of truth(I Timothy 3:15). In an era where there is no moral compass to teach men how to live, the Church keeps the standard. That is how important the role of the Church is in the earth.
I know you are already thinking that this is not the case with our society. Yes, I agree. It is indeed far from it. However, that does not mean the intention of God for the Church has changed in anyway. It is apparent that the situation described above is not in any way evident in Nigeria. The situation is not with the Church as the global Body of Christ that exists in the heart of God, but the religious structure of Christianity that exists in our society, the standard and character of which is a far cry from the purpose and intents of the Father.
When we talk about the Church and nation building we are certainly not looking at the fusion of the state and the Church that existed in the past, which by the way was man’s creation, because it was never the will of God. Upholding the singular standard of the kingdom in the society is not an activity that takes place in the four-walled structure erroneously referred to as the Church. It is what happens when believers described by Christ as the light of the world (Matthew 5:14) allow the light to shine in a world that is increasingly becoming darkened.
Paul in his writing to Ephesians noted that “… we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Those who think we got saved in order to only enjoy God’s blessings and miracles have missed it. The world is in darkness; man is straying away from God, and it is the responsibility of the Church to raise the banner for men to find their way back to God.
Since the restoration of faith message, prosperity and word teaching in the early 1970s, our emphasis has been miracles, prosperity, blessings and all that. We are now in a new day, and it has become apparent that people can get blessed and not be transformed in nature and character. Some serious minded people are getting tired of all that, and some have even stopped attending our meetings. This is the time to start letting the world see how different we really are by emphasizing lifestyle Christianity, values and principles of the Kingdom, and focusing on fulfilling God’s end time agenda.
We all know what the men we read about in the Bible stood for in their days. We know about Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and others. We know how they upheld the singular standard in their days. Some of them stood against injustice and oppression of the people, and boldly proclaim the word of God and where necessary His judgment over mean-spirited and corrupt leaders. Even in recent times, we had the like of Martin Luther King Jnr., whom I think our Pastors should read more about.
Luther was a Reverend like any of them, who could not live with the oppression of the black minority in his country. He used every opportunity and tool available to him to fight for their freedom from racism. Today, we still celebrate the achievements of the struggle he led. Luther could have simply been satisfied with enriching himself with tithe and offering of the people, and living comfortably in that hostile environment. Rather, he fought at the expense of his life, using his platform as a Pastor to ensure a non-violent change.
It has become public knowledge that our Pastors wield great influence among the political leadership. I recently gathered that aside public and private prayers they offer these leaders, some of them are given ministerial slots and other opportunities to facilitate political appointments. That is how much influence they have. One cannot help but wonder how they keep quiet when these same leaders completely miss it, thereby causing mass poverty and oppression of the people God has called them to shepherd.
Let’s conclude this part with a word from Prophet Ezekiel. This rebuke is as suiting for our political leadership as it is to some of our Church leaders:
Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. (Ezekiel 34:1-3)
This part is meant to create a broad background to this discourse. Subsequent parts will explore in greater details the role of the Church in our society. Have a splendid week ahead.
Follow Frederick Adetiba on twitter via @fredor4c