The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commiserated with the government and the people of South Africa on the Home Call of a great Oracle of God, Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. We thank God for a life well spent by His great Servant who used every given opportunity to speak a potent voice against the defunct apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule in South Africa
The Revered Bishop was a South African Anglican Bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was also the first African Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. He was also known as a theologian who sought to fuse the Black Theology with African Theology. We recalled with nostalgia when from 1978 to 1985, Tutu was the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. That was when he emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule. Although an activist, yet he was an advocate of non-violent protest and foreign economic pressure to bring about universal suffrage. In 1985, he became Bishop of Johannesburg and in 1986 the Archbishop of Cape Town, the most senior position in southern Africa’s Anglican hierarchy. In this position, he emphasized a consensus-building model of leadership and oversaw the introduction of female priests.
Tutu played prominent roles that led to the release of the foremost anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 and they both led the negotiations that ended apartheid and introduce multi-racial democracy. After the 1994 general election resulted in a coalition government headed by Mandela, Tutu was appointed the chairman of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses committed by both pro and anti-apartheid groups. This Commission was used to heal all the wounds of apartheid inflicted on both the Whites and the Blacks. Tutu will always be remembered for his strong support of Palestinians in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict especially his strong belief in Israel’s right to exist. His strong criticism against the perceived anti-people policies under the South African Presidents of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma further made him a respected voice of the voiceless.
Our hearts go to his immediate family, the South African Churches and the common man of that country who saw him as their advocate and protector. May God console and comfort them all in Jesus’ Name.
Signed His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
25TH DECEMBER EXISTED AS “CHRISTMAS” BEFORE THE PAGAN FEAST: A correction on the misconception of Xmas, Christmas date and Christmas Traditions.
There have been write ups that suggest that the X of Xmas means “no Christ”. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG, and the source of that speculation is either woefully ignorant or maliciously disingenuous.
The X in Xmas is not the English letter X (pronounced ‘ex’), rather it is the Greek ‘Χ’. They look alike but pronounced differently. Greek X is ‘ch’ is pronounced as “k”.
In the early days of Christianity, the symbol X was used as an abbreviation for “Χριστός” (kristos) meaning Christ. And that is the style people still use today. Thus we don’t pronounce “Xtians” and “Xtopher” as “extian” or “extopher” respectively, but CHRISTians and CHRISTopher. In the same way, Xmas is pronounced “CHRISTMAS” not “exmas”.
Secondly, 25th was NEVER A DAY OF PAGAN SACRIFICE that Christians took over. Fact, 25th December was made a pagan festive day by Emperor Aurelian, who in 274 AD instituted the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. But He did so partly as an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date ALREADY IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS IN ROME. In fact, by 204 AD, Hippolytus of Rome already indicated 25th December as Christmas. This could also be implied from the 221 AD writing of Sextus Julius Africanus. Moreover, there was no pagan religious celebration attached to the date as one would expect, it was simply the date of the dedication of a temple to the sun god at Campus Martius in 274 AD.
So, 25th December as Christmas day existed at least, 50 years BEFORE the pagan feast. I repeat, 25th DECEMBER as CHRISTMAS DAY EXISTED BEFORE THE PAGAN FEAST.
25th December as CHRISTMAS DAY IS NOT IN THE BIBLE… so?
The date of Jesus birth is not recorded in the Bible, and indeed, nobody knows the exact date. But we do know that He was born on a particular day. The root of 25th December can be traced to Jewish tradition and Easter.
It was a traditional Jewish belief that great men were born and died on the same day, so lived a whole number of years, without fractions: Jesus was therefore considered to have been CONCEIVED on March 25 (Annunciation), as he died on March 25, which was calculated to have coincided with 14 Nisan (Passover – Easter period) . This was the view of Hippolytus of Rome and Sextus Julius Africanus mentioned earlier. So since Jesus was conceived on 25th March , 9 months after, His birthday is celebrated on 25th December.
SYMBOLICALLY, December 25 was the date of the winter solstice (shortest period of daylight) in the Roman calendar. Saint Augustine explains that Jesus was born on the day which is the “shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one from where light begins to increase.”
Linking Jesus to the Sun was supported by various Biblical passages. Jesus was considered to be the “Sun of righteousness” prophesied by Malachi 4: 2- “Unto you shall the sun of righteousness arise, and healing is in his wings.”
SO WHAT IF IT WAS A PAGAN FEAST? Ask anybody on the street what 25th December means and they’ll tell you it’s Christmas day. Ask those who claim it was a pagan feast the name of the pagan god, I’m sure many won’t know it. Ask them how it was celebrated? I doubt if any can give you an answer. Even if it was a pagan feast, it is now known as the celebration of Christ’s birth, which is the most important.
But think about it, any day that walould have been attributed to Christmas will also be claimed to be a pagan feast day because everyday of the week is named after a pagan god.
Let’s share the right information and cancel out disingenuous misinformation about Christmas, Christ and Christianity.
Press Statement: The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said that the Association is at a loss on the data or statistics used by the US government in arriving at delisting Nigeria from the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ on the issue of freedom of religion.
The US government did not contact us when they were listing Nigeria among the countries of ‘Particular Concern’ on religious freedom, neither did they seek our opinion before removing Nigeria from the list. If they had done, we would have been able to compare the statistics then and now on the issue of freedom of religion in Nigeria. Whatever may be the data they used, our prayer is that Nigeria would be a country where no religious group is discriminated against or persecuted and that our government would see to it that all religiously biased policies are discontinued with.
Christians had faced and are still facing persecution from ISWAP and the Boko Haram Islamic Group till today as before. These are the people who said their agenda was to wipe away Christianity from Nigeria and to plant Islam as the only religion from the North down to the Atlantic Ocean in the South. That agenda with the killing of Christians has not stopped till today and Nigerians are living witnesses.
The bandits have joined other militant Islamic groups to be ferociously attacking churches, killing worshippers and kidnapping for ransom. The herdsmen are equally doing their havoc. We have lost many people and places of worship to their assault, especially in the Northcentral part of the country and the Northeast. Though, the madness has grown now and those who are not Christians are being attacked, killed and kidnapped, this is because these criminal acts have become lucrative business and it is whoever you can kidnap for money! If the government had responded appropriately when this criminal madness began and subdued these evil groups immediately, we wouldn’t be where we are now!
We have been shouting at the top of our voice in Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), almost in vain, that government policies should be religiously neutral enough so that no religious group would be seen as being favoured or discriminated against. For example, for almost a year ago now, some of our churches are finding it difficult with the Ministry of Interior to get new marriage certificate booklet after they had exhausted the ones they were using. Some had applied for new supply as far back as January this year without any response from Ministry of Interior till now. This means that such churches licensed to conduct wedding were denied the right to do so for no cogent reason from the government!It is not only in Nigeria that churches are allowed to conduct wedding once they were licensed to do so. Why are the churches being denied the right to do so now in Nigeria? If there is nothing to hide by the government and it is not a subtle religious discrimination, why didn’t the ministry in a written form or verbally explain to the churches that needed new marriage certificate booklet why the supply is delayed?
We are seizing this opportunity to appeal to the Ministry of Interior to put its acts together and allow the licensed churches to collect the marriage certificate booklets from the local government registries nearest to them without further delay and cost.
All right thinking people would continue to ask the US government to let the world know what has changed on the issue of religious freedom and persecution the Christians are facing between the time they placed the country in the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ and now! CAN in particular would like to know! This is because all those factors that put Nigeria on CPC list for the first time in 2020 are still there.
For example, many states in the North are yet to reverse the policy which denies Christians the Certificate of Occupancy to build churches in their own country. Equally, some, if not many states in the North do not allow Christian students to study Christian Religious Studies in the public schools because it is not made available in their curriculum. In a similar vein, Christian students had and are still complaining that they are denied admission to government owned universities in the North to study courses like Law and Medicine, among others. Christian students such as Leah Sharibu and students kidnapped from Bethel Baptist High School were left with the kidnappers without any purposeful rescue mission organised for them.
The relatives and churches of the kidnapped people were forced and are being forced to pay ransom worth millions of Naira to secure their people or children! Up till now , the Federal Government refused to see banditry as terrorism and has therefore refused to label them as terrorists. For whose good is this? Is it because the bandits are close to those in government or because of religious consideration?
Similarly, ISWAP and other Islamic terrorists that surrendered or were captured were not allowed to face the wrath of the law but rather, unlike other criminals are being slated for a programme of de-radicalization or rehabilitation! These are people who had sent many people to early graves! Is this action of government fair to the people they killed and the rest of us whom these people traumatized and put in sadness over our property or relatives they killed? Why were the armed robbers not de-radicalized? What becomes of our criminal justice system if this kind of anomaly is allowed to stay?
Up till today, our government is still funding the membership of Nigeria in all the International Islamic organisations like OIC and its allies without being part of any international Christian organization.
Once again, we urge the US government to help us by allowing us to know what has changed between the time our country was put in the list of ‘countries of particular concern’ and now.
Let me conclude by saying that we are trying to bring some of the issues of religious persecution or discrimination up at our Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) meeting so as to douse religious tension and foster harmonious relationship between religious adherents in Nigeria. Please be praying for us for success along this line.
His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
COMMUNIQUE OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) AT THE END OF THE 4TH QUARTERLY MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2021 AT THE NATIONAL ECUMENICAL CENTRE, ABUJA.
The 4th quarterly meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was held at the National Christian Centre Abuja on Thursday, 11th November, 2021 under the chairmanship of the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle. In attendance were the other members of CAN national Executive, heads of the five Blocs of CAN, delegates from the Blocs, chairperson of the Women Wing (WOWICAN) and Youth Wing (YOWICAN) of CAN and other prominent Christian leaders in Nigeria. During the NEC meeting, the Council deliberated on many issues affecting the Body of Christ in Nigeria and the well-being of Nigerians in general. Notable among these issues are:
1. The National Executive Council appreciates the recent efforts of the Security agencies for the prompt action taken to rescue the Staff Members of the Federal University of Abuja who were recently kidnapped. However, it admonishes the Federal Government and Security Agencies to be more proactive to stop with immediate effect, the spate of kidnapping in the country especially in Kaduna State where kidnapping is now almost a daily occurrence. CAN challenges the Security Agencies to respond quickly to distress calls and protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. It further calls on the Federal Government to do all it can to release the abducted innocent people in captivity unconditionally without further loss of lives.
2. On the need for prompt action by security Agencies, CAN also wishes to advise the Federal, States and Local Government Areas to immediately initiate an all inclusive security dialogue with all stakeholders. This will help towards finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.
3. CAN enjoins the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to be consistent about the information it puts on its website. It particularly noticed that the telephone numbers on its website are not functioning. It should do all it takes to help educate and constantly update Nigerians about the challenges of COVID-19 and the availability or otherwise of COVID vaccines.
4. CAN advises the Federal Government to put in place a better administration of the QR Barcode reader payment required for returning to Nigeria from overseas. A situation where Nigerians are subjected to intimidations abroad because of the negligence of duty of the officials is very embarrassing. Also, the ugly practice by some Government officials extorting money from citizens coming back home without remitting same to government coffers must be checked.
5. CAN acknowledges the resilience of Nigerians in view of the prevailing economic hardships and insecurities in the country and advises the Federal Government to not worsen the situation with increasing electricity tariffs, prices of cooking gas, and merely allocating funds for maintenance of roads without corresponding visible impacts.
6. CAN wants the general public to know that it now has a new (amended) constitution which was adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the CAN President on 25th February 2021. It therefore, calls on the Christian faithful to get themselves acquainted with the provisions of the new constitution. It also admonishes believers to take ownership of the Association so as to appreciate the workings and operations of CAN.
7. As the nation prepares for the electioneering campaigns towards the 2023 General Elections, CAN urges all Christians and citizens that are of age to without delay take advantage of INEC’s re-validation of voters’ cards exercise and register to get their voters’ cards. Politicians should conduct themselves in a manner that will bring peace and unity. Youths should not allow any selfish office seeker to use them to cause violence before, during and after the politicking exercise.
8. CAN prays for the Government and people of Nigeria.
9. As we approach Christmas and the New year, CAN commits Nigeria to the hands of God and wishes all of us a wonderful celebration in advance.
Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola (General Secretary CAN.)
We all struggle with tough times at some point in our lives, especially those times when things aren’t going as planned, or times when we face series of tribulations and challenges that seems too heavy for us. These challenges could emanate from work, family, school, friends, or other realities of life.
For instance, there were times whenn things might get really frustrating, and we somewhat begin to fall into depression because of the situation we might face at that time. Been through such, right? But we should keep on reassuring ourselves that God’s grace is sufficient and will see us through those tough periods.
A lot of us tend to forget what the scriptures say about these times, and we just give up on ourselves; That’s a wrong approach. Let uslook up to God and cast our burdens on Him. Remember, God will always love and come through for you even at your darkest hour!
Aside the numerous scriptures that helps us in our times of struggles, here are 10 BIBLE VERSES THAT WILL HELP YOU DURING TOUGH TIMES.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3: 5- 6
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46: 1
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40: 31
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” – Psalm 118: 6
“The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.:- Psalm 29:11
When Moses Bliss sang: “God is too faithful”, the reality in that song is so evident, especially in our daily living.
God has evidently been faithful towards us, our families and businesses; and we can make a brief analysis to see how awesome He has been in providing and sustaining us, daily.
Let’s try doing some calculation and financial fix to unveil how God has been taking care of us in an all-encompassing way.
Note, it’s not about how organized, coordinated or financial intelligent we are towards our daily living; but God has made a way that has enabled us to LIVING ABOVE OUT FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS.
Let’s consider a family with Three (3) Children, yourself and spouse: 3 +2=5
Let’s do the calculation:
5 plates of food for breakfast, 5 plates for lunch & 5 plates for dinner
= 15 plates of food per day.
Multiply by at least N300 per plate: = N4,500
N4,500 per day for 30 days (1 month); We spend average of N135, 000 per month… That’s N1,620,000 per annum …and you say, you are not a millionaire?
Snacks and in-between meals are not included o! School fees, are not included. Medical bills are not included here too. Transport fare/fueling not yet in the calculation o! What of recharge cards, subscriptions and other miscellaneous. Shoes, clothes etc, not added o! After all, we no go go out naked nah… Right?
House rent, for those without a house of their own, is not included. Outrageous Electricity bills and other utility bills are not in the calculation. ‘Oga something for the boys?’ no dey there oooo! (Lol)
Now, the question is, “How do you make it happen with your monthly stipends?” Isn’t it a miracle that we live, and still pushing?
And, God just have a special way of coming through for us at each time we are stranded?
Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God has done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one; And it will surprise you what the LORD has done for you and your family.
Let’s return all Glory to our creator. Let us be grateful for all the faithfulness, care and kindness God has shown us, and is still showing us.
Daily, make “THANK YOU JESUS CHRIST” your anthem. He rewards a grateful heart with more than what we expected.
Lecture presented by Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo F. Asaju (Bishop Theologian), at the Lagos Diocese Pre-Synod Lecture Series, held at All Souls Church, Lekki, Lagos on May 1 2021.
I congratulate the Lord Bishop of the Mother Diocese of Lagos, Rt. Rev. Dr. Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye for the Synod of this year and for organizing this conference in order to add the voice of the Church to concerns about the security and welfare of our dear country, Nigeria.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:
“When evil men plot, good men must plan,
When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind,
When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.
Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice”
THE RELEVANCE OF CHRISTIANITY TO GOVERNANCE, PEACE AND SECURE SOCIETY.
1. God is the creator of man and the world (Jesus is creative Agent- The Word of God – John 1:1-5, Colosians1:15-18. Therefore He has control over world affairs. He judges the world when they sin (Noah’s Flood) and He sends prophets like Amos to challenge evil rulers and leaders. He reigns in the affairs of men. He actually ran a Theocracy in Israel before the monarchy was introduced.
2. Man is a complex Being, made up of the Body, Soul and Spirit. It is Christianity that can influence his behavior and psychology (The Heart of Kings are in the hands of the Lord… He turns it wherever He wants- Proverbs 21:1).
3. The Bible is a manual for successful human governance, nationhood, peace and security.
– The government of the Universe is upon the shoulder of Jesus Christ and of the increase of His government there shall be no end ( Isaiah 9:6).
– His name is Prince of Peace. His influence has brought peace and civility to kingdoms and countries of the world.
– Only regenerated man can bring about good governance and peaceful reign. Man is intrinsically evil and wicked. God once regretted that He made man. God gives new heart and spirit which can enable them have compassion on the welfare of the people and receive revelation to govern aright. Otherwise, typical man is selfish, evil and corrupt.
4. There is a raging battle between the kingdoms of God and Satan (Ephesians 6:2).
Demonic influence over rulers and governments is well known. Many political leaders have involved themselves in pagan rituals including ritual killings and bloodshed of all sorts and are under the influence of Satan, Principalities and Powers…. The Church is the only establishment by God empowered to overcome evil forces and their manipulation of the society. Elisha healed a cursed land of Jericho (2 Kings 2: 18-22). In Daniel’s time, the Prince of Persia withstood the Angel sent from heaven to bring an answer to his prayer requests. (Daniel 10:13) What we see in
Events in different parts of the world, especially Nigeria manifests this ongoing battle in the end time.
Christianity is today under co-ordinated attacks from various opponents: Communist Atheism, Secularism in the West, Paganism in African communities and Islam.
5. The governance structure of Executive, Legislative and Judiciary is Bible derived (Isaiah 33:22 – “For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King. It is He who will save us”).
6. Similar trends of religious expansionism, terrorism and systemic domination in Nigeria are old strategies employed by Jihadists to take over North Africa and Asia in UK, USA, Asia and Middle East.
NIGERIA’S CURRENT SECURITY PROBLEMS
1. Islamic fundamentalism and terrorist Jihad in serial order such as Maitatsine, Boko Haram, etc.
2. Attempts at Internal re-colonization, domination and Islamization.
All activities and policies of Government point to these:
Dominance in: Government strategic ministries, Parastatals, Military, Police, Paramilitary, Finance, Education, Foreign Policy, Internal Affairs, Judiciary, Legislature, etc.
3. Fulani herdsmen deployed in every forest in nooks and crannies of Middle Belt, South-West and South-East.
4. Migration of multitudes of Northern youths, Almajiris, handicapped who settle in isolated settlements, fully armed, serving as Guards, Motor cycle transport riders, etc. These pose danger to peaceful settlements as most of these people have access to external remote control through their transistor radios, their mosques and the modern communication gadgets. The south can be overwhelmed if care is not taken by host communities to recover their sovereignty and defend their lands.
5. Spate of kidnappings, abductions, murder of innocent people, including students, ethnic cleansing of Christian communities in the north.
6. Outright failure of government due to incapacitation of the military to check Boko Haram and Isis, who are sacking communities, taking territories, taking over wives of communities, moving towards caliphate imposition.
7. Quranic challenges to Bible and violence instructions in the Quran: There is a need to appeal to fanatical Muslims to re-interpret these violent instructions as inapplicable to religiously plural societies of the modern day; rather they should emphasize the peace content which Islam means.
8. The Apparent silence and compromise by Southern Muslims to speak out against this evil,
9. Threats of secession and beating drums of war fare and restructuring, etc
10. Failure of Government at all levels, hyper inflation, arms proliferation among criminals, heavy debt burden, rudderless governments and complicity of government in the Islamisation agenda.
11. Politicization of Religion in Nigeria has been ongoing for many years in sectors of constitution, education, judiciary, public service, etc.
12. Tactical error of northern domination: Feudal elite exploit their people, Neglect of educating the people, using religion as political weapon and arming the Islamic uprisings such as Miatatsine, Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen, etc.
The Role of the Church in ensuring Safe and Secure Nigeria
1. Jesus Christ and Earlier prophets intervened in the affairs of the State: Joseph (economic policy to save from famine), Moses (liberation- Let my people Go), Elijah (challenged idolatry and autocracy of Ahab and Jezebel), Jeremiah and Ezekiel criticized false shepherds exploiting the sheep, Esther reversed decree to annihilate Jews (deliverance through positioning in strategic location [ WATCHMAN AND STANDING AGAINST EVIL]
2. The Early Church persecution and Constantine’s liberation and church -state relations. [CONVERSION AND EVANGELISM]
3. The Martin Luther’s and John Calvin’s Reformation of the Church opened up the world to freedom, education, enlightenment, democracy etc.
4. The Church led the fight for abolition of slave Trade through the parliamentary efforts of William Wilberforce.
5. The Church in Nigeria, like other parts of Africa participated in the vigorous fight against colonialism and for independence of African nations, through Ethiopianism. Names like Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Bishop James Johnson, Herbert Macaulay etc.
6. The Civil Rights Movement in USA was led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a fulltime Baptist Minister. The church leaders can lead a peaceful revolution in Nigeria and other African countries towards peace, justice, equality and fundamental human rights of all citizens without oppression by one religion or tribe, of others.
7. Islamic Agenda and assaults against Christianity and the Church. [ NEED FOR CHRISTIAN AGENDA AND STRATEGIES TO STOP ISLAMIZATION and TERRORISM]
8. Loss of North Africa and Asia Minor to Brute force of Islamic Jihad, legislative sharia control. The Church was weakened by disunity, theological controversies and internal strife; thus the easy prey to Islamic invasion. [CHURCH TO AVOID DENOMINATIONAL DIVISIONS, FORGE UNITY AND MOBILISE MEMBERS TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN POLITICAL GOVERNENCE AND ELECTIONEERING]
9. The fundamental error of the Amalgamation. British positioning Northern dominance. Lugard covenant with North and official policy to resist Christian evangelism and missionaries in the North. [RESILIENCE OF THE CHURCH THROUGH ACTIVE PROTECTION OF THE VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES, CONGREGATIONS AND USE OF ALL PEACEFUL LEGAL MEANS TO MOBILIZE AND RESIST EVIL POLICIES].
10. International moves should be pursued to redress the fundamental amalgamation of the country and the much talked about restructuring should be vigorously pursued by non-violent means, after the patter of the USA Civil Rights Movement and Mahatmas Gandhi’s non-violent resistance.
11. The Church must deliberately design means of training and raising credible leaders who are disciplined and God fearing and knowledgeable enough to provide leadership at all levels and in all sectors of Nigeria. We are leaderless at the moment. The Church is the Light of the World and Salt of the Earth. Bad leadership endures because of absence of the good.
12. The Church must exit its indifference and lackadaisical attitude towards elections. They must register and vote, campaign and monitor elections to prevent rigging and god-fatherism. The church has for now sufficient population to effect positive change in governments at all levels. Note the populations of Roman Catholics, Anglicans (about 18 million), Pentecostals, Aladura, etc. With proper political education, necessity of current insecurity and failed governance should compel all good Nigerians of all religions (Christians, especially to ensure that the next elections in 2023 does not go to those who are bent on bringing this country down to the grave.
13. The Nigerian churches are too proliferated and materialistic. Some Pentecostal leaders live in too much opulence, being mentioned among the richest pastors in the world, preaching a wrong theology of prosperity theology at this time of national emergency! Of course they afford to own private aero planes and build many mansions and institutions in the names of their families, whilst there is abject poverty, killings, violence, joblessness, youth restiveness and refugees all over the societies.
The church must first cure itself of internal errors before it can challenge similar exploitations in the larger society.
14. There is need for mass reorientation of the citizenry and reeducating the present and coming generations about patriotism, nationhood, nation building, civics, etc., new curriculum to be redesigned for primary and secondary schools, to compulsorily include prayer and Christian religious education. Education is knowledge and
15. Prayer is effective but it must be complimented by action. Faith without works is dead. The Church must organize, protest, speak truth to power, instruct her members in government to be accountable to God through the church to do that which is just and right, and not to indulge in corruption or evil Through prayer and divine intervention, God has the power to humble preliminate all pharaohs and Nebuchadnezzars. And there will be peace in the land.
16. Where it is difficult for government security agencies to defend vulnerable citizens of Nigeria (Including Christians) in the face of rampaging killers, then the Church must organize security for their congregations and communities in all ways legal. They are entitled to defend themselves and their lives as well as that of their family and church members. The church can consult its members who are knowledgeable in intelligence gathering, defense strategies etc., to guide and educate them in case of emergencies. This is the stage we are at in Nigeria already where government fails to provide most of its constitutional obligations, forcing citizens to provide same for themselves. It will help if all prominent Christians in public and private sectors speak out to save Nigeria. Church Leaders should be bold to speak out against the insecurity that is going on in Nigeria. If they fail to be watchmen as commanded by God in Ezekiel, the blood of many people will be accounted for by them. Let us bring to remember the genocide in Rwanda and killings in Sudan, Somalia, etc. We cannot afford any civil war again in Nigeria. This is the time for everyone to shout- Enough is Enough!
When the current storm passes, we will need to reengineer and re-orientate our police and Armed Forces in a manner that will make them genuinely patriotic and committed to the security of one Nigeria. May God have mercy on us.
“If my People, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:2
God desires fullness of health and freedom from any bodily affliction which is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. Most importantly, he also invites us to participate in the work of restoring and stewarding our bodies. The state of the body exercises a great influence on the mind and soul. When unhealthy, our impressions of the outward will be untrue, and our influence upon the outward will be limited and feeble. Our spiritual feelings and expressions are also considerably toned and stained by our physical condition.
Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”.
God’s plan for man was never to be unhealthy or out of shape. So many people including us believers fall into the trap of thinking that God finds no worries in seeing a sick Christian (but no, he does). That is far from the truth. As Jesus walked on this earth fully reincarnated as man, one of His most proactive ministries was the healing of sickness and affliction. The Scripture tells us in Matthew 4:23,“And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”
An unhealthy lifestyle can be caused by so many things, not just what we eat or drink but through sin passed on from generation to generations and most importantly ignorance of God’s laws (take a look at the Laws of Moses especially Leviticus which is regarded as a book of health laws) or sometimes simply just affliction from an enemy that doesn’t want you to experience the fullness of God’s plan in your life. Psalm 38:3 reminds us that, “There is no soundness in my flesh because of thy anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.”This simply implies that the absence of God in our spiritual life can lead to sickness and disease. This is not to say that all the people who are sick are not right with God, but we live in an imperfect world that needs more of God’s grace to sustain us.
God’s goodness and fullness have always brought forth a flow of healing and goodness not just upon the body, but even our souls and spirits. As God heals hopelessness, uncertainty, anxiety, lack, fear and so much more, He also brings healing upon our physical bodies. And just as God gives us the enabling grace to say no to the sin that entraps our spirits, He also gives us the grace to be good stewards of our body to exercise, eat right and still live a healthy life in Christ.
It is often said that the woman’s tongue tends to get them in trouble when not cautioned.
Our tongues can bless, cause, complain, and communicate the gospel all within a matter of seconds or minutes! And can also inspire the hardest heart or crush a tender spirit.
However, I am convinced that more people are injured by the improper use of the tongue than by any other force.
The Bible says in (Proverbs 13:3) “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction”
This simply implies that a virtuous woman should always make it her goal to use the tongue properly and only for good.
As believers, we have nothing to brag about in our Christianity, if we are not actively working to “bridle our tongues.”
Although James 3:8 states that no one (in their power) can “tame the tongue,” thankfully, God has provided all we need to discipline this unruly critter in 2 Peter 1:3-8. Ask God to help you tame your tongue.