Who Bewitched The Nigerian Church into Silence?

But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I…” (did not keep quiet. I did something about it) – Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:14.


Millions of us in Nigeria claim to love Jesus Christ and honour Him – yet we have been strangely quiet in the last few years as men of God, particularly in the Pentecostal movement, have turned the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ upside down, turned it into a cash cow, and brought the name of Christ into ridicule in our nation.


This indeed should surprise us as Nigerians, generally speaking, are well known for being a vocal people. Even when we lack the bite that ought to follow our bark, we still do talk! Our political leaders are usually at the receiving end of our long tongues. But, in the more serious issue of toying with the souls of men, why are we being so quiet and docile? Why are we watching silently as a group of well gifted, few men frequently extort money from the poorest and most vulnerable in our society in the name of collecting offering for God?


The answer is simple. Bewitchment. We have been bewitched into silence! As Apostle Paul pointed out to the Galatians, when a group of people are continuously and consistently unable to practise a truth they know, bewitchment may be the answer (Galatians 3:1). For we all know that the Bible admonishes all believers to EARNESTLY CONTEND for the faith that was delivered to the saints (Jude 3). So, why have we allowed ourselves to be bewitched from practicing this truth?


This bewitchment was not brewed in any hidden coven. Rather, it is being brewed openly on the altar of the snare of our respecting men more than respecting God. Fearing men more than fearing God. And being more willing to defend the interest and reputation of ‘men of God’, rather than the reputation and interest of Jesus Christ! (Unless we urgently repent, we shall one day pay for this clear-cut idolatry).


As the eyes of a lot of our fathers in the faith started waxing dim some years ago, and their messages started changing to become more compliant to the expediency of mammon, what have we been doing in the household of faith? Have we been following blindly and mutedly because we are also fascinated by the new Christ they are presenting to us – the one that will take way all our problems in this world, kill all our enemies, heal all our diseases, and give us some fast bucks in the process. In which case, it is not just our leaders that are becoming spiritually senile, we have also caught the evil bug of the last days when men will no longer tolerate the truth, but will heap up teachers that will tell them fables (2 Timothy 4:3-4).


And while we all engage in this macabre dance of the antichrist, what is happening to the Christian faith in Nigeria? Is the faith being extolled in our nation? Is the name of Christ being glorified? Do the ministers of the Gospel have credibility with the words on their lips? Are Christian followers beautifying Christ’s message of salvation in the public sphere? (Titus 2:5, 8, 10). If the answers here are ‘No’, brothers and sisters, why are we being silent? Is our silence not a sign of our complicity?


We may be silent, but God is not silent. He has said if we deny Him, He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:12-13). And so He is not silent, He is speaking. Because we will not allow Him to speak through our lips, the Lord is now exposing our dirty linen to the world. And even that did not unseal our lips. So, God is now using orthodox Christians and unbelievers to ‘preach’ to us. In the last few weeks alone, I read about Mallam El-Rufai, Dino Melaye (of all people!!!), Femi Falana, etc, preaching to our Christian leaders against corruption!!! Even Muslims have started joining in the calls for sanity in the church!!!

 
If this does not break your heart, you may need to start seeking Christ afresh. The mark of the man that knows Christ is that he becomes jealous for the name of Christ. And for the cause of Christ. He does not stand idle, or quiet, when leaders openly walk contrary to the Gospel they have been entrusted with. Apostle Paul was such a man. When Apostle Peter, unfortunately, did not walk according to the full dictates of the Gospel, Paul did not consider Peter’s age, seniority in ministry, closeness to Jesus, etc. Rather, he spoke openly to insist on the standards of the Gospel. And truth was restored and followed. Are you surprised that God did not joke with Apostle Paul? (He alone wrote about two-thirds of the New Testament). That is a man that truly stands for God, and for the truth. And it is such men that we lack in the church today. Men that fear and honour Christ above every other consideration. And prove it by their words and action.


After God has now spoken to us though unbelievers and Muslims, if we do not yield, who else will He send? The devil? No. He will send His judgment for our stiff-neckedness and sealed lips. And His judgment will be severe. A little over a year ago, I clearly heard the Lord say this, “If the Church in Nigeria is not careful, Christianity will become a byword, and then become history in that nation.” Heavy words. And be in no doubt that the Lord will do exactly as He said. Unless we repent. And repent fast… If we acknowledge, privately and openly, that our leaders’ eyes are waxing dim (in the manner of Eli), will we not be motivated to pray for them so that God can step in and heal us? By keeping quiet and pretending that all is well in the household of faith, are we not HELPING IN THE DESTRUCTION of our leaders that are falling like pack of cards before the onslaught of mammon?


Please do not deceive yourself that we must not wash the church’s dirty linen in public. The public have eyes. And they are seeing our dance of shame. There’s no surprise about this, for Christ Himself put His church on the mountaintop where all can see it. He said we are the light of the world, and no man lights a candle and hides it. “A city set on a hill cannot be hid…”, He told them in Matthew 5:13-16.


God is not a God of mago-mago and wuru-wuru (local parlance for shadiness). When God allows a matter to blow into the open, such matters must be dealt with openly and transparently. That is godliness. There are some matters that the Lord does not bring into the open while He is giving the perpetrators the opportunity to repent. But when His warnings are ignored, He does allow some issues to come into the open. And the only way to deal with them is openly. In repentance and contrition. In this, God is still glorified.


HOW TO UNSEAL YOUR LIPS.


(1) First, admit that things have gone horribly wrong. And that we are ALL culpable.


(2) Second, start praying DAILY for God’s urgent intervention in the Church in Nigeria. In addition, please team up with other Christians to pray in this manner, weekly or monthly, if possible. Don’t just pray with your spouse alone at home (if you have one), look for one or more people to team up with. Let this urgent matter take you out of your comfort zone and cause you to reach out to other believers that have eyes. Let us light small prayer cells like this all over the country – and abroad (for those who live outside Nigeria). Let us show the Lord that we mean business.


(3) Unless the Lord expressly instructs you otherwise, stop attending churches (or giving your money) to churches where the leaders do not commit to repentance and going back to the Gospel that we all abandoned a few decades ago. The Gospel that puts Christ and His Kingdom at the centre, and makes it all about Him. Not about our needs, our desires, our preferences, etc.


(4) Begin to re-examine all the doctrines that we have been fed within the last twenty years or so by the church. Like the Berean Christians, examine if these things are really so, and if they are not, please TURN AWAY from them. Those that are unwilling to change will be swept away by the tide that is raging now. TIMES HAVE CHANGED, and full compliance with the Word of God is non-negotiable in our days.


(5) Any other step(s) that the Lord will lay in your heart as we all engage with God to rescue us from the path we are treading now.


If we neglect to turn, and turn urgently, we will of a truth soon know that the God we serve can also be a consuming fire! (Hebrews 12:29) As we are not children of disobedience, please let us turn back to the Lord with all our hearts so that we may have a legacy of Christianity to bequeath to our children – if Christ tarries.
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