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October 2015, Nigeria is 55 years old as a nation. It is a common feeling amongst citizens of Third World nations to compare themselves with the developed world, some of which are two, three centuries old. In the Book of Matthew 5:13-16 King James Version (KJV)
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his saviour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
* Would you say that Nigeria is where she is today because we Christians have not lived up to our billings at the light of the world and salt of the earth?
* Would you say the failure in Nigeria is largely the failure of the church, pastors and congregation alike?
* Would you say if the church plays its part well, Nigeria would change in a matter of time?
* How do you rate Christianity in Nigeria?
| I am of the view that our brand of Christianity is seriously lacking in terms of reducing the gap between the alter and the pew. Our revival must start from the Church and empty into the community. Evidence of our failure as church leaders, and the churches remains clear from seeing the phenomenal growth in church attendance without corresponding impact in the society.
I insisted that in terms of attendance, no nation can boast of the kind numbers we have in a single service in the world. As our Nation continues to grope in the dark, there is need for real churches and their leaders to light houses, show the people of Nigeria what matters in life. This we cannot do by pontificating through sermons. There is need to lead from the front. A successful pastor in a failed or failing Nation is a laughable euphemism. Its like a doctor who declare surgery successful but people found the patient dead. At the risk of throwing away both the baby and the bath water, May I opine that we have come a long way from our days in SU. We only need to throw in the sickle for a harvest through constructive engagement with structures of state .The misnomer called separation of Church from state was wrongly interpreted. Separation of is different from separation from. Democracy is basically inspired from the Spirit of God. It’s taken from Isaiah 33v22. Spirit filled men alone can best practice it and interpret it.”Spiritual things are spiritually discerned” .Most that masquerade as Christians in the corridors of power are hardly our own. They are mostly usurpers that come to take advantage of our access to the people. Soon after election, you cannot account for them. Enough of the synopsis. Our church leaders must develop the boldness to engage the state. Otherwise the rigmarole will continue.
– Bishop Oscar Ossai, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senior Pastor, City of Refuge Ministries International, Lagos, Nigeria
| The church has not lived up to its billing. It has been high jacked by money mongers who substituted God’s tenets for mad prosperity preachings. The lavish lifestyles of some pastors and their family is not a plus either. While some fanatics in Islam promote violence, Christian fanatics promote stealing!
Segun Fagbemi, Lagos, Nigeria
|The problem is not Christians but the brand of Christianity that are predominantly taught in our churches. The Nigerian Christian is not a bad person; however, the state of the nation reveals the character of the nation and the character of the nation comes from the doctrines that are taught in the churches in the nation. There are many outstanding men and women of GOD in Nigeria. Yet, we are not where we should be in many areas.
So the answer is simple. While we thank GOD and do commend the efforts of several well meaning and outstanding preachers and churches in Nigeria, there is an urgent need to teach Biblical Sound Doctrine and balanced messages in our churches. If we want to change, we must humble ourselves and focus on messages that will produce the fruit of the spirit.
* Would you say the failure in Nigeria is largely the failure of the church, pastors and congregation alike?
ANSWER: I will not say that Nigeria has failed. Nigeria has issues that demonstrate that character building, love for others and love for the nation are missing in the foundation and minds of many people. This is not success; but it is not failure. It is a powerful opportunity for preachers to go back to the Bible and teach it properly to individuals, villages, cities, states and the nation.
* Would you say if the church plays its part well, Nigeria would change in a matter of time?
I agree with this assessment. This is the main reason where we formed APN, African Pastors Network. Our goal is to equip African leaders and empower them to teach biblically sound messages in order to save people from going to hell as well as rescuing their nations from unnecessary sufferings.Apostle Ezra Aniebue
Global President, African Pastors Network
|What the enemy programmed for Nigeria is even worse, but for the prayers of the Christians. Election came & went, we still stayed as one…. the boko haram issue, did not destroy us & so many other vices, like kidnapping, despite the prediction of the western country that the country will soon be no more….so Christian really prayed, & God answered, although it could still be better..
Yes, some parts are caused by the aforementioned names, but some large part is caused by some arrows that do not like Nigeria’s existence… the pastors, are busy looking for fame & worldly pleasures, the congregation are filled with their own problems & looking for a faster method of solving it… thereby marketing with different church who can solve their problems… but largely, I notice, in most churches nowadays, prayers are always made for Nigeria…
When church play their part well, it will go a long way for Nigeria… the youths will be taught of the Lord instead of youthful lust, we will learn how to be good citizens for the country we are in & things will be better for us…Moji Awaye, Leadway Insurance, Lagos Nigeria.
Many factors are responsible for what the church is today: (1) The orientation (2) The background (3) The Individual stand (4) The knowledge from the bible (5) The government. That is why even though we attend churches, we don’t have the same believe.
What I consider wrong is okay with others. Even our elders of faith don’t have the same stand. What some pastors condemned is accepted by others. You can now imagine the division in Christendom. This division was in existence before, during and even after Jesus days and up to date and would ever be.
The government allows anyone to open church, not minding if such had quarrel where he was coming from. So far he has money and possibly could speak in tongue, he automatically becomes a General Overseer. The division in the body of Christ can not allow our light to shine or our salt to be of value.
Definitely the society ought not to be what it is today. The light has almost turned to darkness and the salt has almost lost its value. When I read the book of Isaiah 59: 1 to end, I saw the true picture of Nigeria.John Bello,
The failure of Nigeria is largely due to the fact that the church failed in her responsibility of preaching and standing on truth. Some of our leaders prefer to be friend those in government than speaking the truth in love to them. The church was born to win and prevail over darkness. The bible say righteous exalts a Nation, a nation where things are not done right regardless of who is on the throne, it will fail. It does not matter whether Christian or Muslim. What matter here is he that keeps the principles of the kingdom which is discipling, to do it right no matter the cost.
We all have failed both pastors and the congregation, however the shepherds are with the responsibility of leading the sheep, the pastors are the one with the vision not the congregation.
Yes if the church plays her role well, we would have had a flourishing country by now. But the church first refuse to obey the voice of God. The church like Joseph in Egypt should see vision for the nation and seek the blessing of God.
Again let me say not all hope has lost. We can still go back to the drawing board. The dreams of our founding fathers though there are challenges but they will surely come through like it was with Joseph.
Nigeria is the Joseph of Africa, full of dreams and her brothers hated him. Joseph can be seen as Nigeria. From the story of Joseph, we learn patience: every dream takes time to become reality and it comes with its challenges.
Joseph came across many obstacles in order to finally achieve his dream; it took thirteen years to come to fruition.
A quick reminder of all he went through:
a) His own brothers hated him and sold him as a slave;
b) A vicious lie was told about him by Potiphar, his master’s wife;
c) He was wrongfully sent to prison;
d) Even in prison he was forgotten by the chief butler who promised to tell Pharaoh about his predicament;
e) All of the above would have left him feeling lonely and in much mental anguish. Additionally the Egyptians did not eat with the Hebrews, so he probably had to eat alone before his family arrived. Therefore success comes with challenges.Rev. Yakubu Pam,
Assemblies of God, Jos, Plateau State. Nigeria.
|In light of scripture and current happenings in Nigeria, I like to state first and foremost Nigeria is not a theocracy but that being as it maybe we must realised that the problem of Nigeria is that we have lost the fear of God, both the clergy and layman. There is no fear of God in the Pulpit nor in the pew. We have replaced it with the love of self. The craziness that is going on in the name of Christianity has gagged our voice sir. Take prayer for instance where are those who will pray for the nation as watchmen, watching to see what he will say to us. We are busy looking for survival. Take the inordinate drive to acquire material things, is it not so we can be accepted as equal by the world. Tell me which prophets were ever accepted by their generation. The prolific action of so called prophets make the world Laugh at us. The church lost it when it became materialistic. We were born to influence our environment instead we have been influenced. Government can only be influenced by men like Daniel who says no to kings meat. Today’s Daniel are feasting at the Kings table. If we are the light of the world and therefore the light of Nigeria how great the darkness. No wonder we groping under the noon day sun. My joy is that there is hope, I know that The Lord has
Bishop Robert Aguebor,
The church ought to be an institution/agent of development. In Nigeria’s 55 years of independence, the church has done little or nothing to foster national unity. It is a shame that the church has allowed its leadership to be hijacked by some corrupt and tribal jingoists under its auspices. I wish to state unequivocally that the doctrines and teachings of Christianity encourage active participation in “governance”. The retrogressive state of Nigeria is largely due to the passive attitude of born again Christians in politics. It is therefore, my opinion that the church must groom and nurture leaders for better governance.
Paul Alobi Iyambi,
Nigeria is where it is because Christians have kept away from politics, giving rooms for unbelievers to rule. Also, the few ones who partake in politics have not lived up to their billings as Christians. Even the so called religious leaders have even soiled their hands with corrupt practices.
I also agree that the failure of Nigeria is partly due to the ineffective Christianity of both the pastors or congregation. As Christians, we suppose to be a shinning light for others. A role model. But the reverse is the case as we have abdicated our responsibilities.
The church has failed tremendously in its responsibilities. Its no longer saying the truth because the preachers want to be rich. Most pastors have neglected the truth in pursuit of better life. Hence the truth is suffering and its killing the system.
Edegbai Stephen, Journalist, Lagos.
| While I will not base the failure of Nigeria on the Church alone because Christianity is not the only religion recognize in Nigeria, I will say the church has contributed largely to our present state. Hardly will you see a Pastor telling a politician the truth. Last election greatly reveal the state of Christian leadership in Nigeria. It simply revealed that our leaders in CAN or PFN are not different from politicians which they are suppose to correct, spiritually nurture and disciple.
The problem of Nigeria is not that of congregation but of spiritual leadership. Like pastor like members. Nigeria Church members are one of the best ardent followers in the world, can even be gullible. If they are well led by their pastors we will have fantastic society. Pastors are our problems. Many are no more taking the sheep to the shepherd, they only skin the sheep for their pockets and pots. If pastors can wake up, the nation will turn around.
True messages are lost. In my last count I found about 15 lost messages of the Church. Things that were there when I just got to know God but I hardly hear anybody preaching it today. For example sanctification, holiness, repentance, rapture, second coming, righteous living, heaven, hell fire, final judgement, etc are all lost. Any Church that fails to preach on these is not a Church, it is a ‘HURCH’ (THAT IS WHAT YOU HAVE WHEN YOU REMOVE C (CHRIST) FROM CHURCH) It will will HURT the SHEPHERD and destroy the SHEEP.Pastor Bisi Adewale, Family Boosters Ministries, Lagos, Nigeria.
|The failure of Nigeria today is not only due to the failure of the Church, pastor & congregation alike but also what I called “Elite Failure”, according to the statement by the present Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, when he got the STV Man of the Year 2012, he said “the problem with Nigeria is not from the common man on the street but rather the Elite who thinks Nigeria is his kingdom to rule.
Our pastors rather preach the Truth to this ‘elites’ would rather pay obeisance to them in order get recognition. These elites no longer respect or have any regard for these pastors. The role of the church in nation building is to stand in the gap for the nation, its leaders, people etc. The Bible in the book of Jeremiah admonishes us to pray for the land where we dwell because it’s in its peace that we found our own peace. The bible also says “if my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray, He the Lord says He will bless them and heal the land. The role of the church in nation building is a great role because everything on the surface of the earth came and belong to the Lord. It is only when Pastor, Bishops, Pope can get leaders into reverence and fear of the Lord then shall that Nation experience insurmountable growth in every facet of the economy. If the church can set the record by speaking the Truth without any fear of whoever, then Nigeria can and will experience change.Bukky Alozie, Businesswoman, Lagos.
| After carefully going through the questions, I cannot necessarily say that Nigeria is where she is today because we Christians have not lived up to our billings as being the light of the world and the salt of the earth. However, Christians could play a very big role in forming the country.
To start with, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. With this, it is known that we have 250 ethnic groups and different religions. According to an 18 December 2012 report, the Pew Research Center stated that 49.3% of Nigerians are Christians, 48.8 are Muslims and 1.9 are of indigenous and other religions or unaffiliated. As earlier stated, the number of Christians in Nigeria is less than half of the country’s population. Due to this, one could conveniently say that Christians cannot be blamed for the state at which the country has found herself. Even when Jesus was on earth in flesh and blood, there was a lot of mishaps, recorded and not recorded in the Bible. With this, one cannot say that the failure of Nigeria is the failure of the church, pastors and the congregation. In the end, the only thing Christians can do is to live according to God’s will and pray about the condition of the country. After these have been done, whatever result that is derived is the will of God, not that of man. We can only evaluate ourselves and act better as Christians in that we have to let go of our selfishness and practice what we preach. In my own opinion, the main problem of Nigeria is Individual Crisis. We have gotten to the place where “it has to be about me”. When we are to elect, an average Nigerian would rather elect someone from his state or depending on the individual’s geographical proximity to the electorate, where he knows he will benefit, hereby putting away the thoughts of other Nigerians and what is best for the country at large, yet, this is the same thing we blame our leaders for doing. However, this is not an evaluation that should be done by Christians only but by every individual in the country, which boils down to the fact that Christians cannot be faulted in any way for the state in which the country, Nigeria, has found herself. As for the church playing it’s part, we can only live better lives individually and obey God’s commandment of not baring false witnesses or prophesying what isn’t God’s word as we experienced during the last elections when pastors came out to prophesy what turned out wrong or emotionally blackmail the congregation to vote for the pastor’s choice and publicly pray against those that go against that choice. In conclusion, we all have our individual responsibilities to become better people, regardless of our religion or ethnicity.
| An assessment of Nigeria as a sovereign nation connotes different things to different people depending on ones perspective, vista or lens through which it is viewed. Endowed with immense potentials, Nigeria at independence in 1960 was looked at with envy and bated breath in anticipation that this giant colossus would take its pride of place within the comity of Nations within two decades of Nationhood. Sadly, five and a half decades later, Nigeria is still tottering; a shattered dream and broken promises. In one of my courses at the undergraduate level, “Ethics and Accountability”, Prof. W.O. Alli, said a study categorised Nigeria amongst countries without ethical values! As shocking and disappointing as that was, a clear full scrutiny of our state of being affirms that sad reality. Christianity is not a religion but a way of life. Nigeria is where she is because Christians (followers of the Way) have not exemplified the clear teachings on being light and salt. In Matthew 28: 19-20, our Lord and Saviour in The Great Commission said, “Go, make disciples, baptise them in my Name and teach them to obey everything”. In a nutshell, Christ Jesus is saying a disciple is a follower who obeys and does. Are Christians in Nigeria followers of Christ? It calls to question seriously our being light to light up the “darkness” that permeates every sphere embedded in our driving culture, the market place, schools, businesses, governance etc. With a Church on almost every street in Nigeria, the supposed light is absent. We are all culpable for the failure of the Nigerian state. In the political sphere, is not ‘business as usual?’ Where are the Daniels and Josephs who operated and succeeded in a godless system ruled by heathens? Where are the Micaiahs, Elijahs and Samuels that confronted kings? Light is energy, a source of illumination. Salt is a preservative and gives taste. The reality of the new creature, being light and salt is lost on the Church in Nigeria. The change we desire in Nigeria must begin by the conduct of every believer. As light we must shine. It is becoming increasingly difficult to do business with ‘believers’. Why?The craze on prosperity has thrown up all sorts of shady characters to lay claim to the Church. Thieves in the public/ civil/ private sectors are not berated obviously because of tithes and offerings. Any encounter with Jesus that does not lead to a changed life is absolute bunkum! Christ said, what use is salt when it loses its saltiness? The pulpit must ‘shift’ from its hitherto message full of letters without the Spirit that convicts into the message of true salvation. When Christians begin to put into practice the teachings of Christ and obeying same, there will be a ripple effect that will impact every sector of our national life. Psalm 128: 1 says, “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in His ways”
|With the population of Christians/church goers in Nigeria, which has obviously increased in recent times, the Christ like behavior is not reflecting in our lives and this has trickled into our communities and country as a whole. The attitude of Christians and so called men of God is nothing to emulate. The average Nigerian by default is malicious, Selfish and just looking for daily bread Being a member of a religious community should increase one’s duty to serve others in the community. It is a call to serve.
There should be decrease in crime, domestic Violence, corruption etc.We have mega churches and churches have become big brands. I shy away from meeting Nigerians because the first question is which “church do you attend”. Churches have become a social ground which on its own is acceptable but we have taken our “babalawo” mentality to churches and expect miracles like in Nollywood. When these Miracles are not forth coming, we lose interest and hope and run to another.
Church is more than just entertainment, having large numbers of people attending services or hearing messages of empowerment from the pulpit that makes one feel good. Church is the lifeline of any society. II Timothy 3:1-5. Drastic times call for drastic measures.
The church should always strive to meet the needs of men and women as it brings the good news of hope and the salvation message of Jesus Christ. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.Vivid Idah,
London United Kingdom.
Nigeria is where it is today because the Church has failed to do its duty as the salt of the world eg as a growing child the Church is a place of correction but these days we value money more than fear of God and if the head of a fish is rotten all the other parts are too.
There is total system collapse in Nigeria because the systems at home has collapsed the home make the congregation and Pastor alike.
If the Church I.e the families plays their role well the church will be what it used to be while I was growing up we will all live in the fear of God and have a better society. Nigeria will rise again.