Apart from stuffs like the up-coming elections in Edo and Ondo States, one of the most trending news items today in Nigeria is the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA 2020). President Mohammadu Buhari has since signed the act into law after the bill was passed by the National Assembly.
While the act appears to be one of the best laws so far put in place by the present regime to encourage investors, especially Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs), it has come under the attack of many non governmental agencies and religious bodies which include churches and mosques.
Those opposed to the CAMA law are vexed by the provision that permits the federal government through its agencies to appoint trustees to take over the running of organizations such churches and mosques that are found wanting in the eyes of government. Good as the intention of government may be, this is obviously an attack on the Christian faith in Nigeria. And the attack is more on the new generation churches, commonly referred to as Pentecostal missions. This is so because even if the law affects Islam, the religion is not as ‘denominationalised’ as Christianity. Even among the Pentecostal denominations, the attack is aimed at a few of the churches which seem to be commanding a lot of followership with attendant stupendous wealth of their founders. If this act and many of such are ignored, they portend great danger to the spread of the Christian religion and thereby weakening evangelical strategies.
One of the arguments of the affected organizations is that they were not carried along before the bill was passed and signed into law. This may be true but it has once again exposed the gross indolence among the Nigerian Christians of today. Were there no Christians in the National Assembly who saw the bill right from presentation to final stage? If they were, what role did they play? This question is pertinent because if these folks were in the spirit, they would have seen the handwriting on the wall and alerted their churches with a view to halting it spiritually or otherwise.
For the avoidance of doubts, Christianity is a way of life and not just a religion. And as a religion, it is not one that lacks power, even though it is beginning to look so due to the display of spiritual indolence among its adherents who appear to have forgotten the exploits of men like Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Meshach, Shedrack and Abednego just to mention a few without forgetting the Rock Himself, Jesus Christ who is the guiding light of the set.
Instead of settling issues prayerfully in the spirit, what we find today among many Christians is rash competition among the different denominations which display one form of showmanship or the other with no spiritual impact on members. The ‘shakara’ attitude of members of the body during ceremonies such as burials, marriages and birthdays only add impetus to the notion by unbelievers that there is no difference between them and Christians as they all conduct themselves in the same way publicly and secretly. This is a major obstacle to effective evangelism. To buttress this point, a senior pastor in one of the most striving Pentecostal churches in Nigeria has just accepted an Islamic title from a Muslim cleric and a traditional ruler in Edo State.
As a young man, David was faced with the challenge of dealing with a giant soldier called Goliath who daily harassed the nation of Israel. He did not go out looking for where to purchase arms to match those of the giant soldier. Rather, he came against him (Goliath) in the name of the Lord and a small stone the size of those usually deployed by small children for shooting catapult. He killed the well kitted soldier instantly.
A long time ago, some witches reportedly went for a mission at the Redemption Camp where Pastor Enoch Adeboye holds sway. Without anybody shooting anything close to a gun, they fell down from the sky over the camp where they were flying like birds. They confessed to the congregation later of their evil intentions which was met with a stronger spiritual power in control of the camp premises. It was almost the same tale for two young men who went on a suicide mission to kill Pastor Chris Oyakhilome some years ago at the Convocation Arena, Ikeja owned by Christ Embassy. They entered the premises quite alright. But before they could gain entrance into where the man of God was, their explosives got detonated and wounded them seriously. These hoodlums later confessed to their heinous crime of being sent to eliminate Pastor Chris.
Even recently, Pastor Enoch Adeboye was removed by a legal directive from the federal government as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG. Adeboye did not go to court. Rather, he obeyed the law and accepted to be the Overseer of RCCG all over the world except Nigeria. It did not take long before the law was reversed by those who made it. Today, Adeboye is back to his seat as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God world-wide.
Incidentally today, when the church is attacked, it is the same Christians that are used to execute the agenda. A case in point was the Covid-19 pandemic. Most Christians threw their faith-based positions overboard and embraced the fear that Covid-19 was a mighty giant that could never be overcome by faith in Christ. The few pastors who dared speak in line with their faith-based teachings over the years were silenced by fellow Christians with the support of unbelievers whose intentions were hidden from them (Christians). Even though churches and mosques were shut, the impact was felt more by the church due to the nature of the Christian worship as opposed to others who could worship anywhere. Shrines and other occult places of worship were not tampered with.
There are also a few Christians in Nigeria who are quick to react each time the body of Christ is threatened. But they often opt for violent protests as if God is helpless in matters concerning His children as the bible teaches.
The word, “Christian” is not a title. Neither is it an entitlement to anyone. It must therefore be seen as a rare privilege to be addressed as such. And this gesture must be reciprocated by attitudinal display of spiritual authority and physical comportment worthy of emulation by our close contacts in the society. In other words, those who are not prepared to study the bible can “read” the believer and be converted. This was the case at Antioch where the followers of Christ were first referred to as Christians.
BY AUGUSTINE OMILO