Africa, Christianity, and Beyond

Christianity is 2000 years old. The whole faith began when Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, gave His life as a ransom for mankind’s salvation. It was for the restoration of the relationship between man and God. You will probably recall that the relationship between God and humans went sour in the Garden of Eden, after which Adam and his wife, Eve, were chased out of their garden home. They were told to go and take care of themselves by tilling the soil from which they were taken.

Due to the sacrifice of Christ, which was a propitiation for sin, humans who wanted to have a new relationship with God were invited to do so. The Lord Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, personally ordered His followers to go and tell everyone the good news. Christianity has never looked back since, despite the fierce opposition that tried to prevent its spread.

The impact of faith then needs to be acknowledged. Christianity, and the light it brought, has largely been credited with being the foundation and fulcrum on which several developments were built. People in Western Civilisation, the Industrial Revolution, and a lot of technological advancements and inventions are some of these. Fortunately, the main purpose of Christianity was never forgotten. This was to change people’s lives, beginning with their new birth. Ethiopia was

not left out of the new development, as one of the earliest Africans to become Christians was an Ethiopian eunuch. Remember him? He received Christ while he was returning to Ethiopia from a trip to Jerusalem. This was between AD 33 and AD 70. This is found in Acts 8. European missionaries also came to Africa, but this was much later. Several of these missionaries arrived in Nigeria a little less than 200 years ago.

Without an iota of doubt, one can say that the missionaries left a great legacy as they were faithful to their calling. They were generally known for their simplicity. Who can forget their work in several parts of Nigeria and Africa? The work done by Catholic, Anglican, and Baptist missionaries stood out. Their hospitals and schools were always the best. Notably, they did what they did for the love of God and humanity.
Along the way, came independence from colonial rule for many African countries.

However, in Nigeria, the politicians who took over from the colonialists were themselves kicked out of power by soldiers after just five years, many of them being killed. This was because of mismanagement. Sadly, the military adventurists only worsened the situation. The country is yet to recover from the inexcusable tyranny of the military era. Meanwhile, Christianity was still in fairly good shape.

However, things took a dangerous turn in the late seventies and early eighties when standards began to plummet rapidly. Among other things, governments had begun to take over institutions, notably mission schools. It was around this time that cults of personality were building around church leaders. It was also the beginning of one-man churches and ministries. The one-man/family ministry was an American model. It was popularised in Nigeria by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa. Not surprisingly, many of the older general overseers that we have in Nigeria today were his products, but these aggressive millionaires, like their mentor, have refused to see simplicity as a virtue. The era of the pastor-preneur had arrived, and with it, the church’s departure from sound biblical teaching.

The rot was now setting in, what with the coming of large-scale falsehood and false doctrine in the churches. In the absence of the rule of law, Satanic religious leaders, false prophets, and teachers were emboldened to practice their dubious art. It was deception galore as most churchgoers no longer knew what it actually meant to be a Christian. People were now beginning to take material and financial prosperity as a sign of Christian growth and a sign that God was smiling on them. This time period saw a rise in serious crimes like kidnapping and ritual killings because more occult churches were being built.

On a serious note, with all these things, could one say that the Christian Church has failed? Could one honestly claim that Christianity has caused more problems in Africa than it has solved?I can say boldly that Jesus never fails. The Lord says in John 16 that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Christian Church.

However, there is no doubt that Christian leaders in Africa, especially in Nigeria, have failed woefully, what with the spiritually comatose CAN and PFN. In Nigeria, as in most of Africa, the church is not playing its role as the Pillar of Truth. The Church has become so weak that it can’t stop the government from doing things that aren’t in the best interest of the people.

The resulting situation has been an increase in godlessness, unheard of sins and iniquities as occultic bishops, pastors, and prophets hold sway. The Church of Jesus Christ has been turned into a den of robbers and a grand partner in sin with conscienceless government officials. This is despite the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest emancipator known to man. There is a shameful coalition of pastors, politicians, and traditional rulers who are stopping Christ’s efforts to free Africans spiritually and in every other way.

You may ask: what is the way out? My opinion is that Christians in Nigeria and all Africa must begin to defer only to the Holy Bible and shun these corrupt Christian leaders. Serious intercessors must rise up in their millions to pray so that the Lord can reclaim His Church from these marauders. People should start meeting in homes and serious bible teaching should return. There is no doubt that these would usher us into a mighty revival. Do not forget that a revival is a revolution in itself. It is a spiritual fightback led by the Holy Spirit against the forces of evil. What it lacks is the bloodshed that usually accompanies a political revolution.

However, if people believe that it is acceptable for things to continue as they are, they should be left alone.The chances are, then, that those who refuse to be guided by the radar of history will be taught by the rocks.

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