CORONAVIRUS: OUR MEN OF GOD SHOULD LEAVE POLITICAL & ETHNIC DEBATES FOR THE NWODOS, KAYODES, DOKUBUS, ADAMS (ETC) OF THIS WORLD & GO FOR THE POWER IN CHRISTIANITY:
The caption of the essay is somewhat lengthy. It is intentional. I wanted to give the summary of the crux of this outing. I go this way. The coronavirus plague or scourge has further exposed the missing link in our worship of God or in our Christianity. And the men of God should be blamed for this omission. Or, they should be held responsible for this missing flavor in our Christianity. Believe me, Christianity is not like any other religion. Christianity is not an ordinary religion. It has nothing to do with philosophy or oratory power. There is a special power that is inherent in Christianity. And that is what makes the difference. What separates it from other religious. That is what makes Christianity thick. That was what made the prophets and apostles before us strong, courageous and outstanding. They had the divine power and didn’t need anybody’s approval in the exercise of that power.I could not reconcile churches cancelling services and programmes because of coronavirus with what Christianity is all about. I could not understand again, the difference between what the schools and the governments were doing over this dreaded Coronavirus with what the church in Nigeria is also doing. Governments at all levels cancelled programmes. Authorities of institutions closed down their schools. And the churches were also stopping programmes. Cancelling communion. Or cancelling the use of one cup for communion. Even the Anglican church advertised on Sunday the indefinite postponement of the meeting of Archbishops and Bishops Scheduled for March 21 to March 24, 2020. The church also cancelled the Dinner in honour of primate Nicholas Okoh slated for Tuesday March 24, 2020. I had chosen to mention the Anglican Church for the sake of emphasis. All the churches are guilty of this “offence”. Bishops Enoch Adebayo, David Oyedepo, Mike Okonkwo etc, were reported in the media to have held their Sunday services online. All for the fear of Coronavirus. I see all these as blackmail against God and against the church of Jesus Christ. It is also blackmail against the word of God. And against the death of Christ on the cross. Where is the power in Christianity? Where lies our faith? Where lies our trust in God and in His promise? Where is the power, the death and resurrection of Jesus signify or portend? Paul told the Thessalonians, “for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).Could have the church in Antioch closed or cancel programmes for the worship of God because of Coronavirus or any other plague? Jesus told the apostles, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Including Nigeria. And when they got this exceptional power, they began to situate things. Their hands, lips and tongues were all filled with this divine power. Peter told the lame man “silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). That was the power of God in action. As it was in the days of Peter and John, so it should be in the days of Bishop Matthew Kukah, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Bishop Anthony Obinna, Bishop Enoch Adebayo, Pastor Tunde Bakare etal. And indeed, since God is the same, yesterday, today and forever”, (Hebrew 13:8). With this power, Philip destroyed the fetish business of Simon who was into sorcery and had used that to bewitch the people of Samaria. And when Simon saw the kind of power Philip had demonstrated he offered him money and said, “Give me also this power that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost, But Peter told him, thy money perish with thee, because thou hast that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8:8-20). Paul and Silas prayed while in prison and there was great earthquake so that the foundation of the prison was shaken and immediately all the doors of the prison were opened and every one’s hands were loosed” (Acts 16:26). Where has this power gone?James 5: 17 – 18) says” Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit”. We are talking about the power of God in action. Elijah deciding that there would be no rain on earth and it happened. What has happened to that power? Did it go on exile?. If prophet Elijah could exercise such power, why can’t we have Elijah of our generation. Jesus told the apostles greater things shall ye do in my name. Ask me, Psalm 91:1-15 should have been our consolation over the Coronavirus disease. But verse 7 in particular says “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee”. Verse 10 adds “there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling”. Read the whole chapters and see that the panic over Coronavirus is unnecessary especially on the part of the church, the clergy, the laity and all those concerned.Read this “and Moses stretched forth his hand towards Egypt and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They saw not one another” (Exodus 10:22-23). Still moving, “And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt. But against any of the children of Israel, shall not a dog Move his tongue…” (Exodus 11:5-7). “The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Psalm 127:1 says “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman watcheth but in vain”. David said “I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). He also alluded “some will trust in their chariots and some in their horses, but we would always call upon the name of our Lord”.Again, why did Christ die and resurrected. We have been told and also read that on the cross, Jesus destroyed all sicknesses or diseases and defeated all the forces of darkness. Why the panic among our spiritual leaders because of ordinary coronavirus that would only destroy the body and not the soul. Why did Jesus say, “by the stripes on my body you were healed of all your sicknesses”. (1Peter 2:24) The emphasis is the word “were”. In other words, we are already healed of coronavirus or any other disease or ailment. What makes the difference is this power. That was why Jesus didn’t deliver the church or Christianity to orators, academicians, philosophers, and members of the Sanhindrin. He called fishermen, tax collectors and so on. And gave them power over demons and diseases.Our men of God should leave public lectures for lawyers, lecturers etc. They should leave ethnic issues or debates for heads of ethnic groups and associations like Nnia Nwado, Gani Adams, Alhaji Junaid, Asari Dokubo. They should leave political debates for politicians and professionals within and outside the system. I am serious on all these. They should devote their time to always seek the face of God and having this power that is inbuilt in Christianity. They only need this power to position things even in the political clime. The demonstration of this power just on two issues or occasions would settle the whole argument. If the Archbishops and Bishops are cancelling religious or church programmes because of Coronavirus and they were bold enough to say that, what would they expect lay men like us to do. The church must rise. Rise to show or demonstrate that they are the ambassadors of Christ. Prophets of the most high God. There is too much talking by the church leaders. Actions speak louder than words. David told Goliath, this battle isn’t mine but of the Lord. The rest is history. Just one sentence and the battle was settled in favour of David. Brethren, we shall continue to clap for Jesus.
*Written by Hon Samuel Onwuemeodo*