Sam AwedaWednesday, March 12, 2014
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Text of Radio Broadcast on KW FM 99, Sunday March 09 2014

he Church in recent years has been criticized very severely by the public over a range of issues but mostly bothering on the high profile life style of certain of her Pastors.

So, I am addressing today, the topic "The Church of God Today; Blessing or Reproach"

Let us bow our hearts reverently before God as we pray.

"The Church of God Today; Blessing or Reproach"

The Church in recent years has been criticized very severely by the public over a range of issues but mostly bothering on the high profile life style of certain of her Pastors.

It is not unexpected that mouths should wag because Christians in the past, particularly those who claim the Born-again experience were identified as un-social, who lived a wretched life.

Some Christian sects even have codes for their dressing and other life styles.

Same public have viewed these behaviors as excesses in what they refer to as "mingling madness with religion"

But in the twinkling of an eye, new arrivals took possession of the camp of the "Born again" These do not tow the path of their predecessors, with their low profile style of life. They are flamboyant.

To see the ones who were once expected to live a lowly style of life driving the best and most expensive art-of-the arts automobiles, not only employing chauffers but having riders in front, back and at the sides, with siren blowing as they move around, living in expanse mansions and above all owing aircrafts, will certainly raise eyebrow and attract comments.

I however wonder whether the general condemnation passed on the Church in total and all the sweeping uncharitable comments passed on her is really justified when one compares the percentage of the high profile Pastors with the percentage of those who labour hard, doing God's business, who put down all they have for the sake of mankind and thereby, struggle to feed their families and unable to live modestly even.

Unfortunately prolific writers and commentators on social media rarely notice this camp. But quick to condemn the Church in general; throwing the bath and water with the baby in the trash.

These commentators are even putting pressure on the government to start to tax Churches.

Among the roles of the Church is modelling the society to right behavior, which in essence makes the running of the government easy; so the Church and the government are in reality, partners in progress.

It is for this reason that the governments of the world, which appreciate the role of the Church do not and cannot deride her, rather encourage her and offer her incentives.

As for the high profile Pastors, I only hope that the source where they fund their living is genuine and godly.

My concern however is 'am not sure if this is the case in some instances as their supporters are not so masked, and they are frequently listed among those whose activities have ruined the economy of the nation and pauperized not a few. Still my belief is that everyone will bear his or her burden and accountable to his or her creator.

Worrisome as those may be, what is more worrisome to me is how these pastors with large followers are not able to use their large congregations to trigger the country positively to wipe out ungodliness, unrighteousness, corruption, lack of consideration for the other fellow; wipe out being difficult at work, accepting gratification before performing the duties for which they are paid.

There is only one sermon that is urgent in Nigeria today, which is 'that everyone should live a life of godliness and righteousness' because if we all are committed to godliness and righteousness, it is just normal that all things that the people troop to the highways for, keeping night vigils in Churches and prayer houses with marathon fasting will pursue them naturally.

This is because if we all live godly, hospitals will function and all manner of illnesses for which people seek healing and for which they travel long distances and visit mountains and ills will be taken care of. We would not be incurring debts to travel to India for medical treatment.

Our environment will be clean. Dirty environment breeds diseases. Cleanliness conquers all manners of diseases as the adage goes.

This is what Jesus meant when He Said "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

What does the Lord mean by this counsel?

If we all commit ourselves to godliness and righteousness, no one will be greedy and take more than his share of the nation's bread.

If we all are committed to godliness and righteousness, we will pursue doing things that will make our fellow citizens comfortable. Then electricity will flow for those who need electricity to do the jobs, which will provide them their daily needs, water will flow.

If we all are committed to godliness and righteousness, money voted for infrastructures will not be diverted to private use.

Government officials will not allocate all the yearly budget for their meals and running of their offices. The plight of the common man will be uppermost in their minds. By this our towns and cities will look like dwellings of human beings and not look like animal sheds, as they appear today; money will be available to build and maintain roads and provide free education at all levels.

Unfortunately, only a few pulpits preach these. The pulpits that control large congregations and are rich say that these are not their calling.

To be contd