FROM THE PREACHER"S LENSES
|Sunday, November 11, 2018|
any problems confront us as a nation, which are deterring our progress.
One is tribal difference.
The one from my observation and judgement, which has cruelly done us the most terrible havoc, is religious differences.
And it is not from any of our traditional, native religions but Islam and Christianity, which often results into drawing of swords against each other involving lots of loss of lives.
But in all reasonable senses, should this be, particularly with the two religions claiming the same root?
The two trace their origin to same patriarch, father Abraham otherwise known as Ibrahim but unfortunately the same two are the ones that are often caught in conflict.
I have in the past listed the many similarities between the two. And with such many similarities in their code of worship and conduct, I seriously wonder why they resent each other so much?
The truth of the resentment may be difficult to admit but the fact is just the problem of rivalry, usually encountered between children of same father but different mothers.
My sincere belief however is that the two religions can be reconciled where people will be objective and be willing to sincerely consider the available historical facts, face the truth and damn one's inherited ancestral belief and worldly personal gains, which we meanwhile enjoy for belonging to a particular religion but think of eternal home, which is more important.
So today, I will be preaching on "One Solution to the Myriads of problems Confronting Nigeria"
Meanwhile, I will beckon to Deacon Dr. Kayode Samuel to commit this hour into God's hands.
One Solution to the Myriads of problems Confronting Nigeria
One other thing that often worries and bothers me about the negative impact of the differences is what our stake is in Nigeria, why one person will kill or make life difficult for another because the other is not of his religion, when we are neither Jew nor Arab. It is silly in my own opinion.
If I have a great conviction that my faith is the one that can take anyone to heaven, then murdering or intimidating that person who is on the opposite side of my faith is not anything that I can contemplate on.
Rather, I will plead with and gently persuade him to see reasons with me. This is the character God, who is love personified and what He will do because He hates it that anyone lives in hell. He hates it that anyone suffers any kind of hardship.
But why will anyone take the law in his own hands, kill or cause pain for another just because he is of a different faith?
If anyone claims he is doing God's bidding by killing or troubling people of opposite faith, I say he is not doing God's bidding because God is love who has repeatedly said it in the Holy books that He does not want anyone to die a sinner (Ezekiel 33:11; John 3:16) or who will be happy to see something, which he or she has labored on, go into destruction or extinction?
In the same way, God cannot be happy, seeing someone destroy another of His own creation.
God loves everyone irrespective of His or her faith or else He could have made it to rain only on the people of the faith acceptable to Him while those of faith unacceptable to Him starve?
He can do it that only students whose faith is acceptable to Him pass examinations while students of other faiths fail?
He can do it that only people of the faith acceptable to Him are rich and are successful in their vocations and businesses while people of other faiths do not make it in life?
But He (God) did not do all those. He had however set a date when He personally will deal with those who disobey Him. In my opinion, it is that day that everyone should worry about and urgently find out what he should do to escape this judgement of God and the punishment, which will follow.
And so God does not need anyone neither has He commissioned anyone or any religion to kill another person or be unhelpful to him, based on his or her different religion. Certainly those people who murder and unkind to those they refer to as "Kafris" must have misinterpreted the Scripture.
So if anyone hates or murders another person or refuses help to one, for no other reason other than religious differences, with the thought that he is doing it in the name of God, let him realize that God has not sent him. God does not send anyone on such an errand. He is actually doing the bidding of the Devil who does not want us to live in peace among ourselves but at war.
Here is a word of reason; none of us will be the judge on the last day. Only God will. And we all one day will, stand in the judgement/trial box of God including those who are meanwhile murdering people or making life difficult for those they refer to as 'infidels', thinking they are defending God.
But why will some people constitute themselves into juries and judges in a case where they are also culprits because in the sight of God, we are all sinners and deserve to be cast to hell. It just does not sound sensible or logical.
If God is the only judge, why should anyone arrogate the power of judgement to himself on this earth, denying people of faith opposed to them; job, contract, admission to Schools, do them evil or unhelpful to them?
I once lived in an area where my faith is in the minority and certain of my neighbors who are of another faith, inconsequential people anyway, tried everything to make life unbearable for me.
I once saw a sign post, which reads that only people of a certain religion is allowed to enter the area. Who tells him that he is holier than the people of another faith? Unnecessary self righteousness!!
I have heard people in some certain states complain that job appointments into their governments, their agencies and parastatals, including contracts are more easily obtainable for people of a particular faith, discriminating against candidates of other faiths. This is dangerous in a multi-faith society like Nigeria. It has pleased God, to make us to live together in the same country and who is anyone to question Him?
I have also heard numerous complaints in some certain states of how much easier it is, for people of a certain faith to have admission to tertiary institutions than candidates from other faiths. This is equally worrisome.
I have heard it said that people of a particular faith say that it is permissible for them to cheat people of opposite religion and by fire by force govern them. This also poses danger in a pluralistic society like Nigeria and will continue to deter our progress.
I have personally heard some Clerics make public announcements on the mega phone at their different places of worship, preach to their different congregations that they should cast their votes only for candidates from their mother (i.e their faith).
This also is very dangerous and it has in no small measure contributed a lot, to our poverty as Politicians are able to use it to evade prosecution of their loot of the public treasury. They hide under the platform of their different religions. Because these politicians have one time or the other given donations, to their places of worship and further taken good care of the leaders of their faith, they thus become untouchable from prosecution because their faith leaders will defend them.
While it is ok that we followers obey our Spiritual leaders, it is not a sin for us ourselves to adequately scrutinize the characters of the various people seeking our votes. The Bible in the book of the Acts of the Apostle described the people of Berea as 'noble' because they returned home to check if what they were told in the Synagogue were true (Acts 17:11).
We vote on faith lines when the people we vote for, themselves know very little about the religion and incapable of following its rules or willfully and flagrantly flout them.
We vote on faith line and they make life miserable for us and when salaries are not paid, we dip our hands into all kinds sinful behavior in order to survive. Will they be able to plead for us on the judgement day, when they themselves are on trial and on their way to hell? For them, it is ok, at least they have had a good life on earth, they can afford to spend their eternal life in hell while in our own case we suffer on earth because we allow a wicked person to administer our lives because he is of our faith and we end up in hell. What an unreasonable act!
Have they for once, irrespective of their religion, acted godly in the distribution of the nation's wealth? Once elected, they become friends. Their religious differences do not stop them from conspiring against our wealth.
According to the World Bank, they constitute only 1% of the population, yet they alone and their families grab 80% of the nation's wealth.
Their presence is felt only when an election is due. They come to us with the same promises, same lies and deceits every four years.
They deceive us with some God forbidden cotton materials (Ankara), Sugar, rice, motorbikes etc and we afterwards resume our lives of poverty for another four years.
In the book of St. Luke 10, the story was told of a Law Professor who asked the Lord Jesus who his neigbour was. Jesus responded with a story of a Jew who was attacked on the highway by some bandits who left him half dead. A Priest and an assistant Priest at different times, children of his mother; his religion, holy people, came by, saw him in pain but passed by, offering no help. Then came someone, a Samaritan regarded as unholy, an outcast, saw him, offered first aid treatment, took him to the hospital and cleared the bill. So who is the son of the mother of the victim? The Saviour asked
There are very godly, caring people among the Muslims just as there are among the Christians. In the same way, there are very ungodly and selfish people among the people of the two faiths. So, it is the most godly we should cast our votes for; the ones who will make life appreciably comfortable for us, whereby we shall not be drawn into sinful practices in order to survive thereby making our journey to heaven easier.
The Bible also attests to this in the book of Proverbs 29:2 that "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked man rules, the people groan"
A solution however is already found in inter-faith interaction.
Burdened by the stagnancy of the country to catch up with the comity of nations; dirty environments, poor or even non existing health care, dilapidated school buildings and degradation of education standard, killer roads, epileptic power supply, non-provision of portable water, several months' arrears of unpaid salaries of workers, and the laden general poverty in the country etc I bought airtime on some Radio Stations, where I address these embarrassments and I talk to the conscience of both the rulers and the ruled to be godly and do their dealings with other fellow citizens with the fear of God.
The Bible has prescribed the medication for our joy.
Our joy lies in a prosperous nation and it is righteousness alone the Bible says can make a nation to prosper. The Scripture says emphatically "Righteousness exalts a nation while sin is a reproach" (Prov. 14: 34).
Our nation has not prospered because we refuse the counsel of God and prefer to live in sin.
I had thought that I was sent only to the house of Christians. But then many Muslims with long sightedness and the spirit of God saw that the long term benefit of the campaign is not only for the Christians but the entire people of Nigeria.
So we incorporated the "Inter-Religious Organization for the Rehabilitation of Nigeria through Righteousness" and God has supported us in shedding lights and giving understanding to the hearts of the people of all the cities we have traversed; opening their eyes to solutions to our myriads of problems confronting us, including poverty.
Attached pictures tell the full story.
With the Solemn Assemblies and Prayers for the Nation and Town Hall meetings, which we hold in cities, the hearts of the people are being illuminated of the need for us to stop been divided along religion lines but unite to jointly fight a common enemy called poverty, which has no respect for our different religions.
Poverty can make us to commit sinful acts, which will make God to deny us to His home in heaven after we die.
The Solemn Assemblies & Town Hall meetings, no doubt are bound to foster unity and friendship among our different religions. It is bound to bring understanding among ourselves. And we are able to take decisions that will contribute positively to our lives. We are able to jointly fight the common enemy of our souls, which is not making us to live godly and which eventually send us to hell.
Let me counsel the various Christian and Moslem Associations in every Town, every City, Village and Community to start to hold interactive meetings where we can putting ideas together on matters pertaining to improving our lives, how we all can partake of the commonwealth and jointly fight the dragon (poverty) which is hindering us to live godly and miss heaven, rather than each religion to be holding nocturnal meetings about how we can put people of our faith in position of authority and dominate the people of the other faiths. Such ideas will only lead to war, which will do no one any good. War is not good for anyone. Our God is peaceful, He is not a man of war. It is only Satan, the enemy of mankind who will always want us to be on war path and we must resist Him. The Bible says "Resist the Devil and it will flee from you (James 4:7).
The Inter-Religious Organization for Rehabilitation of Nigeria through Righteousness, which I am one of the Coordinators will be happy to work-out the logistics with any town, wanting to organize such a meeting.
The attached pictures are those at the Solemn Assembly and Prayer for the nation held for Oyun Local Government Area at Erinle on September 22 2018.
So I encourage every Town, every City, Village and Community to start holding meetings to commune with ourselves, matters pertaining to improving our lives, how we all can partake of the commonwealth and jointly fight the dragon (poverty) which is hindering us from living godly and which may make us to miss heaven.
Enough of hunger and thirst in a land flowing with milk and honey! No one should miss heaven due to ungodliness brought about by poverty. Not in Nigeria.