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Has proliferation of churches helped Nigeria?

Has proliferation of churches helped Nigeria?

By Sunmola Olowookere
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Churches, churches everywhere. Virtually every neighbourhood has a church. As churches multiply  in Nigeria, a country where its people are adjudged to be  one of the most religious in the world, what has the country gained?

Christianity is the religion that is most practised  in Nigeria. As the worship centers abound and flourish, more people are flocking to the work of the gospel ministry, as most of them see it as means to make ends meet.

In Nigeria today, it is common knowledge that many pastors are  rich in the society. And this could account for the high number of churches springing up daily.

Reacting, a motivational speaker who authored “What’s God’s business with politics?”, Dayo Awude , said,  “Over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that proliferation of churches hasn’t helped the society as expected.”

He stated that most often, the establishment of these churches or is borne out of egoistic and mundane considerations than the impact the churches are meant to make. And once the motive behind an action is wrong, every other thing connected thereto is likely to be wrong.

Awude, who is the  immediate past Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, argued further that the developed countries of the world have less churches than Nigeria.

“That stands to reason that the establishment of churches is not directly proportional to the health or well-being of any society, “he said.

 “Unfortunately, we have spiritualised everything in this part of the world; our people and system are the worst for it. We have substituted commonsense with spiritualism. Many of the churches now teach the people to pray to God to do what He already has empowered them to do. Little wonder our development as a people is at snail speed”

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Also speaking on the issue, a public affairs analyst, Dotun Ojon,  stated that there is nothing really wrong to have churches if what is taught there is absolutely the lifestyle of Jesus.

“The four pillars of Jesus’ life are grace, good, spirituality and strategy. But what we have in most churches is slightly different because what many of them promote are merely religion, resentment and race”,  he said.

“The real mission of the church is to show light to the world and lead the charge for development, but the only spiritual business many church people know how to do is to pray.  They do not know how to get revelation from prayer and use their brain to develop their society”.

He however expressed the belief that christians are in the forefront of development through innovative thinking, revelation and hard work. “We Christians in Nigeria need to be more alive to our ‘light and salt’ responsibility;  Jesus’s call is not a call to national burden, it is a call to national blessing”, he said.

A lecturer from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, Mr Sunday Afolayan,  stated that the increasing number of established churches has helped Nigeria to some extent.

 He said that moral deficiency would have been more pronounced, especially on the part of the youths. Incidences of crime would have been more. The fact that some people out there can still remind us of the need to live a  holy life has a way of stemming crime and other vices in the society.

He however regretted that the major flaw is that many of such churches are money spinners for their proprietors. This has actually placed a credibility question mark on their founders and sub-pastors.

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“Those money they raised and saved for themselves, how  about using it to build health centers that offer church members free and quality health care? How about building and equipping schools that church members wouldn’t pay school fees”, he said.

“How about building factories that church members can work and earn a living while the church makes income? Think about it”.

He argued that this is what Christ would have done if He were to be living in our time.

” He was the messiah and Lord of all things ,yet  he borrowed a boat to preach on, he borrowed bread and fish to feed the people,he borrowed a donkey to ride on to Jerusalem and after his death a rich man donated his own grave, because Jesus did not have a grave in his name,” he stated.

A pastor, Rev Funso Onipinla regretted that recently the work of the Ministry had been proliferated by unscrupulous men that are least interested in the things of God. All they are after is enriching their pockets and becoming famous.

”People that thronged church programmes are mostly youth’s if only they will allow what they hear to sink into their consciousness, Nigeria will be better for it,” he said.

 “They have  a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof: from such turn away.

 This sort creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diver lusts,

“They cannot be examples of righteousness to upcoming youths. They are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.

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He explained that the sentiments he expressed above were derived from the writings of Timothy, one of the Apostles that arose after the death of Christ; a staunch follower of the doctrines left behind by the Christ and which all Christians make allusions to even till the present time as their watchword.

“His writings showed utter disdain for these women and their “daddies in the lord”. It all goes to show that the current trend in the Christendom whereby some women are led astray by fake prophets is not new. It must have been happening in the days of the apostles”, Onipinla said.

“Although mentoring and counseling are essential ingredients of pastoral work, but some pastors/prophets have led most Christians in their fold astray by mentoring them wrongly, oftentimes for what they (men of God) would stand to gain.”

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