The Function of Church in Nigeria at 50
Although Nigeria celebrates her 50 years of independence from colonial rule, it will be significant that we take an goal and neutral have a look at the position of the church throughout these years.
Earlier than we will actually assess the impression of the church in our nation, we have to first have a look at the biblical goal of the church in each nation.The aim of the church is to shine as gentle and sweeten as salt in any nation. The church is to deliver godly change, turn-around and transformation to each individuals and tribe. The church is to name individuals again to God from the way in which of sin, evil, ungodliness and wickedness. The church is to be an instance of godly dwelling, sobriety, moderation and sacrificial life-style. The aim of the church in each nation is to deliver quiet change, transformation to individuals in each neighborhood by way of principle and conducts.
Judging by what’s seen above, how then has the church fared in Nigeria within the final 50 years?
The church has been in Nigeria earlier than independence in 1960. From information accessible, the pre-independence church fared a lot better by way of non secular high quality and impression. The revival underneath Joseph Ayo Babalola in 1930, particularly in Southwest Nigeria actually helped the unfold of the true gospel. Idol worship, witchcraft and occultist practices have been largely overwhelmed again and the sunshine of the gospel shined into many hearts. From the Anglican Church to Baptist, to gospel and apostolic church buildings, it was revival of true conversion and serving the Lord. In fact, there have been persecutions of the believers by then, however it didn’t cease the unfold of the gospel. Many got here to know the Lord and the few believers then have been revered for his or her godly dwelling and good citizenship of the fledging nation.
As there was independence in 1960, the church was nonetheless on particular person christian foundation. She was simply arising. Many of the leaders, if not all, of the nation have no idea Jesus in an intimate means. The gospel was for the poor and downtrodden. Nonetheless, God was working and the Scripture Union revival broke out within the 60’s, largely in southeast Nigeria. Many college college students got here to know the Lord. Now, this revival was a solution to the prayers of many poorly educated church leaders then that God will increase educated and younger individuals to unfold the gospel of Christ in our nation. God answered by way of the revival of Scripture Union in our tertiary establishments.
So lots of younger college college students acquired actually saved and began ministries, church buildings and christian organizations which have gone to win many individuals unto the Lord. Within the 70’s to early 80’s, the impact of this transfer of God was nonetheless very a lot round. Sure, you do not discover many dedicated Christians in authorities however the individuals actually revered the church. Throughout this era, church leaders began to talk as much as the nation. Steadily and regularly, the church began to make inroads into many areas in Nigeria, individuals have been being impacted and the life-style of Christians began drawing individuals to the religion. Corporations would come to church, requesting for employees as a result of they realized that they’re sincere, hardworking and honest. Although largely poor and unheard, but the church was revered, honoured and rising among the many populace. In fact, there have been pretend church buildings and preachers then however they have been few and largely not adopted, besides one or two.
From early eighties, the church began welcoming and embracing the prosperity message. Preachers began claiming that riches, wealth and materials blessings are for the youngsters of God on this age. Whereas not completely unscriptural, but the message was taken to the intense till materialism turned the order of the day. Large preachers, huge names, titles and massive pockets took over and the non secular impression of the church took a critical dive. Sure, crowds got here to the church. Large church buildings have been erected and worldwide preachers got here recurrently to the nation, but the non secular impression was happening day-after-day. Sure, individuals within the authorities began professing religion in Christ, we even had a ‘christian‘ president, governors, senators and excessive rating authorities officers, but the church has not made the true non secular impression upon the nation within the final 35 years, the way in which she did within the first 25 years of the lifetime of this nation. The prosperity message solely introduced forth individually wealthy preachers however pauperized individuals.
Inaddition, you possibly can see the carcasses of church buildings and preachers who have been as soon as vibrant and energetic however who in the present day are empty and struggling to say afloat. There are too many as soon as rising and crowd pulling church buildings and preachers in our nation however who in the present day are experiencing downward spiral and have fallen from grace to grass as a consequence of scandals and deviation from godly requirements.