By Nneka Okumazie
The devastating death of worship leader, Michael Arowosaiye, should have been an opportunity to call for broad support and compassion by all. But the enemies of the church of God thought it was an opportunity to use his death to shame the church.
They were quick to blame the church and haul all kinds of insults at the church and the lead pastor.
Regardless of the church he last attended or the reason for his death, it should have made everyone afraid and think of how to be more helpful, gracious and forgiving to others in general.
He was not a member of the Redeemed Church until his death. He was not a pastor there. He also wasn’t a chorister there – at the time of his death.
He was a member of another Pentecostal church, The Shepherd’s House Assembly, Abuja but the church is still not to blame for his death.
It is so painful he ran out of hope – at the time he took the fatal decision.
But who can be held responsible for a situation that anyone – may not have seen coming?
The hate for the church of God is palpable. The church is not responsible for many of the underdevelopment crisis blamed on the church. Power outages, unfair housing models, unemployment, poverty, poor infrastructure, grim healthcare are not the fault of the church, or the responsibility of the church to fix.
The church can try to make impact, but how much impact is exactly possible in a populated country with overwhelming hardship? Also, how can impact be verified, if there are those who game welfare activities?
There are people with wealthy family members who refused to help them. There are people with wealthy friends who refused to help them. There are people who have met painful unfairness at work, in school, etc. But life is life and underdevelopment is underdevelopment.
Yes, no excuses for the church as it can try to do more for members and others, but the church is limited on what it can do for all, if the government isn’t doing the needful.
The church of God is not preventing anything good in Nigeria. The church is not a barrier to development. The church has doctrines from the Scriptures. Attendance, accepting Christ, giving, service in church, etc. is voluntary. No force and no judgment or condemnation, whatever it may seem like.
It can look like the church holds power over people, NO, the church doesn’t. People submitted voluntarily to God. The Pastor is not the head of the church. Christ is the head of the church.
Jesus is the author and the finisher of the Christian faith, not any pastor, member, or anyone. No one, generally speaking, who behaves badly, should be used to judge the church of God. Salvation is personal.
People are often responsible for themselves. People take the action they choose. It does not mean one bad act or behaviour or story is a fault of the church – if people don’t adhere to the Scriptures.
The church is under the command of the Christ to witness. The church offers the deliverance, salvation and healing of Christ. The church offers faith, hope and worship – in spirit and in truth.
The word of God grew and multiplied in the Epistles. The churches had their order of service and were managed. No one knew how their services went, or how contributions were made to maintain or expand, but they almost certainly did.
The church of God advocates Christian marriages. The church talks about compassion and humility – to ensure that both are preserved in a Christian marriage.
The church of God does not cause all the traffic in Nigeria and even for traffic caused on routes around the church, other days without church services around there, there’s mostly traffic.
The church of God does loud evangelism but isn’t the only religious or social organization allowed to have sounds. Generator noise is worse than any church of God loud sound in Nigeria.
The church helps people develop hope in this world and hope for the world to come, through eternal life.
The church of God understands that science and technology cannot solve envy, bitterness, hate, wickedness, evil, greed, pride, unknown intentions, etc.
The church knows that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, will make the world a better place.
It seems there are lots of people waiting for an opportunity for the church to fail. But Christ owns His church.
[Job 19:25, For I know [that] my Redeemer liveth, and [that] He shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:]
[Psalm 25:2, O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.]
[Mark 9:24, And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.]
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