I recently discussed with two Pastors from Nigeria where I was born and raised. The subject was around how Christianity has demonstrated an ability to overlook many of its professed virtues and had allowed the misinterpretation of Biblical principles as well as cultural and political values to take center stage. Before I go further, I like to mention that there are many who might differ on views expressed here. I respect their views as this piece is not meant to criticize any personality or Christian denomination.
It is possible to stay true to Scripture-shaped beliefs while also genuinely loving, listening to and, if possible, helping people who don’t share your beliefs.
In the discussion with one of the pastors, he expressed his concern for ‘political correctness’. I am as concerned as he is. But there is nothing any of us can do about political correctness especially when the system is crafted in such a way that politicians are forced to affirm some of Christ’s teachings but completely disregard or avoid embracing the teachings that are at odds with that party’s political ideology or racial and cultural philosophy.
The gospel should be preached both inside and outside the Church without name-calling and war rhetoric.
One of the primary responsibilities of the church as an organism, institution and movement is to warn people of divine justice and the solution provided by God through Jesus Christ (Mathew 28: 19-20) instead of politicizing and intellectualizing Christianity. To fulfill this mandate, we must expose the world to proper understanding of who God is, what He has done, and what they can do to walk in hope of everlasting life, power and love.
It is time to grow from operating in Child-like faith to adult wisdom in reasoning and ministering
For many years, people have always measured the success of a church by invoking number of attendance, giving, number of programs held or being held, number of churches springing up in every corner, or the size of branches opened. There is nothing wrong with keeping and celebrating these records. However, churches should not see them as benchmark of success. If they do, just like in the corporate world, they will begin to feel like a failure if the goals are not met or if they begin to decline. It is easy to celebrate success that stays only with men and for men.
We are saved to operate from a position of humility instead of pride, and be selfless instead of selfish
It is the responsibility of the church to encourage the practice of godly principles in society and government, especially principles that so often today are ignored or misunderstood in the political and social realm. However, we must be careful not to sacrifice God’s love for the world (John 3:16-17) on the altar of religion and competition.
Sadly, uncontrolled desire to compete against each other on the one side, and compete with the world on the other side, is robbing the Church of much of its power. In fact, it is wiping the minds of the many clear of fundamental Christian values. We see the effects in the rise of teachings, online and in churches, that has consistently encouraged and spread hatred and disunity, all in the name of ‘being radical for Jesus’ or an attempt “to preserve Godly values”. It is not biblical to be arrogant about your faith.
Some political and cultural values are not biblical. They are partisan values coated with scriptures and only used as political points against political or cultural adversaries.
Jesus said the world would know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13;35), not by the size of churches, man-made goals, records that have are not part of God’s criteria for bringing people to the saving knowledge of Christ. Again, these records are great and should be kept. But it should not be criteria that drives our faith and gathering to serve God and fellowship as we await the second coming of Christ.