By Rogers Edor Ochela
Prior to leaving for the church on Sunday recently, I decided to quickly read the news for the day online. Suddenly, I stumbled on a news story where the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, reportedly warned that any worshipper that dresses indecently to the Redeemed Camp would be arrested. The renowned man of God equally went further to stress that the parent of anyone arrested that comes forward to bail his/her ward would also be arrested.
To say that that piece of news made my day is to be guilty of understatement. I felt relieved that an issue that is gradually ridiculing Christianity in the eyes of the public and has been agitating my mind for years is now been addressed by such a renowned servant of God. As a matter of fact, indecent dressing today reign supreme among Christians to the extent that it has reached alarming proportions and eroded every iota of respectability members of the opposite religion have for Christians.
The pertinent question to ask (and answer) is: how did we find ourselves at this crossroad? It would be recalled that before the ‘importation’ of the two dominant religions (Christianity and Islam), our people worshipped local deities. But after embracing the ‘foreign’ religions, pockets of vices hitherto manageable suddenly transmogrified into a Frankstein.
As years roll by, places of worship began to spring up like mushroom or better still, rapidity of Lake Victoria Falls. And according to Archbishop Ola Makinde, people (read Christians) began to move from one place of worship to another, like they are sampling God, thereby committing denominational adultery. No doubt, we must have impressed God with the countless number of worship centres dotting every street and the coterie of sins residing in them.
It is sad to note that these days, places of worship are nothing but factories of vices with pastors and Imams acting the role of foremen, motivating and supervising the workers (followers) in the production of sin. Today’s houses of worship are worse than the biblical houses of Baal; and the thought of what would be tomorrow scares me to the marrow.
While places of worship are shooting up in arithmetical progression, the vices in the society are germinating in geometrical progression. When places of worship were few, there was peace; now that they are many, there is war. When religion was fresh, there was love; now that it is old, there is rage and bedlam. When pastors were few, there was harmony and the doctrine was sound; now they are many, there is discord and adulteration of doctrine.
In Nigeria today, the name of the Prophets of God, Jesus Christ and Mohammed, have been reduced to a magical mantra invoked like a metaphysical abracadabra by those who are doctrinally lazy, socially reactionary and ideologically bankrupt. Those who use God’s name as a canopy for their inactions and dereliction of civil duty should not forget that the essence of religion lies not in sanctimonious creed but sanctified deed, for faith without works is metaphysical hogwash.
According to one time Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Madueke (now late), ‘’we are religious people only in the ritualized sense of it. In real life, we neither fear God nor man, and beyond the weekly lip service in places of worship, it is doubtful judging from our appetite for gross prebandalism and the embrace of mammon whether we really believe in God that is described in the Bible and Koran’’.
He went further to say that our people sing Hallelujahs on Sundays and Allahu Akbar on Fridays in the full glare of television cameras, yet they bleed the nation dry through mindless looting of the treasury.
The numerous torch-bearers in God’s Vineyards like Archbishops and Bishops of the Catholic Church, Pastors David Oyedepo of the Winners Chapel; Paul Enenche of Dunamis Chapel; Joshua Iginla of Royal Champions Assembly; Snr. Prophet T. B. Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations and Snr. Prophet Jeremiah Omoro Fufeyin of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministries etc have a lot to do to depopulate the kingdom of darkness. They must step up their divine assignment by telling their members some basic truths. Those who say that dressing does not matter and that God is only interested in the heart of the worshipper sorely miss the point. If preachers of the gospel can condemn the waywardness of club girls, especially their dressing, then they should be equally courageous enough to preach against indecent dressing and other ungodly conduct of their members.
They must align with Pastor Adeboye to save the society from the impending Armageddon through preaching against the numerous vices that have held Christians captive. It is a matter of considerable regret that today, indecent dressing, immorality, malice, hatred, backbiting, avarice etc reside in churches today and sadly defines the character of an average Christian. If we claim to be Christians, then our attitude and way of life must reflect Christ-like virtues.
Deacon Ochela, former a media consultant is a member of Assemblies of God Church, Dutse Makaranta, Abuja.