OPINION: Role Of The Church In Politics And Governance Today

Dear beloved Leaders, Elders and Fathers, peace and grace be multiplied to you and to every reader of this message. Let me begin with this Yoruba proverb: “oro ki wuwo ka f’obe bu,” which simply means “words cannot be too heavy to require cutting it with a knife.”

With the just concluded election in mind, it is necessary to appeal to us on the need to bridge our religious, tribal and political divide, step by step, piece by piece towards building a sustainable “one-nation” Nigeria.

As a body with unique and unfettered access to God’s gift – the Holy Spirit, our greatest strength is to divinely align our congregants and the nation to the will of God Almighty.  We can gain greater influence both economically and spiritually if we position ourselves as the light of the nation, and not just the star of our individual churches, and continue to broaden the light that shines collectively within us that darkness and its elements cannot comprehend. We should be the bridge between communities, the hope for reconciliation, and the resource centre for integrity, ethics and values.

Based on the countless challenges that faced our nation on her path to greatness, now is not the time for us to retreat into our shells, look the other way or move on “as if nothing happened” or to distance ourselves from the current administration. Instead, this is the time that we should lend our hands of support in prayer, faith and anointing, as our leaders continue to demonstrate the virtue of loyalty to the country, the body of Christ, and to God. The recent moves from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stretch a hand of fellowship to the government in power should be commended rather than criticised.

Though it is conspicuously evident that our nation has been polarised by greedy politicians who take advantage of the already existing divisions in the land to further create a split even within our folds while their sanity is at the mercy of grandiose delusions. As with politics, there will always be more than meets the eye. It also not a hidden fact, that Nigerians have been manipulated, in many ways by various beneficiaries of the democratic process.

As the body of Christ, we must remain 100 per cent committed to non-partisanship as a founding principle of our mission and in our work, as a unifier, not a divider, not undermining any conversation pertaining to the state of affairs in the nation.

Although in the past, we might have erroneously ignored some conversations, brazenly taken sides, and appeared clandestine in our support for candidates that appease to our minds, even from the pulpit. We need to do more than those. Now is the time to launch re-invigorated dialogue and movement.

There is no doubt that the world is under great turmoil at the moment, even the greatest countries in the world are having a moment of disunity, obstructions, abuse, waste and corruption. These are all in fulfilment of the scriptures concerning the last days and the attendant difficulties.

Our role as the church:

  • This is the time to stay awake, alert, participate in whatever ways we can to create understanding, knowledge, and a more peaceful Nigeria to shine the light in the midst of this gross darkness that has crept in on the World.
  • To amplify our collective voice for support, nonviolence and peaceful co-existence.
  • To teach our members value for righteousness, justice, forgiveness, unity, love and equity in our churches.
  • To begin grooming and investing in young men and women who would eventually penetrate the political sphere bearing the doctrine of honesty and integrity.
  • Aligning ourselves with our brothers and sisters in power and giving them maximum support, they need to help function effectively in their assignment.
  • As a body, we need to invest in research and development, take interest in analytical data gathering, endeavour to institutionalize standards, frameworks, procedures and best practices around the world.
  • Let us negotiate with the present government to set up a committee who would revisit and review the 2014 National Confab Report so that would have been justified that no stone is left unturned by this administration towards economic growth, wealth creation and poverty alleviation. We have an opportunity as people to harmoniously rewrite the history of our nation.

Without the above mentioned, it would be almost impossible to mitigate the tribal, religious and cultural divides amongst us, our members are already broken into factions and mini denominations within us.

Suspicion and mistrust due to political leanings are at an all-time high and very worrisome. The adversary can only prey on our lack of response to these situations. However, we can do better by responding with wisdom, and by building systems for structural reform.

Although with so many changes that are happening in our political process lately, I would enjoin all our leaders to re-double their commitment in forming strong allies with leaders with credibility for the common good, doing everything they could to bring us to the shore, influencing nations, understanding political permutations, engaging in innovative economic reforms, reviving our infrastructure while preventing every atom of corruption. Such leaders will not merely be heroes, they will be forever cherished.

This should begin with us engaging members of other faiths in constructive dialogue on issues such as security, skills acquisition, poverty eradication, and education. We must never forget that we are not just the light of the church; but also the light of the world. When a leadership that is impacting a nation is trying to engage all stakeholders in nation building, it is rewarding that we embrace such dialogue.

Let me conclude by submitting that it is way too late for anyone to Islamize our great nation, Nigeria. And it will help if we stop propagating this anecdotal rumour, which breeds fear, despair and above all spread hatred and inhibits our primary mission; soul winning. Let’s invest our energies gainfully and for the glory of our Lord Saviour.

With gratitude to God.

  • Abraham Great is the Convener, Diaspora Connect & Founder – He Lives Bible Church
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