The scene in my mind is one full of chaos, disorder and unrest as I try to picture this title in reality. Pleased smiles, condemning sighs and grunts, encouraging cheers, angry looks, disagreeing gestures, shuffling feet, excited chatter (which could either be excited- happy or excited-angry) and probably impatient exits, would grace every Sunday (let’s not be too assuming), would grace every service. These gestures would be necessitated by the sermons of the various pastors trying to pass across the Word in what way they understand it best.
Back to the real world where the world is not one church, various ministries have sprung up in the bid to populate heaven and save God’s creatures from the destruction of hell. Unfortunately, the diversity in Christendom is in itself a source of strife amongst the very people whose essence should be love, hence the reason to critically assess the situation.
In Nigeria today, countless ‘Men of God’ exist claiming to have been called to lead the sheep of the Great Shepherd in the path of righteousness and ultimately into heaven, the bliss of the righteous. As a result, the number of churches existing in the country is staggering making it increasingly difficult for someone who has no ties to any of them to make a choice of which to attend.
Funnily, instead of this somehow intensifying the unity amongst believers, it is contributing to condemnation, hatred and even strife amongst those of the same faith. Look at it this way. We hear of so many conflicts and even wars among people of different tribes, or children from different mothers but it is rare to find people of the same tribe warring against themselves. So it seems it is with the ‘Christian tribe’. This is therefore a bid to understand and maybe proffer a solution.
First, let me say that I think that these ‘Men of God’ found their ministry on the understanding and convictions they personally hold of the Word and the doctrines of Christianity (maybe I should add, as made clear to them by the Holy Spirit, and maybe I shouldn’t). And because we all know that understanding, opinion and preferences differ, some things would have more weight to some than to others. These convictions and preferences then form a ‘trademark’ by which the churches are identified. For example, some churches do not permit the wearing of jewelry for ladies, some don’t permit wearing of trousers, some dictate the length, style and even color of dresses, others permit the uncovering of hair for the ladies and the list goes on and on.
Apart from the trademark that these convictions bring, it also raises the need for a separate gathering of those who agree with such convictions to fellowship hence the establishment of various churches.
I took some time to look at some of these churches critically and I found out that each of them have their dominant messages sort of like a theme in which the essence of the ministry is embedded. Pastor E.A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God teaches essentially on the Holy Spirit and His ministry. Pastor W.F. Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Bible Church concentrates on holiness. Bishop David Oyedepo on the potentials of the believer to prosper and discovering divine purpose. Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo on experiencing financial freedom. Pastor Olukoya of Mountain of Fire and Miracles on prayer. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy on the authority of the believer. Pastor Bimbo Odukoya (May her soul rest in peace), of the Fountain of Life Church, on singles and married. I could go on and on but I need you to work with me here.
Note that each of these areas is fundamental to the Christian and his growth. Now, I’m not implying here that these Men of God do not teach topics relating to other areas but these areas are fundamental to their ministries and constitute the larger part of their teachings.
If the world were one church, won’t every believer grow seeing that they’ll have the opportunity to listen to all the aspects of their Christian lives from experts in the field?
If the world were one church, would all these ministers of God be united and agree?
If the world were one church would the believers resort to having a holy war?
If the world were one church would we have more standing Christians than struggling believers?
Now, if the world were one church, I have no idea what would happen seeing that I have not mentioned up to a tenth of the pastors that exist in the country.
Maybe you’ll be able to tell me what you think would happen, if the world were one church.