A TIME LIKE THIS - A time of Questioning
Everyday as each day goes by I feel the weight of the Truth by Albert Einstein heavy in my heart.
" The world is too dangerous a place to live in;
not because of those who do harm ;
but because of those who look at things;
and let them go on."
I therefore, speak with a heavy heart concerning the Persecution of our Brethren in the Northern Nigeria and the diminished interest in what's going-on by the Church that is apparently, " asleep on the wheel".
I find that the Persecutors of our Northern Brethren are of all stripes. They range from Political Interest Groups to Security Wolves -in sheep - clothing; from Muslim Fundamentalists to Mobsters; from Southern Churches that neglect the plight of the persecuted to the Media Practitioners who turn blind eye to the audacity of murderers and assassins.
The list includes Southern Elders who so far, have failed to counsel Northern Elders in an uncompromising manner, in order to help check the dastardly act being perpetrated irresponsibly, by their children against their children.
The list naturally includes Southern Elders who sit back in their comfort zones rather than march to protest against the inhumanity, the suffering and the afflictions visited on the innocent young men and women and even children, just for being faithful to Christianity and to the Government.
The list may be extended to include a "Pro-Appeasement Government" apparently, under intense pressure by Agents Provocateur to surrender the Nigerian Peoples to the Terrorist Agenda. Why are Nigerians desperate to roast in HELL on earth through inaction and half-hearted action against the agents of darkness?
I speak concerning our bemused Christian Brethren - many ordinary people - who are forced to face extraordinary situations in Northern Nigeria and in dire need of support, comfort and practical help but NOT Sympathy at This Time when Wickedness is fast overtaking the Land and the Faith of many is waxing cold. I dare to question the lack of depth of the support Northern Brethren are getting from their Brethren in Southern Nigeria.
I speak of the Persecuted Brethren who look up to the Church and its Leadership for Answers; and I urge The Church to look up to GOD and HIS Sovereignty for Strength to act in unique Obedience to HIS Commandment at the Time Like This.
I am challenged to demand that the Church should respond appropriately, to the Cries of the Persecuted and the "Martyrs" -It is not helpful to pretend that we are not involved; or that we are involved but not man enough to confront the challenge head on.
It would be helpful to get involved, and act in Winning Ways that would:
*Honor GOD and Obey HIS Commands - James 1:21-25;
**Obey GOD from the Heart - Romans 6:16; Hebrew 11:6-8,30; And
*** Fulfil the Law of CHRIST.
I speak emphatically at This Time to remind the Body of CHRIST concerning The Church and its Commitment to Obedience. Commitment to obey All, repeat All, the Commandment of The ALMIGHTY GOD including the four Injunctions repeated hereunder. They define Obedience for the Time Like This:
As Disciples and Men of GOD did we not get instructed by Preachers and Teachers that:
Those who obey GOD must contend with the wicked - Prov.28:4; Is it still true that to "complain about the law and what is happening is to praise wickedness and To obey the law is to Fight Evil." Is it also not true that confronting is by dedicated Prayer of the Saints and by practical help to the persecuted; and generous forgiving of the tormentors and murderers? Is The Battle not of The LORD?
How strong then is the VOICE of the Church in Protest against what is happening to innocent Christians whose only crime is that they choose *to worship GOD according to the Revelations of the Scriptures; and to *commit to respect the freedom of others to live according to the dictates of their own conscience? How proactive is the support and how deep are the prayers and the giving?
There is nothing "woolly" about the Scriptures which commanded that the children of GOD who obey GOD must not participate in Sin; but must Rebuke it - Eph. 5:11;
Is the Church Rebuking Sin of Murder when it keeps quiet as it's members get fooled by those who fan excuses for the wickedness of Boko Haram. I am afraid that by Silence, the Church may be endangering the integrity and unity of the Christian Message of Love and Care; At the Time Like This, the Church ought to be wary of those who make excuses for participating in evil through compromise?
Did the Scripture speak with tongue in cheek when it commanded that those who obey GOD must earnestly contend for the Faith ?- Jude 3; Is the Church (by doing nothing significant) not turning its members against our only Master and LORD JESUS who urged Brethren to "Stoutly Defend the Truth GOD gave once for All to HIS people to Keep Without Change Through the Years;" And that Those who obey GOD should bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of CHRIST- Galatians 6:2
Is the Message still True that "The Body of CHRIST functions best when it's members work together for the common good?
How can the world see that GOD Is LOVE and JESUS is LORD when believers turn blind eye and act lukewarm to the suffering and afflictions of even Christian Brethren?
I speak to remind the Body of CHRIST that the Scriptures teach that If Believers fail to do all that the LORD commanded for a Time Like This, "they themselves will stand condemned before GOD.-Ezek 33:1-9; Titus 1:9-14; 1Tim 5:20.
I speak to remind the Church that the Scriptures also teach that the "Pure Religion and undefiled before GOD and the Father is "To visit the Fatherless and the Widows in their affliction..." - James1:27
In the light of the persecutions in the Northern Nigeria and the lameness of the Response by the Church so far, at the Time like This, I seek in all sincerity, indulgence to humbly ask Believers the following collateral questions.
Question 1. Can we in good faith stand out to claim JESUS really as our LORD? - Matt 28:18-20; Eph.1:19-23; Lk.6:46.
Question2. Are we really in good conscience, JESUS' Disciples? -Matt. 10:24,25; 16:24
Question 3, is the GOSPEL as revealed in the Scripture still the "Guide and Standard of Authority" in our Lives?
If Believers are what we claim, then it should behove the Church Family To "ACT WELL OUR VOW" in complete Obedience" to our only Master- The LORD JESUS CHRIST - FOR THERE THE HONOUR LIES."
Elder Nat Okoro.