Welcome to #KingdomManna on #InspireAfricaProject! I picked a taxi from Abuja on Monday to take me to Kano, and it happened that the driver was a Muslim gentleman. He knew that I am a Christian, in fact, one of them called me pastor when I went to pick the taxi, but the driver and myself were flowing all through the journey. When we got to Zaria, in Kaduna state, he pleaded with me to give him few minutes to pray, and I obliged of course. As I alighted from the car and sat close to the mosque, this article began to write itself in my mind.
I watched my driver closely. He picked a kettle free of charge, and nobody asked who he was. He went and fetched water and did the normal washing and nobody asked him the name of his mosque or to present a card that proved that he made contribution during the construction of the borehole. Nobody asked whether he was a catholic, Anglican or member of Living Faith Church.
I saw my driver enter into the mosque to pray with the people he doesn’t know, and nobody asked him to identify whether he was a member of that mosque or not. He simply entered into the mosque with boldness because it’s the house of their Allah. I asked myself; “Does it mean their Allah doesn’t discriminate? Does it mean that the founders and members of that mosque doesn’t check roll call, or ask strange faces the name their mosque before allowing them to pray there”
While these crazy thoughts were going through my mind, my driver showed up in about seven minutes time and thanked me for waiting for him. As we hit the road, this issue kept bothering me till I started writing about it this morning. This is one of the major reasons why the Northern part of Nigeria will keep dominating the rest of us politically. These people are united by religion and one purpose. But the South is balkanized by religion, denomination, language, hatred and every other thing under the sun. As for the church, I discovered few things.
1. Denomination Has Divided The Body of Christ. My driver did not look at the signboad of the mosque to know whether it was their denomination before he went in to pray. The moment he saw the building, he was happy that he has come to a place where everybody is the same. I saw both the rich and the poor washing their hands and feet at the same place. Am not trying to celebrate Islam, they have their challenges too, am just drawing some lessons from my experience.
Can you imaging a Pentecostal brother passing through a street and finds out that a powerful program is going on in the Anglican church, and walk into the church to worship the Living God? Never! They are Orthodox people. Can you imaging a Methodist walking across a Pentecostal church and discovered that the power of God is giving the devil a bloody nose, and walk into the place? Never! They are Penterascals! The same thing is applicable to Catholics, Anglican, Methodist, Foursquare, Pentecostal and all of us.
Denomination has torn the body of Christ apart. We now worship different God. We now have different heaven. There is a heaven for Evangelicals, Protestants, Catholics and Pentecostals. So an evangelist can board a bus just to condem another denomination. While he is preaching, a member of that denomination might jump up to challenge him. So a member of the Body of Christ will be preaching against the same Body just because our approach is different.
There is complete confusion in the Body of Christ just because we have different ways of worshipping the same God. That you believe in vocal prayer and the other denomination believe in reading prayer should not divide us. Why not do your shouting while praying and allow the other person to read his prayer? One thing is certain, every Christian or denomination believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and on the third day He left an empty tomb, and later ascended to heaven. Since all of believe on the true foundation of Christianity (Jesus Christ), why should we allow our bylaws and dogmas to divide us?
I believe Jesus saw what would happen to the Ekklesia and said the following; “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” John 17:20-23.
Our oneness is the only force that can give the devil the kind of bloody nose he will never recover from the of his life. But as long as we are divided, the enemy will keep penetrating into us. Other religions can even sponsor the division. Few weeks ago I was in a state in the North Central part of Nigeria, and I heard a story that made me uncomfortable.
A particular denomination is having a leadership crises. The church is led by two people which has caused serious battle in their branches during sunday services. The branch in the state am talking about started that same fight during their Sunday service, and to settle the matter, they went to a king who belongs to another religion. Guess what? Till today, the people of that religion is making mockery of us. So the question is, how can we preach to the people of that religion and lead them to Christ when they are the ones settling our stupidity?
I want to conclude this treatise with what Saint Paul said; “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1 Corinthians 1:10-13. Wisdom is profitable to direct!
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