By Sam EYOBOKA
THE President of Godâ€™s Kingdom Society, Brother Oseghale Emmanuel Aighalua has dismissed as illusory the predictions by some academics of the death of Christianity and of belief in God in this post-industrial age, asserting that God will continue to vindicate His name through men and women of faith.
In an address entitled â€˜Holding Faith and a Good Conscience,â€™ he delivered in Manchester, UK at the Freedom Divine Service in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ in October, the GKS president stated that many people in the Western world had taken to atheism due to the phenomenal rise in living standards resulting from industrialization and the coming of globalization.
â€œThe trend is so strong in the western world that sociologists have predicted that education would replace religion as the foundation of moral life and that schools would replace churches as agents of socializationâ€, he said.
Aighalua, who was speaking at the Nigerian Centre, Appleby House, Rusholme, Manchester, expressed relief, however, that â€œthe reality is that Christianity has been growing at a rapid pace in many parts of the world by Godâ€™s grace and powerâ€, adding that â€œas God would not leave Himself without a witness.
He said the fact that various ideas or beliefs have become competitors in the market place should not mislead anyone into departing from the true faith and quoted from the book, God is back in which the authors, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, wrote about the benefits to society of belief in God.
According to them, â€œbelief in God is not only for the purpose of salvation but for individual and social well beingâ€ in that Christianity â€œpromotes well being, helps deal with social deviance, promotes happiness, provides social bonds in a world in which so much conspires to produce alienationâ€.
They added: â€œThere are remarkably few places nowadays where adults can meet and take a trusting relationship for granted. The workplace is competitive. Neighbours are often strangers. The churches offer a safe place where people can get to know each other and pool information and expertise.Â They (the Church) put people with problems in contact with people with solutions.â€
Aighalua said at the occasion in which a minister of the church, Brother Theophilus Iwoh also delivered the sermon, â€œWas Christ born on Christmas Day?â€ that the plight of those who championed the feminists movement in the 60s and 70s â€œby fighting for equality not only in the workplace but also in the marriage unionâ€ and â€œconvincing their fellow women to adopt lifestyles that run contrary to their nature or make upâ€ was proof that those who have left Christianity â€œto look for fulfilment in the world, have been utterly disappointed and are full of regrets that they had wasted their lives chasing shadowsâ€.
Quoting from a report entitled â€œThe Paradox of Declining Female Happinessâ€, carried in the Daily Mail of Monday, June 29, 2009, he said that research by two American economists had revealed that despite the extraordinary progress of women over recent decades, in 12 European countries including Britain, â€œtheir happiness had fallen both absolutely and relatively to that of menâ€.
According to the writer, â€œthey have realised that time is short, that this is the only life we have and that we should not squander it pursuing an elusive dream.â€
Also present during the two-hour service, which also featured choir renditions, were the Publicity Secretary of the church, Brother Benedict Hart, the wife of the GKS president, Sister Blessing Aighalua and the chairman of GKS London branch, Brother Gboyega Obafemi, among other dignitaries.
In a related development, the GKS presidentÂ paid a courtesy call on the Member of Parliament (MP) representingÂ Mitcham/Morden area of London, Ms. Siobhain Mcdonagh, as part of activities leading up to the Freedom Day celebrations in the UK.
The president thanked the MP for the support she had been giving the church generally in the past and appealed for more of such support. He assured her of Godâ€™s blessings for supporting His work by His grace.
The Freedom Day which is an annualÂ celebration, held by the GKS on all the Sundays in October, will be held this Sunday at London, and in Benin City, Yenagoa and Lagos, among other places.