By Laja Thomas, who was in Accra, Ghana
THE month of October may have come andÂ gone but the memories will linger especially as the premier Nigerian indiginous church organisation, the God’s Kingdom Society made more inroads to parts of the world with its gospel that Jesus Christ was not born in December as many people would want us to believe. Throughout the month, ministers and members of the church criss-crossed the globe correcting the age-long tradition that Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, was actually born in October and not December. Â
Ministers were ‘exported’ to far-flung places like the US, UK, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and many cities in the country celebrating what they have aptly tagged as Freedom Day celebration in reference to the liberation that the birth of the pregenator of the Christian faith had brought to Mankind. The Freedom Day which is an annual celebration is held by the GKS on all the Sundays in October. The GKS president also used the occasion to pay a courtesy call on a UK Member of Parliament (MP) representing Mitcham/Morden area of London, Ms. Siobhain Mcdonagh on Friday October 2, as part of activities leading up to the Freedom Day celebrations in the UK. This year’s celebration was held in Port Harcourt, Aba, Lagos, Benin City, Yenagoa, Lagos and the Salem City, Warri in Delta State, the headquarters.
One of the major highlights of the celebration at each of the locations, is the discourse on the sermon, Was Christ born on Christmas day? during which the church ministers prove from Bible chronology, history and the geographical features of Palestine that Christ was born in October and not on December 25. This yearâ€™s event, just like previous years, was held in Accra, Ghana. According to GKS, the Freedom Day is an avenue to create awareness on the birth of Christ, and to encourage the Ghanaian faithful where the church is growing rapidly.
Speaking on false teachings and doctrines which have become the order of the day in Christendom today, GKS General Secretary, Mr. Patrick Ekerighwo, advised Christians worldwide to seek the truth at all times because it is the only way they can be liberated from ignorance, false doctrines and erroneous beliefs. According to him, â€œthe Freedom Day occasion affords us the opportunity to reflect on the life, mission and teaching of Jesus Christ, whom we referred to as the worldâ€™s greatest advocate of freedomâ€, adding that, â€œwe want to emphasize the truth which GKS has been propagating that Jesus Christ was not born on Christmas Day, that is December 25 as being celebrated worldwide.
The undisputable fact is that Jesus Christ was born in the month of October. That is why October is sacrosanct in the calendar of GKS, he pointed out. In the usual manner of GKS, the festival began with series of lectures at the Bokum Square Park, James Town, Accra. The lectures dwell on contentious Christian discourse, which from time immemorial, have been a source of controversy, among Christians of different denominations.
According to Mr. Martin Ifeacho, a GKS senior minister, â€œthe mission of the GKS in Ghana is to teach people about God and to encourage Ghanaian converts,” adding that, â€œthere are false teachings and doctrines among Christians today. The GKS disapproves of such teachings and we are bent on exposing such. For instance, we believe in miracles and we believe that they happen everyday. But such miracles have to be verifiable, not abracadabra that pervades our society today.â€
This yearâ€™s sermon of the Freedom Day Festival in Ghana was delivered by Brother Ekerighwo, on behalf of the GKS President, Brother Oseghale Aighalua, who was on a similar missionary voyage to the US and the UK, in company of some ministers of the church. The president’s message advised African leaders and politicians generally to imbibe the fear of God in their actions and conduct.
His words: â€œOur leaders should follow the will of God in the discharge of their duties. Since God ordained them to rule over the people, they should be faithful to the people at all times.â€ Ekerighwo, in his sermon, said the GKS believes before now, that Man was in bondage until the coming of Jesus Christ. This, according to him, is the essence of the celebration of the Freedom Day because man was liberated by the coming of Jesus Christ.
According to him, “it is a mark of honour to Jesus Christ who paid the supreme sacrifice to die for Mankind. We are therefore, expressing our joy, gladness and satisfaction for the grace of God to mankind. We use the Freedom Day occasion to correct erroneous beliefs, especially about the birth of Christ which the world usually celebrates in December. But you see, this is wrong. There is no evidence to show that Christ was born in December. The correct time of Christ’s birth was October.â€
Amidst jubilation, some of the GKS members spoke to Vanguard on the significance of the Freedom Day Festival. Mr. Emmanuel Fregene, vice chairman, GKS Laity, Nigeria and Abroad, who came from Warri, said; â€œthe Freedom Day Festival is to reflect about the goodness of the Almighty God over his children to send his only begotten son, Jesus Christ to come and die and redeem us from sin and death. With that ransom Jesus gave to mankind and the precious blood has brought us back from our old ways we had before the time of sin, now to the time of grace. Christ gave us that grace.”
Mrs. Comfort Oghagharen Okandeji, chairperson, GKS Women Fellowship, Nigeria and Abroad said; â€œthe Freedom Day is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and show appreciation on what God has done for mankind by sending His son to redeem us and through this we are enlightened that Christ was actually born in October, not in December as being speculated.â€