By Clement Udegbe
“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, Saying “ Peace, Peace ! When there is no peace ?
– Prophet Jeremiah in the Holy Bible.
WHENEVER things regarded as abomination in a society come to be tolerated for whatever reasons, destruction of that society begins to build up.
When the life of an individual experiences cycles of certain afflictions, that individual may not achieve much except something is done.
A city that experiences a cycle of same challenges may not develop at any appreciable pace if nothing is done. Same applies to a nation that experiences repeated cycles of issues like we have in Nigeria.
In the traditional past, when problems persist in the life of an individual or community, the parents or elders as the case may be, ask questions from their gods. Idolatry is most offensive to God. Thus today, people rightly go to the Church or Mosque to seek divine intervention for problems from the spirit realm.
A child who gropes his mother pot of soup for meat at odd hours, shouts and fights at every opportunity, may end up a criminal or a disappointment to his parents and community. He or she could eventually become a thieving politician or leader.
Doing nothing to challenging situations in the life of anything, be it an individual, community, or nation amounts to complacency. Complacency leads to destruction build-up and spiritual complacency often leads to avoidable destruction.
In the days of Prophet Jeremiah, the leaders and people of Israel and Judah became so tolerant of sin that God had to make them remain in captivity in Babylon for many years. By so doing the people brought upon themselves a destruction that could have been avoided if they had listened to the Prophets from God.
Nigeria of today can avoid any impending doom by looking back, and can be better if we all change and do away with our evil pasts, and go back to our God, instead of chasing after power and money all the time.
Today, our people practise life styles of fraud, sexual perversity and immorality, injustice to all; commit murders and tell lies. Above all, we worship of strange gods, perpetrate political and economic deceits as well as enjoy the domination and exploitation of the people.
Strange concepts and doctrines abound, such that we now are beginning to tolerate, and even justify, what used to be abominations, as new ways of life and symbols of development and advancement in conformity to a world that is running away from God.
If we continue like this, and do nothing, avoidable destruction will become inevitable.
Since it is incontrovertible that the spiritual controls the physical, what does the state of Nigeria today speak of our spiritual condition as one nation?
The spiritual realm of Nigeria is a mixed up involvement of Christians, Muslims, the Occult, the magical, the terrestrial and strange gods from ancient days brought by people ostensibly for their own purposes but ultimately to offend God.
Christians and Muslims constitute the majority in our country, and when they worked in agreement the nation was better for it. Those were the days when Nigerians were described as the happiest people on the face the earth. Nigerians went everywhere they found themselves contributing to development of their host communities, spreading joy and peace. The peoples of America, Great Britain, South America, India and many Asian nations, to name a few, preferred Nigeria of all other African nations. This was in the 1970s to late 1980s.
But since the two major religions started fighting each other for whatever reasons, trouble has multiplied, because two cannot work together if they do not agree.
Nigeria has been called a fantastically corrupt nation with criminally-minded leaders because we have remained spiritually complacent as a people.
Magicians that used to dot our villages on market days in the past have today disappeared into Churches and Mosques marketing God, performing miracles, giving prophecies to the itching ears of the godless, to the perplexity of the very elects!
Intractable and deep-seated divisions between the Orthodox Church System, the Protestants, the evangelicals, the Pentecostals and now the ecumenicals have created a situation where the Church in Nigeria is busy judging theirs while other religions gang up against them, dealing with them unfairly and nothing is done.
The Church has become so distracted that they easily deny many of theirs to please unbelievers and appear more sanctimonious.
With scandals and blackmail against known leaders of the Church now thwe rage, it would appear the world is now judging the Church!
Worsening impoverishment of the people created majorly by very bad, corrupt, incompetent, visionless leadership and management of the economy nation has driven the Church into more prosperity preaching than salvation. The unfortunate result is that when the financial or other interests of Church leaders clash, they spew and smear themselves offensive venom, while the devil laughs them to scorn!
In situations that Jesus’ early Disciples and Apostles would have worked and prayed for the forgiveness and conversion of the offender, we pray for their death, and thereby spread hatred, dislike and estrangement of our citizens.
Politicians don’t fear God anymore. Some of them, like in Imo State, brazenly advocate worship and oath-taking with traditional and ancient gods, politicising God’s matter, because God’s people are distracted with the ways of the World.
Muslims are not spared of the divisive infighting and hatred as evidenced by the chasm between the Sunnites, Shiites and other splinter groups. So, today, Islam is being linked with violence across the world. Nigeria has not been spared of this disturbing development.
Religion is unwittingly presenting itself as the problem of Nigeria, and if we remain complacent, it will lead to destruction, because our overbearing spiritual nature has impacted our national life negatively.
To be Continued.