Thursday, 13 September 2018

A Letter to Men of God by Ven. Augustine Chukwubikem Ezeigwe

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This was shared by Echi Nwogu but I think that it is a very timely elderly counsel by this seasoned man of God, the Venerable Augustine Chukwubikem Ezeigwe.



Dear Man of God,

If nobody tells you this truth, please you should not fail to always remind yourself: A man of God is not God, he is a man! In essence, at your highest flow in the Spirit, you are yet a man, and you will ever be a man. It is unfortunate that people, out of ignorance, tend to treat men of God as if they are spirits who don’t live in a human body. I tell you, Sir (and so I say to myself also), if people accord you such 'honour' as of divinity, no matter how greatly God is using you among them, please be wise, humble and reasonable enough to reject such. Why? That is no longer honour, but worship and it is dangerous for your life. It is capable of making you a Man Off God.

Yes, the Bible asks people to give honour to whom it is due, and by virtue of your labour, you are one of such (Rom. 13:7). For leading well, you should even be counted worthy of double honour (1 Tim. 5:17). But you must not forget that there is a difference between honour and worship. Many times, what people give to men of God (and what many men of God quietly demand of the people) is worship, not honour. Men like Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:11-18), who knew the implications of being hero-worshipped, quickly tore their clothes and cried against such. As Cornelius, fell down to worship him, Peter said: "...Stand up; I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:25-26). Sir, you, yourself also, are a man!

It is worship for people to assume (and for you, as a man of God, to present yourself so) that you have answers to all troubles in life. When people saddle you with their numerous issues, please learn to point them to God or other people who could be of great help to them. Ironically, many pastors are not wise enough to say No to church members whose lives will continue if they drop dead. Members have toothache, they go to the pastor; they have menstral pains, they go to the pastor; they want to build house, they go to the pastor, as if the man is built to solve every problem. And, sadly, to prove that you are a superstar, with the hidden fear of losing your fame or honour among them, you also fail to embrace the use of professionals (trained in these areas).

I ask you, precious servant of God, what stops you, when you know that your own marriage is in danger, to take a back seat and allow a church member, whose marriage is a model, take the message on a Sunday that marriage is meant to be discussed? When you know that, that sister, though not ordained, is a proven financial manager (by life and ministry), what stops you from excusing the pulpit for her when critical issues on finances are to be discussed? Might I remind you, Sir, that you are actually not built to solve every problem. Matter-of-fact, you are like an entrepreneur coordinating the various factors of production. Please, note that in your congregation, there are many MOGs who are not answering to any title.

Sir, what task would you give Bill Gates if he were your church member, born again and spirit-filled? Or, you would go ahead to preach on the topic, the "Nitty-Gritty of Social Media," when you have Bro. Mark Zuckerbeg in your church? It is only God Who is omniscience - the All-Knowing; man of God, you are not and you must not try to pretend that you are or allow people make you one. Recently, I found a wisdom from an elder and I realised later that it is one major reason the men of old lasted in the hands of God, as far as His work is concerned. This wisdom is called SELF-EFFACING! In all you do, as a man of God, let Christ deface you, for Him alone to be seen. Sir, seek to promote Christ and His kingdom alone, not yourself. What l say to you, I say to myself. May God help us

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Christian's response to Marie Stopes Family Planning for the unmarried sexually active women

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Marie Stopes, through their Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Effiong Nyong, advised sexually active single women to embrace the use of Family Planning methods in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy. This is reported in The Nations Online. He made a case for unmarried sexually active single women to avail themselves of the opportunity of the services of their NGO to obtain both short-term and long-term Family Planning methods. As a way of explanation, to be sexually active means engaging in "sexual activities that involve penetration of the penis into the vagina or the anus". So when Mr. Effiong canvases for sexually active single women to obtain Family Planning methods, it means women who are not married but are actively having sex outside wedlock obtaining Family Planning methods that will enable them to continue in their lifestyle without getting pregnant.

This sounds very absurd and shows desperation on the part of this non-governmental organization to push their agenda and ensure that sex is liberalized and all the consequences of sexual acts, in this case by unmarried women, are down-played or removed. The absurdity of this campaign shows in the title of the write up itself, "Family Planning good for unmarried sexually active women". What has an unmarried woman got to do with family planning? Which family is she planning? She is single; she is not married, hence cannot plan for any family in this context. The key word is 'family'. It becomes obvious that the problem is not how to control birth or number of children but how to validate a lifestyle. Pregnancy is one of the things that can result after sex, hence when an unmarried person is engaging in sex, he/she should bear in mind that this act can result in pregnancy.

The Bible teaches us that sexual activity is to be carried out only within the confines of marriage, where there is commitment, trust and care. (1 Cor.6:18-20). Sexual activity outside of marriage is called fornication, adultery and uncleanliness. (Gal.5:19).

Any attempt to encourage sex outside of marriage or to minimize its consequences is actually ungodly and in pursuance of anti-Christ agenda who opposes God's purposes. That is what this piece of advise from Marie Stopes is set to achieve. It tells people that it does not matter what anybody thinks about it, you can continue in your illicit sexual lifestyle, as long as you can avoid unwanted pregnancies by using our Family Planning methods, everything will be fine. But that is very far from the truth. Everything will not just be fine. Never be deceived into thinking that you can violate God's laws and stipulations, live against God's purposes and at last be free from the consequences of your choices. (1 Cor.10:8).

Choosing to be sexually active while not married is choosing to live against God's commandments. It is choosing your pleasure above God's laws. It is being hedonistic which means engaging in the pursuit of pleasure at all cost even above reason. While we do not have anything against married people planning their FAMILY with the services of Marie Stopes, as servants of God, we condemn this promotion targeting unmarried women. God wants His people to be holy and His people must read in-between the lines and abhor anything that will bring defilement to their bodies and eventually  disqualify them before God. Holiness still pays both for now and for eternity while immoral lifestyle has its consequences also both for now and for eternity. God bless.

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