Sunday, 27 November 2022

MEN AND EMOTIONAL LOADS

MEN AND EMOTIONAL LOADS

Men are not good emotional load bearers. Men always snap and break in a prolonged emotional drag. 

There are five responses:
1. Some men under an emotional load will abscond. They just walk away. Walking away can present in many ways - drinking, unnecessary relationship, divorce etc. This response makes us vulnerable to snares that ordinarily we would not fall into if not for the emotional load.

2. Some men will become violent under emotional load. They hurt people around them in an unconscious effort to set themselves free. This response makes the man irresponsible, you cause wounds and afflictions that can last longer even after we are gone, and can land you in prison.

3. Some men under emotional load will just succumb to any demand in a bid to have peace. Many girls use this a lot to manipulate men. Even some wives equally use this to get what they want from their husbands. This response makes you a man without principles. You remain a puppet.

4. Some men under emotional load will simply engage the person creating the load in a battle and fight. They quarrel, sideline the person, stop talking to the person, punish through delays and denial of privilege, compete and make efforts to subdue and control. This response makes you a wicked man. Because the male gender does not often have the skill to deal with dragged emotional load, your fight will make you do things that when people hear it, they will not realize that you are struggling. They will just conclude that you are wicked. You will make several costly mistakes.

As a Christian man, your emotional loads can only come from your girl-child or married wife. Men are generally not good in playing this game. No other girl or woman should place any emotional load on you. That leads me to the only response I recommend.

5. (Recommended). Ask God for strength. Stand strong. You often learn a lot when you sincerely and humbly engage your wife with the mind of resolving the issue at stake and diffusing and relieving yourself of the emotional load. Seek to discover the need behind the emotional load and determine to meet it. Once met, the loan goes away. God often uses this to deal with our ego as men. This ego must be pruned if you are to make eternal impact and your wife is often the tool, and sometimes in the crudest ways. 
Be humble and seek to know what your Master wants to achieve in every situation. I pray you succeed.

Remain blessed ๐Ÿ™

#justthinking #justthinkingoutloud #justmythoughts #chrisekwedam 


Sunday, 30 October 2022

THE TEST OF POWER

Possession of power tests all of us. If you have not been given power, especially positional power, you cannot really say how good you will be in handling power.

Power is used to heal, to protect, to provide, to build, to grow, to unite and to influence generally unto effective delivery. Unfortunately, because of our inherent human ego, we tend to frequently use power more to destroy, break, trample, pull down and make others cry in pains. 

That's why every power handled by or handed over to humans must be checked. If there are no controls established around exercise of power, abuses set in. I have found out that it's also very difficult for a possessor of power to set up controls while in position. The best thing is to set up controls when nobody is in the office or position.

It's true that everyone has some level of power, but positional power can be very strong because it can be very visible.

The questions we should always ask ourselves while in positions of power include:

1. Do I have people around me who can boldly ask me questions? Do people around me think that they can air their views and they count? Or is everyone around me singing my praise?

2. Am I causing people to cry and weep, though I know from my heart of heart that I am right and working hard to do the right thing?

3. What's my sincere estimation and value for those who are "poor" or those available to me for getting things done? Do I think I'm better than they? What is my attitude towards them? Do I tend to be irritated at every little provocation, use abusive words or shout at them?

4. Do I review my actions everyday, making changes where necessary, apologizing where I've wronged people under me or do I explain things away? Have used the word "I don't care" when a complain is brought to me concerning someone helping me to get things done or concerning my actions?

5. Finally, do I seriously ask myself, what would Jesus do in this situation? What would He use this position to do if He were here?

Power corrupts. Power can make monsters out of us. Power can destroy relationships and crush lives. Exercise of power can bring regrets when we're done with the position that conferred the power on us.

A lot to say but may God grant us the wisdom to use power to build, restore and heal and not to destroy. May we join God in using power to bring about His redemptive work in this broken world.

Remain blessed ๐Ÿ™

#justthinking #justthinkingoutloud #justmythought

Saturday, 22 October 2022

Martyrdom is still real today - The story of Brother Leviticus Makpa

 He served Jesus till the end. Do you love Jesus?

Many stories when highlighted by the main stream media, sounds like just statistics until it hits close home.

Watch Leviticus ' documentary here: https://youtu.be/tvZzhdi2qbA

May God help us to finish our course and finish strong whether in long or short life. All I want from Him when I see Him face to face is "well done"

Remain blessed ๐Ÿ™

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Urgent need for Relief materials for the flood victims in Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra and others

That this flood has caused humanitarian disaster in Nigeria is no longer news. Many people have lost their lives while for many, their lives have changed forever. I watched with tearful eyes as corpses were carried out from houses in Anambra West. Below are just some of the pictures from Ogbaru, Anambra State.

Flooded roads. Can one imagine the force of this flood? Credit: Izunna Okafor, Onitsha (The Nigerian Voice)

Bishop's Court overtaken by flood. Credits: Izunna Okafor, Onitsha (The Nigerian Voice)

Bishop Prosper Amah in one of the flooded areas. Credits: Izunna Okafor, Onitsha (The Nigerian Voice)

According to the Bishop, they need assistance in the area of food items, speed boats to enable the church access the hinterlands to rescue survivors as well as funds to help them rebuild since even some farmlands are already damaged which will affect next year's harvest.

What can be done by Christians and the churches as corporate bodies in Nigeria?

1. Prayers: This is a time every family altar must be burning prayer incense remembering these victims. Pray for God's intervention so that the flood will recede. Pray for miraculous deliverances for the families. May God grant them the resilience and providence to stand and survive this period. Comfort and fortitude for those who lost their loved ones. Pray that God will stir the hearts of the leaders to respond appropriately to these victims with all the necessary help they need. 

2. Prayers: Please pray for the Federal Government to urgently complete the counterpart Dam in North East which when completed will help to accommodate this body water when released from Cameroun instead of being allowed to flow into River Benue to cause this kind of disaster.

3. Churches and religious NGOs must raise reliefs for these affected areas. Philanthropists and well meaning individuals can do well to synergize and help.

We have contacted the Admin Secretary of the Anglican Diocese of Ogbaru and he gave out his phone number for those that may want to contact him: The Reverend Peter Udenabor 08033309357 while online support can go directly to the Diocesan fund. Just tag your giving: Flood Relief Fund. 

Donate Here.

Friday, 14 October 2022

Sexual Purity

 



According to the presentation, Sexual Purity has to do with ensuring that everything that relates to my sex life is clean, unmixed, not faulty or defective and is free from dirt and stain which includes my heart, my conduct and my relationships. The standard for reference and definition is the Word of God, the Bible.

This is good for teaching in the Church both for men and the youths. Download the presentation using the link below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fShM5gXSzKucbt6cH8Bbd6chTLY7wpcf/view?usp=sharing

Download here

Download, share and enjoy.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Question, Questioner and Questionee



Asking questions is very important and we must be prepare to give answers as Christians. 

May this presentation both bless and challenge you. Our young people are asking questions but unfortunately, many of us are not ready to answer them. This attitude has to change if they are to be established in this holy faith. Time is running out. Remember, any question you don't give an answer to does not go away. Instead, someone else will answer it and you may not like their answer.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1igfRoPglfsPybR8WvHcU15pbvrWdBt3B/view?usp=sharing 

Download here

Download, share and enjoy. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

The Gospel Music Minister and his Sexuality

 I shared this with the Evangels Gospel Band of the New Covenant Anglican Church, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. 

I did not just deal with the sexuality of the Gospel Music Minister (GMM), I equally explored the Gospel Music Ministry and the Gospel Music Minister. I believe it will be a blessing to you and your music group.


You can Click and Download it here: The Gospel Music Minister and his Sexuality.


Wednesday, 23 March 2022

The NEW BIRTH by Chris Ekwedam. pdf for Free Download.

 Is it possible to preach on "born again" without even mentioning the word "born again" and yet the message of new birth is communicated and lives are transformed?  Is it possible to  jump up and down, shout "born again", use the word "born again" most frequently in our preaching, yet without  communicating what "born again" really means and lives are not transformed? YES.

Download my book on the NEW BIRTH here where I made a case for "born again" as a prerequisite for sonship. No matter what your view may be now, you will not regret you read it.

Remain blessed.

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Celebration of a life well lived...

When someone dies, it is the end of an existence on earth. The person has finished his or her sojourn. The earth suffers a loss. For Christians, we believe that the person goes to give account. Whether old or young, believer or non-believer, pastor or parishioner, christian leader or the led, it doesn't change the facts. It is a sober moment because it is a loss to our common humanity and no matter what we claim, we CANNOT tell how the person's account is before God. There are many secrets about people we don't know. We can only assume and believe and hope because of what we have observed in the person's life while here on earth but real certainty belongs to God alone. 

The Bible says that he that believes will have eternal life. If someone believes and dies, he or she has eternal life. Now the same Bible says that many who are first shall be last and the last shall be the first. He who endures till the end SHALL be saved. Hence, how a person finishes is as important as how he or she started. In specific terms, only God actually knows how someone finished. Only on rare occasions does He give a glimpse to the living. It calls for soberness.

What I see in the scripture is that the dead is mourned, old and young, and it's a time for the living to reflect, because we shall also all lie in state one day and stand to give accounts too. Burials are not supposed to be a celebration. If you want celebration, go to a feast but not in a burial. To buttress the point, we are admonished not to mourn like those who have no hope, hence depicting what the atmosphere should be like when one dies. When reflection has gone, soberness is relegated and not encouraged, and funfair and pump are embraced, then it presents us as worldly and an evil generation.

My thoughts ๐Ÿ™

#justthinking #justthinkingoutloud

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

My Testimony - Deliverance from Unknown Gunmen at Orsumoghu - Azia Junction, Anambra State

I considered sharing this testimony after reading other similar encounters of different people with the *Unknown Gunmen (UGM)* same weekend of 18th - 20th February 2022.  Unfortunately, a man in one of the encounters lost his life. Peradventure this may help to save more lives and stir up the governments, both states and federal, to do the needful.

On the 18th of February 2022, I travelled from Port Harcourt to *Akwaihedi,* a town after Amichi  for the burial of my late cousin who stood as my mother during my wedding. My own mother died two years before my wedding. I was advised by the husband to avoid Orlu - Ihiala axis. In his own words "there's war there between the UGM and the Security Agencies".

I got to Okija along the express way and encountered a heavy traffic jam. Vehicles were turning and following Ezego Road inside Okija. We were told that a trailer fell and blocked the two lanes of the highway. We came out of Ezego Road and branched off to Nnewi road through Ihembosi. From Nnewi, we entered Akwaihedi through Utu, Orsumenyi, Amichi.

On our way back after the burial, we were advised not to follow Orsumoghu - Azia road because of the Unknown Gunmen but to follow Utu, Ukpor, Orsumoghu, Mbosi, Ihiala. As we were climbing, approaching Orsumoghu - Azia Junction, it's hilly with two big road bumps on either side. I noticed two men from afar. I assumed them to be Policemen. Though the one with gun was wearing what looked like army camouflage trousers with sweater tied to his waist, nothing alerted my suspicion because most of our Policemen often dress that way. 

But something remarkable happened. As we approached, he seemed to be distracted toward what was happening on the other side of the road. He left to that side. When we arrived, I climbed the first bump, still slowing down in case "the policeman" would want to come over to check me. But my wife said, "continue moving since they're paying attention to the other vehicle the other side of the road" But I noticed that he threatened to pull the trigger two times towards the driver of the other car. The gun is a locally made type the vigilante use. I just continued to move slowly without any suspicion. When I climbed the second bump, through my rear mirror, I noticed that he began to pursue me with the gun. It was when a trailer coming from the opposite direction and two other cars suddenly began to turn and reverse with speed, it dawned on me that these guys must be armed robbers. The turning vehicles delayed me a bit while the gun man increased his speed in pursuing us. Thank God I was able to find a way to bypass the trailer, a Sequoia SUV and a Corolla and escaped. I literally jumped the two bumps across the other side.

It became obvious to me and my wife that God sent His angels ahead of us to distract the gunmen to enable us to pass. By the time they paid attention to us, like a bird, we had escaped from their net. Glorify God with me๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟ.

*My advice is that people should stop using this Ihiala, Azia, Orsumoghu Ukpor, Utu road until further notice.*

Thank you๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟ. Pls share let more people be alerted. It may help to save more lives.

Monday, 15 March 2021

The Danger of Self-Conceit

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."  Luke 22:31-34.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil 2:3 NIV

Self-conceit is an exaggerated opinion of one’s own qualities or abilities. It is an over-rated or inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance. Self-conceit is when you have over-confidence in yourself, what you can do or what you have done. You do not put into consideration your fallibility and vulnerabilities; you just feel you can and there is no reason for fear or caution. It is a manifestation of complex and a deception someone may feel secure in. Gal. 6:3-4 warns that “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” NIV. Self-conceit is a feeling, a thinking and an opinion that is exaggerated, it may not be the reality but the person bases his behavior on it. The passages we quoted above are filled with lessons and instructions.  Peter missed an opportunity to ask for mercy and grace because he was self-conceited. What has his answer in verse 33, expressing strength, got to do with the warning the Lord gave to him in verses 31-32? It is only self-conceit that will make a man to hear warnings from the Lord of all the earth, but only to ignore it believing that he has strength and can do “mighty things” for God.

What makes us self-conceited?

1.       The strength we think we have, whether perceived or real can make us to be self-conceited. What we can do or what we have done. Peter in our text above trusts in what he can do. It blinds us and hinders us from depending and seeking for the help we need either from others or from the Lord.

2.       The knowledge we think we have. Self-conceit makes us unteachable because we think we know and have no need of learning. There is this “I have arrived mentality” when we are self-conceited.

3.       Our gifting, talents, special abilities, possessions, and achievements can make us to be self-conceited. We may be tempted to overrate ourselves, which makes us to foolishly cross some common-sense boundaries which definitely will land us into trouble. As gifted men and women, we need to continually submit our gifting to the Lord. When we can pray, teach, or prophesy, the temptation is that after a long time of practice, it is possible to leave the Lord behind while we continue the use of the gifting. It just dawned on me that God has not asked me to trust on my prayer life or the quantity of scriptures in my head, He has asked me to trust Him. Prayer becomes empty and ritualistic when the Lord is absent and scriptural passages without the Spirit only become letters that kill.

4.       Good compliments and praises from people around us can be deceptive and can make us to become self-conceited. Men’s praise can make us forget from where God picked us up and our estimation of ourselves becomes bogus, knowingly or unknowingly. Fame and popularity fade, time renders both hollow.

5.       Lastly, position of power and the privileges of an office can make us to become self-conceited. We are often tempted to equate an office to the person occupying the office, which is a lie. Positions of power are transient. You can be in power today and out of power tomorrow. Every position of power expires. King Saul overrated himself and got destroyed. In 1 Sam.13, Prophet Samuel delayed from coming to the camp in Gilgal. Saul felt he could perform the same sacrifice like Samuel and asked them to bring him the animals for offerings even when it was not in his office to do. Again, he came back from a battle where obviously he didn’t do what God had asked him to do and the first thing he did was to go and erect a monument for himself at Carmel and moved on (Sam.15:12).

What is instructive is that the points listed above are not bad in themselves but can get us corrupted except if we don’t walk wisely.

Why is self-conceit dangerous?

I will summarize the dangers of self-conceit with five points:

1.       When we have an exaggerated opinion of ourselves, it makes us to put up a “bold face”. We can cover things up because we do not want others to know how weak we are. We can either give ourselves some reasons why we ought to live the way we do or assume some level of familiarity and favour with God.

2.       Self-conceit means that we are egoistic. We are loud and want to always be heard and want to have our way. We always have something to prove and show though we may be empty. It is all about impression. Because the opinion is exaggerated, the image of the person so produced is like a balloon which can easily be busted anytime.

3.       Self-conceit is a complex, a lie and a deception which makes it very dangerous. You cannot underestimate the level of low one can descend when you are self-conceited. Someone who is vain and egoistic can do terrible things. Because self-conceit is about false pride and bloated self-importance and worth, the person will have this sense of importance and indispensability which breeds impunity. It has produced tyrants, self-righteous men, traitors and men you cannot trust when the chips are down. Haman in Esther is a case in point here.

4.       When we are self-conceited, we hurt people around us and often find reasons for that. We may not care because we may feel it is inevitable for us to hurt them. The world must revolve around us and we must be the “celebrity” at the center of every conversation.

5.       Finally, when we are self-conceited, sooner or later, we will have a big fall. It can be a fall into sin or into some other serious life’s troubles. Why? Because, the person will not listen or give heed to warnings and warning signs; a near-miss is not a reason to reflect instead is an opportunity to boast; the person will depend on exaggerated abilities and his or her strength instead of depending on the Lord; there is this sense of false security, “I can handle it”, which will ensure the person continues to live dangerously until destruction comes.

The poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley tells it all on the outcome of vain glory:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;

Look on my works, ye mighty and despair.

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The poem is believed to be about Pharaoh Ramesses II who was once considered very powerful and even divine, however, his once intimidating monument lies in ruins in an unoccupied and abandoned desert sand. How time renders the glories of yesterday's men to nothing. Our glories today will become tomorrow's abandoned relics and nothing.

In this time of Lent, may we all seek the Lord in humility. May we inculcate His mind and be clothed with His life. When we humble ourselves, it is possible to avoid Peter’s fall.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Ravi Zacharias’ Scandal: My Lessons Learned

 


The final report released by the independent investigators concerning the accusations of sexual misconduct levelled against late Ravi Zacharias just came out on the 11th of February 2021 and the revelations are very disturbing and disappointing. Personally, I was heart-broken. When the news first came out in 2017 about how Ravi Zacharias groomed a woman named Lori Anna Thompson online, almost nobody believed the woman. The lame explanation given by Ravi Zacharias was swallowed hook line and sinker by the senior leadership of RZIM and by most of us who followed the ministry. I remember in April 2020 when Christianity Today wrote a tribute after his death and elaborated the accusation, I was among those that were not happy with the author and questioned the motive behind elaborating on an accusation which Ravi had denied and the couple have settled with him out of court. But with everything that has come out from this report, I was dead wrong. I really apologize for making negative comments concerning the writer’s efforts to dig out the truth. I now understand that keeping records, truthful records, is one of the duties of a faithful scribe.

In September 2020, Christianity Today ran a follow up story on the confessions of three women who worked as Massage Therapists or otherwise at a Spa co-owned by Ravi Zacharias. With the testimonies of these women, I began to sense that something was seriously flawed in the narrative given to us by Ravi and the Ministry Leadership. I eagerly awaited the result of the investigations. However, all my hopes were shattered when the interim report came out in December 2020 and suggested that valid evidence was found confirming some of the accusations.  The final report details the testimonies of the victims, the methods used by Ravi to gain the trust of his victims and eventually abuse them, and the enabling toxic environment within the RZIM ministry which ensured that Ravi was not confronted with his sins, and dissenting voices who were asking difficult questions were labelled and marginalized. He was found to be guilty of “Sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse and rape”. The RZIM Board has released an open apology to all the affected victims and repented of their ineptitude in the whole affairs and is taking several steps to right all the identified wrongs. Also, they are praying to know which direction the ministry will take going forward which may include changing the name of the ministry.

Now one may ask, why all the attention being paid to spilt milk? Why not let the sleeping dog lie, especially since the accused is dead and is not here to defend himself? The truth is that God does not work that way as long as it has to do with His work. While I was meditating on the whole thing, God, I believe, began to expound in my mind the importance of being faithful in keeping records, the work of faithful scribes. It re-dawned on me that many of the biblical writers were faithful scribes. If they picked and selected the stories they wrote about, we would not have the Bible the way it is today. I learnt once again that records matter even for the next generation. It is not about Ravi or any of the journalists who are doing their jobs. It is about keeping truthful records. Christianity Today has a statement on this. Ravi had the opportunity to respond when Lori Anne Thomas accused him, and he denied all wrong doing, sued the woman and the husband, accusing them of racketeering and extortion. He played the victim while the woman was painted as the person with a criminal intent. You can only be moved to tears when you listen to the woman’s testimony. She lost almost everything because of the power and influence Ravi wielded while alive. How else can these women be healed if not when the truth comes out? Again, how else can the living learn if not when the truth of the whole matter comes out?

There are also Christians who are hurting secretly because of this scandal and the only way they can move forward is when all the perspectives are made clear, especially by Christians who will give the whole discourse a biblical approach. As I wrote in my tribute when he died in April 2020, I came in contact with Ravi’s messages at a point in my life when I had crises of belief, even as a Christian leader. Apologetics is not common in my part of the world. Biblical truths are declared but not explained, hence those in troubles, especially lingering ones, never have the opportunity of having explanations. It’s rare to see any church in Nigeria having Q&A sessions to answer questions. When I listened to Ravi, God used his teachings to resolve my confusions. I enrolled and did the Core Module Course and have also downloaded and bought many of his books. I have quoted his works in most of my researches and presentations and introduced many people close to me to his works. One pastor friend, who got to know Ravi's works through me, called some days ago asking to know the truth about what he was reading on the internet about Ravi. I think I will be doing a disservice to them if I keep quiet as if nothing happened. I am disappointed but not devastated because it’s been long God taught me not to put my trust in any man, no matter how greatly the person has been used of God. God has taught me that all the earthly power that we wield, whether spiritual or political or otherwise, is transient and may not count to our advantage when we stand before Him. The treasure is in breakable, weak, earthen vessels of clay. (2 Cor.4:7). All of us are vulnerable and can fall, even to our own surprises. Our regalia and powerful positions do not insulate us from temptations, but can only ensnare us. What can we learn from this scandal both as individuals and as Churches and ministries? I want to lend my voice to many others who have kick-started the discussion. That is my focus in this write up.

As an individual,

  • I have been having serious personal introspection. It has come clear once again to me that I have to watch my conscience to ensure I maintain a clear conscience. 1 Tim.1:19-20. As noted by Michael Brown, any one of us can lead a double life.
  • I have to live transparently as much as I can because whatever I cover now cannot be covered forever. Luke 12:2-3. If you control the narrative when you are alive, what happens when you die?
  • Living in secret sin and laboring in the ministry is like building on sand. It is obvious that Ravi Zacharias built a magnificent great edifice on quick sand. Everything is crumbling and collapsing. Many of the partners all over the world are severing themselves from RZIM. Some publishers have pulled his books from their shelves. There is suggestion that RZIM may consider changing the name of the ministry entirely and downsizing the workforce to barest minimum. Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), the Denomination that ordained him has revoked his ordination. The church is suffering, the family is suffering and everyone of us is suffering and we all need prayers.
  • I have to open myself up to accountability, especially to my wife who is my closest friend and partner even when it is difficult and painful. 
  • I don’t have to be afraid when I try to respectfully hold a loved one accountable, especially those in positions, yet watching my own heart. If I suffer as a result, that is ok.
  • Don’t easily dismiss the complain of the weak against someone in a position of power.

As a church,

  • For the good health of the church and the ministers, boards and councils that have oversight functions should as much as possible be composed, not by family members and friends who are emotionally attached to the minister but members whose qualifications should be their Christian maturity. You are already in a big snare if you are surrounded by men and women who cannot look you in the face and ask you difficult questions at anytime and insist that you give adequate answers.
  • No assumptions, every suspicious behavior, must be queried and cleared. Why should you set up an office internet network but your own computers and devices are using a different plan? Though we have to be careful not to create an atmosphere of suspicion, the truth is that we have to be our brother's keeper.
  • The Board must be active and be holding review meetings. Most Ministry Boards do not have annual meetings until there are problems. The best many do is ritualistic just to praise the man of God for the great work he is doing, without asking personal questions. Many of these great men of God are lonely and are looking for trusted relationships they can open up to. If I am not allowed to ask questions, for example, after a financial accounts presentation, then I will better resign, because the reason for my being on the board is already defeated.
  • We must desist from the cult of human worship. No other man deserves our worship. Once a man is deified, he is exalted and separated to a place that is above criticism. When we do this, we ensnare both the minister and the followers, everybody is endangered; unfortunately, we do it a lot.
  • Quickly repent of any sin once it is noticed. Sin, especially sexual sins thrive in the secret. If it is not exposed and confessed, you will likely do it again and again. The worst in this category are the sexual sins that do not involve the second person, I mean masturbation, pornography, and all private sexual pervasions. The reasons they are dangerous is that men around you may never notice it as you can still put-up a spiritual outlook and live in this pretense for years. They lead to the public sexual scandals and are very difficult to stop. The lid has to be opened for the pressure to be killed.
  • As a minister, create time for accountability discussions with leaders who are spiritually sound. Churches, ministries, para-church groups have to insist on this and include it as part of the schedule of every leader, maybe annually or otherwise. Leaders need encouragement. They need shoulders to cry on and need others to listen as they share their personal struggles too.

Finally, God is bigger than all of us. He is bigger than our failures and weaknesses. He is not afraid of the failings of humans and those failings do not threaten Him or His work. We finish, we expire, no matter what He has used us to do, but His work continues. In a meeting a few days ago, a minister shared with us how God encouraged him to move on and run his own race and finish well when some years back he was grieving for another close pastor who had a similar sexual scandal. God told him that He has experienced human disappointments right from Adam and it grieves. But He emphasized on him minding his own race and ensuring that he finishes strong. 

So beloved, run your own race, finish well. The Lord Jesus said,  “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Matt.16:18.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Repentance before God or business as usual?

We thank God for bringing us into the New Year 2021. We come in, full of faith in what our God can do and full of hope in the pictures His promises paint to us. Many of us are seeking the Lord’s face to know what He will have us do. At the end of the day, it matters what we come out with as the word from the Lord. This brings us to the issue this discussion is focusing on today – the matter of false prophecies by Christians, especially when they come from respected Church leaders.

Some days ago, I watched with tears in my eyes, a video clip that contains the several prophecies made by many church leaders in December 2019 and January 2020 concerning what year 2020 would hold. Almost all of them were declaring like the Hananiah and other prophets in Jeremiah 28. In Jeremiah 28, while God was warning them through Prophet Jeremiah and intended them to repent from their sins and pass through the humiliation and burden of serving the King of Babylon, these prophets were declaring bogus peace and restoration and telling them that there was no reason to worry. God said that their prophecies only ended up sealing the people’s fate to be exiled from Judah (Jer.27:14-15). Year 2020 was one of the most difficult years the world has ever experienced, but none of these prophets saw it. They declared a year of peace and laughter when there was none. It wasn't.

Furthermore, many Christians for one reason or another, were very interested in what would be the outcome of the United States Presidential Election. The election has come and gone and President Trump lost. All his efforts to get the results overturned proved abortive. Going through the prophecies from some prominent Christian leaders, it shows that many of them got it all wrong. They said that God told them that Trump would win but he ended up losing. Then I ask, who actually spoke to them? This is because, one of the marks of God’s word is that it gets fulfilled against all odds. Many have tried giving reasons why what they prophesied did not come to pass. But none of their reasons suffices. Michael Brown shared a very insightful thought here. Yes, to all the prophets that normally give prophecies, you are either right or wrong. “There are no middle grounds”, he said. Either God speaks to you and it comes to pass or He does not speak to you and hence what you prophesy will not come to pass. He suggested that at the end, there will be need for “serious accountability, reflection and even repentance.” Already, there are two Pastors that have led the train of apologizing to their followers for giving false prophecies. Pastor Jeremiah Johnson had prophesied that President Trump would win a second term election and be returned back to the White House. It didn’t happen. He apologized to his followers and repented of his false prophecy, “I would like to repent for inaccurately prophesying that Donald Trump would win a second term as the President of the United States”. He took full responsibility. Some Christians are against his repentance but it is encouraging to read the comment of the New Testament Scholar, Craig Keener, “Thank you for your integrity. May many follow your model. And God help us with those who are being so hostile”. Kris Valloton issued his own apology and congratulated the President-elect Biden and promised to be praying for him. He said, “I take full responsibility for being wrong. There is no excuse for it. I think it doesn’t make me a false prophet but it does actually create a credibility gap. A lot of people trust me… I want to say I’m sorry”.

Personally, that is a Christian character. To be a Christian does not mean that you may not sin at any time along your journey, but it matters what you do next when you realize you have sinned.

I believe that we need to repent in Nigeria as a church and not carry on with business as usual. We have seen a lot of false prophecies; people gave their monies and sowed seeds without results; expectations were crashed as many waited for some prophecies that did not come to pass; bogus claims failed to yield results; the faith of many of our young people are shaken as they watch with questions in their minds. Unfortunately, even the questions of young people are not given adequate attention and answer. We have a generation of youths that do not believe in our God because there are credibility gaps here and there and all we do in most cases is to keep silence.

This January 2021 as we pray, I feel very strongly that instead of declaring things we did not hear from the throne of God, we should repent and present the Church before the Lord for His fresh visitation. Peradventure, He will remember us and show us mercy, especially to this our beloved country.

God bless you and Happy New Year.