The Rt. Rev. Simeon Adebola, Bishop of Yewa Diocese Anglican Communion made this call at the Consecration of three new Bishops at the Cathedral Church of St. Jude Ebute Metta in the Anglican diocese of Mainland.
The erudite Scholar who took his text from 1 Cor. 16 verse 16 described the Bishops as the Vanguard of Christ’s great commission in Matt. 28:18-20. According to him, “Christ’s great commission movement is the greatest plan ever given to man by the greatest person who ever lived. He said it is imperative on the three Bishops to lead the people to proclaim the gospel and convey them from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Christ; saved from sin, bondage of Satan, showcasing around the nation.
He admonished the new Bishops to work with the pragmatic zeal to save the people from illiteracy, madness and rebellion against God, from materialism and poverty, from hell here and beyond the grave, especially when one is alienated from Christ.
The Bishop who had been privileged to serve as Chaplain to two Bishops in his younger days in Priesthood shared his experiences about Bishopric and how challenging and thankless the job and office of the Bishop is. He added that he used to think it was child’s play but now having spent years as a Bishop, he is better informed about the challenges and difficulties encountered by those occupying the office of a Bishop. “It is a hot seat”, he said.
He thanked God for the Church of Nigeria and the creation of Missionary Diocese which he pointed out, has been misunderstood by many; because of the system that allows free criticism.
Bishop of Yewa diocese opined that many Bishops of these missionary dioceses have justified the confidence reposed in them and have worked very hard to establish not only Anglican presence but Christian presence in all places. Bishop Adebola said it may look theoretical but help is not far from the Church even though the devil is always near.
He said Bishops are preaching the good news to those who have never heard it adding that there are Churches who preach the good news and get people out of bondage; bondage to tradition and to many ancestral problems, and sacrifices. According to him, civilization has overtaken them and that paved way to what they could use to eject the Spirit and the Spirit left; the bondage, the jinx he said is broken and end has been put to sacrificing a whole being so that life may continue.
He prayed that the three men of God consecrated will use their gifts, intellect and all their resources at their disposal; their ministry will prosper, in all places they are posted and many men, women, orphans, widows and the helpless will be saved and cared for from this era of unwarranted suicide where Nigeria is now. He challenged the worshippers who sat on the pews to examine themselves if they ever live the gospel they hear on daily basis, and whether they understood it. He asked many thought provoking questions on whether there are Bible believing, Bible practicing and God fearing Politicians, Lawyers, Judges, Civil Servants, Businessmen, and Permanent Secretaries.
He highlighted the evil going on in our institutions of higher learning and the atrocities being committed by the lecturers who now sell examinations, write the answers for the students for a fee and the students deceitfully go about with flying colours with little or nothing in their brains. He said students no longer do some book swotting or burning the popular midnight oil.
While giving the critique of the home, Bishop Adebola asked if we still have Bible believing, practicing and God fearing husbands, wives, fathers and mothers who live by example. He gave a thorough wash and cleansing of the society when he finally asked if we still have truly blended Pastors. According to him, Christianity does not seem to have affected the Church well enough this he said is sad and bitter. He admonished that no room should be given to detractors who are saying that our Christianity is one inch deep.
The Retreatant and Preacher said the Christian heritage is the hope of this country, so it must be preached for people to believe and their lives, attitude changed and proper orientation imparted for conversion to be made possible, for Nigeria to have a hope. He urged Christians to be addicted to the Service of Saints like the household of Stephanus adding that if someone is not addicted as a Christian, he is not a Christian; he cannot stand and be counted. Not only this, he opined that if a Bishop is not addicted to the work, preaching the gospel, living the life of a believer through and through or walks righteously, vigorously and even contagiously as a Christian so that his life can affect others positively, that person is not a Bishop.
He urged Christians to be agonizing in prayers adding that they cannot be children of God and still be in this mess. He called on the Consecrated Bishops to ask God to do something that will make them change the people not only in their jurisdiction but in the whole Church of Nigeria, so that the gathering of the people will not be in vain.
By Ven. Foluso Taiwo