The theme of the 2015 Standing Committee Meeting of the Church of Nigeria holding at the Cathedral Church of St. David’s, Akure, “Look and live” has far reaching implications for Nigeria and Nigerians, it has been affirmed.
The affirmation was made by the Bishop Theologian for the Church of Nigeria, Rt. Revd. (Prof) Dapo Asaju.
According to the cleric, it is important that Nigeria as a nation retraces her step back to God and forsakes her sinful ways so that there can be true development.
Bishop Asaju compared Nigerians to the Israelites in the bible who sinned against God, but obtained His mercy upon repentance.
According to him, ‘the major implication of the theme of this meeting is that Nigeria has sinned like the Israel did and Nigeria is being bitten by several economic, political and spiritual serpents. People are dying by the day in their thousands and millions. Therefore, as the serpent was raised upon the pole in the wilderness, and the Israelites were told to look and live, this theme is telling the whole of humanity, not Nigeria alone, that the only hope that we have left is Jesus Christ’’.
Bishop Asaju stressed that “America is lost, Britain is lost, government is failing, people everywhere are lost, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, politics is unstable, Christ is the only available hope for the human race, and he is the only one that can offer salvation”.
He harped on the importance of the church civilisation saying the church has facilitated a number of life changing programmes in the society.
“Do not let us also forget that every good thing in the society today emanated from the church of God. The church fought for the abolition of slave trade, many nations of the world gained independence through the effort of the church.
He reiterated that the theme of the conference serves as a wakeup call for Christians adding that there is a need for all to go back to the foundation of life.
This conference is a reminder for us to go back to the basics, unite and effect the needed change.
Meanwhile, Prof Asaju also described religion and politics as two inseparable issues that shape the human society.
The Bishop noted that politics is practised mostly by the wrong people today because, as he puts it, Christians do not know what they are doing.
He opined that it is the duty of Christians to register their religious presence in the political landscape of the country and make a difference.
According to him: “One cannot really separate between religion and politics. It is only that the Christians do not know what they are doing.
“In Islam, there is no distinction between religion and politics. That is why they insist on Sharia and that is why anywhere they find themselves, they promote their religion and their own gods. Christians have to emulate this.
“In the olden days, we had theocracy, that is rulership by God. Democracy is not in itself an absolute and excellent system of government. It means a government of the people, by the people and for the people. God is not involved in this kind of government”.
He called for a culture of tolerance among Nigerians and warned against a situation whereby human rights are unduly infringed upon.
“It is when religion is abused to the extent that others are denied of their fundamental human rights to religion that problem arises in the society.
“We need a level playing ground for religion to be practised and politics to be played for the equation to be balanced.
“We cannot also push aside the role of God in governance. Politics is about the governance of the society and the society is created by God”, he said.