An Anglican Cleric has advised Nigerians to abhor stealing because of the damage it has on the victims in an exposition on the theme of the 12th General Synod of Church of Nigeria in Port Harcourt, the Bishop Ijebu Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev’d Ezekiel Ayodele Awosoga, said that stealing was responsible for the fall of man and many nations.
Speaking on the Day Two of the Synod, the Bishop defined stealing as corruption, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, robbery, forceful seizures of neighbours property as well as sinfully spending of what one has, thereby depriving oneself of a meaningful life.
He said that God hates stealing that is why He forced satan the devil down to the earth, even as He expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
Rt. Rev’d Awosoga said that out of contentment and greed has forced many people into indulgence in corrupt practices, thereby causing much harm to the society.
The man of God who quoted several Bible portions to buttress his claim, also listed instances where God dealt with kings and nations because of stealing.
He particularly mentioned the case of King Ahab and Naboth, who was killed because of taking over a land that was not his, and the case of Jesus Christ driving away the money changers from the Temple in Jerusalem, among others.
While describing stealing as a terrible sin, the Bishop warned Christians against indulging in it, pointing out that “if God can punish kings and nations because of stealing, we should be careful of what we do.”
According to him, “the reason why God is against some rich men is because they do not pay their workers and have made themselves rich through the wages of depriving people.”
The Anglican Cleric described the theme as a burden to the church in view of the pervasive nature of corruption in the society and stressed the need for the children of God to continue with their struggle against the manifestation of corruption in the society.
He however, said that the church as the body of Christ should not allow any act of corruption to rear its ugly head in its fold.
The Martin Service was conducted by Rt. Rev’d Nathan Kanu, Bishop of Aba Ngwa North Diocese, Province of Aba.
SHOW CORRESPONDING RESPONSIBILITY,PRIMATE CHARGES YOUTHS.
The Primate of the All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh has charged the youth to show a corresponding responsibility even as their parents or guardians are catering for their wellbeing.
Most Rev’d Okoh, while reacting to Bible Study on the theme: “Thou Shall Not Steal” said there is need for young people to know that life is all about responsibility.
“Anglican child must know his/her responsibility. The youth must know that there is nothing like free life,” the Primate told the audience while instance where money was invested in youth project without any positive result.
He said that time has gone when parents would provide everything for their children’s need.
According to him, it would be foolhardy for parents to continue to feed their children and their grand children.
While acknowledging that the Anglican Church has a responsibility in building the young ones morally and otherwise, he said the church would continue to provide the best for the youth with a view to making them socially responsible.
In his contribution, Ven Alex Usifoh called for proper definition of theft and graft, noting that when an ordinary man steals it is called stealing, but when the privileged class is involved in corrupt practice, they call such act of graft.
He argued that the issue of graft is not giving the right colouration of the offense being committed.According to him, the issue of graft is like removing the stint from the deed.
Responding, the Bishop of Diocese of Ijebu, RtRev’d Ezekiel AyodeleAwosoga said no matter the semantics, corruption and graft are both aspect of stealing and should be abhorred in all ramifications.
Rt Rev’d Ezekiel Ayodele Awosoga however, called for the massive investment of the church in the training of the youth.
The Bishop noted that massive investments in youth development will enable the youth to toe the path of moral rectitude as well as come back to the path of truth.