A letter to my church
I know you have all been saved, and I hope you truly have, but there are certain things I do not understand. Things that you do or don’t do, say or don’t say, and expect or don’t expect. First and foremost, I sincerely appreciate your role in my salvation, for it was you that God used for the perfection of my redemption. Sadly, I do not know if you are still doing this or how well you are doing it.
What is our purpose, if not for worship and fellowship? Aren’t we representative of the body of Christ? Shouldn’t we then be pursuing His teachings to fulfill our purpose? I know I am a babe in the fold, but I have noticed things in your old age that point to the fact that you are veering off the track.
To the Shepherd:
Sir, your anointing is uncommon, and so is your understanding of God’s words. Little wonder, God has blessed you richly and made your ministry a force to reckon with in the land. You are certainly demonstrating the kind of riches that exist in the kingdom. However, your messages are beginning to go in that direction. Your Sunday sermons are now filled with prosperity, making little mention of the qualities required for godly Christian living. Your teachings are beginning to make me look on the poor as sinners, and as a result making me pray for the ‘true salvation’ of many of the church members who often cannot afford to give for the church projects.
I now believe the welfare unit is taking a cue from your ministrations with the stringent rules set out to qualify for any welfare package. The number of forms and referrals needed to get a pack (bag) of rice will weary the needy soul, if not kill, before the procedure is fulfilled. I know they are trying to sieve the truly hungry from the deceivers, but did Christ do this when he fed the multitude?
Even the church edifice we have built and still trying to build is one-of-a-kind. It’s certainly a masterpiece that any ‘god’ would like to live in. But I thought that God now lived in our hearts? The reason for my surprise is that I see how much of that fund we could have spent on the government hospital nearby, where many of our members are receiving inadequate medical treatment; Or for the public school opposite it, where our children are taught in poultry classes and by poorly motivated teachers. I know we already invested in the roads, which is a function of government, but that was done to ‘help’ our rich members with cars access the church easily. Why do we even give preferential treatments to those who give to church projects, calling them partners, and reserving front seats for them during church services? Sometimes, we even go the extra mile to brand them with “partners” stickers for them to post on their vehicles and door posts! Doesn’t this contradict the “left and right hand giving” teachings of our Lord?
I certainly share in your vision to colonize the earth with kingdom of God principles in all facets. But what is the beauty of a glittering head over a withering toe? The ministry’s venture into ground-breaking business terrains is truly laudable, albeit, I wonder when many of the members would be able to afford the services of these businesses. I understand you are pioneering a set of leaders that will dominate on all fronts, and you are setting the pace for us, but many of us lack the moral scruples to sustain such legacy. I and many of my contemporaries in the church feel this way! We know many of your messages are inspired of the Lord, but sir please can you start teaching those on righteous living, selflessness, holiness, honesty, and other Christian virtues required to build a lasting kingdom here on earth? We know that you already got those messages but were planning to teach us at a later time. However, we feel the time has come for you to teach us, show us and do these things.
Lastly, this letter is written to you because of the success of the recent affront of the infidels on the church. Our sister churches have undergone attacks for a while in some parts of the country, sending our brothers to untimely heaven. I believe the reason for their success is because the church has stopped — stopped praying, stopped loving and stopped shining. Most of all, we have now become like the world and still expect the spirit to lead.
To the sheep:
First, to the elders in the fold, may your days be long! May your offspring be innumerable! And may your last days not be in regrets. However, what have you left us with? You received the original doctrine and adulterated it with self-gratification, prosperity and church politics. Yet you blame us for the current failures of state and church. Where were you when the nation was being passed around like football among the men in khaki? And now, you have produced men like you who cannot speak out against oppression in the land, but ask the congregation to give willingly to the cause of the ministry. You take responsibility for what the church is, and an even larger responsibility for what the country has become. Nevertheless, it is not too late! Please spend the rest of your days praying for us, asking Him to lead us aright and salvage the mess. This is a great penance you should attempt to fulfill.
To the rest of us, I write with an amount of sadness. We have inherited a mess, but doing a good job of making a greater mess out of it. What we now call fellowship amounts to nothing short of jamborees and social gatherings. We are too lazy to read everything, even the very foundation of our faith which is the word of God. We have thrust this uncommon responsibility to our shepherd, who can only teach us as much as he is inspired of God. What happens when he is not in “good terms” with God? He simply teaches us what he feels, while we chew on it from bone to marrow, not caring to dissect with the sword of truth. It’s the simple reason we now idolize the shepherd, treating him as an object of worship.
I know this for a fact because if we acted on Mondays in our environments, the way we worshipped in church on Sundays, our communities will definitely not be like this. How can we even act, when we do not know the basics of Christian living? I know the shepherd has stopped teaching us for a while, but can’t we study God’s word personally? Are they not written there in black and white? Even the prosperity that the shepherd now freely teaches about, how many of us can boast of having gotten our wealth genuinely; without compromising?
As you read this letter, think about these things. Why has the church become loveless? Why is this nation, with such a large number of our followers, in so much darkness? Why have you refused to turn on your light?
To all, don’t get me wrong, God wants us to prosper, but wouldn’t He rather that we be holy, loving and righteous?