Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bishop Hassan Hukah and the Nigerian Pastors' Private jet saga

As many Nigerian Pastors join the race to a "better" and luxurious life, El-Rufai on commenting the speech of Bishop Hassan Kukah, also register his name among litany of those sensible Nigerians who marvel at the silent of the "men of God". He asks a question which I judge fundamental. 

Now that Bishop Matthew Kukah has spoken on Pastors and private jets, the bigots will apologise or forever hold their peace....
"Pastors With Private Jets An Embarrassment To Christianity", Says Bishop Kukah-The Nation - November 18, 2012 - By Sunday Oguntola
The acquisition of private jets by Christian leaders diminishes the moral voice of the church in the fight against corruption, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Kukah, declared yesterday.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World by Dambisa Moyo

One of those Africans, who have bravely written there names in the World economic analysis, an area where many Africans were, in the past, not always welcomed, either because of their "incompetency" (a situation subjectively and conventionally accepted) or because they was no opportunity for them to do so, Dambisa Moyo, has giving the economic sector another master piece. She has come up, in her usual way, with another thought provoking book on the Chinese race to World economic monopolization.
Here is the description of this her best selling book which, surely will not only influence the Chinese economic policy but also the attitude of the third world towards all her disguised economic saviours.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Pastors and private jets, a new way of understanding God's blessing among Nigerian Pastors

As poor Nigerians are crying for hardship, some self proclaimed Pastors and Bishops are seriously becoming unreasonably rich. How come that those who climb on the pulpit to preach modesty are moving on private jets and Limousines whereas there Christians cannot afford a normal daily ration? 
Here is a serious and critical analysis of this phenomenon which if care is not taken, is going to bring to an end, sooner or later, the glory that most of these "men of God" have always drawn from Nigerians fanatics? 

                         The Nigerian Church Is Losing It’s Purpose By Ayobami Oyalowo

Pastor Oritsejafor’s Wife with her Limousine
There has been a lot of tittle-tattle lately as well as so many discordant tunes on the propriety or otherwise of jets and gifts to pastors and men of God. The debates have been loud and raucous with so many people speaking from a position of little or no information. A lot of emotive vibes and outrage, for or against the perceived or real manipulations by men who supposedly have been given charge over the souls of millions, has become public fodder. Everyone appears to be venting their spleen wherever you turn.

Hosea 4:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV) 7 “The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds.

But what exactly should we do or say? Supporters of ostentatious and obviously manipulative men of the cloak are quick to put the critics in check by quoting “touch not mine anointed” lines ostensibly to show that men of “God” are above reproach and as such “lesser” men have no right whatsoever to criticize or condemn perceived wrong doings of these high men of “God.” But is this the case? Are these men truly above reproach? Is it biblical for the “under shepherd” to feed fat on the flock while the flock groans and hopes for a better day? All these we shall examine in this piece. Let me appeal that this treatise may exceed the usual length allowed for articles on this blog as it comes laden with supporting Bible passages, but I assure you, it will be worth your while. Take a sip of water and follow me patiently.
And plead with your boss at work to learn from it as well if he frowns at you. Who knows, your boss may have unwittingly contributed to purchasing a Limo, Hummer or Private Jet for his Pastor lately.
Christianity was first brought to the shores of Nigeria by the European missionaries in the early 1800s. When they came, they built hospitals and schools. In fact, many Nigerians aged late thirties and above, were products of missionary schools, which were either free or came with negligible or paltry school fees. The early missionaries and churches in Nigeria were predicated on love and social services to their immediate communities. Many people in the age range I quoted above got quality education and even health care, courtesy of missionaries and churches.
But fast forward to the present day. Church members are coerced to part with money they barely have, with either a promise of God blessing them in return or with stern warnings of perpetual poverty or even threatened with the danger of hell if they refuse to give “cheerfully”. God’s blessing in church today is now for sale and even your offering must be spoken to, so that it can bring forth plenty harvest.
(remember our local priests “babalawo” have a culture of asking clients to rub their bodies with monies and ask for whatever they wish for).
As a matter of fact, a particular church I know, a few years ago had a special offering called ‘dominion jet offering’, where adherents were made to donate towards the “ministry’s” jet only for the jet to be converted for the use of the self styled Bishop later. *My lips are sealed*
In the course of my research, I discovered that a teacher’s son in a secondary school of one of these various prosperity promising centers, who lives in the church enclave, could not afford to send his son to the school, as a teacher and also a member of the church. His son was rather sent to school in a nearby town. The modern Nigerian church tasks it’s members to donate towards various projects such as universities and elitist secondary schools, but curiously, the poorer members of such prosperity centers can neither send their wards or kids to such schools, neither do the churches have a program to cater for the poor amongst their flock.
Unlike the early missionaries who accommodated both the rich and poor in their schools, it is no longer business as usual for the poor. You either sow and get rich so that your children can also benefit from the schools built by the church you attend or find a lesser alternative, while hoping for a better day! The Church has become a class conscious body.
The passage in Act 4:34-35 which Reads: “(34) Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, (35) and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” has been totally ignored. In Nigeria’s contrivances of prosperity churches, it is survival of the fittest, elimination of the “poor” or unfit. How wonderful, won’t you say? No longer are we our brother’s keeper. Like 50 Cent, we have resolved in churches to get rich or die trying.

Linda Ikeji's Blog

We have been told that prosperity is a sign of God’s favor to his own people, but after reading and studying the lives of great men of God– men who brought great revivals in their time– I had to ask if Jonathan Edwards, a man who preached and thousands wept to the altar in one day, yet he wasn’t rich, or Smith Wiggleswort, a plumber whom God used to heal many sick and raised a lot of dead men, yet wasn’t stupendously rich, were missing a trick. Tozer, John Wesley etc were great men of God, who neither built castles nor owned the choicest properties in their time, but they made such differences in the body of Christ so much so that till this day, their works still speak for them. Unlike our spirito-christian magicians, these men lived simple lives, but turned many around towards righteous and holy living. Their time was termed the period of the great revival in history.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Pope appoints Mgrs Fortunatus Nwachukwu as the Apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua

PictureThe Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,  on Saturday 10th November appointed Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu,  as the apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua. The bishop-elect was born in Ntigha, Nigeria in 1960  and ordained a priest on 17th June 1984. 
A priest of the Diocese of Aba in Nigeria, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy (Urban University, Rome), and completed a Doctorate in Sacred Scriptures at the Biblical Institute in Rome, before transferring to the Jesuit Faculty, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt, specializing in Old Testament textual criticism. He obtained doctorate degrees in Systematic Theology and in Canon Law, respectively from the Pontifical Urban University and the University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was called into the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1994, after attending the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. He served as Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Ghana, Togo and Benin, in Paraguay, in Algeria and Tunisia and as Counselor at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations at Geneva. In 2006 he became the Desk Officer for human rights and United Nations Organizations in the Vatican Secretariat of State. In 2007 he was appointed Head of Protocol of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness.
His publications include The Birth of Systematic Theology in Contemporary Black Africa, The Courage to Change: Take Off Your Shoes, as well as numerous articles and a number of reflections on theology in Africa, published both in L’Osservatore Romano1.  
 ''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Friday, 2 November 2012

New Evangelization and the Islamo-phobia?

A critical look on this article shows that there is a new, but false, phobia of Islam. From the latest analyses of Jordan Denari, it should be seen from a wider and phenomenological perspective. Here is what he thinks about it: 

After Vatican screening of ‘Muslim Scare’ video, a call for dialogue By Jordan Denari

When he presented an amateur and xenophobic film about the threat of “rising Muslim demographics” a few weeks ago at the Vatican’s Synod to a group of more than 200 prominent bishops, Cardinal Peter Turkson sent an implicit message: religious pluralism and dialogue with Muslims pose an inherent danger to the Vatican’s New Evangelization, a papal call for the renewed sharing of the Gospel message throughout the world.
The video — which has been viewed over 13 million times on YouTube — intends to incite fear among Christians by pointing to untrue statistics about Muslim population growth. Insisting that Europe and North America will eventually become “Islamic states,” the film calls on “believers” to “wake up” and “share the Gospel message with the world.”
The video claims that engagement and evangelization are at odds. But as a devout Catholic, I don’t see it that way.
For me, dialogue with the Muslim community during my years at Georgetown University hasn’t pushed me towards conversion nor pulled me away from my tradition. It has actually made me a better Catholic.
My time serving as a board member of Georgetown’s Muslim Students Association, living a Muslim living-learning community, and working at an Islamic advocacy organization actually led me from a dry spot in my Catholic faith life to a place of devotion. Witnessing the committed prayer life of a close Muslim friend and her tight-knit community, I wanted to rediscover those things in my own tradition.
When before I questioned my Catholic identity, I now attend nightly Mass on campus, participate in a weekly Bible study, lead retreats, and organize Sunday services. Engagement with individuals who are different from me helped me fall back in love with the Catholic tradition in which I grew up.
Though my experience demonstrates the power of dialogue to strengthen the faith of Catholics, the unfortunate narrative about Muslim-Catholic relations that has dominated news headlines in recent years speaks of tension and discord.

A new Nigerian youth model, Malala Yousafzai: The courage of a child who stood up against the Taliban

As we continue to insist on the role of the youth in the project of a better Nigeria, we think that there is a need to propose some role models who, for socio-historical reasons, share the same reality with Nigerian youths. From all indications, Malala Yousafzai is one of those youths from whom Nigerian youths can learn a lot. Here is a nice article on this very issue:  

Nigerian girl child and the Malala inspiration By Emmanuel Onwubiko 

THE last couple of weeks have seen the World’s attention focused on issues around the girl-child. Precisely on 11 October 2012, the World marked the first ever special day reserved by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl Child.
Incidentally, while the rest of the World paused for a while to reflect on ways and means of promoting, protecting and enforcing legislative frameworks and laws that safeguard the rights of the girl child, the people of Pakistan were thrown into shock and trepidation over the attempted assassination of a foremost girl child activist, the little Miss. Malala Yousafzai by armed terrorists belonging to the banned Taliban gunmen while returning home in a school bus.
The attempt on the life of this young school girl who has shown remarkable gifts and talents as a good speaker and defender of the educational right of the girl child drew International condemnation.
The inspirational story of Miss. Malala Yousafzai as captured by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has it that she was born in 1998 in the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier province.