This article is long overdue and you may agree with some of the things I have to say and you may not. Truth is I just have to get this out of my head. I hope after you read this you get the point of the article.

 

Many people ask where the voice of the body of Christ is today. Where are the Christians in Nigeria? There are Christians in this nation and still, corruption and terror attacks seem to be increasing? Are the Christians not praying? Are they not raising their voices?

 

They are raising their voices. However, they are raising their voices over the wrong issues as they are raising their voices at themselves. The division in the Christian Church today not just in Nigeria is something else. We have the Catholics, the Protestants and the Pentecostals. Amongt the Catholics we have the regular Catholics and the Charismatic Catholics. Amongst the Protestants we have the Anglicans, the Methodist and the Baptists. Amongst the Pentecostals (deep sigh), do not even get me started on that one. Everyone carries the mentality that my pastor does it better than yours, therefore your Christianity is not as strong as mine is. I mean why is it so hard to accept that the next person who goes to another church is your Brother or Sister in Christ. Let me give an example.

 

I was brought up with a Pentecostal background. Back in my old Church, women were not supposed to put on earrings, wear trousers, use make up or any form of extensions or weaves as they were considered things of the world. One Sunday, I was at the Teenage Church and someone asked if it was OK to listen to Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary (That was the time they released their first collaboaration effort, Thank You). The youth leader who spoke said that Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary were heavily influenced by the world. She added that they looked and acted like unbelievers and therefore we shoudnt listen to their music. In my mind, I was like “You have to be kidding me”.

 

That is just an example of how divided the church is. Everyone gets a revelation from studying scripture and they run with that. They set up rules that people have to follow and if the other Christian sees things a little differently, they consider that person doomed. Some argue that Modern-day Christianity is based on the teachings of Paul rather than that of Jesus Christ. Some even feel Paul was the false prophet that Jesus warned the disciples about. Therefore, these Christians begin to condemn other Christians who teach based on the teachings of Paul. I listen to some Christians talk bad about another Christian and in my mind I am thinking if we serve the same Jesus. The body of Christ is divided with every part thinking they can function on their own.

 

Bearing all things in mind, I ask myself the question, who is a Christian?

 

Well, a Christian is someone who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ. In addition, we can say a Christian is someone who believes that Jesus is his or her only chance for salvation. Whether I believe in meat or not does not make me less of a Christian than the pope. A Christian is also someone who lives like Christ and that’s where the word came from (Acts 11:26)

 

It is good to be wise though because Jesus has told us that there will be false prophets who would come in his name but that is not a license to tear others down. There are thousands of blogs on the internet and the aim of these blogs is to tear down Christians. Did I add that fellow Christians run these blogs? I mean you meet someone and you tell the person you are a Christian that is not enough; the person would want to know the Church you attend, the doctrines you keep, the music you listen to and where you hang out. Is my love and belief in Jesus not enough? Is that not enough reason to love me as your own?

 

In 2006, I joined a Youth Ministry and I love my ministry. The reason is because we are a diverse bunch of crazy people with a love for Jesus Christ, We are located across Nigeria and we have Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Pentecostals as members and when we come together to worship and to pray, we do it with one voice. When I walk into a meeting, I don’t care if the next guy beside me goes to a Church were his Pastor has a private jet or I don’t care if in my girl leading worship goes to a Church where they believe ladies should not wear pants. All I can think of is how much we all love Jesus and the amazing things we can do for Him on earth.

 

We are diverse. We are unique. We are different but we all love Jesus Christ. Let us spend time encouraging one another in the faith instead of pulling ourselves down. Let our pastors love themselves and not hate each other. Let them not badmouth other preachers at the pulpit and let them not see the next church as competition. It is only when we are united as one that we can do exploits. That is when we can take a stand against the injustice and corruption in our land. We have been lifeless for too long. We need to wake up.

 

Avalon says it best in this song called “We Will Stand”.

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand

Why we pull away from each other so easily

Even though we’re all walking the same road

Yet we build dividing walls between

Our brothers and ourselves

 

But I don’t care what label you may wear

If you believe in Jesus, you belong with me

The bond we share is all I care to see

And we can change this world forever

If you will join with me

Join and sing, sing

 

You’re my brother, you’re my sister

So take me by the hand

Together we will work until He comes

There’s no foe that can defeat us

When we’re walking side by side

As long as there is love

We will stand

 

The day will come when we will be as one

And with a mighty voice together

We will proclaim that Jesus

Jesus is King

And it will echo through the earth

It will shake the nations

And the world will see

See that

 

The time is here, the time is now

To take a stand, to make a vow

I won’t let go, you’re not alone

Now and forever, we’ll sing together

 

I cannot wait to hear your opinions.

 

By Harry Itie

 

Harry Itie is the Editor in Chief of Yada Magazine. He blogs at The Talkaholic or at Retro Symphony and you catch him on Twitter @BaldBlackBoy 

 

Image from calvaryinglewood.org

 

 

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26 comments

  1. Harry, this post nailed it!!!! I am containing myself from writing a very long comment so as not to appear like its another blogpost. haha!

    Everything you said here is true. Most of us in the body of Christ are majoring in the ‘minors’ and minoring on the majors. Meaning, we dwell so much in the inessential ( clothes, style of worship, version of the Bible to use) and forget we have a lost world to reach. Afterall, Jesus’ last and final instruction was “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you….” and if we summarize everything he has commanded, it boils down to LOVE. But really, is that what characterizes us Christians?

    Recently i wrote a blog post about a convention i went to where our Bible students performed some numbers. They portrayed a skit on division in the Body of Christ due to denominations…and sang to the song “We Will Stand”.

    I’m one with you Harry. it’s time we function as one body!

    Awesome writing. The Lord bless you!

  2. I think it’s a major strategy of the enemy to upset us a body with littles things that don’t even contribute to our setting up as a body.
    I have a lot to say about what’s going. For the bloggers (who call themselves christians) but throw heavy stones at the church through generalised blogpost based on one time personal experiences with the church, be warned. A person hurting you in an institution is totally different from an institution hurting you. The head of this institution is Jesus Christ and he will NEVER do anything to hurt you.
    These happening point to the truth that the end is near and thereb

  3. I think it’s a major strategy of the enemy to upset us a body with littles things that don’t even contribute to our setting up as a body.
    I have a lot to say about what’s going on but let me just pick this: For the bloggers (who call themselves christians) but throw heavy stones at the church through generalised blogpost based on one time personal experiences with the church, be warned. A person hurting you in an institution is totally different from an institution hurting you. The head of this institution is Jesus Christ and he will NEVER do anything to hurt you.
    These happenings point to the truth that the end is near and there is an unquenchable fire waiting for those who choose it.
    And Harry thanks so much for this timely post, it’s time we christians come together as an army, gather in at our victory position, and possess the gates that have been won for us. More than ever, I hear the spirit say, UNITE!

  4. I’ll try to keep it short.
    True…Christians raise their voices against each other,but in fairness,i think they also do quite a good job of raising it to God.
    In fact,i think they do too good a job of “raising their voices to God”.If christians want change,they should take responsibility and stop tossing it at God in “prayer”.Quite simply;Faith without works is dead”.
    A gospel that is not producing people of Truth,Faith and Conscience is no gospel at all.
    Abraham Lincoln.Christian.Abolished slavery.Assasinated for following his beliefs.
    Martin Luther King.Christian.Fought for civil rights.Assassinated for his beliefs.
    Mohammed Bouazizi.Muslim.Despaired against govt corruption.Self Immolated for his belief.
    Christ raised his voice,Christ spoke words,but,he still had to die to bring change.
    Lots of Churches told their members not to even SHOW UP for protests against a corrupt Nigerian govt,and we say we want change?
    Pffft!Spare me…
    Cancer’s when the bodys mechanisms meant to PROTECT the body against EXTERNAL influences,start to ATTACK the body itself.
    That explains it all,i guess…

  5. Until we as a people can unlock the power of Love, these issues will constantly plague us. But love is a function of Grace (God’s unmerited & unearned favour) & a lot still live like we’re under the law.

  6. Until we as a people can unlock the power of Love, these issues will constantly plague us. But love is a function of Grace (God’s unmerited & unearned favour) & a lot still live like we’re under the law. Ever conscious of what the law demands & unable to grasp what the Free gift of God to us all has accomplished and continues to accomplish for all who believe. We must therefore at every opportunity we get, exemplify this liberty, love & life that Jesus has given us so that even without speaking words, our very lives compel men to (even if it be briefly) take the focus of themselves & fix it on Jesus because they come to the undeniable conclusion that “these ones have been with Christ”.

  7. Awesomeness… N yeah tru we can sha pray a lot n do nuthyn like qru sed… Bt on d oda hand qru I think some of dem myta been wary cos of Rom 13

  8. Harry, this article is spot on!
    I share the same views as you…
    As you know, I’m a Seventh-Day Adventist and we go to Church on Saturdays…
    There was this young guy that preached last month, he said stuff like we are the true Church of God, in my mind I was like ‘so other Churches are what??!’
    He said hip-hop, rock and R n B genres are things of the world and Christian music should not be in those forms…
    A lot of people got offended and left…

    Our relationship with God is what matters the most, not the kind of Church we go or the days we choose to worship Him..
    We must learn to respect each other and quit judging…

  9. The comments have it all said. I would also say that these things can’t be avoided and will continue to happen. The Bible says there would be a ‘maturity’ of the body, the manifestation of the Sons…, what we can all do is be patient and also keep in faith.

    Truth is, all what you’ve said have been issues since the beginning of Christianity. There were so many controversies even few months after Jesus’ ascension.
    Just pick up a book of history, read about Constantine, read about the early church, you’d be appalled. But one thing we know is we have to make ourselves approved, be the Light and reflect the Lord Jesus Christ.

  10. I think the problem lies with how we see. What is the church? The church is the body of Christ! In my christian journey I’ve come to realize that everything we see is a type, a shadow, a figure of the reality which is Christ. The church is the body of Christ, our own body can be seen as an illustration. Our head cannot say it isn’t part of the rest of our body or does not need the rest. We wudnt be complete. In truth, the church has degraded right from the time of bro Paul, but the lord is recovering His church back to the begining. He’s recovering three main things 1. Christ as Life and everything to His believers, 2. The oneness of the body of Christ and 3. The functioning of all members of the body of Christ.

  11. Finallyyyyyyyyyy.. Sombodi just spoke my mind!!!! Mehn, dis is sooooo on point. If we keep dividing d body of Christ, it can neva function..infact it will be rendered DEAD. Imagine a human who’s arms, feet, eyes, ears, fingers, nose, etc are removed from d main human body..dats death and dats exactly what d body of Christ is suffering at d moment. Paul saw dis coming n he warned against it. Now we knw, we cant afford to die in ignorance. Christians, STAND UP AND BE ONE!!!!

  12. Shall 2 walk together except they agree? This write is not far from the truth and what we can attest to that we have experienced! We all need one another, differences aside because in the end its one God we serve!

  13. Excellent! I love your honesty. A lot of the division in the church is not biblical based but it comes stubborn people and religiosity

  14. Nice post. God help us. I see the body as one. We’re growing up in Him. We’re called to come together in the unity of the faith not doctrine. Therefore we shall.

    Too much to say… but the online critics should know this: God knows His people. ’nuff said.

  15. Harry, you wrote it exactly as it is and has been for a long time. People seem to be looking everywhere but to the holy spirit for guidance in this christian walk. What matters is the state of our hearts. Nice one!

  16. a very wonderful write-up.i think wot matters most is doing the right thing,so long as am justified in my mind that am on the right path,i don’t care wot pple says…whether u are a catholic,protestant,pentecostal e.t.c does’nt really matter…am i doing the right thing?do i really know dis jesus?am i still in his plans and purpose 4 my life?shld the trumpet sound today will i be among d chosen?e.t.c are questions we shld be asking ourselves.

  17. True talk, Harry. That is something i’ve noticed too. We are too busy working seperately  achieve when we can come together like in the days of the Tower of Babel and make a more effective impact on the world. This espirit de core which the body of Christ lacks, as a whole, is what the agents of the dark world are gaining their competive edge on. Another thing that divides christians is people adding their own rules and regulations to the salvation message (such as no make up, no trousers, etc) which either pushes christians to become hypocrites, rebels or simply pushes them away. This, therefore, keeps the average christian so pre-occupied of trying  present holy by those man-made standards that they lose focus on saving other souls.

    I agree with Ayo Stephens where he says this division is another brilliant strategy of the kingdom of darkness. Satan is largely behind the confusion and division we  in the body of Christ today. The same approach God took in dividing the people in the days of the Tower of Babel is the same approach satan has adopted in scattering the body of Christ and it’s working brilliantly. He is not a fool. “A  divided against itself cannot stand”.

    Different parts of the body of Christ are functioning but not all parts. The body is being pulled in different directions causing confusion. The day, the different parts get connected and can function as one, that is the day it can rise and walk.

  18. Yes, 1 Corinthians12 is it!!! GOD knows we are together. HE will gather us up in HIS Holy mountain and HIS glory will forever be seen throughout all Nations. Nations are not countries, the ‘Nations’ is everybody. If we live like we are the good guys and the bad guys are the bad guys, that is DIVISION, GOD says ‘WE SHOULD DIVIDE THE TRUTH AND THAT IS HOW TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL’ But let us know that EVERYTHING HAS ALWAYS BEEN ACCORDING TO PLAN AND THAT NOTHING TAKES GOD BY SURPRISE, HE KNOWS, HE HAS ALWAYS KNOWN AND HE KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE LIKE THIS, THAT’S IS WHY HE SAID ‘DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING’.

  19. When you mentioned the different divisions in the church, you forgot to mention CELE….lol !!
    It is unfortunate but true that so many “factions” exists within the body of Christ — especially in Nigeria. These division really makes the world mock us. You know, I have also heard some group of Christians who disregard the teachings of Paul , because they say he did not walk with Jesus when he was alive, — like his disciples — so his account of Jesus is just a “hearsay” version , very hilarious.
    I believe our diversity is to the glory of God, so as you pointed out in your essay, we should learn to embrace ourselves, as Jesus will do.

    Well done Harry , God bless

  20. *sighs*.. I din’t think this issue was this……
    Harry HArry, (I still wonder why I say ur name twice), very well said.
    I should think the last generations are locked up on their ideologies already, its up to this gen to uphold the real truths.
    Good post mahn. Cheers.

  21. Harry it is clear d@ dis article came 4rm deeeeeep inspiration, I luv it n I’m goin 2 snd it 2 err1 on ma bb even mutual frends, kip up d gud work

  22. Reali pray dat d holyspirit will expand dis wors in our heart becos a house divided against itself cannot stand. We pray 4 divine awakenin nd revival in d christain race cos we need 2 be united 2 make a change. God bless us all

  23. I understand the church politics and its just horrible
    But after all i have been through, this here is my conclusion
    All i want to do is be Christ Centered…
    When i became addicted to the word, i attracted two different kinds of Christians
    The first told me i was a fake and that i was just cramming scriptures
    and the second were disillusioned because of the things that had gone on in their churches
    When my storm came, i wasn’t really sure what was true and what was not,
    all i knew was that i was holding on to Jesus tight and He was holding on to me too
    All i want to do is shine!

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