Please for the sisters in this story for healing both physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Also pray that the perpetrators be brought to justice and that they may be encountered by the Lord.
The Church must go back to preaching the Gospel of Jesus which transforms lives and cultures and brought the fear of God into the lives of our communities. This "gospel of health and wealth" we have embraced can only make us weaker and weaker everyday because it has no spiritual power. God bless.
Yes, total and unqualified power is not meant for mortals to exercise. Absolute power is power that is independent and autonomous. It is not accountable and submits to no one. An office with absolute power makes laws for other people but lives above the laws it has made. It cannot be questioned and owes nobody any explanation. Absolute power exercises unguarded freedom without boundaries. This freedom is the reason why the occupiers speak freely and often carelessly. They can say anything, do anything and expect nothing else from those listening or watching them but to accept everything without questions. People with absolute power normally do not have good men around them. Praise singers, hypocrites and yes-men are the only ones that can hang around for a long time because they are the only ones that can be accommodated. Good men and old friends can only be accommodated at the early stages of the assumption of office, but once they settle down, they begin to drop their old friends one after the other.
The fact is that some offices, at their creation, do not have absolute power but some demagogues and power mongers can convert it into such by changing the laws and intimidating the people. The power of the office can also be converted into absolute power when they are raised above criticism, favoured and judged unlike other men and some mysteries created around them and their positions. Through this conversion, we have created tyrants on pulpits, thrones and other seats of power.
I dare say that God, the Creator, never made anyone to exercise absolute power. No one, I repeat, no one is endowed with the qualities and character to carry and discharge absolute power. The fallen man does not have the capacity to handle absolute power. He needs a horizontal as well as a vertical accountability in order to discharge justice and do what is right.
Any office that has absolute power will produce unintended monsters as its occupants. Put a saint to occupy an office that has absolute power embedded in it, it will not turn him differently. He may manage to resist at the beginning but give him many years to come, he will become what others before him became – monsters. Any office, be it religious or political, with absolute power embedded in it explicitly or implicitly, is a killer of morality. It is a pit and a grave yard, even for the most pious.
Many that exercise absolute power do not seem to understand what they have turned into until they leave office, if the position has that provision and the occupants allow the transition to continue. Then looking back, many ask themselves, “who did these despicable things? Who wrecked these havocs?” They will see that they have left in their trail broken lives trampled upon, dreams caged or destroyed, crying and weeping souls who could not save themselves from their cruelty and others just crushed because they dared to have an opposing view. There are some who unfortunately do not have the privilege of after-office reflection. They die in the position of power and are only left at the mercy of history.
Every office, whether political or religious, except occupied by the spirits, must have a sort of regulations and laws that guide the actions and or inactions of the occupants. The occupants do not make the laws that regulate the office, they submit to the laws that established the office.
Lord Acton’s words in 1887, contained in the letter he wrote to Mandell Creighton, who later became the bishop of England, are very instructive here. Mandell was writing on “The Papacy in the Reformation Epoch” but instead of presenting history the way it was, he tended to ignore or defend the atrocities committed by the Roman Catholic Popes who used the “papal courts of the Renaissance”, the inquisitions and tribunals to convict people unjustly and tortured and burnt many at stakes. Lord Acton accused Creighton, “you say that people in authority are not to be snubbed or sneered at from our pinnacle of conscious rectitude. I really don’t know whether you exempt them because of their rank, or of their success and power, or of their date… I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favoured presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” Most of the Popes exercised absolute powers and like already mentioned, they turned out to become one of the worst dictators in the history of Europe.
If we want to live in a decent society, we must not fall into the fallacy that the office sanctifies the holder of it. Because every office is occupied by fallen men, we must create accountability structures that will help the occupiers to do what is right. Constructive criticisms and engagements must be advocated at all times without fear or favour. Though often bitter, but it reminds us that we are mortals. Even when the position is religious or the occupier is pious, we must not pretend or assume that the occupier cannot do any wrong or that the office has sanctified him or her. If you are the person in position, do not destroy the accountability structures you met on assumption of office. Strengthen them instead. Accept your critics as a gift and resist the temptation of increasing your powers, except you want the office or position to destroy your morals and integrity. Because you are a mortal being, absolute power will also corrupt you. Yes, absolute power is not meant for mortals. It is meant for only the Immortal God to exercise.
Finally, we need each other to remain the humans God wants us to be. Our hearts, as fallen men, need to be transformed and tamed. Only the acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continual submission to the Holy Spirit can do this great work in your heart and mine.
What is happening in Southern Kaduna is very worrisome. I watched a syndicate sessionorganized by Southern & Middle Belt Christian Forum and hosted by a social media television channel some days ago and the revelations are disturbing. In this twentieth Century, a people group is being attacked almost on a regular basis, women and children are killed, many are wounded, the remnant are displaced and the attackers come back to occupy the abandoned places of the victims. As one of the contributors alleged, these attackers are enabled by those in government. In fact, he claimed that the grazing reserve that the government created some years ago have been expanded with land belonging to the indigenes and Fulanis of different nationalities come to settle there and almost all the attacks come from this settlement. Islamic Emirates are created by the present State Government over a people group that is predominantly Christians and animists. He alleged that a case in point is the Adara Kingdom whose traditional ruler Dr. Maiwada Galadima was gruesomely murdered after he was kidnapped on his way going home from a meeting he had with the Governor. Though ransom was paid to the kidnappers, yet they killed him and his wife. Instead of appointing a new king for the kingdom, a new emirate has been created that will oversee the area.
Other contributors equally alleged that it is not just that the government is supporting and enabling the attacks, the military and security forces are accused of being complicit in the unfortunate situation. In a situation where the State Government will declare a curfew, every member of the community stays at home with the military manning the check points, yet the attackers will evade all the check points, enter and attack the sleeping communities, murder and maim for hours without any challenge, then when they have completed their mission and gone, the military will yet again enter these ravaged communities to arrest the youths who come out to protest the killings. On some occasions, a contributor alleged, the military will first enter the communities and search and confiscate and arrest those who have bows and arrows, locally made guns and matchets in their homes and almost as they leave, the attackers will come back to ravage the communities. Several reports have been done on these wanton and senseless killings. The narrative presented by the State and Federal Governments is that it is a communal clash, yet the question is “what is the essence of government if not to resolve cases such as this and bring peace?” If they are communal clashes, will the government stand by and see a genocide committed under its watch? The army brass said that it is not a genocide but “activities of criminal elements on both sides and not ethnic cleansing as it is being claimed”. The problem with this narrative is that it is only one side that is continually doing mass burials as reported by CNN here.
However, the question actually is, “must we wait until it degenerates to what can be categorized as ethnic cleansing before the government stop the killings?” Who are the providers of these weapons? Why is every section of the country complaining about the same ethno-religious group?
As Christians, the purpose of this review is for us to earnestly pray for our governments and those in authority. Also, we need to start to speak up and engage at all levels so that security can be restored and we can “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim.2:1-4 ESV). We have to start to speak out because we do not have another life to live than the one we live now. No other time to make impact than now. No other generation will deal with our issues than our generation.
Today it is Southern Kaduna, where will it be tomorrow?
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Yesterday, I wrote a post here about speaking out against injustice and standing for those who cannot stand for themselves.
I now saw this post
concerning one Izu who committed suicide because someone listed his name as a rapist and abuser of women. He contacted the person who made the list for an opportunity to clear his name but the chance was not given to him. I don't know the worldview that moulded him to see suicide as a way of resolving a conflict or freeing himself from an accusation, but definitely not the Christian worldview. The Christian worldview encourages us to be strong in the face of anything, including false accusations, sufferings, knowing fully well that this life is a battle ground and we have no other option than to fight it and win, because our Saviour has made us more than conquerors. He has given us the grace for victory. No matter how complicated the issue may be, cowards are the ones that commit suicide and you cannot afford to be the one that will commit the murder of yourself. You are not the Creator of any life including your own life, hence you are not permitted to take it. "To use your freedom to take away your freedom is not a good thing"
Having said that, as a follow up to my previous post, I think it is time we start taking the issue of speaking up very seriously when there is injustice, oppression, maltreatment, victimization, evil, false accusation etc. Don't just keep quiet because you are not the victim. Do not stand aloof because you are strong. Don't just walk away because you think it does not concern you. When we do that, we are not obeying the Scriptures. Most of the major rights movements were initiated by practicing Christians like the fight against slavery championed by William Wilberforce and against racism by Martin Luther King Jr. Doing these things can be a lonely venture and is often dangerous because of the presence of evil in this life. However, living itself is dangerous and being a Christian in this "adulterous and sinful generation" is precarious. We have to obey our Lord.
People do not want to be associated with someone with a "bad tag". But it is time we Christians begin to ask further questions, do what our Lord commanded us to do and what He will do if He were in our position. We have to decide to obey Him, suffer and bear shame when it is the only way to stand for the truth.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
God bless you
, through their Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Effiong Nyong, advised sexually active single women to embrace the use of Family Planning methods in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy. This is reported in The Nations Online
. He made a case for unmarried sexually active single women to avail themselves of the opportunity of the services of their NGO to obtain both short-term and long-term Family Planning methods. As a way of explanation, to be sexually active means
engaging in "sexual activities that involve penetration of the penis into the vagina or the anus". So when Mr. Effiong canvases for sexually active singe women to obtain Family Planning methods, it means women who are not married but are actively having sex outside wedlock obtaining Family Planning methods that will enable them to continue in their lifestyle without getting pregnant.
This sounds very absurd and shows desperation on the part of this non-governmental organization to push their agenda and ensure that sex is liberalized and all the consequences of sexual acts, in this case by unmarried women, are down-played or removed. The absurdity of this campaign shows in the title of the write up itself, "Family Planning good for unmarried sexually active women". What has an unmarried woman got to do with family planning? Which family is she planning? She is single; she is not married, hence cannot plan for any family in the context of sleeping with a man. The key word is 'family'. It becomes obvious that the problem is not how to control birth or number of children but how to validate a lifestyle. Pregnancy is one of the things that can result after sex, hence when an unmarried person is engaging in sex, he/she should bear in mind that this act can result in pregnancy.
The Bible teaches us that sexual activity is to be carried out only within the confines of marriage, where there is commitment, trust and care. (1 Cor.6:18-20). Sexual activity outside of marriage is called fornication, adultery and uncleanliness. (Gal.5:19).
Any attempt to encourage sex outside of marriage or to minimize its consequences is actually ungodly and in pursuance of anti-Christ agenda who opposes God's purposes. That is what this piece of advise from Marie Stopes is set to achieve. It tells people that it does not matter what anybody thinks about it, you can continue in your illicit sexual lifestyle, as long as you can avoid unwanted pregnancies by using our Family Planning methods, everything will be fine. But that is very far from the truth. Everything will not just be fine. Never be deceived into thinking that you can violate God's laws and stipulations, live against God's purposes and at last be free from the consequences of your choices. (1 Cor.10:8).
Choosing to be sexually active while not married is choosing to live against God's commandments. It is choosing your pleasure above God's laws. It is being hedonistic which means engaging in the pursuit of pleasure at all cost even above reason. While we do not have anything against married people planning their FAMILY with the services of Marie Stopes, as servants of God, we condemn this promotion targeting unmarried women. God wants His people to be holy and His people must read in-between the lines and abhor anything that will bring defilement to their bodies and eventually disqualify them before God. Holiness still pays both for now and for eternity while immoral lifestyle has its consequences also both for now and for eternity. God bless.
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