Thursday, June 19, 2008

The power of the Church...

Following up on my recent Crisis of Values post, here is an example of the Church (in this case, the Anglican Church), taking an ethical stance against sexual exploitation in the banking sector. Whatever the Anglican Church of Nigeria's stance on other issues, I applaud this position taking.

Just imagine if the evangelical pastors started to preach ethics in the workplace, rather than spout the usual BS about prosperity and deliverance. Just imagine if they put on workshops, wrote pamphlets which they gave out to their flock. Instead of them ranting on and on incoherently waving their arms about and sweating, they could be using basic Christian moral principles to help support the fight against injustice and sexual exploitation in the workplace. That would be a powerful thing.


ababoypart2 8:18 pm  

"Just imagine if the evangelical pastors started to preach ethics in the workplace, rather than spout the usual BS about prosperity and deliverance" - Any time I see you, the drinks will be on me.

anonymaus,  5:31 am  

I'm not sure if that would be welcomed. If the religious establishments could wield such power, the place would go up in flames (and watch out world). Such unchecked power there is dangerous, and with religion you can't question it or disprove it - because it all comes down to faith.

Power in Nigeria in whatever form is frequently abused, so maybe it would be better for them to keep raving on about money and prosperity, and not create a bigger problem by attempting to remedy apparently "smaller problems".

Religion there is used to attack others, not help others. It's used as a weapon.

Mr C 12:17 pm  

I think religious bodies are meant to contribute more than they presently do.
The link takes you to my views on the function of religion in the Nigerian project(An April post on my blog)

Anonymous,  2:20 pm  

Your anti-Pentecostal prejudice blinds you to the fact that there are many Pastors doing great work in the area of "promoting a spirit of excellence" amongst their flock. People like Pastor Agu Irukwu and Pastor Tony Rapu. There are countless seminars along the lines of Christians in the Marketplace, to promote sound business ethics. Others like Pastor Matthew encourage people to go into self-employment to escape discrimination and unemployment. It is facile to "spout the usual BS" that all pastors are only interested in raking in money from gullible people. CHANGE THE BLOODY RECORD MATE!

Talatu-Carmen 4:45 pm  


How are you using the word "evangelical"? I think you might be using it differently from a lot of people who self-identify as evangelicals. Visit, for example, a typical ECWA, COCIN, Baptist, etc church in the middlebelt, which self-identify as evangelical, as far as I know, and you will find much the same message as the one from the Anglican bishop in Lagos.

I even visited a PENTECOSTAL church in Jos last week in which the pastor made FUN of "the usual BS about prosperity and deliverance." I realize that there is a lot of this BS out there, but such messages on ethics and corruption are hardly rare in church. I've been in evangelical churches (and 1 Pentecostal church) every Sunday since arriving back in Nigeria, and I've heard substantial messages (at least one of them on corruption) devoid of prosperity and deliverance each Sunday. (I've also seen plenty of pamphlets and workshops on such issues too. Check out the TCCN bookshop or ACTS bookshop in Jos.)

Patrick Cook 12:16 am  

Talatu-Carmen, The Anglican Church in Nigeria is one of the most evangelical churches in the Anglican Communion, although I suspect that what is considered evangelical in the global north is pretty much par for the course in Nigeria.

The Anglican Church of Central Africa is also taking a hard line against Mugabe, as, I believe, have the Roman Catholics.

Talatu-Carmen 3:37 pm  


Yah, I know the Anglican church in Nigeria is evangelical, in the sense that I use the term (which would include most Roman Catholic and Pentecostal churches here as well). I just wasn't quite sure how Jeremy was using the term, which seems to be as a synonym for "Prosperity Gospel".

For the record, I visited another Pentecostal church in Kano today, and heard substantial messages and prayers against corruption and for the stability of the country.

So, basically, I'm in agreement with anonymous 2:20. It is easy to stereotype the church as all prosperity gospel when all one sees of church is on tv.... When one goes to church every Sunday on the other hand... and visits a variety of churches and hears many of the same messages stressing integrity... then such stereotypes become annoying...

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP