Saturday, 11 May 2013

Nigerian revolution and the Apolitical Church

     Sir James Fazer in his analysis of the principles of thought upon which magic is based came up with two thought processes.  One, a statement of rules which determines the sequence of events and the other, a set of precepts which humans observe in other to compass their ends. The former deal employs a microcosmic approach, trying to know the factors that influence the occurrence of events, the latter is concerned in making the event happen. The reactive former draws inspiration from abstract conjectures, while the proactive latter draws strength from the action and practicability.

     As more parallels which seek to juxtapose the thought pattern of the present apolitical nature of the Nigerian church and the mental process that determines how it perceives its social realities, more questions beget the critical mind. The psyche and mental position of the Nigerian church pays spiritual dowry to the first. The present church is a reaction of the people’s wants.  Just like the mass media, the present church functions as an escapist tool, through which the masses can seek that anesthesia to forget society’s sorrows. It entertains the Nigerian mind with the riches of beyond, harvests of miracles, baby factories and instant contracts of marriage. Thus if you want to be rich, you sow seeds, speak to it and you shall reap bountifully. The Church does not equip the mind with the logic and practicability to transform ideas into products. It is rather a victim of its own mental trappings.

      When it comes to taking a stand on the political issues in the country, the church yet again chooses to perceive issues from conjectural formulations. It is not uncommon to hear of prayer and fasting programmes for the country. Even the president calls for prayers for the nation to deliver it from its problems. Most times the problems are placed in the hands of God with pleadings of ‘God help us’, ‘God will deliver us’, ‘God knows best’. No church questions the political process that allows for the type of leaders and nauseating corruption that rapes the country. No church preaches political reformation and change. No pastor, evangelist or bishop has called out his congregation to protest against fuel hike, extra judicial killings, lecturer’s strike or the outright insensitivity of the government, which are exemplifications of the second thought process.

       Rather the church is now a group within the political elite, a bourgeoisie that profits from the spiritual labour of the Nigerian masses. Like the government, it has lost contact with the people it claims to protect. It is now the psychological arm of the government. During the debacle of President Yar’Adua’s health, some selected ‘men of God’, went to Aso villa to ascertain the status of his physical condition. They all came back proclaiming that the president was hale and hearty. The president died some weeks later. The church has chosen to snub the stench oozing from the country’s decay. Politicians are given front row, some are even bestowed titles in church.

      The church is oblivious to its role in pushing for a political revolution and correctness in the Nigerian polity. It is the only body that unites most ethnic groups in the country. As such it can serve as an umbrella organization that would fill the vacuum left by labour, political parties and civil groups. It also wields the (political) influence and has the economic backing to sustain such. Imagine if all Catholics were to protest fuel hike, or all followers of Christ embassy were to picket the national assembly.

      The church played a huge role in Europe’s quest to conquer the world. The inquisitions, crusades, slavery, colonialism, and distribution of trade routes were seriously influenced by the interests of the church.  The Nigerian church cannot afford to remain apolitical. It cannot be impersonal and neutral in the midst of growing resentment against the political class, the uncertainty and fear of the political future of the nation. The Nigerian church is where the revolution for the new Nigeria should start from. It has the compliance and submissiveness of the masses. The Nigerian church would be committing historical abortion if it chooses to play a psychological role in dumbing down the consciousness of the Nigerian masses. Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist and Jesus all had confrontations with the political class of their time. Change must first occur in thought process of the church to observe those set of precepts which would navigate us to our political end

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