…And Ceman Preached It Without Fear

BY JOSHUA ERUBAMI
In virtually all parts of the World, there has been a drift from the true doctrine of the Holy book (Bible) for some reasons which have remained in the oblivion. At a time when those entrusted with the responsibility of fostering morality and spirituality have degenerated into agents of social negligence and promoters of moral decadence, it is a potent caveat and an endemic panacea that some men of God have chosen to toe a different path just like the Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to eat the defiled fat of the land where they were held captives.
These men of God who are well behaved and modest in character have agglutinated themselves to constitute what is now known as the Christian Elder Ministers Association of Nigeria (CEMAN). An Association that preaches and teaches the undiluted word of God without any special consideration for who hears: love them or loathe them, these honest men of Evangelist (Dr) Andy Nwanze are always on their toes to spit the hottest fireball of truth on the hearing organ of whoever cares to listen.
Recently, in what seemed to be another dimension to the conventional way of worshipping the great ‘I am that I am’, CEMAN organized an unparallel Prayer Rally on Thursday, May 21, 2015 which was held at the Asaba Zone 2 of the Church of God Mission International Incorporated.
The choice of the guest speaker for the event, which had the theme, “The Church And The Last Days”, was a cogent pointer to the fact that the Association was divinely ordained. Reverend Austin Uwaifo was the privileged man on the pulpit. Rev.Uwaifo is a man who lost virtually all he had in 38 years to the cold hand of Boko Haram Insurgency: a situation that made him homeless and should have given him more reasons to turn aside from God, yet he has remained in God’s fold, constantly telling people that God is good.
Strong, resolute, determined and unperturbed where the weakest qualifiers that readily came to mind as Reverend Uwaifo churned out countless specks of mind blowing truth which most Christians of today would have chosen to neglect. Without fear or undue reverence to any ‘my lord spiritual and temporal’, Rev. Uwaifo faulted both the pulpit (clergy) and the bench (congregation) for abandoning the word of God which, according to him, is the reason for their existence
Not even the most prolific writer will pen down his simple but piercing message without hitches however, I could recall when he averred that “what we have as church today may be likened to the ordinary building, but the body of Christ, which is supposed to be the true believer, is gradually wiping out. There is a problem in the church but those to solve it are not ready to embrace it.
“The quality of leaders which Nigerian churches have produced is far from what the bible requires. The bad leadership quality which we are criticizing today began in the church because as it stands, those occupying the best positions in churches are not the righteous onesbut the rich and the influential. The church now judge on the face value because many clerics and elders now mount the pulpit solely for the interest of their stomach. We now have men of God, who no longer talk about heaven rather, they amplify prosperity and immediate wealth acquisition.
“Nigeria has the highest number of churches in the World, the largest auditorium (because some pastors see it as a competition) and the most widely consulted church leaders, there is a mass exodus of people to Jerusalem for pilgrimage, on yearly basis, yet the highest level of drug addiction is found here and the jinx of corruption has not been broken over the years. Even our educational system has gone rotten because of poor leadership in the church”, the cleric lamented.
In a dramatic shift to the congregation, the cleric chipped in that, “members can no longer stay in church for long. We cry for a service of one or two hours, out of which more than 45 minutes is used for dancing and shouting without having a real impartation from God’s word.
“There have been elders since the beginning, men of authorities who are seasoned in scriptures and endued with the ability to teach God’s word with palpable examples in their lifestyles”, the cleric observed.
He was yet to round off the Holy Ghost inspired message but time failed to partner with him so, as he bowed out of the pulpit, he resounded, “we need to bring the bible to the church and the church to the bible so that the world will know what God is saying through the scriptures. We must rediscover the tap root of our existence: a knowledge that cannot be obtained through any formal learning institution but through the bible. We need to save our soul now that we still can”, he warned.
As he finally handed the microphone over to the Programme Director, the hands of calmness was conspicuous among the audience but, as Evangelist Nwanze noted, we must return to the true doctrine of God and embrace fervency in our prayer life. Many may not concur with this true teaching but one will agree that God said it and CEMAN preached it without fear.