Make a Move

Make a Move

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Make a move
Make a move

It is said that evil triumphs when good people do nothing. As Albert Einstein put it ”the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything”. And so it is our personal stand, that inability to provide an alternative to evil is an eloquent way of encouraging the evil. Not just taking a stand; make a move is a call on the church in particular and every citizen of the world to consider if we are doing enough, in the midst of the evil around us, to build the Godly, just, United and peaceful world that we have been charged with.

In Revelation 3:14-16 Mathew 5:13&16 we hear Jesus saying to his disciples,”’You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. ”You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”(Mathew 5:13-16). This challenge and empowering injunction have some implications for the disciples then, and the church today. Firstly, it implies that the church exists in a world that is both decaying, tasteless and in utter darkness. Secondly, that the preservation, taste, and lightening of the world are not just the responsibility of the church but are also the very essence of her existence. Thirdly, the accomplishment of this responsibility by the church must be decisive, practical, evident, and testimonial. And fourthly, that God awaits to be glorified by the successful accomplishment of this responsibility.

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As the early church began her mission she was confronted with the social and economic imbalance of the time which was contrary to her ethics and value system. In dealing with the issue, ”All the believers were one in heart and mind.No one claimed that any of their possession was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerful at work in them all that there was no needy person among them. From time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet and it was distributed to anyone who had need.(Acts 4:32-35).In this case, the church did not just take a stand against the social issue of economic imbalance by just preaching against and condemning those who practised it, rather they made a move towards providing a practical alternative of dealing with the issue. They demonstrated in practical terms how the economic gap could be breached. The church practically showed the rest of the society that the only godly use of individual wealth is to serve the need of others.

The same is expected of the church today. like the early church, the church in the world today cries, and very audibly condemn the high levels of social and economic inequalities of our time. Different denominations have gone further to take a stand against these inequalities by building schools, hospitals and other such facilities.
As an immediate fall out of the early church’s move to create an economic playground for all, it was face with the evil of deceit, hypocrisy, insincerity, and fraud. As we read, Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphire, also sold a piece of property. With his wife full knowledge, he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said ”Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?. Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold?. And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing?. you have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great year seized all who heard what happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land? “Yes, “She answered, Peter, said to her, “How could you conspire to test the spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also”.At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”(Acts1-11).

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In handling this matter, the young church demonstrated that the value system of the church is completely different from that of the world and that all who come to Christ must come sincerely and wholeheartedly be “vomited out of his mouth. “There’s no doubt in our mind that, a panel of inquiry would have been set up to investigate Ananias and his wife. And when the panel present their report, another would be set up to analyze the finding of the first panel. And so by the time the panel that would analyze the report of the panel of inquiry would have finished their work, Ananias and his wife might have to use the money they kept to either buy their Innocence or finance unending inquiries and investigation. Sign of lukewarm church. sign of a church that is running the risk of being vomited out of the mouth of the Lord, master, and saviour. We must move to avoid this.
The issue of unity among Christian is the key In the authentication of the Christian message. As our Lord himself prayed in John’s gospel”…. that they be one”(john17-22), the early church took seriously the issue of Christian unity. ln the progressive years of Christianity in Nigeria, three of the main established Churches-The Anglican, The Methodist, and The Presbyterian took a stand of unity seriously and made practical moves that gave birth to three major institutions. Our fathers then were mature, mission-minded, and heavenly focused enough to overcome all this. This “Ecumenical “move, no doubt unified and booted the Christian witness and mission in Nigeria. Unfortunately about two decades ago, a major leg of “the tripod stand” was broken. The unity could not stand a mere pushing of the enemy of the Gospel, resulting in the kicking out of the Methodist and Presbyterian from the institution and so remove the”Union “that was part of the institution from inception. What a tragedy!No matter what happens what we are saying is that the Christian Church knowingly cast doubt in the minds of those she offers salvation through the Gospel of Christ. Bitterness, unforgiving spirit, disunity, and uncharitableness cannot be marks of the church of christ.

So this separation and disunity, no doubt, put a question mark on the sincerity of these denominations in proclaiming a faith they claim centres on love, peace, unity, and forgiveness. Therefore only taking the stand to preach unity, forgiveness, and, and tolerance for the sake of the Gospel is not enough,a practical move to demonstrate these Christian virtues no matter the urge to the contrary, is what is required of the church.

Joy Chinonyerem

Joy Chinonyerem is an ardent follower of Christ who believes in Living the Christian Life according to the tenets set by Christ himself. She is passionate about Walking by Faith, as commanded by the scriptures and uses her blog, Walking By Faith Blog, to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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