Maturity leads to insight and understanding. Maturity should, ideally lead to intellectual independence and the ability to analyse issues from different perspectives based on understanding. Maturity is the ability to think and relate with people beyond your professional, ethnic, religious, and denominational confines, and appreciate others despite their flaws and differences.
When I got born again in I986, there were wrong ideas that were fed into our heads about village meetings, extended family gatherings, and Christians in other denominations like Roman Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans, and Christ Apostolic Church. In fact, you dare not relate with people from the Cherubim and Seraphim Group, Celestial Church of Christ, or people from African Traditional Religious groups.
When you become spiritually mature you can make your own deductions about people and their religious beliefs.
There was a week that an Anglican Bishop, and older friend of mine, sent his official car to carry me to a Cherubim and Seraphim Church to preach. I removed my shoes just the way I usually remove my shoes before stepping into my sitting room, and preached. Several of them got born again.
The next day, saw me in a Roman Catholic Church, and from there I was in a riverine community Kunukunuma to speak in a Zion Church (one of those churches with flowing robes and big crowns, where I spoke on Repackaging Ministries for the 21st Century and The Power of Knowledge It was fulfilling indeed.
The Roman Catholic Church is one organisation that is misunderstood and unappreciated for their level of organisation. It is one of the best organisations globally. They are nearly everywhere I have been to, even in the remotest part of the world.
They were very very helpful in taking care of malnourished children in Eastern Nigeria, during and after the Nigerian Civil War. They have been greatly responsible for introducing and developing primary and secondary education in Nigeria alongside the Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians.
They just donated 435 of their hospitals to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. That is a great sacrifice that demands recognition and praise. They have more hospitals, orphanages, old people’s homes, and rehabilitation centers than any religious organisation.
Their healthcare delivery is world class and very affordable. Their eye hospital, somewhere near Agbor in Delta State, is very affordable, and patronized by people of all religious persuasions from all over Nigeria.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, their churches obeyed the government order, and also proved their understanding of science and history by asking their member branches to remain closed, and worship from home.
Read previous Lessons From COVID-19 here.
They have seen pandemics and the consequences centuries before now.
I’m very sure they are very confident that their members will not flee to other denominations. I’m very sure their priests and workers will not be owed salaries this period, and they will not retrench workers.
I have always said that they have the greatest percentage of hospital beds in Germany. In several states in the United States of America, they own a significant percentage of hospital beds.
I want to specially thank and acknowledge the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria and globally. I have read and know a lot about eschatology, so I’m not speaking on knowledge that is half-baked. I also know and have heard a lot of undigested and unsubstantiated misinterpretations of the Book of Daniel and Revelation concerning most of these denominations. I know them too, but I choose to be spiritually mature.
I also acknowledge other churches and religious bodies and individuals that have contributed to the fight against this pandemic.
God bless you all.
Read the next lesson: The Challenges of Leadership in Crisis Situations.