When I got born again at the Living Word Training Centre, towards the end of my service year in 1986, our primary focus was service in His Kingdom.
The vision then was equipping believers for the work of the ministry. I served in the 1985/1986 year. I later became a member of the CGMI, 102 St. Micheal’s Road. The song in the choir was “… down in the streets, the people were dying; down on the beach, the people are dying. We must go . . . to set the captives free”. Evangelism was really our supreme task.
With Bishop DoctorJohnnie Abraham Abrampah and others, we went to prisons, schools, leper colonies, orphanages, and remand homes to preach the good news.
We were so excited about our Sunday School preparatory classes with sister Ebonye (now Mrs Victor Uchegbulam), Tony Nze, Emeka Livingstone, Onwuka Kalu, and David Nwachukwu, and many others I can’t because my memory is fading. We taught Sunday school with so much zeal. Our Christianity was beyond what God will do for us but more of what we would do in His kingdom.
We did not need guest speakers and great men of God to perform miracles for us; miracles followed us. We were miracle workers as ordinary Christians. We saw miracles in our shops, workplaces, and my hospital on regular basis.
It was when the era of flamboyant guest speakers and their grandiose unverified testimonies, usually having happened in other cities and never happening in the present situation came, that our attention was shifted to only expecting miracles instead of being responsible in His Kingdom. Suddenly, young men and women started acting like these men of God.
Silver and gold, we did not have then; what we had was the power of the Holy Spirit. Our clothing was simple, but we were clothed with power. Our messages were simple, “Only Jesus can save”, but they had spiritual handcuffs.
Our churches were not attractive but saved souls flocked in. Sophisticated and rich people humbly sat on long benches. Industrialists then, at Aba, sat on long benches in the Assemblies of God Church. Those churches produced great preachers of today in the city of Aba and in the East.
Our churches are now air-conditioned with padded seats, half-naked “yahoo yahoo” boys and half naked girls with uncultured breasts popping out. Sexual immorality is now like in the Corinthian church, but we pretend that all is well with, “Somebody make some noise!” Noise? It’s now like a “… tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Our pastors with Gucci suits and shoes no longer command respect and Holy Spirit power despite their big cars. Even with numerous convoys and police escorts, they are still vulnerable to the ‘bermuda triangles’ of ‘slay queens’ in our churches.
Governors knelt down before Archbishop Benson Idahosa, including military governors. Now, our Archbishops with their Louis Vuitton clothes and canvas shoes kneel down before civilian governors. Archbishop Benson Idahosa spoke fear into the hearts of military leaders. Today, we change our messages to glorify local government chairmen because we have pursued gold instead of glory.
I am all for beautiful churches and well-dressed pastors and their wives. My archbishop was a powerful dresser, but he matched it with responsibility and power. You don’t mistake him for a Nollywood star.
Please don’t come here to comment and argue if you did not experience the glory we saw.
God Bless You.