Agapate Allēlous . . . (John 13:34-35) Evaluation of Living Out Agapate among Christians in Anambra State (Published)
This work studies how Christians in Anambra state obeys the injunction “love one another.” Anambra state is majorly a Christian state. Love one another, as I have loved you, is an injunction given by Jesus to his followers (disciples/Christians). The love he means here is sacrificial: selfless love. It is this sacrificial love that will prove to the world that his disciples are authentically his followers. This injunction or commandment to love is part of the farewell discourses of Jesus; this is to show how important it is to his heart. This was the guiding principle of the early Christians, but today the greatest problem is that there are dissensions among Christians. These include political, economic, social and even religious dissensions.The commandment of Jesus seems to have been jettisoned or relegated to the background. This work aims to investigate the genuineness of Christians (disciples) with the injunction of Christ who said: “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples”(v.35) and proffer solutions on how to be genuine Christians. To achieve this, data were collected from primary and secondary sources. To analyze the data so collected the researcher employed the Historical-Critical Method of Exegesis since a biblical text is involved. Through interviews and participant observations, the researcher discovers that there are dissensions among Christians in Anambra state which includes political, social and religious quarrels thereby casting doubts on the authenticity of their Christianity. This implies that the present-day followers of Christ no longer embrace the above divine injunction. The study made the following recommendations among others: Ministers should intensify catechesis to bring their followers back to the basis. Christians are advised to settle their domestic, social, and political disputes among themselves instead of court settlement knowing that they are brothers and sisters in Christ. Significantly, this work will be of immense benefit to all Christians in Anambra State in particular and Christians everywhere in general.
King Jaja and Christianity in Opobo Kingdom of the Eastern Niger Delta is part of our reaction to the notion that King Jaja was opposed to Christianity. The article traces the activities of missionaries in Bonny before the Bonny Civil War in 1869 which led to King Jaja’s founding of Opobo kingdom. In Opobo, King Jaja supported Chief Epelle, an evangelist, to return to Opobo to continue the work of evangelism. This paper specifically looks at the missionary activities of Bishop Crowther and King Jaja who felt he was biased, favoured the Manilla Pepple faction of the royal family against the Annie Pepple group. The paper opines that it was for this reason that King Jaja turned his back against Bishop Crowther and his version of Christianity. This paper uses both oral history and published works in Christianity in Bonny and other parts of the Niger Delta to support the argument that King Jaja was a Christian.
Religion sits alongside other factors to determine the capacity to understand, respond and recover from Disaster. Following the occurrence of the Lake Nyos disaster and as it became clear that the horrifying natural episode marked a turning point in the lives of the hardest-hit communities, religious leaders and their faithful brought a faith perspective to the explanation and response to the event. This article focuses on these religious reactions to the Nyos disaster, and draws on published research, oral sources and previously unexplored archival sources. After presenting the pre-disaster religious landscape of the area, it first investigates religious explanations to the origins and impact of the event. Second, it explores ritual practices that were observed in response to the disaster. Finally, it highlights how the disaster was used as a justification for Christian social action and proselytization among survivors. In the conclusion, I make the case that the religious faiths in the Lake Nyos disaster area explained and responded to the event in ways that were couched in religious terms.
The menace of cultism in Nigerian schools has certainly emerged as one of the main social problems in contemporary Nigeria, with obvious psychological consequences. This paper therefore examines the impact of religion in combating the demented acts of cultism in Nigerian schools, using Islam and Christianity as the basis. Religion dictates to its followers basic values intended to guide people towards living an ideal life-style. In Nigeria, there are two dominant religions: Islam and Christianity. To these writers’ minds the two religions do not condone cultism. The core values of these religions are purity, chastity, honesty, integrity, quality of moderation and humility. After the analysis of the causes and psychological impact of cultism, it then concludes with the submission that the menace of cultism in Nigerian schools can be drastically reduced or eliminated through the internalization and inculcation of the fear of God in the minds of students.
This article examines aspects of the socio-cultural institutions and practices in the context of traditional Mbaise society and culture. The process of evolution and growth of Mbaise society was predicated on a number of institutions and practices which had socio-cultural, political, economic and religious implications. Appreciating the fact that social development is a vast area in socio-cultural history, the paper concentrated on the family structure, marriage institutions, religious beliefs and practices. Traditional Mbaise society was endowed with these great institutions and others which Christianity sought to wipe out, though without success. The impact of Christianity and other western influences notwithstanding, the paper argues that these institutions generated ideas, values, and norms which crystallized into the Mbaise identity and cosmology. Against the backdrop of the popular opinion held by the western writers to the effect that pre-colonial African societies were not part of world history and civilization (and hence incapable of initiating change), we argue further that this negative and bias narrative about pre-colonial African societies is now very anachronistic and no longer worthy of intellectual attention by scholars of both African and European persuasions
The Pokot Worldview as an Impediment to the Spread of Christianity among the Pokot People (Published)
Christian missionaries established the first mission work among the Pokot people of West Pokot County in 1931 when the Anglican Bible Churchman’s Missionary Society (BCMS) set up a mission centre at Kacheliba. They, however, encountered a lot of resistance and non- response from the Pokot people. To date, the bulk of the Pokot people are still conservative to their traditional lifestyle and reluctant to open up to change and new ideas. This paper examines the Pokot worldview as a challenge to the spread of Christianity among the Pokot people. In so doing, the author seeks to establish ways through which evangelization could be done to make the Pokot people embrace change in order to utilize development opportunities that come with it. A descriptive design was employed for the study. Purposive, snowball and random sampling methods were used to select the respondents. The study was guided by the structural functionalism theory by David Merton of 1910. Descriptive analysis was used to analyze the collected data which was obtained through questionnaires and oral interviews. The study established that the Pokot community is much acculturated and the people are strongly bound together by their tribal customs; majority of whom prefer their traditional lifestyle to modernity.
Either directly or indirectly Christians involve themselves in politics. Today, the church interacts regularly with politics or with politicians and governments in three broad areas – in the articulation of its social teaching, in discussions arising from its involvement in schools, hospitals and welfare and in debate over particular moral issues as they arise from time to time. However, there is a common saying in the Christian fold, whether or not a true Christian should participate in politics by vying for a political post. Therefore, this study explores who is a Christian, Christian perspective on politics, reasons why Christians should be involved in politics and effect of Christian virtues in political system. The study concluded that politics is the thought, purpose and intention of God and the will of God for believers to participate in politics. Perhaps, the believer will be able to impart the lifestyle of God over the nation. People should not see politics as blight or bad, it should be admitted that politics in any form is not bad but the political players are bad.
Polygamy and Christianity in Africa (Published)
Whereas it is believed erroneously among many people that Polygamy implies the art of a man being married to more than one wife, the true definition of polygamy implies the idea of a man being married to more than one wife (Polygamy) or a woman being married to more than one man at the same time (Polyandry), or more than one man being married to more than one woman all at the same time which is communal marriage. It is the intention of this paper to examine Polygamy especially, which is the idea of a man being married to more than one wife concurrently at the same time. I shall, however, use the word ‘Polygamy’ because of its popular usage in spite of the fact that I am aware that the right word is Polygamy.
This study uses the linguistic stylistic theory to examine the use of language in the Beatitudes. This is carried out in order to demonstrate to readers that a speaker can deploy language to achieve stylistic effects. The study uses stylistic and content analysis to analyse the linguistic choices used by the speaker in the Beatitudes. The study reveals that each of the Beatitudes is a brief meaningful proverb-like proclamation of blessings. Each line of the Beatitudes has three parts: an ascription of blessedness, a description of the person’s character and a statement of the reason for the blessedness. The first eight sentences comprise two main clauses joined by a coordinator ‘for’, making them compound sentences. Line nine of the Beatitudes deviates from the rest of the lines. It has a single ascription with three conditions which are requirements for the blessedness. The verb to be form ‘are’, is the main form used in the first clauses of the Beatitudes and ‘Blessed’ is the ‘Subject’ throughout the text. The analysis identified three types of parallelism used in the beatitudes namely whole text parallelism, inter-sentential parallelism and intra-sentential parallelism. The use of these types of parallelism improves writing style, readability and comprehension of the text. It was also found that parallelism carried the idea of semantic equality of sentences and clauses within the Beatitudes, performed an emotive function on the reader, and created a satisfying rhythm in the language used by the speaker. The paper found out that each of the linguistic choices has identifiable function that is performed in the Beatitudes. It is concluded that these linguistic elements contribute meaningfully to the thrust of the overall message of the Beatitudes which assures people of high religious virtues to serve faithfully in order to receive blessing in the near future, and that the manipulation of words by a writer creates a distinct style through which he/she reaches out to the audience.
This article examines the nature of Satan through the various names that he is called. It also looks at the role religious leaders in Nigeria play in propagating wrong ideologies about Satan. The methodology adopted consists of the theological approach to some Biblical passages, using Reader Response hermeneutical principles to examine the different names of Satan. The result shows that Satan is more than an excuse for people to do wrong and Church leaders in Nigeria need to teach a more holistic message on who Satan is.
The basic aim of this research is to investigate the role of the Church of God educated elite in the social transformation among the Idakho of Kakamega County in Kenya. It is based on the analysis of local written sources, oral sources and archival materials. With the establishment of Christianity in Idakho, Church of God Missionaries quickly realized that in order for Christianity to gain acceptance there was need for social transformation among the Idakho. Their culture had to be transformed through imparting western cultural attributes to the converts in an attempt to undermine their culture. Consequently Church of God missionaries employed a secular policy through the provision of education as an approach to reinforce evangelization and to win converts. The church’s secular policy led to the emergence of pioneer teacher evangelists and educated elite which had comparatively well paid jobs as professional teachers, clerks, local administrators and members of the local councils. These pioneer educated elite and their children consolidated their social and economic power, both in the church and the Kenyan Government and used their leadership positions to harness economic influence in Idakho.
Christianity as a Tool for the Democratization Process in Nigeria (Review Completed - Accepted)
Our major concern in this paper is to periscope Christianity as a tool for the democratization process in Nigeria. We specifically looked at the extent to which Nigeria’s experience of democracy has a far cry for the ideals of democracy. Some literatures on the subject mater were reviewed, while data for analysis is from the secondary sources. The paper reviewed that, they are factors militating against the success of democracy in Nigeria spanning from disregards for the rule of law, political instability, lack of sincerity on the part of the ruling party, lack of true Christians in politics etc. The paper further expound the role of Christianity in promoting democracy; as Christianity cultivate moral and social political habit, inculcate respect for human right in the citizen, fulfills its social ethnical mission in the political arena. The paper recommends that Christians should take it upon themselves as a responsibility to fast and pray for the actualization of our democratic values in Nigeria. The paper draws a conclusion that, the role of Christianity in promoting democracy is essentially considered imperative because of the underlying truth that it can help facilitate development and social order.