Before Christianity came to Africa,Africans were know to practice African traditional religion.The love of their Chi(god) and fellow human being was deep rooted...So many were so committed to living a life befitting of their religion....
Then came Christianity which was brought to Africans by the Irish (Western world)people..At the entrance of Christianity(Catholicism) in African ,the Christian religion sounded very strange and foreign but with time,Africans accepted this religion for what it is,a true and right religion .They accepted Christianity because they became convinced that it is a true religion..
The gospel news brought by Christianity revealed the emptiness of African traditional religion.Christianity also came with the condemnation and eradication of so many horrible cultural practices being upheld in African traditional religion such as the killing of twins...etc...
Today,Africans and in-fact so many continents and countries where Christian religion was not practiced before have come to accept and to live out daily their Christian life as expected of them.In so many African countries today and in particular my country ,Nigeria Christianity and infact Catholicism grows and flourishes daily with lots of vocation to the priesthood.
The same pattern of mass that was celebrated by the early missionaries still remain the same,the same traditions of the church still upholds ,the same readings at mass,the same sound doctrines and teachings thought by the early missionaries is still maintained....
In the seminaries,the same books written by so many fathers of the Church who are mainly Europeans and American are still been used to teach seminarians and priests.There are also Books written by some African priests and these few priests were also brought up and thought by western missionaries..
When the seed of Christianity and infact Catholicism was being propagated in Africa,no missionary ever said that the doctrines of the church as thought by the magisterium is dynamic(Changes as people change from sin to sin) ..We were not told that the Church changes as the people change...No missionary ever taught nor say that sin can be redefined nor the church can change her traditional teaching and doctrines outrightly to accommodate those who have “deliberately” decided to remain in sin without making an effort to change.
As the hospital is a home for the sick who wants to be healed,so also the church is a home for sinners who want to repent….Not for sinners who want to remain in the comfort zone of their sins and expects the church to tell them what they want to hear...
The priest,bishop,cardinal and even the Pope may tell you what you want to hear,but God who sets the rule ,who makes the law and who will judge all at the very end will still hold you accountable for all your immoral life and actions.
This same gospel message brought to us by the early missionaries condemned lots of atrocities that reigns supreme today in our world...The same God they proclaimed His message remains the same we worship today....the God that condemns killing,calumny,pride,hate,greed and hypocrisy remains the same...The God who abhors the killing of twins still remain the God that condemns abortion..
Dear friends,Today,there seems to be a culture of silent among shepherds of souls in the face of growing number of immorality and a thick smoke of sinful life raging in our society today .Nobody is a saint I agree,but as shepherds of souls,one cannot keep quite and watch wolves ravage and destroy the children/flocks of God..We are all striving to be saints but then we are bound in conscience and more especially as Shepherds of souls to stand against these tempest raging around the house of God...Call out sin by it name...Tell the world to repent even as you make effort to live out your own Christian life...Tell the world beclouded by the smoke of Satan that there will surely be a judgment day,a day of reckoning..
Oh yeh...You can’t speak from your two mouths...A pipe of water cannot bring out bitter and good water at the same time.....
Sin 100 years ago is sin today...You can’t tell me 100 years ago that killing of twin is sinful but you encourage abortion today.You can’t tell me 100 years ago that marriage is one man and one woman, but become silent in the face of homosexualism and lesbianism today...You can’t tell me 100 years ago that God created them male and female but champion the idea of transgender today....You can’t tell me 100 years that life is an inalienable right but encourage Euthanasia today....You can’t tell me 100 years ago that Sunday is a day of the lord but today you prefer swimming,visit to beaches,watching soccer and visiting amusement parks..You can’t tell me the essence of fasting,self control and self contentment 100 years ago but today wallow consumerism,inordinate desires/ambitions, greed and pride....You can’t tell me 100 years that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God but you prefer to call others monkey and look derogatorily at them .
Where will I begin and where will I stop...Wake up men and women,boys and girls,young and old...wake up...the time has come...The time for those who worships the Lord will do so in truth and in Spirit...The time when those who will worship him,will worship Him according to God’s own will and not their self wish interest ..The time for those who will worship Him will only depend on the rule provided by God Himself and not the one made by men and women ,according to the mind of men and women.
Fr.Alexander U Okere
N/B: Please read without prejudice