Nigerian Christians like to play the victim a lot, especially when it isn’t necessary.
It is as if they are wired to take every criticism wrongly. You guys take this “Body of Christ” thing too far, and I hold, too misplaced.
It just seems sad and offish when the average Nigerian Christian cannot separate the actions of individuals (in this case, church leaders) from the stance of what they call “The Church” or, the body of Christ.
At the sight of even the tiniest criticism of an action/comment of a church leader (especially the popular ones) in Nigeria like this, y’all start yapping “attack on the Church”, “attack on the Body of Christ”…attack attack attack…
The one I find utterly ridiculous is the 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘭𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘴 – How when these things happen, and this average Nigerian Christian abandons the issue, deflects and goes: “can they dare attack Muslim leaders?”, “if you are bold, can you attack Islam like this?“. Unnecessary, if you’d ask me.
When they also want to make you feel as if you, the critic, practice ‘china’ Christianity, they go blackmail-ish and say stuff like: “you criticize because you don’t understand the things of the Spirit”.
A wack line. But to them, it works.
In the wake of the public criticisms that have followed Bishop Oyedepo’s latest comments about the lockdown, I’ve seen a few comments from these guys and all of them have characteristics I described above — susbstituting individual actions as a representation of the Church, and showing partisan inability to separate the two.
So, earlier in the week, the Bishop spoke, albeit ‘MURICally‘ (shocking, right?) to berate the reopening of markets while Churches remain closed in Nigeria.
I won’t bother talking about the man of God’s signature die-some comments, rather, I’ll prefer we educate ourselves on the phrase – individual responsibility – since it seems we don’t know what it is.
Individual responsibility – every adult human is responsible to choose, instigate, or otherwise cause their own actions or what they say, and thus, can be held morally accountable or legally liable (to it).
In the case of these church leaders, Bishop Oyedepo, Baba Adeboye, Pastor Chris Oyaks and Co, (probably your local pastor too), their own individual responsibility is even gifted a weighter burden because of the huge following they command. Meaning that they, more than an average Sayo out there, need to carefully assess whatever they do or say.
They are human beings, hence, fallible.
They can misyarn, costly, but it makes them just human.
When they express PUBLIC opinion, it is on their account, it is individual, not representative of the Church.
They are Church leaders, not The Church.
Do you get it?
Do you get it now that it will be nice if we stop defending, deflecting and debating NOTHINGNESS? That your ‘Body of Christ’ is safe and does not need your talibanship at the slightest sighting of criticism?
That you can actually enjoy the mental independence of being able to disagree with and criticize some opinions of these MEN (read Human) of God and still totally respect them?
That when you don’t separate these things and enter the ‘avenger’ mode, you then inadvertently expose The Church to real ridicule?
That you don’t have to operate under a colonial grip of fear, dogma or paranoia at everything?
Truth is, the Church can be under an attack of another sort, definitely NOT just this ‘carry-over’ type;
So fellow Brethren, face front.