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Monday, August 12, 2019

Is This Still the Church? (Letter from a Traditional Priest in Nigeria)

Written by  Fr. Alexander U. Okere
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Fr. Okere Fr. Okere

Nigeria is the African country where there is the worst persecution and slaughter of the Christians going on right now. Here is a powerful message from a Nigerian priest. Pray for him and his people who are suffering.

Before Christianity came to Africa, Africans were known to practice African traditional religion. The love of their Chi (god) and fellow human beings 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 Africa, 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 the 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 the Christian religion was not practiced, have come to accept it, and to live out daily their Christian life. In so many African countries today and in particular my country, Nigeria, Christianity and Catholicism grow and flourish daily with many vocations to the priesthood.

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The same pattern of Mass that was celebrated by the early missionaries still remains the same, the same traditions of the Church are still upheld, the same readings at Mass, the same sound doctrines and teachings taught by the early missionaries are still maintained.

In the seminaries, the same books written by the Fathers of the Church, who are mainly Europeans are still being used to teach seminarians and priests. There are also Books written by some African priests and these few priests were also brought up and taught by western missionaries.

When the seed of Christianity and Catholicism was being propagated in Africa, no missionary ever said that the doctrines of the church as taught by the magisterium are dynamic (that they change as people change from sin to sin). We were not told that the Church changes as the people change. No missionary ever taught nor said that sin can be redefined, nor that the Church can change her traditional teaching and doctrines outright to accommodate those who have deliberatelydecided to remain in sin without making an effort to change.

As the hospital is a home for the sick who want 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 expect the church to tell them what they want to hear.

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A priest, bishop, cardinal, and even the Pope may tell you what you want to hear, but it is God who sets the rules, who makes the laws and who will judge all at the very end. It is He who will still hold you accountable for your immoral life and actions.

This same gospel message brought to us by the early missionaries condemned lots of atrocities that reign supreme today in our world. The same God whose message they proclaimed remains the One 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 remains the God that condemns abortion.

Dear friends, today, there seems to be a culture of silence among shepherds of souls in the face of growing immorality and a thick smoke of sinful life raging in our society today. Nobody is a saint, but as shepherds of souls, one cannot keep quiet and watch wolves ravage and destroy the children/flocks of God. We are all striving to be saints, and we are bound in conscience and more especially, as Shepherds of souls, to stand against this tempest raging around the house of God.

Call out sin by its 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.

You cant 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 cant tell me 100 years ago that killing of twin is sinful while you encourage abortion today…

You cant tell me 100 years ago that marriage is one man and one woman, but become silent in the face of homosexuality and lesbianism today…

You cant tell me 100 years ago that God created them male and female but champion the idea of transgender today....

You cant tell me 100 years ago that life is an inalienable right but encourage euthanasia today....

You cant tell me 100 years ago that Sunday is a day of the lord but today you prefer swimming, visiting beaches, watching soccer and going to amusement parks…

You cant tell me the essence of fasting, self control and self contentment 100 years ago was good, but today wallow in consumerism, inordinate desires/ambitions, greed and pride…

You cant tell me 100 years ago 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 has come for those who worship the Lord to do so in Truth and in Spirit. The time for those who will worship Him, to worship Him according to Gods own will and not their selfish interest. The time for those who will worship Him to only depend on the rule provided by God Himself and not the one made by men and women.


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