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14 Aug 2017

The Church Satan Built

Following the tragic killing of defenseless worshipers in an Anambra church recently, Nigerian writer, Tony Iwuoha, has given his candid opinion on the incident.
The Ozubulu church building
The perilous times are indeed with us. Death stalks man, even in the most unlikely places, the citadel of worship, because our worship is abomination unto God, no thanks to the hardness of the hearts of men. We have shunned the persistent nudging of our inner being, the open wound that only righteousness can heal,  seeking instead to bribe the Almighty with our fat offerings and the massive cathedrals we build for Him. But God laughs us all to scorn as we moon around in our hollow edifice and inane rituals.

God needs our heart for fellowship and daily speaks through our conscience; that incorruptible policeman of all activities of men. It is a dictator to whom all men are subject. There is no man too strong to evade the awesome power  conscience wields. It never keeps silence and speaks to both the deaf and the dumb, the quick and the halting, but compels no one to abide.

Some smother it, yet it speaks even louder from the grave. Sometimes, it is scarred but that is more to the detriment of the bearer.  When you bury conscience, it yet springs forth in amazing ways that shock humanity and damn perpetrators of evil. Though men try hard, no man has yet succeeded in killing conscience, for conscience is eternal,  judging every man, both the callous and humane. Such is life.

Sometimes, when men feel invincible on account of their exploits, riding roughshod because their evil acts seem well masked from prying eyes, conscience keeps laughing back, tormenting them to unbearable limits till they confess or are prodded to self-destruct.

Ask Evans, the billionaire kidnapper, who glamorised kidnapping. He picked his loot in foreign currencies. He lived in mansions befitting only kings. He covered his tracks well and lived among us, unbeknown. He did everything to suppress his conscience until the delectable laps of a woman set his house of straw on fire. Now inside the gulag, he rues the years when conscience spoke but he did not listen.  He rues the days when conscience beckoned but he did not hearken. He pursued vanity until it became ‘evanity.’ Now the chicks have come home to roost and conscience laughs the more.

It is just like the recent holocaust in the ‘house of God’ in Ozubulu, Anambra State, where scores of worshippers were killed and many more were maimed by unknown gunmen.

Stories flying around say the attack was perpetrated by gangsters who were out to settle scores with the man who built the church.

Without prejudice to the truth or otherwise of these stories, let’s widen our periscope beyond Ozubulu and ponder over the propriety of Satan coming to church. Why should the church accept hefty donations from known criminals? How can the traditional institution bestow high honours on known ritualists and occultists? How can the security apparatchik fraternise with questionable characters?  How can government court quislings and crime-mongers for votes at the expense of the people?

The church Satan built has collapsed, and shamefully too.  Do you expect God to inhabit such an edifice? God is not mocked.

The only witness between God and man is conscience. A lot of times,  we denigrate conscience, or pretend that it does not matter. Ever patient, God waits for us to stir our conscience back to life. Then He withdraws the grace that covers us. The result is calamitous, like we have seen in Ozubulu, exposing the rot in our values.

We want to hear from the church. We want to hear from the Eze, the police and the governor. Is the sad episode at Ozubulu as portrayed? Did they know the kind of characters they were cavorting with? Are they really such despicable beings? Is money,  power and position more valuable than the lives of people? Why would leaders abandon their responsibilities to the people and prefer instead to wine and dine with  merchants of death?

Such complacency on the part of custodians of societal mores is at the root of our diseased society. A society where money is everything and morality is bunkum. A society were moneybags are celebrated, even if fresh human blood drips from them. A society where people with no known source of livelihood or inheritance come into sudden wealth and nobody asks how come.

That is why politicians loot the commonwealth with glee, knowing that they shall be received and garlanded back home by their people who view them as worthy sons. That is why our daughters spend longer years in universities because it has become the norm for some lecherous lecturers to sleep with them first or fail them. That is why our unemployed graduate sons and daughters resort to kidnapping, armed banditry and whoredom because the Eze will give them high titles and the church knight or canonise them.

And now they build ‘churches’ too, flaunting seeming piety that deceive a deadened world but not the Jehovah. Who can ever bribe God? The time of reckoning comes fast when all those who have brought shame to the body of Christ shall be disgraced, for God has vowed to deny those making merchandise of the gospel.

My heart weeps for the poor innocent souls whose blood was spilled on polluted altars at Ozubulu or elsewhere. They went in search of God where He was not; like many others who have been misled to the house of Baalim by bogus miracles.

Satan has built shrines, alias churches, everywhere. Coated in varnishing splendour,  its putrid state within is alien to the unwary miracle seeker. The clergy and the laity are lured away by the razzmatazz of the new age, when showmen and conmen hold sway behind pulpits, captivating the ignorant and the stupid who choose not to marry their bibles. They have the mannerism of the pious but work for their father, the Devil.

‘Shine your eyes well well’ brethren, before you accept gifts from Lucifer. Did they not tell us that not everything that glitters is gold?

When next you go in search of God, seek Him first for who He is, in truth and in spirit and you shall find Him and be blessed. Seek not gain or glamour for of such perfidious men do easily lead to damnation.

Surely,  the time has come for us to let our conscience thrive. A nation dies when conscience is manacled. But conscience and truth set souls of men free and even if our heads are dropped, they do so in honour and nobility, nesting in eternal hope in the Lord’s dear bosom.

***
Written by: Tony Iwuoma

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