The prevalence of immorality in churches among members in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It has grown to a level that creates fear and tension in the heart of anyone who has concern for the future of Nigeria as a nation and that of the teeming Christian populates of Nigeria. The society is grappling with many behavioral problems of the church members and clergy/pastors alike. According to Ekundayo & Oyeniyi (2008) and Adebule (2012) immorality include fraud, deception, intimidation, drug offences, smoking, flirting, stealing and armed robbery, violent conduct and demonstration, vandalism, examination malpractices, cultism and thuggery. In addition to the above listed widely publicized behavioral problems, Dotonu (2011) stated that heterosexual and homosexual activities are also viewed as part of the behavioral problems prevalent in some of the Nigerian churches.
According to the new testament of the Holy Bible, jealousy, killing, lies, adultery, fornication, theft, heresies, pride and several immoral acts are against the will of God.
In the light of 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, it is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.
Immoralities in Churches: Issues and the Way Forward in Selected Redeemed Christian Church
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Immorality has great and grievous consequences both to the family and in the church. A lot of death, diseases and infestations and the free operation of familiar spirits in the church come as a result of the sin of immorality. God’s presence leaves the church whenever immorality comes into the church. Immorality puts off the fire of revival from the church and drives away the presence of the Holy Spirit out of the church. The devil and evil spirit takes over and as a result many people dies and lot of other calamities are registered. God’s command against immorality: Exodus.20:14; Lev.18:20-24; Lev.20:10; Dt.5:18; Prov.6:25-29, 32-33; Mt.5:27-28; Rom.2:22; Eph.5:1-6; Rev.21:8.
Both in the Old and New Testament God’s command against immorality are very clear. God is against all forms of sexual immorality before marriage. Boy friend and girl friend immoral relationship is a great sin in the sight of God. It is very unfortunate that these things go on the many churches without anybody taking action or preaching against it. Some church even organize what they call youth programme where the boys and the girls are totally free to live in immorality and dancing and embracing and kissing one another. Sometimes you see it among the choir, ushers etc these are evil and will be judged by God.
In the family, parents “with sound moral and ethical sanctity” Anofienem (2007) are no longer available like in the traditional society. Hence, “morally decadent children with little or no regard to societal norms and values” are increasing as the day go by. When these children move from homes to educational institutions, they become worse due to the current state of education Auwal (2015) in the country. In Churches, where moral values are expected to be inculcated, many strange practices and teachings are subjects of orchestrated arguments among scholars. Eyoboka, (2004) in particular argues that most Pentecostal Churches have not come out to strongly condemn immorality. Instead they provide comfort zones for moral decadence in all ramifications. This scholar believes that the Church has greatly contributed to the high rate of indecent dressing in Nigeria by allowing their members, mostly ladies to dress half naked. In fact it seems that indecent dressing is regarded as the normal way of worshipping God in such ministries.
Selfishness now supersedes the love for others (Global News, 2016) . In most institutions, non-Christians are more useful in assisting the needy than many Christians. The business activities of founders of many Pentecostal ministries are not different from that of bourgeois, as many workers in institutions established by them cannot adequately take care of themselves and their families due to poor remunerations and conditions of service, poor motivation at work and in personal development. Such institutions are only interested in the input of workers and spitefully ignore what the institution needs to do to advance workers course. More often than not, potential materials are being destroyed instead of being trained, assisted to grow and blossom. Therefore, the wealth of some of the Pentecostal ministries could be said to be largely rooted in capitalism.
Not surprisingly, several cases of fraud and corruption are now synonymous with many Pentecostals ministries (Bello, 2016). It is on these notes Anipupo (2015) traces the origin and escalation of corruption in the society to the Church. According to him, the value system of a given culture influences people’s faith and religion. Thus, people have imbibed the wrong and corrupt messages that most Pentecostal pastors preach and they are largely associated with the escalation of corruption in the society. Immoralities in Churches: Issues and the Way Forward in Selected Redeemed Christian Church
The prevalence of immorality in churches among members in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It has grown to a level that creates fear and tension in the heart of anyone who has concern for the future of Nigeria as a nation and that of the teeming Christian populates of Nigeria. The society is grappling with many behavioral problems of the church members and clergy/pastors alike, which according to Ekundayo & Oyeniyi (2008) and Adebule (2012) include fraud, deception, intimidation, drug offences, smoking, flirting, stealing and armed robbery, violent conduct and demonstration, vandalism, examination malpractices, cultism and thuggery. In addition to the above listed widely publicized behavioral problems, Dotonu (2011) stated that heterosexual and homosexual activities are also viewed as part of the behavioral problems prevalent in some of the Nigerian churches.
They are coined in the literature as sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, immorality, promiscuity and maladjustment. However, Dotonu (2011) observed that sex abuse and fraudulent misappropriation of money appeared to be one of the most serious and most common immorality among the youths and leaders of the churches involved in this mess.
According to the new testament of the Holy Bible, jealousy, killing, lies, adultery, fornication, theft, heresies, pride and several immoral acts are against the will of God. However, the church is guided by the word of God which is against all forms of immorality, but there are still some level of immorality in churches. Immoralities in Churches: Issues and the Way Forward in Selected Redeemed Christian Church
In addition, cases of disorderliness and rowdiness in several Pentecostal Churches are evident. The scriptural injunction that things be done decently and orderly (1 Corinthians 14:40) is seems to be irrelevant to many Christians in contemporary Nigeria. This usually manifest in the course of observing the sacred meal (Holy Communion) in a rowdy manner. Impatience, riot, abuse, cursing, fighting, eagerness, witch-hunting, wickedness, hatred are now trademarks of Christianity. These motivated the researcher to carried out this research on immorality in churches: issues and way forward in selected Redeemed Christian Churches in the study area.
Immoralities in Churches: Issues and the Way Forward in Selected Redeemed Christian Church
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been observed that, immoralities in churches is increasingly on a daily bases. There is concern in several quarters that at the rate immorality is making waves in the society; the likely tendency is that there might be serious breakdown of law and order which might lead to anarchy. It is said that a lawless and immoral society is prone to chaotic situation and anarchy. An ideal society is that which is devoid of violence, civil disorder, with minimal rate of crime and immoral practices cum unethical standards. This is why sound morals and ethical standard have been the concern of many social institutions in recent years. Hence, many campaigns in the society today are geared towards curbing immorality and other such vices and drama is a major instrument used by various anti-immorality and anti-corruption campaign agencies. In Nigeria, the church has been taking one of the leading roles in the campaign against immorality (Etire, 2002).
Without doubt, there is an increasingly low level of morality and ethical standard in the society today especially in the church, many interest groups have laid blame on modernism and developments especially the advent of modern technology and the internet.
One of the outstanding remarkable virtues of a good society should be sexual purity which has received little or no attention from the society today. Also, sexual immorality has eaten deep into the fabric of the society. It has become the mainstay of the peoples’ behaviour (Adebule, 2012) . Fraudulent accumulation of wealth has also been the order of the day in churches.
Omoteso (2003) have shown that, sexual immorality and corruption has thousands of destructive effects on the society. However, the researcher is examining the issues of immorality in church with the hope of identifying the way forward in the light of 1 Corinthian 5:1-5.
Originally posted on April 21, 2021 @ 4:57 pm