This piece particularly has nothing to do with the present $9.3m money laundering scandal involving the president of The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and his private jet, but a well-thought-out topic that is part of a project that I’m currently working on.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be rolling out the subsequent parts in furtherance of the discussion.

Many christians of my generation grew up in a different Church! Yes! A very different Church. Like many other things, the Church since ceased to be what it used to be.

Before going any further, I think it is pertinent to put this piece in perspective. I would like to state that my formative years were the 70s and 80s, this might probably help to comprehend this discourse.

No doubt, 70s and 80s were light years gone past. Many things have changed and while some have changed for better, others for worse. Those were the years of scarce technology when apple was merely a fruit and had nothing to do with technology; windows were absolutely openings in the wall or roof of a building or vehicle while the only cloud we had could be found in the sky.

The cloud now has an ‘I’ attached to it, and competes with others virtual clouds.

In the same way, the old church seemed to be long gone. We grew up knowing a Church that was mostly a place of worship; a citadel of morality; a place where uprightness and godliness were taught by examples; a place where evil was rebuked; evildoers chastised, corrected and restored; and a training ground for righteousness.

The Church was also an essential part of the growing up of many Christians because it was effectively complementing the efforts of the families and schools in instilling strong moral lessons of life in breeding a godly and responsible generation.

Then, the Church built and ran Missionary Schools, health centers and other facilities for reasons different from making profits. Their heavily subsidized services were available and affordable to all and sundry regardless of their faiths.

Pastors then were men of impeccable characters who would live the word they preached. They were simply leading by example. You could go to a pastor and be sure to be built up by his godly counsel; strengthened from your fear and be given hope that all will be all right even in your gravest despair.

Then, God was the focus and the preachers knew that they were just vessels of God’s choice to bring about the good news.

That was the Church! That was the Church we grew up to know! That was then! Not anymore! It was the old Church! Sadly, the Church is just about the opposite of what it used to be. The Church has exploded in number yet deflated in integrity and morality, and it is so permissive of evil deeds and tolerant of questionable characters as both leaders and followers.

What has happened to the Church?

The very people who are to keep the church are the same people who have led the schemes that have brought it down to its knees; the same people who are to help build the Church to stop the gates of Hades from prevailing are the very ones who have turned it to the gateway of hell. The leaders of the Church have become the real enemies of the church.

They have helped build a Church that has grown massively in size as much as in ungodliness. A Church where lies, heresy, half-truth are fed to the increasingly spiritually lazy congregants, who are encouraged to depend on the leaders for their spiritual blessing and upliftment.

The vessel is now the focus. Alas, the men of God have become the gods of men building cult personalities around themselves.

The congregants are not also without blame of complicity. In their spiritual laziness and sheer convenience, they readily take in every word that comes from the pulpit without giving any thought to being Berean Christians.

Acts 17:11- Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

They enjoyed being told what they wanted to hear and abhor the very few messages and messengers who tell them what they should hear.

So what are the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from the arsenal of the enemies of the Church?

Join me in the second part where God willing, I will be itemizing and analyzing the weapons the enemies of the Church are deploying to bring the Church down. The first weapon to be discussed is the Word of God.

See you soon. Can't wait! Can you?

The writer, Rufus Kayode Oteniya, can be reached at - [email protected]

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