June 02 (THEWILL) – Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo has reiterated his call for the Church to redefine its end times message by focusing more on the gospel of salvation, rather than prosperity and prophecy.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo said so when he granted audience to the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Izon of the Anglican Communion, the Very Reverend Victor Okporu, during a courtesy visit to the government residence, Yenagoa , Wednesday.
In a press release issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor also emphasized the need for Christians to live the life of sacrifice as illustrated by God in order to build a manly church .
The statement quoted Senator Ewhrudjakpo as saying that although the Church as the body of Christ is doing well in some respects, its current efforts have not yielded the much desired result in terms of saving souls for eternity.
He argued that it was necessary for the clergy to divert attention from his message of prosperity and place more emphasis on salvation, which he believed was the main thrust of the gospel of Christ.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo noted that pouring in people to fill the Church was different from true conversion, which leads to salvation, pointing out that it is vanity to erect great church buildings for worship without firmly establishing the faithful in Christ by sound doctrines.
The Deputy Governor in particular urged the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox churches to do more of what he described as balanced preaching in Ijawland to improve their acceptability, as well as uplift the spirituality of the people through belief in Jesus Christ.
His words: “The Church, for me, is fine. But there is still much to do in terms of what the church preaches today. In my opinion, what the Church does is not commensurate with what we get in return in terms of dividends.
“With the expansion of the church, can we say that we are obtaining the same results that the 72 disciples appointed by Christ obtained in their time? Have we been able to convert or are we just bringing people to church?
“There is a difference between converting and bringing people to church. I really believe that we need to do more than what we are doing now, because the Bible has been developed more than it was before.
“I really want to ask ourselves: do we really need to change our strategy? Or does the message we are transmitting not coincide with the reality of our time?
“Is it because we have placed too much emphasis on prosperity rather than salvation? Is this the point? If so, can we recalibrate our message content? ”
Responding to the call for support from the Diocese, the Deputy Governor assured that the government would carefully consider their requests with a view to providing assistance within the limits of available resources.
Stating the purpose of the visit, the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Izon, Anglican Communion, the Most Reverend Victor Okporu, hailed the development progress of the current administration and its commitment to furthering the work of God.
According to Bishop Okporu, the fledgling Western Diocese of Izon, which crosses two local government areas in Bayelsa and four in Delta, is grappling with many initial challenges.
He therefore called on the government to support the ongoing efforts of the diocese to acquire land for its cathedral project and the acquisition of an operational vehicle.
Bishop Okporu, who was accompanied by the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee of the Second Diocesan Synod of West Ijaw, Sir Preye Enisuoh, also appealed to the state government to support and attend the event planned to be held. at St Barnabas’ Anglican Church, Sagbama later this year.