Pastor Reuben Chuga, former President Baptist Theological Seminary, Kaduna has blamed tribalism for the incessant crises rocking the Church in Nigeria.
Chuga, who stated this at a public lecture on Saturday in Lafia, urged Christians, especially Church leaders, to preach unity and work hard to rid the Church of such divisive tendencies.
He spoke on the theme: “Crisis in Contemporary Church: A challenge for Christians in Nigeria”.
“As leaders, especially Church leaders, never allow tribalism to affect the oneness of the body of Christ,” he said.
The lecture was part of activities to mark the public presentation of a book titled: “Pastors and Members in Crisis: The way out”, authored by Rev. Donald Arak, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Lafia.
According to him, a major instigator of crisis in Christianity in Nigeria is tribalism.
“People always emphasise their tribe. They think first of their tribe. Leaders must change this. The Church must come first.
“We must begin that reorientation so as drive home the fact that the Church of Christ is one and tribalism should not be allowed to tear us apart,” he warned.
Chuga asserted that once tribalism is kicked out of Christianity, the Christian brethren would easily begin to actualise the teachings of Jesus Christ in their lives and in their relationship with those around them.
The cleric also warned against “expressive individualism” where some Christians were regulated by their own rules other than Biblical doctrines.
“These are societal trends that have sneaked into the Church unnoticed. People want to follow rules they have made thereby rebelling against the teachings in the Church and unconsciously instigating crisis in it.
“Again, many people see Christian morals as outdated and archaic. They begin to ask questions such as why should I dress like this or live like that. This is most common with young people, who are beginning to create their own ethics and morality,” he said.
He also listed other factors causing crises in the Church to include the quest for power, moral decadence, corruption, and the pragmatic view that the Church was only useful if it solves problems of members.
“What this means is that if miracles don’t happen in your Church, people will leave. If they come to your Church and you can’t solve their challenges, then you are not useful to them,” he said.
Author of the book, Arak, who spoke with newsmen, said that its focus was to trigger the intellect of readers, especially Christians, on how to take advantage of crisis to motivate growth.
“When we understand crisis and look at it from a positive perspective, we are able to get some good out of it because crisis is not necessarily bad, especially if handled with wisdom.
“I am looking at it with a level of positivism where we can use crisis to ignite change that will assist the society and the Church.
“That is the inspiration that led to to the writing of the book,” he said.