For some time now, we have been regaled by stories of purported soon berthing Islamic Republic of Nigeria. The talks have become more pronounced since the Muhammadu Buhari presidency. However, I feel they are downright alarmist. I laugh when I read or hear about the canvassing of the republic with uncommon vigour by those that should know better. I laugh because such prophets of doom refuse to do what is fit and proper. I laugh because we ignore our common culpability if Nigeria is Islamised.
Over the years, we jettisoned passion for souls and chose to get fat on offerings and sundry filthy lucre. Instead of going out to win raw souls, we are busy luring members of other churches to ours, thus promoting transmigration as Kingdom growth. Christians have been at one another’s throat, contesting which church wins the largest congregation or owns the biggest cathedral, not considering how many of the bustling millions would make rapture when the trump shall sound. Out of petty jealousy, pastors have poisoned fellow labourers in the vineyard. We have allowed our enemies to divide us instead of uniting as one body of Christ and every other denomination or individual merely a part thereof.
Pastors now choose which stations befit their status to be posted. They now choose which churches befit their status to minister to. They now decide how fat their honorarium should be. They now choose which hotels to be lodged in. We now allow our members to prance about semi-nude as the world, ignoring our distinctive identity. We now mix with the world and there is no more difference between light and darkness. People have left the church because of neglect and undeserving hurt meted to them by either the clergy or laity. We now drive away our members by imposing obnoxious doctrines on them only to raise false alarm of plot to Islamise Nigeria.
Instead of dissipating bile on a phantom republic, such zealous campaign would benefit the body of Christ better if we funnel it to evangelism. Those accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of planning to Islamise the country are either uninformed or mischievous. There is nothing wrong if Buhari, as a true Muslim nurses the idea. The problem is only if he compels people to follow his religion, which he has no right to. I believe he is too intelligent to dare that because religion is a personal conviction, not coercion.
Christians should rather devote their time to ensure that no Christian is lost to Islam instead of pitting Nigerians against one another. We could even be so fervent in evangelism, converting souls so rapaciously Muslims would begin to fear the rate of spread and accuse us of plot to Christianise Nigeria. This can only happen when we preach the gospel of Christ and exhibit it, as the living epistle we ought to be for the world to read.
Because we are found negligent, the likes of Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, can make denigrating remarks about Israel. We need to teach him that Israel is a covenant nation and setting Nigeria up against Israel is bringing a curse upon the nation (Genesis 12:3). Christians should be sure to escape such divine wrath if we dwell in Goshen (Exodus 8:22-23). Israel rightly occupies its divinely appointed heritage and no power can alter that, not even the entire world. Sanusi deserves respect for his erudition but the matter of Israel is not about academic laurels in Islamic studies. It is about putting one’s intelligence to proper perspective.
Sanusi should go back in history, 1973 precisely, and consider the six-day war. When he arrives Yom Kippur dispassionately, he will realise that it was a divine orchestration that the ‘tiny’ nation of Israel overawed the armada of the entire Arab world. Sanusi would do better by leading a campaign to enlighten all the Islamist goons troubling the world and Israel, particularly, that Palestine should be content with the place graciously allowed. The eternal truth is that it is foolhardy to dream of Jerusalem in the hands of the Palestinians.
Christians should know that persecution in some places is part of the Christian experience and that is what we mistake as plot to Islamise Nigeria. We must reject all evil, conquering on our knees, knowing and trusting that our God will deliver us as He did our forebears in the Christian race (Acts 5:17-42).
A lot of times, however, we have stoked trouble by the manner of our preaching. The simple message is that Christ died for all mankind; preach it in truth and live it out, forgetting embellishments. When converts are won, they can then learn the Christian fundamentals. We should not compromise the truth but judging and condemning others to hell while they are still alive, claiming that you alone have it all is provocative. Many shocking revelations shall be made on the day of judgement or have we forgotten the thief on the cross, who made it at zero hour?
Of course, we must resist the abduction of our daughters and forceful conversion to Islam. I doubt if such sham conversion is really acceptable in Islam though. We should, however, not bother when some quantity somewhere suddenly claims to have dumped Christianity for Islam. Who is a Christian by the way? That you bear a Christian name and go to church; that you have Christian parentage; does that make you a Christian? Of course, no; nobody is born a Christian – you choose to be. I know many money-crazed Igbo, professing to be Muslims, deceiving themselves and those that celebrate their conquest. One should actually laugh at the foolishness of having an empty frame without the spirit and feel accomplished.
We are gods to Pharaoh. If we remain fervent, Pharaoh shall soon see the finger of our God and sink in the Red Sea. Nobody can Islamise this country without our complacency; It just can’t happen, not now, not ever! It’s akin to a bumbling minister declaring United States of Nigeria during the country’s disastrous run at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.