by Alexander O. Onukwue
On June 18 at a Sunday service, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo encouraged Christian leaders to begin the anti-corruption fight in the Church.
Prof Osinbajo’s call was that those whose duty it is to uphold morality and serenity in Churches should take a firm stand against people who wish to use their Church as ‘Swiss banks’ by saying: “we will not accept you here, we will expose you”.
With the tragedy that occurred in Anambra and the association between the Church and the target on the run, Aloysius Ikegwuonu a.k.a Bishop, the Acting President’s remarks on that Father’s Day is worth another review.
A key note in what Prof Osinbajo said was that Churches should not be reluctant to “ostracize” corrupt members. It would not be same as excommunication; there should be ways to let persons whose hands are unclean still partake in the kiss of peace, without the Church relying on them for pearls.
The Church is supposed to be a ‘non-judgmental’ come-as-you-are place, but parishioners and heads of parishes almost always know those who are going out of legal ways to obtain financial empowerment. It has not helped that Churches are always on the mission to build something, even with a fully built church, hence their propensity to always be seeking funds from their members.
This tendency to collect provides an avenue for those who wish to unload their consciences to cover their multitude of sins through “charity”.
Churches do not set out to make money, in theory. Hence, they depend on the goodwill of their members and donors to fund their activities. They must rise to the challenge of discerning when this goodwill is moved by evil sources, so as not to be culpable and willful cooperators in the crimes of persons such as ‘Bishop’.
They should know that not everyone who says “Lord Lord” gets the eventual rewards.