Now that the tension on the tithing issue has subsided, this is the perfect time to bring this up. By virtue of faith, all Christians, regardless of denomination belong to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). A body that should regulate, guide, activate movements and determine the pulse of the Christian faith in Nigeria.
If its clearly written mission is anything to go by, it should be an umbrella organisation containing numerous Christian denominations in Nigeria. But, in all sincerity, CAN has not in the past few years, delivered on its mandate.
There has been a major issue of concern lately; one that has indeed troubled the waters of the Christian faith in Nigeria – the doctrine of tithing as practised in Nigerian Churches. Exegesis upon exegesis, scripture upon scripture and sub upon sub flew from all quarters of the Christian faith but the supposed headquarters; CAN did not say a word, put up a teaching conference or even release a press statement at all over the issue. The association’s body language literally said, “Deal with it. We aren’t concerned.”
That’s why we are bothered, and anyone who takes a critically look at the issue should be bothered too. This concern is due to CAN’s deafening silence on this doctrinal issue; and its raised voices on what Jesus would describe as the non-weighty matters of faith – Politics. We know this because we follow the news, we see the updates and we read their blog.
The blog is littered with all kind of articles directed to the government, discussing Islamisation, terrorism and the likes but nothing for the ones; who should be catered for
Does the CAN now keep quiet over doctrinal issues? Or does the association feel its voice will be heard louder in politics when clearly there is friction within the body?
Clearly, CAN has some answers to provide but we might even need to review the whole association if it continues to be absent when issues critical to the faith is up for discussion.
We know we should be active in politics and in matters of the nation but not at the expense of discord in the faith.
Yet again, we are tempted to ask, “What exactly is the role of the Christian Association of Nigeria?”. Because as long as they no longer fulfil the primary assignment to the Christian body of which it was originally designed for, it is better off, non-existent.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), can do and should do better.
Bolu Akindele is a freelance writer and journalist whose work covers religion, human interest stories and development across Nigeria and increasingly, West Africa.