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PARABLES AREN’T ABOUT WEALTH CREATION

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By Akin Ojumu  Socially, you could say I’m a recluse. The older I get, the more I try to insulate myself from people and their “penkelemesi” i.e., peculiar drama. Recreationally, I’m a nonsmoker and teetotaler. I don’t know what nicotine tastes like and have never consumed alcohol in my life. If there are any vices that have me on short leash, reading, writing, and binging on detective TV series are it. Those are my guilty pleasures. As a detective movie buff, riveting police crime investigation drama series are my thing. Law & Order, Monk, CSI, Blue Bloods, Longmire, Unforgotten. Name it, most likely I have watched it on more than one occasion. For me, a really great weekend is laying on my sofa and binging on six seasons of Longmire. Besides the vocabularies, idiomatic expressions, witty sayings that I pick up from these shows, one of the things I’ve also learned watching them is the criminal investigation and prosecution trinity. Known as “means, motive, and opportunity,” these

NIGERIA WE WAIL THEE

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By Akin Ojumu Nigeria, we wail thee, Our own poor native land, Though life and liberty may linger, In bigotry we stand, Nigerians all, and proud to starve, Our grieving Motherland. Our flag shall be shambolic, That lies and injustice reign, In chains or shackle dishonour’d, And this we count as pain, To hand on to our children A banner with much stain. The men that rule over us, Are worst and not best of us, With cruelty and barbarity, Our lives are unbearable hell, They wreck our wealth and ruin our health, And helplessly we watch. We now have as our ruler, A man with unknown past, He was female in college, And his certificate was forged, Yet with all his thugs and area boys, No one dare question him. Our ruler is a drug dealer, In Chicago long time ago, He forfeited his crime proceeds, To the government of America, This criminal is the ruler, Of a people without shame. O God of all creation, Grant this our one request, Help us to build a nation, Where no man is oppressed, And so with

TONGUES ARE HUMAN LANGUAGES

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By Akin Ojumu Many of us come from denominational backgrounds where we’ve been taught a lot of things erroneously. To this day, a vast number of us continue to struggle to disentangle and disengage ourselves from all those things we used to know that are wrong. As a result, when we read the Bible, we fail to believe the texts staring us in the face without realizing it. Instead of proper exegesis (which is interpreting Scripture within its proper context and allowing the texts to guide us to conclusion) we engage in eisegesis (i.e., we subconsciously inject our own ideas and preconceived notion into the text, and we make it mean whatever we want). Sadly, this subjective way of interpreting the Bible was how many of us were raised as Christians. And this is what’s at play here with the issue of the Gift of Tongues. Nothing I say here will change a mind that’s already made up on what he/she believes. I’ll only advise you to take off the blinders next time you read the Bible. Now concerni

WHY CHURCH FALLS (PART V)

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“The Road from Ephesus to Laodicea” By Akin Ojumu Christians in the seven churches of Revelations 2 and 3 were redeemed people. Many of them had turned from idol worship and immoral living to embrace Christianity wholeheartedly. These people paid a heavy price for serving the Lord in the midst of immoral and idolatrous societies.  Having been taught by Apostle Paul, the most gifted Christian apologetic of all times, the believers became one of the most doctrinally sound Christians in the history of the Church. Paul spent more than two years at Ephesus pouring himself into the congregation, teaching them the Word of God and sound doctrine. Right there, in the middle of a licentious pagan culture of the imperial cult and worship of the goddess Artemis, Paul helped these believers to grow in the faith, becoming some of the most pious and Biblically literate Churches of any era. In his valedictory message to the elders of the Church at Ephesus in Acts 20: 26-27, Paul told them:   “Therefor

WHY CHURCH FALLS (PART IV)

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“Pathogenesis of a Moribund Church” By Akin Ojumu In His letters, written by Apostle John on the Island of Patmos, to the seven Churches of Asia Minor (namely, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea), the Lord Jesus gave us what can be described as the Christian roadmap for sustaining the fire of the faith and manual for living an enduring Christian life. In the letters to five of the seven Churches, the Lord provided us a codebook for discerning the fading glory from a Christian ministry and He showed us the path that leads to lukewarmness. The Church at Ephesus (Revelations 2:1-7) – Religiously Loveless A Church that reduces the believers walk in the faith to cold orthodoxy and where spiritual service of worship becomes dutiful drudgery devoid of deep-seated devotion and heart-felt love for the Lover of our soul will soon become a compromised Church that assimilates with the world and becomes indistinguishable from the outside world. The Church at Per

WHY CHURCH FALLS (PART III)

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“Living on Past Glory” By Akin Ojumu For the most part, all Christian ministries often start well. Unlike nowadays when Christian ministry has become a synonym for joblessness, it used to be rare to find a Christian minister who took on the mantle of the ministry in error or with an ulterior motive. Many Christian denominations that are known today for their bad reputation were actually founded by people who had genuine passion for lost souls, and whose primary purpose was to serve the LORD. A vast number of pastors who have gained notoriety for conducts unbecoming of a Christian were once pure-hearted lovers of God who wanted nothing other than to lead sinners to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the very beginning, when they were still wet behind the ears, their motives were pure and their intentions genuine. All they were about was preaching the Gospel and raising hell for the kingdom of darkness. The pleasures of this world weren’t any of their concerns.

WHY CHURCH FALLS (PART II)

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“God’s Word is Quick and Powerful” By Akin Ojumu Upon arriving in Ephesus, Paul, customarily, went to proclaim the Gospel first in the Jewish Synagogue. The Jews, however, hardened their hearts and cursed him out. Shunned and rejected, Paul together with his converts relocated to the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus.  It was here, in the first Bible School, that Paul, through his teachings, raised some of the most Biblically literate Christians the Church has ever known. They disputed daily, in a back-and-forth, question-and-answer-type dialogue, five hours a day, for two straight years. From 5th to the 10th hour – which was the hottest part of the day in that city – the believers were immersed in the Scripture. In the heat and humid condition, Apostle Paul saturated the converts with sound doctrine. “This continued for the space of two years so that all they who dwelled in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 19:10). Tremendous things happen whenever the Word o

WHY CHURCH FALLS (PART I)

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“Inspired by a Doctrinal Debate” By Akin Ojumu Doctrinal debates are as old as the Christian faith. This commentary was inspired by a doctrinal debate I had with an elder brother of mine. This is someone for whom I have profound respect, and he i s, in my opinion, far more vast in Christian theology than myself. Spirituality is not what a Christian does but who he is on the inside. Our spirituality is not measured by the list of dos and donts we follow. For instance, it isn’t the length of a woman’s skirt or the size of her head covering that determines whether that person is a spiritual Christian. The person who wears a nasty body odor as a badge of their spirituality is not any more spiritual than someone who prefers to put on fragrance so as not to choke a room full of people to death with what’s oozing from his body. “ For “the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God does not see as man sees, since ma

STICK WITH THE BIBLE

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By Akin Ojumu Since its infancy, false teachings and erroneous beliefs have dogged Christianity. The Body of Christ have had to combat and repel the invasion of heretic doctrines right from the very beginning of the Christian faith. Two of the first notable heretic groups to assault the Church were the Judaizers and the Gnostics. The Judaizers were a group of Jewish Christians who insisted that gentile Christians must follow the Mosaic Law and must first be circumcised – i.e., become Jewish through the ritual of a proselyte – before they could receive salvation. Paul, in his letter to the Galatian Christians, rebuked them for believing in the Judaizers. “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many th

HOUSE OF THE UNSANDALED

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By Akin Ojumu When the average contemporary Christian thinks of the Mosaic Law, what comes to mind are the “thou shalt nots” of the Ten Commandments. Centuries removed from when they were first instituted and remotely distant from its modern practice, most Christians don’t appreciate the breadth and scope of the customs, rituals, and traditions of the Law of Moses. As an all-encompassing manual for living, the set of regulations and decrees that God gave Moses on Mt Sinai cover every aspect of the lives of the people. The Mosaic Law is a code of conduct that regulates worship, governs behavior, guides relationships, controls commerce, and directs social interactions. While some of these customs and practices are conveniently popular, like the instructions on tithing for instance, the others are mostly obscure, hidden in those sections of the Bible that most Christians skip and avoid. One of those arcane aspects of the Mosaic Law is a rather fascinating instruction given by God to Moses