March 2003

Nigeria: Post-Modern Gospel Outlook

Young people in Nigeria remain open and responsive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the principles of New Testament Christianity.  Their openness is based on the desire to be right with God as they cry out to Him in the midst of ethnic conflicts, religious blood baths, disease, poverty and corruption.  All these are compounded by the world’s direction towards a one-world government with its attendant effect on the nation.  Subsequently, the world neglects the nation’s deep need.

This hunger for spiritual help makes the young vulnerable to embrace anything whether good or bad, from the new age emphasis, traditional religion, western Christian shades of belief, or sects, to “oil-funded Islam which builds its mosques everywhere.”

Dr. Dean Gilliland, who once served in Nigeria for 25 years as a missionary, recently wrote us commenting on the sad spiritual state of the church in the country.  He was saddened by the current trend to make Christ a commodity for sale.  This trend began through the introduction of the prosperity gospel and has resulted in the lack of Biblical truth or life, shallow Christianity and downright syncretism.

Like the rest of Africa, Nigeria has a large population less than twenty years of age, young and responsive.  If we take seriously Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations, said Mike Treneer, the international vice-president of the Navigators, we will see the huge opportunity to be seized with vast spiritual consequences either way.

Beneath this façade of growing Christianity, mega-churches, and upwardly mobile adherents, there is a genuine desire to follow Christ in simplicity of faith and to gather around His person which allows for pure worship, true sharing and free ministry among the redeemed.  They long for an atmosphere where fellowship is enjoyed and evangelism and discipleship is a lifestyle.

In light of this there is need to encourage this desire which is expressed towards house fellowships that gather around the person of Christ in Nigeria.  We have noticed this and have begun to build an effective partnership with some of those we know in search of the New Testament reality.  They are turning their back on the popular trends around and searching the Scriptures.

To encourage them we are presently supplying them with reading materials on loan such as:

    1.      The Pilgrim Church by Broadbent

              2.  Worship  by Gibbs

              3.  The Lord’s Supper  by Gibbs

          4.      19 Gifts of the Spirit  by Leslie A. Flynn  

If you have any material that would be helpful in directing them toward the simplicity that is in Christ, please pass it on to us.  We will put it to good use.

In addition we try to model for them the effectiveness of utilizing the Emmaus courses for evangelism and discipleship while resting all practice of faith on the authority and principles found in the Creator’s manual, the Holy Bible.

Resting on His infinite love,

Joy and Cyprian

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