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From: Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Scripture Union (SU) Nigeria, on Wednesday, urged all Christian denominations in the country to shun things capable of dividing the body of Christ across denominated lines, but embrace what can unite them for national development.
The appeal was made at the fifth breakfast meeting on bible engagement entitled: ‘Ecumenism in the 21st Century Church in Nigeria,’ held at the national headquarters of the Christian body, Samonda, Ibadan, which was attended by scores of Christian leaders in the country.
The speakers included Managing Director, Scripture Union (Nigeria) Press and Books Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Ekwurumadu; Dean, Emmanuel College of Theology and Christian Education, Very Rev’d Akinwale Egbetakin; Chaplain, Chapel of Resurrection, University of Ibadan, Very Revd Olufikayo Oyelade; Head, Children Department, SU, Mr. Mark Osang; Vicar, All Souls’ Church, Bodija, Ibadan, The Venerable Babatunde Obaweya; and Elder Pat Adekuoroye from Gospel Faith Mission International (Gofamint)
Egbetakin, who was the keynote speaker on the occasion, noted that many Christians in Nigeria have become too materialistic, which has been making them to be disobedient to God, saying “God will not bless disobedient people.
“The future of ecumenism in Nigeria is to allow the prayers of Jesus Christ to come to pass for various denominations in the country to come together as one. We are calling on Jesus Christ together but we are divided. So, the future of ecumenism in Nigeria is that we must return to the study of the word of God.”
Egbetakin, however, advocated creation of bible study session on various prayer mountains in the country, so that it would not be only prosperity prayers alone, adding that people should be taught the word of God on how to be responsible, fear God and contribute to national development of the country.
Managing Director of SU, Mr. Ekwurumadu, enjoined Christian leaders and their congregation to always look at things that promote cooperation and better understanding among different denominations in Nigeria under the theme: ‘Ecumenism in the 21st Century Church.’ Jesus our Lord was unmistakenly clear in His prayer for the church… “that they may be one.”
Chaplain, Chapel of Resurrection, UI, Very Revd Oyelade, who is a priest of Methodist Church Nigeria, emphasised the need for denominations to jettison competition among them and embrace cooperation, saying “We should emphasise things that will unite the church and de-emphasise those things that can divide us.”
Vicar, All Souls’ Church, Bodija, Ibadan, The Venerable Obaweya, a priest of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) also said: “There will be third world war and it will start in the Middle East and one third of the world will die. After this, the antichrist will come. But God will still have His remnants. Let us hold on to the truth of the word of God.”