Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2016, 7:13 by Denis Chabrol
by Pastor Kwesi Oginga
It is troubling how the scandal generated by the religious sector in Guyana has been dominating social media. Its popularity is fast becoming the sexual immorality scandal that is the equivalent of the Jim Jones tragedy, in 1978. It is international. It stubbornly appears day after day, in many different forms on social media, and is converted into several genres of communication, furthered, and kept alive, through jokes, warnings, protests, condemnation, and as a breeding ground of distrust for the church.
This discussion is a response to all who have been posting these disgusting photos on my page. It is intended mainly for the people, the younger generation of my family, and my friends, who have been so disturbed by this scandal that they are pledging never to set foot in a church again.
First of all, such a scandal has a premise that is alien to the divine mandate of the Church. It is an indiscriminate act of sexual immorality, which is in no way representative of the Church and its God-given role in this troubled world.
The Church is about building a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not religion, which is man made rules through which an organization strokes the human ego, under the pretext of worshiping God. If you are in such a situation, run from it. Something explosively embarrassing and distressing is bound to result.
In an imperfect world plagued by sin, everyone needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ – everyone! The Church is about the sanctification of souls; a sacred act carried out by the presence of the Spirit of God within the congregations of humanity that fall short of the glory of God.
Christian Theology establishes the revelation of Jesus Christ as Head, Founder, Foundation and Father of the Church- no one else! Anyone who assumes that role, whether by tradition or self-appointment is a carnal joke. The Church is the Body of Christ. God says, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise,” (Isaiah 42: 8).
In identifying His agenda for visiting the earth, Jesus, the Word of God, made this quite clear, “ For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me,” (John 6: 38 KJV). The Father’s will is for us to receive His salvation for our sins. Jesus also makes this clear, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost,” (Luke 19:10). Surrendering to Christ, and accepting His Holy Spirit, bring us the conviction of sin, righteous and judgment. Our lives change. We learn to respect the call Christ makes upon us as His disciples. We become the church called forth to imitate Jesus and His integrity. We are constantly under the conviction of the Spirit, whose work is our sanctification. We recognize evil, and we run from it. We are charged to protect others from it.
Anything that is not within the revelation of Jesus Christ is not of the church. It can come from an individual. It can come from a cult. It is not of the church. The churches in Guyana, and also the churches in the Diaspora must openly distance themselves from this impropriety. They must, however, include the perpetrators on their prayer lists so that the Spirit of God can make them aware of the need for counseling, repentance, forgiveness, wisdom, discernment, humility, and restoration.
By the way, the name Emmanuel has significant sacred, spiritual imagery ascribed to it. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us,” (Matthew 1: 23 KJV).
How can a man set himself up in this way, “God among us?” Can someone do so without expecting the judgment of God to visit him/ her? Self-imposition to the office of pope and with such a sacred, sovereign, and spiritually serious name, should send red flags flying, like crazy, all over the Christian mindset.
The spirit of whoredom should not be allowed to occupy the sacred Body of Christ. Jesus made known the intention behind the formation of His Church. His Church is a “house of prayer,” (Matthew 21: 13). It is a place where corporate worship goes on. It was never intended to be a place of worldly pleasures, and worse, any form of social or sexual immorality.
Christians attend church to immerse in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ; not to rendezvous with the clergy. We go to church to soak in and be refreshed, renewed, and strengthened by the Holy Spirit of God. Those who operate through the Spirit of God do not subject themselves to immoral acts. They do not impose these acts upon their followers.
The word of God explains, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.,” (James 1: 13 – 15NIV).
The love of Jesus Christ is a redeeming love. Going to church expresses willingness to be a part of what the Blood of Jesus purchased for the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3: 16).
True Christians, whether clergy or the laity, understand that we are all subject to the Word of God that we preach. The church is the home for Christian deliverance. Deliverance comes from confessing and repenting for our sins. Repentance, however, is not only becoming remorseful for our sins. It is ceasing to live a life of sin by surrendering to the power, will, and sanctification of the Holy Spirit who is in us. Anyone who says that a change of life is impossible is not operation in the will and Spirit of God. It is possible through faith, the Blood of Jesus, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Spend time with the word of God. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2: 15). We must be careful, lest we confuse our doctrine. We must be careful, lest we succumb to cultic practices and open up for New Age Religion in our congregation. What a serious indictment against the Cross of Jesus Christ.
I wish to encourage those who have been active participants in this cultic scandal. It is foolish to assume that confessing and repenting are all that is needed to sweep things under the rug. This “spiritual con” comes straight from the pit of hell. God’s words indicate very clearly, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also,” (James 2: 26 KJV).
Peter quotes the wisest king ever, Solomon, in this way, “ Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud, ” (2 Peter 2: 22).
The redeeming blood of Jesus Christ can make you whole again. Be careful, do not allow any form of haughtiness, ignorance, fear, pride, and the guilt and shame of idolatry to distance you from a God who loves His human family. Repent. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance,” (Luke 3: 8a NIV). Abandon pride. Ask for forgiveness. Genuinely change your course. Honor God.and Worship Him in Spirit and truth.