SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2012
RAISING GODLY KNIGHTS FOR CHURCH DEVELOPMENT
Save yourselves from this perverse (crooked) generation’. Acts 2v40.
FILLED with the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter spoke to the crowd: ‘Save yourselves from this perverse (crooked) generation’. Peter saw that the wrath of God would come upon the unrepentant; hence he called people to return to God and avoid eternal damnation.
The perverseness found in the time of Peter is prevalent in our day. We live in a world full of evils— armed robbery, kidnapping, ungodliness, idolatry etc. No wonder, a commentator said: ‘If God does not punish Nigeria, He will have to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah on the last day’.
We are faced therefore with two questions: how should godly knights be raised? How should they achieve sustainable church development?
The constitution of the joint Council of Knights, Church of Nigeria, section 6, pages 2 and 3 under the caption: ‘Criteria for Knighthood’, spells out who qualifies: a knight must be a communicant within the Anglican Church; a knight must respect Christian marriage; a knight must not be a member of a secret cult; a knight must not trust in occultism, witchcraft, black art and black prayer for power and protection; a knight must have strong faith in God through Jesus Christ; a knight must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and be a balanced Christian, not a fanatic; a knight must be a loyal defender of the Church; a knight must be known for his/her generosity within and outside the Church; a knight must speak the truth and promote harmony; a knight must, at all times, support God’s servants and those in need.
How To Raise Godly Knights
This is by teaching them the word of God (Joshua 1v8); inculcating in them the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5v22); ensuring the flesh is brought under control (Gal. 5v24); making them people of faith (Heb. 11v6); preparing them to be battle ready (Eph. 6v10-17; I Pet. 5v8); giving room to the work and activities of the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 16:13-14); ensuring regular family altar, personal devotion (Mk. 1v35) and encouraging them to practice hospitality, almsgiving (Gen. 18v1-8, Lk. 6v38).
Using Knights For Sustainable Church Development
Persons who accept the knighthood should assist Christ through His Church materially, financially, educationally and spiritually; they could be involved in some genuine business venture for the interest of a given diocese; they could be involved in church planting/sponsorship; they could use their positions in government to empower the church/youths through computer training programmes, seminars, workshops and citing of projects. They could also endow the diocese; they could make voluntary donations of parcels of land, buildings, offices, parsonages, evangelism buses, modern evangelical gadgets or assist in the training of pastors or bishop.
The words of late Dr. Alex Uruemu Ibru are instructive: ‘I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision’. If people allow themselves to be used by God, many churches, in no distant time, will witness monumental development to the glory of God.
Now is time to raise godly knights for Christ. I believe knighthood is not an ornament but a thing that requires making oneself available for God’s use. The Church of God needs to develop and God must use His people to achieve His purpose. According to Ellen White, ‘It is not a vain thing to serve God. There is a priceless reward for those who devote their lives to His service’.
I trust somebody is listening!VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State