Jesus went into the Temple, drove out the merchants, and knocked over the money changers’ tables and the stalls of those selling doves. “The Scriptures say my Temple is a place of prayer,” he declared, “but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
Matt 21:12-13 TLB
Everyone should feel welcome in church; everyone who acknowledges their sins, and are willing to turn their lives over to the Lord so He can help them become new persons. But it is sacrilege for unrepentant thieves to feel welcome in the house of God. For such, the Lord himself would make a scourge of whips and flog them out of his house.
The Christian Association of Nigeria can be quite vocal when dealing with the speck in the eyes of the world, but the zeal for the house of His father that made Jesus chase out the thieves from the temple seems to be utterly lacking in CAN when it is time to deal with the logs in the eye of the church.
We have turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves. Daily we see a growing trend of unrepentant thieves mounting the altar in faux thanksgiving. With fanfare, they storm our services with their hordes of hades, and with our pastors and bishops deliriously cheering, they insult not only the church but the Lord who died for her.
To be clear, thieves are welcome in church, if like Zacchaeus they have realised their sinfulness and are ready to make amends.
The Lord’s mercy moved Zacchaeus to repentance and restitution. Today, our pulpits are surrendered to unrepentant thieves who then lecture the church on their unrivalled holiness.
Culled from Vanguard
A Career Criminal
Of course, no one seated at that service who wasn’t under the worst kind of delusion should believe the nonsense that Chief Ibori was spouting. But rather than the chagrin and rebuke that his assertions should have drawn, the glowing tribute we hear were the comments made by the presiding clergy are simply unpublishable.
For those who ignorantly want to view Ibori’s character only through his most recent episode of stealing, this excerpt containing his previous petty stealing should make clear that this is a man who for obvious deficiency of character has made a career of taking that which does not belong to him.
This same Ibori, was reportedly convicted of stealing from a construction site in Nigeria although he denies it, and the records of the court mysteriously disappeared. More intriguing is the fact that some hapless person also showed up to claim the conviction – who does that?
A Listless Church
Rather than rebuke and correct, the Church which appears to have lost its bearing has unfortunately feted, festooned with garlands and canonized the likes of Ibori, Andrew Yakubu, and Bode George.
Oh! why like our Lord has the zeal for His house not consumed us and caused us to chase out these unrepentant , serial thieves from our midst? Why have we let this Conspiracy of Priests and Plunderers continue unchecked? Why like Nehemiah have we not arisen, and cast them out with their belongings from the lofty places we have elevated them to in the house of God.
Before this had happened, Eliashib the priest, who had been appointed as custodian of the Temple storerooms and who was also a good friend of Tobiah, had converted a storage room into a beautiful guest room for Tobiah. The room had previously been used for storing the grain offerings, frankincense, bowls, and tithes of grain, new wine, and olive oil. Moses had decreed that these offerings belonged to the priests, Levites, the members of the choir, and the gatekeepers. I was not in Jerusalem at the time, for I had returned to Babylon in the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes (though I later received his permission to go back again to Jerusalem). When I arrived back in Jerusalem and learned of this evil deed of Eliashib—that he had prepared a guest room in the Temple for Tobiah— I was very upset and threw out all of his belongings from the room. Then I demanded that the room be thoroughly cleaned, and I brought back the Temple bowls, the grain offerings, and frankincense. (Neh 13:4-9 TLB)
It should shock you to note that the Tobiah in this story, was actually one of those conspiring to stop the work of rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Just as the priests in Nehemiah’s days were conspiring with the plunderers of his time, our priests are also in cahoots with the plunderers of our days.
It is in times like this more than any other, that the Christian Association of Nigeria should make its voice heard.