Discipling & Discipleship (Part One)


Discipling & Discipleship (Part One)

 Discipleship Is a Command:

The imperative of the Great Commission is Discipleship. The primary verb used by Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:19, 20 (known as the Great Commission) is “Make Disciples.” It was Jesus’ final Commandment before His ascension. This is the focus of His followers and should be the focus of the Church today.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying; All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

The Biblical definition of a Disciple:

A disciple is a person-in-process eager to learn and apply the truths that Jesus is teaching him. These truths result in an ever-deepening commitment to a Christ-like lifestyle and a life of winning and discipling others. Most believers in our churches today do not read and study the Bible; they wait for someone to tell them what to believe.

The Bible is the Spirit’s tool to bring conviction into the disciple’s life. If people are not “in” the Bible, the Bible will never get “into” them, and they will never grow to spiritual maturity. “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go to perfection (maturity).” – Hebrews 6:1a, NIV. As you begin your journey in spiritual formation, it is essential to understand that God has a mission for you and every other believer to fulfill.

The Mission of a Disciple:

The mission for every disciple is spelled out in the Scriptures:

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments stand all the Law and the Prophets (emphasis added). Matthew 22:37-40

 According to these verses, there are two things to focus on so that they become tangible realities in our lives:

  1. The Great Commandment (love God): In the Song of Solomon, we are reminded that God desires a “bridal relationship” (an intimate, loving relationship) with His children. This two-way love is developed and deepened day by day in several ways.
  • The Bible. As we read and study God’s Holy Word, He speaks and reveals Himself to us tenderly and affectionately. He conveys how very much He accepts us and loves us unconditionally.
  • Prayer. We respond to God’s initiatives by speaking to Him of our love for Him. Just as a bride and groom communicate their love for one another, we do so in our communion with God. Israel was called the Father’s Bride; the Church in the New Testament is referred to as the Bride of Christ.
  • Spending time devotionally in the Bible, praying, and “…psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs…” comprise our spiritual fulfillment of the Great Commandment to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds. Our entire being, our very lives, become spiritual sacrifices of worship.

2. The Great Commission (love your neighbor): This second summary commandment from Matthew focuses on the mission to which each of us is called.

In the natural course of life, God brings people into our lives – some unbelievers and others already children of God. We are to relate to each of these types of people in one of two ways.

    • Evangelism. If those we meet do not yet know Jesus Christ personally, we reach out to them with the gospel message to bring them to faith in Christ. Jesus promised to make us “fishers of men.” This is how we love the lost.
    • Disciple making. If our neighbor is already a follower of the Savior and is not mature in his/her faith, we are to be involved in some fashion in helping him/her reach maturity and “grow up” in the faith.

The Discipleship Dilemma:

There is an assumption among Christians that “No one ever discipled me, so I don’t know how to disciple others.” This is perhaps the single greatest need for churches around the world. This need could be alleviated if church leaders themselves were making disciples. Most of them, however, have never been discipled; therefore, they are unsure what to do to disciple anyone else.

Their preoccupation becomes building the local Church and administering its programs rather than raising disciples capable of helping new converts establish a daily personal relationship with God. We try to compensate by simply placing new believers in church services, which is equivalent to putting a five-year-old child in a college class, hoping that if they sit there long enough, they will learn something.

However, most don’t, since more is “caught than taught” in the faith. That is why the emphasis in Scripture is laid on imitating others. Our natural children learn by imitating us; our spiritual children must do the same. Churches around the world have become “a mile wide and an inch deep,” with their members merely attending only to exterior religious practices and neglecting the internal things of the heart, soul, and Spirit. In the illustration above, our five-year-old would need to be in a school with a graded curriculum. Here, they could learn numbers, the alphabet, colors, and how to function in a group setting.

The child would learn how words are formed from letters and how to add and subtract numbers. This allows him to read, write, and do simple calculations. Then come the parts of speech, grammar, and so on. This is a similar process for spiritual babes.

Keys to Becoming a Disciple:

    • Ask for God’s Help: If we don’t ask for His help, the Holy Spirit will not force His way into our lives and violate the free will God has given us. So, as you pray, ask for the Holy Spirit’s daily help in your walk with God.
    • Seek Direction in God’s Word: The Holy Spirit’s tool to aid our growth is God’s Word. Every day, we need to prioritize a program that includes Bible reading, Bible study, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word. This allows God to give us the instructions we need and allows the Spirit Spirit to bring conviction to these truths.
    • Make Application as the Spirit brings Conviction: We must begin making Application of revealed truths so they can take root and bear practical fruit in our lives. Thus, we become doers of the Word and not just hearers of the Word. Otherwise, as James clearly reminds us, we are deceiving ourselves (thinking we know what the text is all about). “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:22
    • Obey to Experience Transformation: Through obedience and Application of God’s Word, our lives are transformed—we become new creations, controlled not by our flesh but by the Holy Spirit. Our lives begin to display the Fruit of the Spirit.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17. But the fruit of the SpiritSpirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23

    • Obey to Experience Joy and Maturity: Our obedience also ensures we become disciples and leads us toward making disciples of others. You can be assured that some obedient disciples are ready and able to train you if you desire. Ask God to lead you to someone who can assist you. The Spirit of God uses more mature disciples to help younger Christians mature in Christ. Once you have a discipler in your life, please avail yourself of all the training possible, and give it the priority it deserves in your life. Be honest and transparent with God and your discipler, as well as accountable, so the principles God is building in you become evident to all men. Purpose in your heart to be a finisher, and do not allow the devil to sideline you short of all God has for you. This will produce the joy of the Holy Spirit and make your life attractive to others around you. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

  Definition of Discipleship:

The Word DISCIPLE comes from the Greek word “Mathetes,” which means Learner. It implies a student/teacher relationship and necessitates the disciple’s adopting his teacher’s philosophy, teaching, and practices. Jesus had this in mind when He called men to follow Him.

He wanted men to leave their sinful way of living and adopt His new teaching, philosophy, practices, and lifestyle. The learning progress of the disciples was not evaluated by their retention of information or knowledge taught; it was demonstrated in their daily lives. The disciples were taught the true meaning of the commandments and how to fulfill them each day by imitating Jesus. Paul said it differently but hit at the same idea or issue. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

The World’s Standard for Discipleship:

By the world’s standards, a person is considered a good Christian if he goes to Church for an hour every Sunday, tries to live a good life, and is kind to others. Some Christians tend to create their discipleship standards and create God in their own image rather than allowing God to transform them into His likeness. Since the Scriptures are not all that important to them, they fail to realize that God has His standards for discipleship.

Jesus’ Standard for Discipleship:

Jesus was very clear about His standards for discipleship. Certain things were to characterize the life of every follower of Christ. Without these, Jesus said, a man could not be His disciple.

  1. Continues in God’s Word: A disciple is characterized by a continuance of living out his life (or abiding) in the Word of God. This is seen in John’s Gospel. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31

 In God’s standard, the Scriptures are of supreme importance since they reveal God and His will for us. If we are to continue in His Word, we must incorporate the various fingers of the Word Hand into our personal lives. Since Satan knows the value of the Word to strengthen us in our battle against him, he is forever trying to see that we have no time to read or study God’s Word. Are you winning the battle?

  1. Loves Others: A disciple is characterized by his love for others. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all will know that you are My disciples if you love one another”. John 13:34,35

 One of the distinguishing marks of every disciple is the love he has for other people. Jesus was not just talking about loving other Christians; He was talking about all men. The tensions that exist between Christians to say nothing of those that exist between non-Christians, make one wonder how well we are keeping this commandment. If we are to follow Jesus’s standard for discipleship to bring this area under the Lordship of Christ, we need to resolve our differences so we can love people.

  3. Bears Much Fruit: A disciple is fruitful – both in the fruit of the SpiritSpirit and in the winning and discipling of others. “By this, My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be my disciples” – John 15:8. The fruit John is primarily talking about is the people who come to Christ as a result of our witness. Are you asking God to give you men and women to win and disciple so that there will be fruit in your life? We should be concerned with the fruits of evangelism and the fruits of the Spirit listed for us in Galatians. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law”. Galatians 5:22,23. The Spirit of God is always trying to make these fruits a reality.

 4.  Puts God First: A disciple must put God above all other people – even oneself! “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” – Luke 14:26. In some instances, it is easy to put God before others. But Jesus says we must place Him before others and above ourselves. This is a somewhat more challenging task. But if we do not, we cannot be Jesus’s disciples.

5. Bears His Cross: A disciple must not allow anything or interest to hinder him from obediently following Christ. “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” – Luke 14:27.

When Jesus talks about putting God first in our lives, He brings us to a place where there is a cross. On that cross, we must put our dreams and aspirations to death and replace them with His will. God can then redirect our lives so that He can live out His will for us in our bodies. This is more of a cross for some people than it is for others. It means a radical change to some, while to others, it is only a minor correction. But to each, it represents a cross because it means the death of our wills and the doing of His. Jesus says a person cannot be His disciple unless willing to bear that cross. Are you willing?

  6. Forsakes the Old Sinful Ways: A disciple must forsake all the old ways of his life to follow Jesus. “So, likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” – Luke 14:33. In this passage, Jesus rules out a double standard for discipleship. He did not say we must be willing to forsake all we have. He did not say there would be a watered-down form of discipleship for all who refused to pay the price. He said, “…whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

18th Birthday of my First Grandchild – Moyo

November 27th is a special day for me because of the birth of my first grandchild (a daughter). November 27, 2023, is very important because my first grandchild, my granddaughter turns Eighteen (18) Years.

My Birthday Wishes and Greetings to Moyo:

Happy 18th birthday to my extraordinary and beautiful granddaughter! As you embark on this remarkable journey into adulthood, may each moment be as special and unique as the wonderful person you’ve become. May you catch dreams as effortlessly as you catch smiles, and may your 18th year be filled with joy, love, and unforgettable adventures. You are my first grandchild leading a pack Nine, a role model in Intelligence, Moral Values, and Christian Attributes to your siblings and cousins. Here’s to embracing the magic of adulthood and cherishing the uniqueness that makes you shine. Happy birthday, my darling granddaughter, and may your path ahead be as bright and beautiful as you are! Congratulations darling!

Love Always from Grandma.


Sermon Based on 1 Peter 4: 7-11

Sermon Based on 1 Peter 4: 7-11

Theme: Grace of Fellowship as we Live with Purpose in the End Times


 I am exploring a passage from the letter of Peter, a message filled with wisdom and guidance for believers navigating the challenges of their time. Turn with me to 1 Peter 4:7-11, and let’s dive into the Word of God together.

 Scripture Reading:

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—so that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7-11, ESV)

Living with Purpose:

 Recognizing the Urgency (Verse 7):

Peter begins with a powerful statement: “The end of all things is at hand.” In every generation, believers have lived expecting Christ’s return. This awareness should shape our lives, prompting us to live intentionally, knowing that time is short. We are called to be self-controlled and sober-minded, grounded in Prayer as we navigate a world filled with distractions and challenges.

 Love Covers a Multitude of Sins (Verse 8):

Peter emphasizes the transformative power of love. In a world marked by division and strife, the love of Christ manifested through us can bridge gaps and cover sins. Our love for one another is not merely a suggestion but a command that reflects the love God has lavished upon us.

 Practicing Hospitality (Verse 9):

Hospitality is not just about entertaining guests; it’s about welcoming others with open hearts. Peter challenges us to show hospitality without grumbling, highlighting the importance of a gracious attitude. Through hospitality, we reflect God’s open arms to a needy world.

 Using Our Gifts to Serve (Verses 10-11):

God has endowed each believer with unique gifts, not for personal gain but for the service of others. Peter encourages us to be good stewards of God’s grace, using our gifts to build up the Body of Christ. Whether through words or deeds, we are to serve with the strength God provides, acknowledging that all glory and dominion belong to Him.

 Emphasis on Verses 7 & 8:

“The end of all things has come near; therefore, be of sound and sober sound mind for prayer.” That is to be: Serious, Prayerful, Loving, Hospitable, Serving, and Worshipful

 The Three Sub-Themes:

1. The Priority and the Protection of Love

2. Desiring God

3. Living on the Edge of Eternity

 Our Mandate is to grow and be like Christ and to see that God is glorified in all we do.

PASSAGE MAIN IDEA (Central Proposition of the Text):

Living with a healthy expectancy of Christ’s return should motivate the Christian to be in constant Fellowship with God (pray, love, and serve unto the Glory of God).

A. What is Fellowship?

B. What is Grace?

C. What does ‘Grace of Fellowship’ indeed imply?

 A. What is Fellowship?

The other related words for Fellowship are Companionship, Comradeship, Friendship, Partnership, and Association. God wants to be our friend, our companion, and our partner. He wants to participate in all our endeavors and decisions on earth. – 1 John 1:3 (To be read by someone). John says, “Truly our Fellowship is (not was) with the Father and His Son.

 B. What is Grace?

The dictionary meaning of grace differs from the Definition of God’s Grace.

Grace, according to the Dictionary, connotes:

  • Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action
  • A pleasing or attractive quality or endowment
  • Favor or goodwill.
  • A manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean’s grace that I wasn’t expelled from school.
  • Mercy, compassion, pardon: He was saved by grace from the Rector.

 A prominent Old Testament word describing God’s grace is Chesed. This word speaks of deliverance from enemies, affliction, or adversity. It also denotes enablement, daily guidance, forgiveness, and preservation. The New Testament word is Charis. It focuses on the provision of salvation.

 Definition of God’s Grace – How do theologians define it?

In the New Testament, Grace means God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. Grace means God sending His only Son to descend into hell on the cross so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven. ‘(God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him'” (2 Corinthians 5:21).1

“Grace may be defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation.” – Enns2

 Definition of God’s Grace – What does the Bible say?

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24).

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast, for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

 C. Grace of Fellowship

In Fellowship, the tripartite nature of man must be involved – 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

  • The first step towards Fellowship with God is ‘Repentance’ from Iniquities.
  • The second step is Quite Time – Mark 1:35; Every Christian needs to know God personally – This is the act of Fellowship.

_ Prayer is a tool of Communication

– Word of God, 1 Peter 2:2: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” Logos is the Word of God, and Rhema is the Living Word of God that jumps into your peculiar situation, and you can apply it to yourself to attune to the Will of God

 The three essential things needed in fellowshipping with God are:

  1. Exposure – 1 Peter 1: 23-2:1: It is essential to be exposed to God through daily communion and Scripture reading.
  2. Passion – Desire for God – Matt. 7: 33-36, Jesus must become your rock, way, and Life.
  3. Experience with the Living God brings about miracles in your Life. Examples of Moses, Abraham – Gen. 24:12-15, Isaac – Gen. 26:2, Jacob – Gen. 32:30, Samuel – Jer. 15:1, David – Psalm 36: 5-9

Fellowship with God includes but is not limited to (1 John 1: 5-7)

  • Hearing God’s Word
  • Obeying God’s Word – James 1:22
  • Staying or Abiding in God’s Word

Some tasks are involved in Fellowship with God:

  1. Singing of songs, hymns, and chanting Psalms
  2. Reading, Studying, and Meditating on the Scripture
  3. Applying the Word of Scripture to daily Life
  4. Prayer of Adoration, Confession & repentance, Thanksgiving, Supplication – intercessory, petition and warfare
  5. Preaching the Word (Gospel Sharing)
  6. Witnessing & Making Disciples for Christ

 The Premise for Having Fellowship with God:

  • God is Light – Ephesians 5:8-10
  • In Him, there is no Darkness at All – 1 John 1:9
  • Fellowship with God requires an Advocate – 1 John 2:1-2

 Fellowship with God brings us to the same conclusion Apostle Paul reached when he wrote Romans 8:38-3: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 Let us imbibe the Apostles and remain in Christ. Spiritual Growth can only occur as we learn to know Christ and make Jesus our Savior and the Lord of every part of our Life.


As we contemplate these words from Peter, let us commit ourselves to living with purpose and intentionality. The end times may be upon us, but we do not shrink back in fear. Instead, we press forward in faith, fueled by love, hospitality, and the use of our God-given gifts for His glory. May we be a community that embodies the transformative power of Christ’s love, drawing others into the Kingdom as we eagerly await His return.

 Let’s pray, seeking God’s guidance and strength to live out these truths daily. Happy Sunday!


Philosophical Discourse on Christianity as a Catalyst to Socioeconomic & Political Development in Nigeria (Part Three)

Philosophical Discourse on Christianity as a Catalyst to Socioeconomic & Political Development in Nigeria (Part Three)

 The third and final series of a chapter published in Prof. Rotimi Omotoye’s 60th birthday Festschrift book is my writing and contribution as a chapter in the Festschrift. The Paper is re-adapted in American English.

 Omotoye, Rotimi Williams is a professor of Christian Studies; his areas of specialization are Church History, African Christianity, Pentecostal Churches, Ecumenical Movement, and Inter-Religious Relations at the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He represents the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the University of Ilorin and the University of Georgia, Athens. He is the author of several books and has been published in many national and international scholarly journals.

 Christianity as a Catalyst to Socioeconomic & Political Developments in Nigeria From Philosophy of Religion Perspective:

 The philosophical study of religious beliefs and practices is evident in the earliest recorded philosophy, east and West. In the West, throughout Greco-Roman philosophy and the Medieval era, philosophical contemplation on God, gods, reason and faith, the soul, and the afterlife was not considered a branch called “philosophy of religion.” The philosophy of God was one component among many interwoven philosophical projects. Philosophical inquiry with religious themes and the broader enterprises of philosophy: political theory, epistemology, et al.) is apparent among early modern philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and George Berkeley. Only gradually do we find texts devoted exclusively to religious themes.

The first use of the term “Philosophy of Religion” in English occurs in the 17th-century work of Ralph Cudworth. Cudworth and his Cambridge University colleague Henry More produced philosophical work on religion. In that case, there are good reasons for claiming that it began (gradually) in the mid-17th century (Taliaferro 11). Much of the subject matter treated by Cudworth and More is continuous with the current philosophy of religion (arguments about God’s existence, the significance of religious pluralism, and the nature of good and evil about God. Many of the terms in current circulation originated in Cudworth’s and his colleagues’ work (they coined the terms theism, materialism, and consciousness).

Today, philosophy of religion is a robust, intensely active area of philosophy. Almost without exception, any introduction to philosophy text in the Anglophone world includes some philosophy of religion. The importance of the philosophy of religion is chiefly due to its subject matter: alternative beliefs about God (Theism/Atheism), the sacred, the varieties of religious experience, the interplay between science and religion, the challenge of non-religious philosophies, the nature and scope of good and evil, religious treatments of birth, history, and death, and other substantial terrains. 

 Christianity is one of the three Monotheistic Religions; the Others are Judaism & Islam. So, Christianity is an essential area of the Philosophy of Religion that addresses embedded social and personal practices. Therefore, the philosophy of religion is relevant to practical concerns, and its subject matter is not an all-abstract theory. Given the vast percentage of the world population that is either aligned with religion or affected by religion, the philosophy of religion has a secure role in addressing people’s actual values and commitments. A chief reference point in much religious philosophy is the shape and content of living traditions. In this way, the philosophy of religion may be informed by the other disciplines that study religious life.

Another reason behind the importance of the field is its breadth. A third reason is historical. One cannot undertake a credible history of philosophy without taking the philosophy of religion seriously. Theology also benefits from the philosophy of religion in at least two areas. Historically, theology has often drawn upon or been influenced by philosophy, and Platonism and Aristotelianism have significantly influenced the articulation of classical Christian doctrine. In the modern era, theologians have often drawn on work by philosophers (from Hegel to Heidegger and Derrida). Another benefit lies in philosophy’s clarifying, evaluating, and comparing religious beliefs. 

 Therefore, establishing Christianity as a catalyst for Nigeria’s socioeconomic & political development is vital to the Philosophy of Religion Perspective. Religion is a Phenomenon to an African believer. Philosophy of Religion enhances communication between traditions and between religions and secular institutions. When reflecting, one feels constrained to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; one deserves to be called a Theist, (Collins 99).” Francis Schaefer once said Christianity is not merely religious Truth; it is the Truth about reality. Politics tends to reflect Culture, not the other way around.

Most people think national politics is the only way to effect cultural change. Today, battle-weary political warriors have grown more realistic about the limits of that strategy. Politics is downstream from Culture, not the other way around. Real change has to start with the Culture. Getting involved in politics is not the fastest route to moral reform. The most effective work is done by ordinary Christians fulfilling God’s calling to reform Culture within their local spheres of influence: their families, churches, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, professional organizations, and civil institutions. To effect a lasting change, “we must develop a Christian worldview.” Christianity introduced the Christian worldview to the socioeconomic and political landscape.

The change in youths should start by training them to develop a biblical worldview instead of restricting Christianity to a specialized area of religious belief and personal devotion. The undertow of influential cultural trends pulls down young people. A “heart” religion will not be strong enough to counter the lure of attractive but dangerous ideas. Young believers also need” brain” religion training in worldview and apologetics – to equip them to analyze and critique the competing worldviews they encounter when they leave home. Training young people to develop a Christian mind is no longer an option; it is part of their necessary survival equipment. The first step in forming a Christian worldview is to overcome the sharp divide between “heart” and “brain.” We must reject the division of life into a sacred realm limited to things like worship and personal morality over a secular realm that includes Science, Politics, Philosophy, Economics, and the rest of the public arena.

 Pearcey says, “Modern Societies are sharply divided into Private and Public Spheres (Pearcey 20.)” The Private Sphere has personal preferences, and the Public Sphere contains scientific knowledge. She claims “values have been reduced to arbitrary, existential decisions: where values mean Individual Choice and Facts are binding on everyone.

The role of Christianity in the sustainable development of Nigeria is commendable. The Christian religion is a reliable institution providing stepping stones to sustainable socioeconomic and political development. According to Sanneh, “Although they were little prepared for it, the churches found themselves as the only viable structure remaining after the breakdown of state institutions, and as such had to shoulder a disproportionate burden of the problems of their societies (Sanneh 15).” According to (Mbiti 262), religion, more than anything else, colors the understanding of the universe and their empirical participation in it, making life a profoundly religious phenomenon.

To be is to be religious in a religious universe, and that is the philosophical understanding behind African myths, customs, traditions, beliefs, morals, actions, and social relationships. Africans eat, dance, trade, and organize their societies religiously, but this is done holistically, without any dichotomy of the material and the spiritual. Since Africans are “incurably religious, (Parrinder 27-28).” (Ogbonnaya 74) says, “From the days of the missionaries to the present, the church in Africa has focused its development strategy in two areas: education and healthcare.”

Christian faith-based organizations (FBOs), like the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), contribute to the sustainable development of Nigeria in many ways (Odumosu et al.). In the face of the Nigerian state’s weakness and its institutions’ inefficiency in providing human goods to its citizens, faith-based organizations (FBOs) supplement and complement the government’s efforts toward improving the standard of living of Nigerians. 

 Of these FBOs in Nigeria, over 46,000 are involved in pro-poor, charitable works that alleviate poverty, promote progress, and serve as development agents. According to (Olarinmoye 15), “FBOs in Nigeria provide health and educational services through their hospitals, clinics and maternities, schools and colleges, vocational training centers, seminaries and universities. They own economic institutions like bookshops, hotels, banks, insurance, mass media, and ICT companies.

They are prominent real estate owners in the form of sacred cities and prayer camps covering thousands of hectares of land. The lands on which their hospitals, schools, and orphanages are also situated make up part of their real estate portfolio, (Olarinmoye 15).” The main Christian FBOs include Christian Rural and Urban Development of Nigeria (CRUDAN), the Justice and Peace Caritas Organization (JDPC), the Urban Ministry, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CHAN), and the People Oriented Development (POD) of ECWA, (Odumosu et al.,).”

JDPC, a Pontifical Council guided by the Church’s social teachings, helps Catholic dioceses in policy-making, specifically in areas of social development. It coordinates all programs relating to social welfare, rural, urban, and water development, animating integral development, et cetera (Odumosuet al.). It was established in all the Catholic dioceses of Nigeria, over 99 in number (according to Catholic Hierarchy), and with branches in the parishes and zonal levels (small Christian communities).

The Nigerian Tribune, March 15, 2012, reports that JDPC sinks boreholes for good drinking water for communities, promotes good governance in many ways, and partners with the government to monitor elections. The Punch Newspaper, June 17, 2012, further reports the training of police and prison officers, grants of small-scale loans to farmers and traders and providing housing, building hospitals, constructing and equipping schools, advocates for widows, women, unjustly imprisoned, et cetera.


Christianity has been intricately intertwined with the historical formation of Western society. Christianity, therefore, was a significant source of social services like education, healthcare, Art, Culture, and Philosophy and an influential player in politics. Christianity made an impactful impact in South Nigeria as a result of Western education. Western education gave the South a far range in terms of educational, & socioeconomic development.

The north was more Islamic and into Arabic studies. The Political Development of the northerners was not independent because the people could not make up their minds and choose political leaders like the western-educated South. Instead, the Emirs and the Elites dictated to innocent people of the north because they fed them regularly. Whereas in the western region, people could argue with their Obas, read political manifestoes & make an independent choice of parties and candidates. Religious beliefs matter for economic outcomes. Christian principles reinforce character traits such as hard work, honesty, thrift, and the value of time; the core teachings, dogma, & doctrines of Christianity strengthen individuals, families, communities, and society. The doctrines foreclose & discourage major social problems such as out-of-wedlock births, abortion, drug and alcohol addiction, and Abuse: Physical, Emotional, Sexual & Neglect. Research reveals that religiosity reduces suicide rates, alcoholism, and drug use (NAMI, Dec.21, 2016).


Afannamuefuna, A. You are the Problem of Nigeria, Port-Harcourt. Allwell Publishing Company, 2006.

Anjorin, A. O. “The Background to the Amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 in ODU”, Ife Journal of African Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, 1967, p.72.

Awolalu, J. O. and Dopamu, P.A. West African Traditional Religion. Ibadan Onibonoje Press and Book Industries (Nig) Ltd., 1979.

Bailey, S. H. and Gunn, M. J.  Smith and Bailey on The Modern English Legal System. 2nd edition, London Sweet & Maxwell, 1991.

Ballard, J. A., “Administrative Origins of Nigerian Federalism” Journal of the Royal African Society, vol. 70, no. 279,1971, p.333.

Cf. Catholic Hierarchy, http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/country/dng.html

Collins, Francis. The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. New York Free Press, 2006.

Dzurgba, Akpenpuun. Case Studies of Conflict and Democracy in Nigeria. Ibadan John Archer’s publishers limited, 2008.

Ezeakunne, John. “Adoption of Canon law in the Nigerian Constitution vis-à-vis Sharia: A Panacea for Christian Insecurity in Nigeria” A Thesis in the Centre for Advanced Theological Studies for the award of the degree of Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, 2016.



Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Civil Government: An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government, from Two Treaties of Government  (1690). PLaslelett, P., 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 1967.

Malami, E. The Nigerian Legal System Text And Cases, (3rd Edition). Lagos Princeton Publishing Co., 2009.

Mbiti, John. African Religions and Philosophy. London Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1969.

Momoh, C. S. et, al, (edit). Nigerian Studies in Religious Tolerance Vol. III. Ibadan CBAAC and NARETO, 1989.

NAMI, Dec.21, 2016 (National Alliance on Mental Illness for Nigeria), the Secular nature affects wholesome obedience to Christian doctrines.

Odumosu, Olakunle et al. Religions and Development Research Programme: Mapping the           Activities of Faith-based Organizations in Development in Nigeria. Ibadan Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research, 2009.

Ogbonnaya, Joseph. “The Church in Africa: Salt of the Earth,” Stan Chu Ilo et. al., ed., The Church as Salt and Light: Path to an African Ecclesiology of Abundant Life. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2011.

Ojo, A. Constitutions and Constitutional changes since Independence. Atanda J. A and Aliyu A. Y.(ed.) Proceedings of the National Conference on Nigeria since Independence,  (1984:346) cited in Bamgbose, J. Adele, Nigeria in West Africa: A Powerful, or   Powerless State? In Asaju, D. F. Ekiyor, H. A. and Lawal, M. O. (eds) Studies in Nigerian Development. Lagos, Irede Printers, 2006.

Olarinmoye, Omobolaji, “Accountability in Faith-Based Development Organizations in Nigeria: Preliminary Explorations,” Global Economic Governance Programme. GEG Working Paper 2011/67, p.15.

Omoregbe, Joseph, Metaphysis Without Tears: A Systematic and Historical Study, Lagos: Joja Educational Research and Publishers Ltd., 2011

Parrinder, Geoffrey. African Traditional Religion. Westport. Connecticut Greenwood Press, 1976.

Pearcey, Nancy, Total Truth – Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Wheaton Illinois Crossway Books, 2004.

Rodee, C. C.  Introduction to Political Science. London Oxford University Press, 1980.

St Augustine. The City of God, Book III, par. 28. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1998.

Punch Newspaper, June 17, 2012, reports, “JDPC trains police, prison officers.”

Sanneh, Lamin. Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West, Grand Rapids.       Michigan William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003.

Taliaferro, Charles. Evidence and Faith: Philosophy and Religion since the Seventeenth   CenturyCambridge University Press, 2005.

The Tribune, a national daily newspaper in Nigeria, reports this headline in its March 12, 2012 edition, “JDPC commissions five boreholes in Irewole communities.” Nigerian Tribune, March 15, 2012,

Philosophical Discourse on Christianity as a Catalyst to Socio-Economic & Political Development in Nigeria (Part Two)

Philosophical Discourse on Christianity as a Catalyst to Socio-Economic & Political Development in Nigeria (Part Two)

The second series of a chapter published in Prof. Rotimi Omotoye’s 60th birthday Festschrift book. The Paper is re-adapted in American English.

 Omotoye, Rotimi Williams is a professor of Christian Studies; his areas of specialization are Church History, African Christianity, Pentecostal Churches, Ecumenical Movement, and Inter-Religious Relations at the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He represents the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the University of Ilorin and the University of Georgia, Athens. He is the author of several books and has been published in many national and international scholarly journals.

Nigerian Legal System & Political Development in Nigeria

The famous English philosopher John Locke (1967) adopted much of the framework device by its predecessor, Hobbes, for dealing with questions of political power and authority. Like Hobbes, Locke begins with an original position before setting up a political society. However, the ‘state of nature is governed by a natural (divinely ordained) morality. This law of nature teaches all humankind that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions. Christianity contributed to the Justice Laws of Nigeria.

Nigerian Legal System

According to (Malami 10-11), the sources of Nigerian laws are English Law, Legislation/statutes, Customary law, and jurisprudence/Judicial Precedent. Malami also mentioned other sources such as international laws, conferences, treaties, textbooks, and law journals. Some have suggested that the laws in Nigeria are derived from the English legal system. England was majorly a Christian society; therefore, the applicable law was an offshoot of Biblical Laws. English laws were developed over time by itinerant judges who went from one town to another to judge cases (Ezeakunne 162). These laws were mostly unwritten and are known as the Common Law of England (Bailey & Gunn np-introductory chapter). Some of the laws were codified and are referred to as the Statutes of General Application (section 32, Interpretation Act, Cap 192, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990). The judges were Christian men, usually Bishops and Priests, who acted as judges in their civic duties alongside their pastoral callings.

Therefore, Biblical laws and principles largely influenced English laws, and these were the laws that formed the basis for the Nigerian Legal System. Joseph Omoregbe declares, “Metaphysics is the foundation of law; without it and the concept of natural law, the concept of law cannot be correctly understood or fully explained. (Omoregbe 109)” The notion that law and liberty are inseparable is another legacy of Christianity. Accordingly, God’s revealed will is regarded as the ‘higher law’ and therefore placed above human law. Liberty is found under the law, God’s law, because, as the Bible says, ‘the law of the Lord is absolute, reviving the soul’ (Psalm 19:7). If so, people have the ethical duty to disobey a human law that perverts God’s law, for civil government is to establish all societies in a religious order of freedom and Justice. St Augustine of Hippo once wrote that an unjust law is a contradiction. For him, human laws could be out of harmony with God’s higher laws, and rulers who enact unjust laws were wicked and unlawful authorities. In The City of God, St Augustine explains that a civil authority with no regard for Justice cannot be distinguished from a band of robbers. ‘Justice being taken away, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves but little kingdoms?

Political Development in Nigeria

The British government was not satisfied with Nigeria’s separate entities and, therefore, put forward the principle of amalgamation. This process was first suggested by Sir Ralph Moor (Anjorin 1-14:2). It was followed by the 1898 Selborne committee, which investigated the need for amalgamating the different entities of Nigeria, of which 194 climaxed the whole process (Ballard 333). The British imposed various constitutions on Nigerian bureaucrats until the colonial master allowed Nigerians to participate (Ojo 1-14:2).

Nigeria was created by the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates by the colonial master. Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, known as Sir Frederick Lugard, was the governor-general of Nigeria from 1914 to 1919. When the amalgamation took effect, the British government sealed off the South from the North from 1914 to 1960, a period of 46 years. The British allowed minimum contact between the North and South because it was not in the British interest that the educated South polluted the North. The Second World War influenced political development, especially in the 1940s and 1950s, decisively stamped national and local affairs. The political socialization was extraordinarily ethnicized and regionalized and produced ethnopolitical chauvinism and fanaticism. The resultant effects are ethnicity, propaganda, intolerance, and violent confrontations. In Nigeria, politics use religion as a tool of political trade, and this relationship between religion and politics has become a significant interest in the polity of the Country.

Nigeria gained independence from Britain on October 1, 1960, and became the Federal Republic in 1963. Political development in Nigeria began with the annexation of Lagos in 1851 by John Beecroft at the instruction of Lord Palmerston (Dzurgba 14-17). It was to promote British trade in the “Niger Country.” 1923, Herbert Macaulay founded the first political party, the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). The qualifications for contesting election into the council then were residence and income as required by the Clifford Constitution that excluded northern Nigeria from the legislative council. Twenty-one years after NNDP, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe formed the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) in 1944. Richard Constitution of 1946 included northern Nigeria and created three regions, namely western, eastern, and north, with headquarters in Ibadan, Enugu & Kaduna.

 Seven years after NCNC, Chief Obafemi Awolowo formed the Action Group (A.G.) in 1951. In the same year, 1951, Sir Ahmadu Bello founded the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC). Regional Houses of Assembly were established in each of the three regions. Each of the political founders became elected as the premier of his region. Federal elections were held in 1954. It began the nationwide political mobilization that moved to the rural areas. Individuals or groups have formed political parties at one time or another. Nigeria is divided into 36 states and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The number of Local Government Areas is 774. In 2014, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) merged to become ‘All Progressives Congress {APC}.’ ‘Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’ ruled the Country for the sixteen years before this current administration of APC.

Some philosophers argue that there is no universal political principle. Some say the sheer power to impose policies justifies itself. Others believe that specific invariable laws or forces of history determine the attitude of a human community. Still, some believe that once regulations are established and widely accepted, these rules are the only sources of standards or criteria for identifying what is right and wrong in human affairs within that society. The overlay of ethnicity and politics on religion causes contradictions in the geopolitical and legal systems in Nigeria. The conventional politics of the people has a strong linkage to the belief in theocracy. Legal systems are the foundation of the rule of law. The lack of the rule of law has affected the paradigm of Nigerians into an unpatriotic attitude. (Momoh et al. 62) noted that most Nigerian political parties and social organizations are often organized along religious lines, and the two main religions (Christian & Muslim) have unduly influenced the causes of social and political events.

Philosophical Discourse on Christianity as a Catalyst to Socio-Economic & Political Development in Nigeria (Part One)

Philosophical Discourse on Christianity as a Catalyst to Socio-Economic & Political Development in Nigeria

(Part One)


I am starting from today a three-part series on the above topic. The paper published in Prof. Rotimi Omotoye’s 60th birthday Festschrift book is my writing and contribution as a chapter in the Festschrift. The Paper is re-adapted in American English.

 Omotoye, Rotimi Williams is a professor of Christian Studies; his areas of specialization are Church History, African Christianity, Pentecostal Churches, Ecumenical Movement, and Inter-Religious Relations at the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He represents the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the University of Ilorin and the University of Georgia, Athens. He is the author of several books and has been published in many national and international scholarly journals.


 The paper aims to do Justice to the significant past socio-economic & political developments in Nigeria by recognizing Christianity as the catalyst from the Perspective of the Philosophy of Religion. Socio-economic development in postcolonial Nigeria remains challenging. There is a need to reevaluate the stakeholders’ contributions to economic power. The approaches adopted in this paper are philosophical, phenomenological, and historical. Christianity played various roles in promoting integral development through social interaction, which cut across the South and later spread to the North. The development covers literacy, education, healthcare, agriculture, and news media. Contemporary Christianity differs distinctly from that practiced by the Christians a few hundred years ago. Christianity jumpstarted development in Nigeria through the Press. Nigeria’s first Newspaper (1859-1867), called “Iwe Irohin,” published in Abeokuta, was under the Church Missionary Society of the Anglican Church, Reverend Henry Townsend. The singular catalyst of an Anglican Missionary, Townsend, stimulated the people’s reading habits. Even after the demise of the paper, people’s yearning to read catapulted other newspapers in Lagos. Today, no issue commands a more significant, broader consensus in Nigeria than the need to restructure the Country’s socio-economic-political landscape. The principal factor in creating wealth worldwide is differences in economic institutions, and Nigeria needs to reform Institutions to grow. Unfortunately, this is not easy because economic institutions are collective choices that result from a political process. The political process is triangulated: Culturally, Militarily, and Democratically. The integral principles of Christianity used by the early Christian Missionaries remain vital to realistic developments.

Key Words: Christianity, Socio-Economic Development, Political Development, Nigeria,                          Philosophy of Religion


The historical persecutions of religious adherents in the world inaugurated expansionism and enabled the spread of different religions into Africa, especially Christianity. History records that Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. The first mission of the Church of England was established in 1842 in Badagry by Reverend Henry Townsend. Christianity came with Biblical Laws and a new Spiritual Mystery to people well-established in African Traditional Religion. The laws of spiritual mystery govern all socio-economic & political phenomena of an African. The introduction of Christianity from South Nigeria played a significant role in determining new socio-economic & political developments. The plural composition of Nigeria transcends beyond the number of religions but also to hundreds of sects, orthodox, and practices within the same and among religions, which further expose the complex pluralities in Nigeria. Coupled with these pluralities, religion became a disintegrating and integrating force in Nigeria. Religion is an influential part of the broader belief system and ideology and people’s social, political, and economic life (Momoh et al. 59). The philosophical discourses in this paper are on the Christian Mission in Nigeria, Socio-Economic development, the Nigerian Legal System, Political developments, and Contributions of Christianity to the developments from the perspective of the Philosophy of Religion.

 Christian Mission in Nigeria 

The early Western missionaries to Nigeria built the Christian faith on the category of the “Church-State relationship.” The kings were targeted for conversion, and the churches were built around the palaces of the converted kings. The missionaries considered the kings evangelized, but the people knew they were their traditional religious leaders, who were only in a diplomatic relationship with the Western missionaries. That led to a new wave of missionaries arriving in Nigeria between the 19th and 20th centuries. The protagonists of this wave were protestant missionaries, and their approach was “abolitionism” of the slave trade, which was closely linked to the early Western missionaries’ endeavors in Africa. Their focus was to preach the abolition of slavery and to separate the Christian faith from colonialism. Christianity came into Nigeria through Badagry around 1840. Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman, the proactive superintendent of the Methodist Mission at Cape Coast, led this missionary effort. This unique initiative was a catalyst for the local committee of the CMS in Sierra Leone. The CMS sent Rev. Henry Townsend, who got to Abeokuta – a Yoruba city, on January 4, 1843. The formerly enslaved people warmly received Freeman and Townsend, who requested missionaries, and the paramount chief of Egba Land (Sodeke and his chiefs). The CMS mission led by Rev. C. A. Gollmer, accompanied by Townsend and Crowther, came to Yorubaland in 1845. According to Awolalu et al., the missionaries could not proceed to Abeokuta immediately because of Sodeke’s death; they stayed in Badagry and improved the church life there (Awolalu 186). History affirms that the people who advocated and welcomed the missionaries were not members of the Yoruba traditional society but the Westernized, formerly enslaved people who felt they were missing the Western education and Christian fellowship they enjoyed in Freetown. These people also wanted their people to benefit from the light they had received by embracing Christianity. Since then, Christianity has had to deal with the indigenous religions it met, entrenched in the Secret Societies (Cults), for the salvation of souls. Christians are reaching out to the Cults’ members and traditionalists to save them from eternal condemnation, a clarion call to renounce membership of the various cults and become members of the kingdom of Christ as believers of the Truth.

 Christianity Led Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria 

Christianity is concerned with the relief of global suffering that makes socio-economic development a priority. Most Nigerians are hungry; they lack food, shelter, and medical care. The poverty in Nigeria is a tempest that has turned some people into refugees and degenerates. Christians have served and are still serving as a catalyst, giving succor to reducing people’s suffering. It is a philosophical fact that suffering is part of life. The problem of evil & suffering contributes significantly to the theistic arguments and debates. Therefore, it is an issue on which philosophers are competent to take a position. Poverty and Poor Economic Conditions of a People –have been clearly emphasized. (Rodee 119) noted that an appeal to particularistic political feelings and identities in homogeneous societies is more likely to arise during political instability or relative economic stress and changes. And so many ethno-religious manipulations and consequences in Nigerian politics are engineered by poverty, unemployment, and related economic strife among the citizens. 

 The first Newspaper publication was on December 3, 1859, in Abeokuta, the capital of the present Ogun State. James Ede, an Egbaman trained by Rev. Henry Townsend, served as the top printer of the Newspaper. The main intention of Townsend was to propagate the Anglican Faith of Christianity and encourage the Egbas and other Yorubas to read and write. So, Christianity in Nigeria catalyzed the literacy level. That accounted for the first in most celebrated disciplines/professions in Nigeria coming from the South due to the effect of Christianity; examples are the late Nathaniel King – 1st Nigerian Medical Doctor (1874) to Practice Modern Medicine in Nigeria; Late Sir Adeyemo Alakija – 1st Nigerian Lawyer; Late Prof. Thomas Adeoye Lambo – Most Distinguished Neuropsychiatrist in Nigeria; Late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola – 1st Federal Chief Justice of Nigeria; Late Papa Revd. Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti; Late Chief (Mrs.) Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti – 1st Woman to Drive a Car In Nigeria; Late Dr Olikoye Ransome-Kuti – A Former Minister Well Renowned In Primary Health Care; Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti – 1st Internationally Acclaimed Musical Icon; and Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo – 1st To Establish A Television In W/Africa & Start Free Education In Nigeria. The development in any given society is to reduce inequality, unemployment, and poverty. In contrast, national development is improving opportunities that will enable individual humans and communities to achieve their aspirations and full potential over a sustained period (Afannamuefuna 129). Some of the Christian-initiated socio-economy developments include:

Social Roles – The recognition of social Justice implies the recognition of God in the scheme of things, which is equivalent to progress and development. The introduction of Christian teachings on morality is sacrosanct to national development.

Health Care System – Christianity positively impacted health facilities established by missionaries in Nigeria. Some of the current establishments by Christian groups include Babcock Hospitals, Ilishan-Remo, Seventh Day Adventist hospitals in Ile-Ife, Faith Clinic Foundation in Nsukka; Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia, Pentecost Medical Centre, Festac Town, and Lagos West hospital, Agege, among others. These establishments have saved many people in Nigeria from untimely death because many of these hospitals are run almost free of cost to save lives, while in some cases, the charges are minimal.

Economic development – One of the cardinal aims of development is to realize economic self-reliance accomplished through intensive rural farming and the articulation of other productive forces to place the nation on a sound economic footing. Christians in Nigeria collaborated with the rural development directorates’ road and infrastructural facilities to meet the needs of the people.

Educational Roles –Christians from the time of the early missionaries brought Western education. Christian/Missionary Schools range from Nursery/Primary, Secondary, Adult, and Technical Education to University levels.

Agricultural Role – Christians, in their congregations, encouraged farming and buying harvested goods. 

 **Part Two Next Sunday.



 The pandemic since 2019 and its post-pandemic prognostic today puts the Tourism Industry at a significant disadvantage. Tourism is at its lowest ebb. Nevertheless, domestic and national tourism could be considered for investments and gains. The latest global tourism industry insights make interested partners understand the growing markets and help to build a successful growth strategy. 

 The categories of tourism that could increase any State’s earnings are: 

  • Hospitality, 
  • Nature, 
  • Business,
  •  Ecotourism, 
  • Hotel and Travel services, 
  • Passenger transportation, 
  • Parks, Agritourism, 
  • Cultural attraction, 
  • Educational tourism, 
  • Adventure, 
  • Tour operator, 
  • Taxi service, 
  • Bus services, 
  • Equipment rental, 
  • Wellness tourism, 
  • Performing art, 
  • Leisure travel, 
  • Package tour, 
  • Museum, 
  • Historic Site, 
  • Art Business, 
  • Theatre, 
  • Concert, 
  • Golf tourism, 
  • Festival, 
  • and Dance tourism, among other types of tourism activities.

There is an international tourism grant that States might benefit from if adequately packaged.

 Some Critical points:

  • Tourism is an integral part of humans’ lives and not just a luxury. 
  • Increasing evidence shows that an integrated approach to tourism planning and management is required to achieve sustainable tourism. 
  • Tourism is an engine of growth, capable of rejuvenating other sectors of the economy. 
  • Tourism, through its inherent message of goodwill, Hospitality, trust, service without servility, tolerance, interaction, and communication, becomes the most effective mechanism for fostering tribal, national, and international cultural exchange and understanding among the people.
  • Tourism is a proactive and vibrant economic unit of any State. 
  • Tourism education and training are one of the fundamental pillars of the development of new responsible and sustainable tourism. 

 The main principles governing the approach to tourism development are as follows: 

  • Promoting the involvement of the private sector and institutions in providing education and training. 
  • Encouraging the private tourism sector to increase its commitment. 
  • Addressing the specific needs of small, micro, and medium-sized businesses (SMMEs) and emerging entrepreneurs. 
  • Promoting tourism awareness at all levels of society. 
  • Encouraging the local media and NGOs to partner in the tourism awareness process. 

 Categories Of Tourism:

  1. Rural Tourism
  2. Adventure Travel: Adventure travel includes Backpacking, Motorcycle tours, Climbing, Hiking, and Mountaineering
  3. Ecotourism
  4. Geotourism has Geoparks as a sub-category:
  5. Medical TourismHealth economies; Heath care; Dental tourism; Cancer Hospitals and Research Centers; Fertility tourism; International healthcare etc.
  6. Religious Tourism, including Halal tourism
  7. Space Tourism

Suggested Areas of Tourism Studies:

  • Hotel Management
  • Culinary and Chef Courses
  • Hospitality Security and VIP protection.
  • Hospitality IT and Web design, online bookings.
  • Tour Guide courses and registrations.
  • Travel Agency training.
  • Landscaping and design
  • Golf Course Management.
  • Food and Beverage Management.
  • Spa and Rejuvenation Courses.
  • Medical Tourism.
  • Fleet Management
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Airline Management and
  • Entertainment/Pleasure Tourism

 List Of Adjectival Tourism:

 Adjectival tourism refers to the numerous niche or specialty travel forms of tourism that have emerged over the years, each with its adjective. Many of these have come into everyday use by the tourism industry and academics. Others are emerging concepts that may or may not gain widespread usage. Adjectival tourism alphabetically includes: 


















**Credit for Adjectival tourism goes to Wikipedia.

 Tourism Training Institute:

The objectives of the Tourism Training Institute are:

  • To provide training for all tourism stakeholders. 
  • To deliver excellent, dynamic, innovative, and highly committed service of International Standard to tourists.
  • To reaffirm the commitment to education in all ramifications.
  • To enlighten citizenry & others through tourism
  • To promote tourism and Hospitality as a viable economic sector
  • To train the trainers for sustainable tourism development and
  • To produce qualified staff for the hotels and tourism industries.

The benefits of this type of Institute are encompassing and, in the long term, will:

  • Create jobs 
  • Alleviate Poverty
  • Broadens economic base for the State
  • Develop Tourism Sites
  • Promote Social harmony, unity, tolerance, and peace.

Church Response To Discrimination Against Women In The Context Of Human Rights And Economic Challenges (Part Two)

Church Response To Discrimination Against Women In The Context Of Human Rights And Economic Challenges (Part Two)

Traditional African Society & Women:

Several works of literature on the role and place of women in African traditional society note that no degree of stereotyping against women existed in traditional Africa. The woman possessed the power to organize the family and society. There was an enormous task and responsibility conferred on womanhood. For St. Clair, the responsibility of both men and women was seen as complementary to one another: “There was a co-dependence and a balance that existed.” [22] In various traditional African societies, the African woman possessed the power that binds the society together. The survival of the family and the future of marriage depended greatly on the African woman. This is why Leith emphasizes that:

Culturally, African women were the transmitters of the language, the history and the oral culture, the music, the dance, the habits, and the artisanal knowledge. They were the teachers and were responsible for instilling traditional values and knowledge in children. Men were also essential in the transmission of knowledge to the youth because they had a different type of knowledge of the earth and environment, and also of ceremonies and traditions that were performed exclusively by men. [23]

In this regard, Leith explains that each gender had its role and responsibility, which helped in the formation and upkeep of the family, mainly as it affects the essential upbringing of children. Furthermore, Leith points out that the women had extensive knowledge of the natural environment; they were gatherers, meaning their communities depended on them to provide nourishment, or they would face starvation. Indigenous women in Africa were the healers; they held vital knowledge of herbs and medicines that ensured their communities’ survival. The indication is that women’s role in traditional Africa is a sine qua non to societal development. The impacts of the women were felt in every aspect of the life of the society. Thus, African women played a key role in the education and the teaching of children, especially the social, ethical, and moral values, which are part of the cultural standards for evaluating proper societal behavior. In evaluating the status and position of women in traditional Africa, Hafkin and Hanson reiterate that:

Women were treated with unparalleled respect because they were seen to be closer to the creator than men ever had the potential to be. This is because women themselves had the ability to create due to the fact that they were able to give birth. As a creation of life, they were charged with the sacred responsibility of caring for the needs of the next generation, and because of this, they can be regarded as the originators of the idea that is now known as sustainable development. [24]

Buttressing the above quotation, it is indisputable that societal sustainable development depends on a solid family structure. On this, Agarwal commented that the most critical aspect of life and survival in every society was the family. The women are often the backbone of the family in traditional Africa. Strong women who usually held pertinent positions in the family have always characterized the African family. [25] It is essential to mention that one of the many forms of traditional African notions of family structure, which cannot be ignored, was polygamy. Despite polygamy’s many woes, it is often viewed as a means of achieving family social and economic stability. B. Dobson elucidates in a broad perspective the necessity and importance of polygamy in family structure and its many benefits for the woman. According to him:

As a result of the agrarian society of the economy of traditional Africa, polygamy was considered socially necessary to ensure the continuation of the society and to provide for the needs of the many women who might otherwise never enjoy the status and benefits that accompany becoming a mother, a bearer of children and are thus a vital link to the ancestors. Wars between groups often resulted in the reduction of the male population. Thus, females usually outnumbered males. Unmarried women risked social humiliation without a husband and children; thus, the system sought to provide for the needs of everyone in the society. [26]

But despite the activities, roles, responsibilities, and positions women held in traditional African society, the man in pre-colonial Africa was still the head of the family and a leader of the society. The society was purely patriarchal. The man performed as the controlling agent in the family, while the women played supporting roles to the men. According to Agnes Loteta Dimandja [27], from a current observation of African society, women are generally banished from the public spheres of power. When they are urged to participate in the political life of their countries through civil and political authority, for instance, they often become indebted to the “chief” to whom they owe their “promotion.” However, African women demonstrate their merits outside of the political arena in another way. This ambivalent role is disclosed through the symbolic roles of mother, spouse, and educator. The African mother is more than a “domestic cook” in charge of managing the household.

The subjugation women suffer today on the grounds of being the “weak sex” is falsely determined by the differential roles of men and women. J.S. Mbiti[28] points out that one of the indispensable roles of women in traditional society is that they see to the general cleanliness of a sizeable number of special days devoted to the worship of the deity in several societies’ cleansing or scrubbing the floor, plastering the walls and decorating the ‘sanctuary.’ Not only these, but he also observes that the duty of women, especially among the Yoruba, is to worship the emblem of the gods with special herbs during the annual ceremonies. He further remarked that as part of women’s care of sacred places, women in some communities are responsible for providing regular sacred water for particular deities. For example, among the devotees of Orisa Nla, whose cult is widely acknowledged all over Yoruba land and in some other localities, women who have reached the menopausal stage or young virgins are solely responsible for the drawing of the early morning water from undisturbed brook.

Adewale corroborated this view and observed that the sacred water was aptly called “Omi Aifo” (because the women who fetch the water were expected not to talk with anybody on the way), and stored the water in Orisa Nla’s sanctuary. The water “is ceremonially given to the devotees and among other benefits, it is believed to make barren women fertile” and to cure some diseases. Mbiti’s observations clearly showed that women serve in several priestly offices in the African traditional religions. While Mbiti’s assessment might be correct, he mentioned nothing about women’s place and role in the Christian Church. Concerning the status of women in traditional African Society, Azikiwe points out that in traditional Igboland, the place of a woman is in the home as a wife and a mother, who stays to bear children, rear them up, and take care of the home. [29] They are regarded as inferior and people who cannot do any other thing except produce children.

Some scholars opined that in primitive societies, women were seen as property to be bought and sold and were treated as enslaved people or even animals, enjoying neither sympathy nor respect. In corroborating with the above statement, Pritchard noted that:

Women in European societies can choose to marry or not to marry, and if they choose not to marry, they may devote their lives xxvii to teaching, research, administration, charity, etc., or they combine married life with a profession or job and with all sorts of interest outside the home. The primitive woman has no choice. [30]

Similarly, Hirsh observed, “the view that men are superior is a trait which actively encourages stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination.” [31] Thus, the oppression of women was built into the fabric of the society. In the early part of the 20th century, there was a small percentage of educated women, so civil service and other social professions were seen as strictly men’s rights. Women seen in such professions were regarded as intruders in masculine professions. Palmer, writing on this, asserts that “the impression conveyed then is of an ordered society with women playing a secondary but cheerful accepted and important role.” [32] Thus, women in traditional societies were exposed to institutional obstacles. Some women were accorded special recognition and respect, such as priestesses, queens, wives of traditional titleholders, etc. Usually, such respect and recognition were given based on religious and traditional considerations. Also, the traditional women have a clear vision of Motherhood’s “sacred duty” and carry it with appropriate diligence and commitment. Hence, Rosaldo observed that:

Women take care of their children because the Igbo family is such that a man has his own house, whereas the wife and children have theirs, showing that children’s first level of socialization begins with their mother, who directs them on issues as they grow. Hence, women’s role as mothers and primary socializing of children, in turn, set up the possibility of a distinction between domestic and public spheres, the former the province of women, the latter of men. [33]

Emphasizing the same point, George notes, “As a mother, she sustains a relationship to children which involves their care and their nature as a wife which is made for her husband for his pleasure and reproductive purposes.” [34]

 Women’s Place In Contemporary Church:

In 1965, Heinzelmann raised the question of ordination about what the traditional practice of excluding women from the priesthood may imply about the baptism of women. She cites the doctrine of the spiritual character imparted by baptism, which makes the recipient capable of receiving the other sacraments and grounds the Christian in the rights and duties of church membership. She asserts that “the exclusion of women from priestly ordination, a sacrament, quite obviously runs counter to this doctrine of the full effect of Baptism.” [35] In another 1965 article, Charles R. Meyer urges a “careful” and “unprejudiced” re-examination of the question of the ordination of women in the early Church and States “to push the argument against the sacramentality of the ordination of deaconesses too far would be in fact to deny the sacramentality of the order of deacons.” [36]

The most substantial Roman Catholic contribution to the ordination discussion currently available in English is Haye van der Meer, S.J., Women Priests in the Catholic Church. [37] He investigated the arguments from Scripture, tradition, the magisterium, and speculative theology that dogmatic theologians have offered to affirm the practice of excluding women from orders, and concludes that “Catholic dogmatic theologians may not hold that according to the present position of theology it is already (or still) established on a scholarly basis that office’ should, by divine law, remain closed to women.” [38]

John J. Begley, S.J., and Carl J. Armbruster, S.J., likewise find the traditional material inconclusive and thus suggest that the issue of ordaining women is “pre-eminently a pastoral question.” [39] Pastoral arguments for and against ordination emphasize two interrelated aspects of priesthood: the functional and the symbolic. Mary Angela Harper inquires in an early article whether women’s contribution might be destroyed by being forced into “the existing structure of ecclesiastical functions and offices,” [40] and J. Galot, has argued that the priestly tasks related to cult, government, and preaching are “specifically masculine.” Women, he notes, are divinely destined to cooperate with these tasks but not to share them. He considers woman’s natural “feminine docility” to be in accord with the “masculine pastoral function of government” and holds that, with regard to preaching, woman performs the indispensable function of assimilating the truth as proclaimed by male preachers and then transmitting it in unofficial situations, chiefly to the young. [41] Still, others have suggested that the ordination of women at this time could have the negative effect of perpetuating a hierarchical “caste structure.” [42] Gregory Baum, on the other hand, maintains, “The ordination of women to the priesthood would restore a prophetic quality to the Church’s ministry, educating people to discern the injustices in present society and presenting them with an ideal for the participation of women in the life of society.” [43]

Frederick P. Chenderlin, S.J., acknowledges that ontologically, God could “work a miracle” that would empower a woman to “fulfill the task of consecration,” but argues that the maleness of Christ is vital because, at the Last Supper, he was “playing a particularly masculine role” [44] in undoing the harm caused by Adam. As Chenderlin interprets Paul, the maleness of Adam is essential to his headship and authority, and analogously, Christ’s redemptive activity must involve maleness since “man has precedence in authority over woman.” [45] Evans, Price, and Barnhouse, on the other hand, maintain that including women in ordained ministry could enhance the symbolic power of priestly service. [46] They are basically in agreement with Begley and Armbruster, who hold that “it is extrinsic and accidental to the incarnation that the specific human nature assumed by the Son was masculine.” [47] Evans maintains that “men and women redeemed in Christ’s friendship might be better symbolized by male and female priests, not the one sex voiding half the meaning of the symbol,” [48] and Cunningham points out that the ordination of women at this juncture of history might well serve to guarantee and express orthodoxy of faith since to exclude woman from priesthood based on sex amounts to “a new mode of neo-Arianism.” [49] Recently, arguments for ordination have emphasized the need to symbolize the fact that the image of God is both male and female,[50] and this approach entails an essential shift in the discussion. Rather than asking whether it is right to include women in official ministry, these writers are inquiring, at least implicitly, whether it is wrong to continue excluding them.

In church leadership and ordination, Lavinia is categorical that the Roman Catholic Church’s position is that women cannot be ordained. In “the Catholic system, you cannot exercise the fullness of any leadership role unless you are male and ordained. Only the ordained men may lead.” According to the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in Modern World, 267, which Lavinia quotes, “Women are now employed in almost every area of life. It is appropriate that they should be able to assume their full proper role by their nature.” She pleads upon everyone “to acknowledge and favor the proper and necessary participation of women in cultural life.” This implies that women could make more contributions if given the opportunity. Elsewhere, she notes that all people are born equal.

Therefore, there should be no social or cultural discrimination based on sex, race, color, social condition, language, or Religion, which must be overcome and eradicated as centrally to God’s intent. This gives hope to women that they might be considered for essential roles in the Church. On the issue of women and the sacrament of priestly ordination, Clifford[51] makes reference to the era of the second wave of feminism, when debates regarding the ordination of women began to occur in different churches such as the Roman Catholic, Protestant Episcopal, and Anglican Communion churches. He addressed the issue of the ordination of women in these different churches. He concluded that such issues keep recurring due to long-held traditions in these churches. Clifford points out that not all (Catholic) feminists support the priestly ordination of women. She asserts that this is the case because these feminists believe that the goal of attaining full partnership in the Church will not be achieved by ordaining women priests and that the hierarchical distinction between ordained priests and the laity exacerbates the existing problems. [52] Women in Pentecostal churches function in both supportive and substantive roles. Substantively, women function as prophetesses, founders, martyrs, bishops, and evangelists. Despite this, the subject of women’s role in the Church is controversial.

Most independent African Churches are well disposed to women’s leadership role in the Church as opposed to the mission churches where, according to Babalola, “Women could only lead in association that concerns solely the women.” The implication is that in the established mission churches, women are not given room to occupy leadership positions except when they have to lead their fellow women. Akin to this, Hewitt [53] opined that though the situation of women in church roles is changing in the West since most of the major Protestant denominations have removed formal barriers to the ordination of women, the churches are far from showing equality in leadership. This is because, according to Hewitt, women are still not allowed some critical positions of authority and responsibility in the Church. Alana [54] argued in favor of women’s leadership roles in the Church using the examples of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church and Christ Apostolic Church, both independent African churches.

Sackey[55] examines the new dimension in gender relations in African Independent Churches (AICs) about women in leadership positions in the Church. She highlights how women have managed to break through the glass ceiling to reach the pinnacle of leadership in the Church. She further stated that women in AICs have been involved in finding alternative solutions to issues affecting the nation, bringing them into the high echelons of decision-making bodies. As stated by Sackey, some women members of AICs are today involved directly in political decision-making in their capacity as members of parliament, negating the old-age idea that women are apolitical. Sackey further stated that, despite all these achievements, it has been observed that the contributions of women in mission churches are slow in forthcoming. Sackey highlighted the differences between mission and spiritual churches in giving reasons for this situation. She states that the male-oriented nature of the mission churches contributes to their reluctance to develop females’ capabilities as leaders. For the Church in Africa, the ordination of women into leadership roles in the Church continues to be a complex issue.

In Kosomo Daniel’s article, he said African Theologian M. Oduyoye exposes the problem as she writes:

I study Okan proverbs (attempting) to demonstrate that women fall victim to linguistic imagery that socializes them to accept “their place” in society and to view with caution any call for more space Oduyoye (1990) in her book” Women Tradition and the Church in Africa.” She observes that in the traditional communities of Yoruba (Nigeria) and Akan (Ghana), where gender socialization is the norm, the strategy has distorted the quality of human relations, and it continues to deny the parity between women and men or to accept female and male as equivalent expressions of human being. Odudoye’s study has led her to conclude that chauvinism is a problem in Africa, “and not created … by the arrival of Islam and Christianity, but, one that is an integral part of our African world-view” “Women, in general, are educated to believe that being born female means to be born innately inferior damaged that there is something with us. We are told we are needed as mothers, caretakers, and cheap labor in the fields and factories. Due to women’s low self-esteem, they underrate themselves and leave leadership roles to men. The traditional way is that women do most of the work in the Church and society, and men hold most of the leadership. [56]

In an interview with Isaacson, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, while enunciating his view on the role of women in the Church, explained that there is nothing unscriptural in women ministering. He buttressed this with the fact that women-led Bible studies in the early days of the Church. He, however, hinted that:

I could see from the scriptures that women have a lot of things to do at home. We still want them to take care of the family and the children. We wouldn’t want their ministry in the Church to conflict with the training of their children at home. So we try to strike a balance. [57]

Also, the Deeper Life Leadership Strategy Congress Booklet (1996) stated that there could be no higher ambition for a Christian woman than to be a faithful wife and a happy and influential mother. In conclusion, Bamisebi Olumakaiye writes that women’s ordination is a thorny issue in Anglican Communion as it is in all other mainline churches elsewhere in Nigeria. He comments that the situation has become more challenging following the World Council of Churches’ approval in 1987 of women’s ordination and women being given leadership in the Church. He also notes that in the Anglican Communion, the Lambeth Conference of 1988 also passed a resolution to recognize the admittance of women into the priestly order. For him, all these properly serve as a foothold for feminists and their sympathizers in the Church to adequately argue their cases in the Nigerian context.

However, he points out that there is a consensus among bishops of the Church of Nigeria that women should be admitted to permanent diaconate. Still, the resolution is yet to be implemented. He concludes that the reason for this can probably be the existing socio-culture, tradition, and other relevant challenges.

An overview of some of the challenges women have faced and are still facing are:

  1. Economic Disadvantage: 

Economic power is critical to the ability of women to surmount challenges and be at the top leadership level either in the society or the Church. Most women are economically disadvantaged. Some women are thriving in businesses, and some are well-known successful entrepreneurs. The Federal government in Nigeria has in the past and presently helped Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but most banks are not willing to grant required funds due to lack of collateral.

  1. Discriminatory Customs and Laws 

The customs practices of many states in Nigeria subjugate women to men and undermine their self-esteem. The overall impact of gender bias, cultural norms, and practices has entrenched a feeling of inferiority in women and placed them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their male counterparts in the socio-economic, political settings, and church management.

  1. Lack of Adequate Education 

Though some school enrolment shows more females than men, women still constitute a more significant percentage of the illiterate group in Nigeria, especially in rural communities. There is an old custom of preference for sons to attend schools instead of daughters that few parents still hold on to today. Daughters are looked at as belonging to their eventual husbands and would belong to another family. There is a glaring disparity of gender inequality in theological education. Few women enroll to study religious or theological education and church leadership studies. In most human societies, the male is accorded a superior status, role, privileges, and opportunities to develop his potential and capabilities. At the same time, the female is subjected to an inferior subordinate status. It has resulted in gender inequality educationally, politically, socially, economically, and religiously. Women are wiser now and are pursuing education with great zeal.

  1. Domestic Violence:

Women face a lot of systematic discrimination from entrenched power relations that perpetuate the universal subordination of females. This discrimination makes them highly vulnerable to being harmed physically, sexually, or psychologically by men in their families and communities.

5. Lack of Affirmative Action Quota: 

Affirmative Action is usually a measure intended to supplement non-discrimination; it is a broad term encompassing a host of policies that seek to support weak groups in society. They include policies where deliberate Action is used to stop discrimination. In 1979, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the ‘Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women’ – (CEDAW). Since its adoption, it has become a reference point for the women’s movement’s demand for gender equality. The 1999 Constitution made provisions similar to affirmative Action to supplement non-discrimination. Today, Nigerian women are clamoring for 35% affirmative action. It is not the use of ‘Affirmative Action’ that seems to be the problem but the practical effects and its linkage to fundamental ideas of fairness and Justice. The stronger argument for gender-based affirmative Action is just a token for equal representation in a country where women, who constitute about half or more of the population, have been continuously sidelined in public life to the extent that they have never held more than 15% of both appointive and elective offices.

Unlike the constitutions of some African countries, i.e., South Africa and Uganda, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria takes no cognizance of the disadvantaged position of women and has no provision for gender equality. Apart from the general reference to non-discrimination based on sex and so on, nothing in the constitution is aimed at addressing the disparities that exist along gender lines in Nigeria. In the Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, there is still discrimination against women ordination as priests. Even though Anglican Communion in South Africa, some other African Countries and Countries in the West, like the United Kingdom and the United States of America, have female priests and bishops. [58]

Church Response To Women’s Challenges And Discrimination:

Jesus broke with tradition and treated women in a much more egalitarian way than was customary in the society of that time. The early Christian churches followed Jesus’ lead and gave women much higher status and more privileges than was common in the rest of the world. But Paul and other Christian leaders continued to affirm the principle of a husband’s family leadership and authority over his wife.

Christians disagree over whether this principle should apply in the modern world. Is the man’s authority over his wife and family a great spiritual principle decreed by God for all time, or is it, like the Bible’s teachings about slavery, just a reflection of the realities of Biblical-era culture? Today, many Christians believe women should enjoy all the same rights and privileges as men. Other Christians, however, continue to advocate a secondary role for women based on Genesis 3:16 and other Biblical passages.

The relationship between man and woman to God and one another depends on the biblical theology in Genesis 1: 27. Religion sustenance of male’s powers is based on a mythical superiority, which makes man the norm of humanity. The imprint of the myth is in the Bible and the Qur’an, especially in the wrong translation of texts by male religious leaders that have equated them with the word and will of God. The truth is that the world, including the Church, teaches opposite the teachings of the Bible. The world needs not politics, philosophy, or Religion but a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ – the mission of missions that will grow the Church. The Church’s response to the world is to uphold the word of God by ensuring gender equality. It has to start in the Church by not discriminating against women as ordained priests.

The Bible has a response to each of the gender hindrances: Philosophical, Religious, Political, and Economical. The consequences of wrong Scripture translation have led to Domestic Violence, Migratory Flow of Labour, and Sexual Abuse/Rape. The paper strongly advocates the systematic study of the Bible and hermeneutic exegesis by scholars to avoid wrong biblical interpretations. The Pentecostal churches, some very wealthy, have hardly intervened to address the challenges of these women facing economic deprivations. It is time to think inward and look at the suffering faces of women in the Church. The Bible teaches us to care for the poor, the widows, and the marginalized. Some churches are very good at welfare, so it should continue, while others should emulate the caring services.


Nigeria has had top-to-bottom programs like the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), the Peoples’ Bank, the Family Support Programme (FSP), etc., which were not entirely adequate. The emphasis here is bottom-top programs that would engage women from the grassroots. There are some legitimate hindrances to total emancipation of womanhood. All of them are significant and real but not impossible to overcome. The Bible has a response to each of the obstacles and hindrances. Therefore, the Church, built on a Biblical foundation, must respond to each hindrance and assist the women believers. Some barriers to women’s emancipation are gates erected by the masculine gender, and some are self-imposed by the feminine gender. Liberation theology teaches that the world’s people must be free from social-political-cultural-economic oppression, but the gospel relates primarily to sin.

Christ’s future kingdom on earth will ultimately deal with all problems – 1 Pet. 2:24-25. The world needs not politics, philosophy, or Religion but a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ – that is the mission of missions. In Genesis, we could conclude that God handed the microeconomics and macroeconomics of the whole world to both males and females as He created them – Gen. 1:28-30. All power belongs to God, and He has given both males and females equal leadership power in secularity and Religion. In essence, gender discrimination is a ‘sin,’ and the Church must desist from sinful conduct. The Church’s response to the world is to uphold the word of God by ensuring gender equality. It has to start in the Church by not discriminating against women as ordained priests. This paper calls upon religious leaders to play complementary roles with the political leaders and society. They are to address the plight of the discriminated female gender, facilitating improved living and working conditions and enabling them to play more roles in top leadership in churches and society.


  • [22] Cited in O.T. Afisi, “Power and Womanhood in Africa: An Introductory Evaluation,” in The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.3, no.6, March 2010
  • [23] Ross Leith, African Woman, New York: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 1967, 34.
  • [24]  Jone Hafkin, and Hanson Bay (eds) (1976), Women in Africa: Studies in Social and Economic Change, Stanford: Heinemann, 1976: 59-60
  • [25] Bina Agarwal, Socio-Economic Background of Traditio African Family System, New York: Oxford University Press.1970: 75
  • [26] B. Dobson, “Polygamy and Women’s Place in Africa” in Corona: Journal of African Cultural Studies, Vol. 1 No 12, 454-57.
  • [27] A.L. Dimandja, The Role and Place of Womanhood in Africa in Sub-Saharan African Societies accessed and retrieved from http://www.globalaging.org/elderright/world/2004/subsaharan.htm on 10/14/2017.
  • [28] J.S. Mbiti, The Role of Women in African Traditional Religion in Cahier des Religions Africaines 22 accessed and retrieved from http://afrikaworld.net/afrel/atr-women.htm. On 10/15/2017
  • [29] U. Azikiwe, Women in Development in the Society in Contemporary Sociology. John Jacobs Classic Publishers, 1997:155
  • [30] Cited in Ozioma Faith, Onyenucheya, “The Role Of The Church Towards Amelioration Of Socio-Cultural Practices Inimical To Women,” A Thesis Submitted To The Department Of Religion And Cultural Studies faculty Of Social Sciences, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka, January 2012.
  • [31] M.F. Hirsh, Women and Violence. New York: Vans Nostritand Reinhmold, 1981, 1
  • [32] E. Palmer, The Feminist Point View: Buchi Emecheta’s The Joy of MotherhoodAfrica Literature Today No. 13. Other Essay in Social Anthropology, 1983, 88
  • [33] MZ. Rosaldo, Women Culture, and Society New York. John Willey and Sons., 1973: 163.
  • [34]H. George, The Poetry Foundation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979:864.
  • [35] Heinzelmann “The Priesthood and Women,” Commonweal 81 (1965) 507.
  • [36] Charles R. Meyer “Ordained Women in the Early Church,” Chicago Studies 4 (1965) 301.
  • [37] Tr. Arlene and Leonard Swidler (Philadelphia, 1973). This doctoral thesis, which van der Meer completed under Karl Rahner, S.J. 1962, was first published as Priestertum der Frau? (Freiburg, 1969)
  • [38] Van der Meer, 9. In 1973, the Committee on Pastoral Research and Practices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops called for an “exhaustive study” of the reasons for and against women’s ordination. The Committee’s report, “Theological Reflections on the Ordination of Women,” is reprinted in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies 10 (1973) 695-99. It focuses on traditional arguments against ordaining women and does not give evidence of having taken into account the work of van der Meer. In “Will Women Be Ordained?” Origins 2 (1973) 743-44, Ann Gillen, SHCJ, objects to the negative emphasis of the report and predicts that a growing sense of rejection by the Roman Church will lead Catholic women to seek ordination in other Christian churches or to evolve an independent priesthood according to their sense of vocation.
  • [39] John J., Begley, S.J., and Carl J. Armbruster, “Women and Office in the Church,” American Ecclesiastical Review 165 (1971) 145-57. Others stressing a pastoral approach include Meyer, Man of God, Gerald O’Collins, S.J., “An Argument for Women Priests,” America 129, 1973,122/3
  • [40]Mary Angela Harper “Women’s Role in the Church,” America 115, 1966, 93
  • [41]J. Galot,  L’Eglise et la femme (Gembloux, 1965), 203.
  • [42] Elizabeth Gössman, “Women as Priests,” tr. Simon King, in Apostolic Succession: Rethinking a Barrier to Unity, ed. Hans Küng (Concilium 34) . 115-25; Ann Kelley and Anne Walsh, “Ordination: A Questionable Goal for Women,” Heyer, Women and Orders, pp. 67-73
  • [43]Gregory Baum “Ministry in the Church,” Women and Orders, 57-66
  • [44] P. Frederick and S.J., Chenderlin, “Women as Ordained Priests,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 72     (1972) 27
  • [45] P. Frederick and S. J., Chenderlin, 31
  • [46] Evans, Art. cit.; Charles P. Price, Ordination of Women in Theological Perspective (Cincinnati, 1975); Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse, “An Examination of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in Terms of the Symbolism of the Eucharist,” Women and Orders, 15-37
  • [47] Cited in Women And Religion: A Survey Of Significant Literature, 1965-1974
  • [48] Cited in Women And Religion: A Survey Of Significant Literature, 1965-1974
  • [49] Cited in Women And Religion: A Survey Of Significant Literature, 1965-1974
  • [50] Cited in Women And Religion: A Survey Of Significant Literature, 1965-1974
  • [51] M. Clifford, Introducing Feminist Theology, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 2001, 140-8
  • [52] Clifford 2001, 140-148
  • [53] Alan L. Hewitt, Gender Revolution, The: Emancipating Women and Empowering the Church Paperback, River Publishing & Media Ltd., 2016. 1st ed., 1976
  • [54] Olu Emmanuel Alana, “Liberation of Womanhood: Fetters of Conservatism with Particular Reference to Women Leadership in the Cherubim and Seraphim Church.” In African Journal of Biblical Studies, Vol. VII, No 1, April, 1992, 93
  • [55] Brigid M. Sackey, New Directions in Gender and Religion: The Changing Status of Women in African Independent Churches, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006
  • [56] Cited in K. Daniel, 128 & 129
  • [57] Isaacson, A., Deeper Life: Extraordinary story of the Deeper Life Church, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1990
  • [58] Ogbaji Udochukwu: https://plus.google.com/

Bibliography for Parts One & Two:

Afisi O. T., “Power and Womanhood in Africa: An Introductory Evaluation,” in The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.3, no.6, March 2010

Agarwal Bina, Socio-Economic Background of Traditio African Family System, New York: Oxford University Press.1970

Alana, Olu Emmanuel, “Liberation of Womanhood: Fetters of Conservatism with Particular Reference to Women Leadership in the Cherubim and Seraphim Church.” In African Journal of Biblical Studies, Vol. VII, No 1, April, 1992,

Azikiwe U., Women in Development in the Society in Contemporary Sociology. John Jacobs Classic Publishers, 1997

Barret, David, World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions in the modern world, second edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, 1982

Baum Gregory, “Ministry in the Church,” Women and Orders,

Begley John J., and Carl J. Armbruster, “Women and Office in the Church,” American Ecclesiastical Review 165, 1971

CEDAW: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

Clifford M., Introducing Feminist Theology, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 2001,

Daniel Kosomo, “The Role Of Women In The Church In Africa” in International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 2(6), 126-139, June 2010 Available online http://www.academicjournals.org/ijsa ISSN 2006- 988x ©2010

Dimandja A. L., The Role and Place of Womanhood in Africa in Sub-Saharan African Societies accessed and retrieved from           http://www.globalaging.org/elderright/world/2004/subsaharan.htm on 10/14/2017.

Dobson B., “Polygamy and Women’s Place in Africa” in Corona: Journal of African Cultural Studies, Vol. 1 No 12,

 Evans, Art. cit.; Charles P. Price, Ordination of Women in Theological Perspective (Cincinnati, 1975); Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse, “An Examination of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in Terms of the Symbolism of the Eucharist,” Women and Orders,

Ferguson, Everett, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Second Edition, NY: Garland Publishing, 1998

Frederick P. & Chenderlin S. J., “Women as Ordained Priests,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 72, 1972

Galot J.,  L’Eglise et la femme, Gembloux, 1965

George H., The Poetry Foundation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979

Gössman Elizabeth, “Women as Priests,” tr. Simon King, in Apostolic Succession: Rethinking a Barrier to Unity, ed. Hans Küng (Concilium 34) . 115-25; Ann Kelley and Anne Walsh, “Ordination: A Questionable Goal for Women,” Heyer, Women, and Orders,

Grudem Wayne, Systematic Theology: An Introduction To Biblical Doctrine, Nottingham NG7 3HR: InterVarsity Press, 2015 ed.,

Hafkin Jone, and Hanson Bay (eds), Women in Africa: Studies in Social and Economic Change, Stanford: Heinemann, 1976

Harper Mary Angela, “Women’s Role in the Church,” America 115, 1966,

Heinzelmann, “The Priesthood and Women,” Commonweal 81, 1965

Hewitt Alan L., Gender Revolution, The: Emancipating Women and Empowering the Church Paperback, River Publishing & Media Ltd., 2016. 1st ed., 1976

Hirsh M. F., Women, and Violence. New York: Vans Nostritand Reinhmold, 1981,








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Isaacson, A., Deeper Life: Extraordinary story of the Deeper Life Church, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1990

Leith Ross, African Woman, New York: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 1967, 34.

MacArthur J., New Testament Commentary, I Timothy, Chicago; Chicago Moody Press, 1995,

Meyer Charles R., “Ordained Women in the Early Church,” Chicago Studies 4, 1965

Mbiti J. S., The Role of Women in African Traditional Religion in Cahier des Religions Africaines 22 accessed and retrieved from http://afrikaworld.net/afrel/atr women.htm. On 10/15/2017

Mwaniki Lydia, ‘Unveiling Paul: A Postcolonial Feminist Examination of the Construction of the Roman Family and its Influence on Pauline and Contemporary Christians 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 in Journal of Constructive Theology, Gender, Religion and Theology in Africa’, Volume 16, No.l July, 2010.

Ogbaji Udochukwu: https://plus.google.com/

Onyenucheya Ozioma Faith, “The Role Of The Church Towards Amelioration Of Socio-Cultural Practices Inimical To Women,” A Thesis Submitted To The Department of Religion And Cultural Studies faculty Of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, January 2012.

Palmer E., The Feminist Point View: Buchi Emecheta’s The Joy of MotherhoodAfrica Literature Today No. 13. Other Essay in Social Anthropology, 1983,

Rosaldo M. Z., Women Culture, and Society New York. John Willey and Sons., 1973

Sackey Brigid M., New Directions in Gender and Religion: The Changing Status of Women in African Independent Churches, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006

Smart Ninian, The World’s Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations, Cambridge, University Press, 1992 (1989)

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Yohanna, K. P., Revolution in World Missions, Carrollton, TX: GFA books for Asia, 2004


Church Response To Discrimination Against Women In The Context Of Human Rights And Economic Challenges (Part One)

Church Response To Discrimination Against Women In The Context Of Human Rights And Economic Challenges (Part One)


Women in church leadership positions have been a debatable and controversial issue since the days of the Church Fathers. Discrimination against women has economic and human rights dimensions. The Jewish tradition, as well as the African tradition, is oppressive to women. The Scripture has a mixture of the oppressive culture of the Jews and Kerygma. Insecurity and domestic violence are the output of women’s discrimination. Therefore, Church leadership has much to do to restore peace and security to the nation. Women in Africa are economically challenged and play second fiddle to men in society and the Church’s top leadership. Women have contributed significantly to church establishment and growth; therefore, the Church is responsible for them. The article examines the historical discrimination and the challenges facing women. Some very wealthy churches hardly responded to women facing economic deprivations. Decades of human rights agitations and resolutions to protect women’s rights have not eradicated discrimination. The methodologies employed were philosophical inquiry, rational/logical analysis, and participatory observatory. The Church should encourage formal women’s education, set up skills, and facilitate funds for small enterprises that will enable women to overcome their economic challenges. Discrimination is a sin, and the Church must discourage it.

 Key Words: Women, Human Rights, Church Leadership, Oppressive Culture, Discrimination.


The biblical perspective on human rights is accentuated in Genesis 1:27c: “Male and Female, God created them.” [1] The Millennium Development Goals Summit in 2010 on the way forward: an action agenda for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 stated in Agenda 54:

We acknowledge the importance of gender equality and empowerment of women to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Women are agents of development. We call for Action to ensure the equal access of women and girls to education, essential services, health care, economic opportunities, and decision-making at all levels. We stress that investing in women and girls multiplies productivity, efficiency, and sustained economic growth. We recognize the need for gender mainstreaming in the formulation and implementation of development policies. [2]

 Also, the World Bank, in one of its highlights, stated, “Equal access to financial services, helping women build assets and professionalizing the care-giving sector can help accelerate progress in women’s economic empowerment.” [3] The more robust argument for affirmative Action for women is symbolic of equal representation in a country like Nigeria, where women constitute about half or more of the population and have been continuously relegated to public life.

 Affirmative Action is usually a measure intended to supplement non-discrimination, which includes policies where a deliberate action is used to stop discrimination. Liberation theology teaches that the world’s people must be free from social-political-cultural-economic oppression. African women are crawling politically and economically. The status of women in early Christianity has been quite debated in recent decades; no doubt, it prompted interest in the women’s movement in Western Countries. Indeed, there is evidence in the New Testament itself of women doing many things within early Christianity. In Paul’s letters, he greeted women and called them co-workers. Paul referred to one of them by a Greek word that means “deaconess,” (The original Greek says: οὖσαν διάκονον, ousan diakonon, being [the] [female] servant of the church at Cenchreae. The word “diakonon” means servant in nearly all of its 30 uses in the New Testament, but it may also refer to the church office of deacon). Christian women of different statuses, different races, and exposure contributed immensely to the growth of Christianity, so the Church is liable to respond positively to women’s challenges. Despite men’s oppression, women of the Old Testament, New Testament, 2nd to 5th century, early Quakerism, women in missions, women of the Azusa Street revival, and many other women across the globe are highly celebrated and commended for their various services to God and humanity. They are role models for today’s young Christian women. These women showed different love in services, and they displayed exemplary character. Some of them enlarged Churches dominated by male leadership and, after that, started women’s organizations.

 In pre-colonial and colonial Nigeria, women across the country had been a real force of change, deposing corrupt kings and fighting despotic leaders and policies. [4] But even though several nations had signed and/or ratified International conventions and treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 1979[5] or the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,[6] these have not been incorporated into Domestic Law. Nigerian women are still at the lowest ladder, crawling politically, religiously, and economically. 

The Church: Its Nature and Its Purposes

The term “church,” as used here, means all those whom Christ has redeemed by his death and resurrection. In ‘The World’s Religions’ [7], Ninian Smart suggested that there were seven dimensions of Religion. Two of the seven dimensions are the doctrinal and philosophical and social and institutional dimensions. The doctrinal and philosophical dimension of Christian Religion is derivable from the sacred scriptures. The institutional aspect refers to the organized structures and hierarchies often to be found within religious traditions. For example, the papacy falls within the social and institutional dimensions of Roman Catholicism. This author is more concerned with these two dimensions of Christian Religion in this paper in highlighting the term “church.” The institutional dimension includes leadership structure and followership. Jesus Christ built the Church by calling his people to himself (Matt. 16:18). Luke told us in Acts 2:47 that the growth of the Church came not by human effort alone but that “the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Whenever Paul writes his epistles, he directs the writings to the visible Church in each community; “To the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2). So here, this author speaks of the Church, as it is apparent to those who are genuine believers. The Church is local and universal. [8] 

 The Nature of The Church

Paul views the Church as a family (1 Tim. 5: 1-2). God is our heavenly father (Eph. 3:14). “I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters say the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18). We are, therefore, brothers and sisters with each other in God’s family (Matt. 12:49-50); 1 John 3:14-18). A different family metaphor is seen when Paul refers to the Church as the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:32). In some other metaphors, the Scripture compares the Church to branches on a vine (John 15:5), an Olive tree (Rom. 11: 17-24), a field of crops (1 Cor. 3: 6-9). Also, a church is not only a temple for the worship of God; it is a “holy priesthood” that can offer “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God” (1 Peter 2:5). The Church is viewed as God’s house. The Church is also considered “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

The Purposes of The Church

There are three distinct but interwoven purposes. There are other minor purposes, but the primary three purposes are essential to the aim of this paper.

  1. Ministry to God: The first purpose of the Church is to worship God
  2. Ministry to Believers: According to Scripture, the Church must nurture the believers (men and women) and build them up to maturity in the faith. This also involves the welfare and egalitarianism of all believers (men and women).
  3. Ministry of the World: This includes evangelism, discipleship, and showing mercy. The mercy ministry includes caring for the disadvantaged, like women, the poor, and the needy, in the name of the Lord.

The New Testament emphasizes giving material help to those who are part of the Church (Acts 11:29; 2 Cor. 8:4; 1 John 3: 17). There is the underlying message of equality, love, and response to the needs of believers. The germane point is to keep a balance of the three purposes. All three purposes are significant; none should be neglected or relegated to the background. The Church then has a responsibility to respond to any form of discrimination against women; and give appropriate responses to challenges of women believers.

Women’s Challenges: Then and Now

There is a clandestine oppressiveness towards women in the Jewish culture that could be seen in the Bible. Biblical teachings about women started in the book of Genesis, The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18, NIV). God created the woman as a “helper” for the man. Ignored is that God created men and women in His image and made them equal custodians of all His creation – Genesis 2:27-28. During the Old Testament (OT) Era, in comparison to other cultures of that time, Jewish women enjoyed great liberty and esteem to an extent. Many women distinguished themselves as prophetesses and leaders in the Jewish society. Some women were Miriam, Deborah, Esther, Hannah, Huldah, Jochebed, Noadiah, Rachel, Rebekah, Rahab, Ruth, and Sarah. These women played significant roles in Israel’s history. As evidence of the equality of men and women, the Ten Commandments require children to honor both their father and mother (Exodus 20:12)

 There was a different scenario in the New Testament (NT). By the time of Jesus, women no longer had the freedom and status they enjoyed in the Old Testament era. The Jewish Society had become very much male-dominated. Women were regarded as inferior beings and were treated almost as the same status as enslaved people. Most of the women were not educated and were denied leadership roles. They were restricted to domestic duties. The discrimination against women could be seen in both the OT and NT because women were usually not counted in the census. Jesus’ attitude towards women differed from the customary cultural traits at the time. Jesus allowed women to travel with Him and His twelve disciples (Luke 8:1-3). The early churches followed Jesus’ example. Women were treated at least as near-equals and were permitted to hold positions of responsibility. Many of the women like Mary the mother of Jesus, Dorcas, Julia, Lydia, Persis, Priscilla, Phoebe, Tryphena, and Tryphosa played essential roles in the early Christian Church (Acts 1:12-14, 9:36, 16:14, 18: 24-26, 21:7-9, Romans 16: 1-16). However, the majority of women were confined to domestic duties. Lack of adequate education also added to their challenges. The exclusion of women from equal participation in society contributes to the oppression of women. The power of males over women is most clearly visible in all forms of violence against women. Statistics show that gender violence is a more significant cause of death and disability among women aged 15-44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, or war. [9] 

 For over 100 years, women have been agitating for gender equality and economic empowerment as an essential part of their ‘Rights.’ [10] The Beijing Platform for Action Commits governments to pursue and implement sound and stable macro-economic and sectorial policies that are designed and monitored with the full and equal participation of women, encourage broad-based sustained economic growth, address the structural causes of poverty, and are geared towards eradicating poverty and reducing gender-based inequality. [11] Women are the worst hit in the downward economy of Africa, especially in Nigeria; Sir Hugh Clifford’s Constitution of 1922 disenfranchised Nigerian women and limited adult males’ participation to the wealthy. Though there was an existing element of gender inequality in the culture and tradition of Nigerian societies, the colonial order made gender discrimination more pronounced. During the colonial order’s establishment, women became estranged from their rights. The enfranchisement of women in Nigeria seems to have surface-level maintenance because it is assumed that there are no barriers to women’s equality constitutionally. Yet, the lack of economic, educational, and knowledge empowerment remains challenging. Women’s empowerment has continued to be a topical issue at the center of most discussion and dialogue sessions at various levels and organs of governance. This issue has become even more crucial in the face of rising poverty, maternal mortality, epidemics, and a general fall in living standards across the developing economies of sub-Saharan Africa and other third-world economies. 

Church Leadership & Women

Kasomo Daniel was of the view that in the early Church, the role of women was highly recognized and appreciated. [12]Women participated as deacons, apostles (Rom. 16:7), church leaders (Rom. 16:3-5), and Church rulers (Rom. 16:1). Mary McKenna, pointed out those women’s pastoral functions included teaching, catechizing other women, and caring for the sick. She concluded that they are all called to serve the Church irrespective of the sexes. Throughout the ages, the Church has been unfair to women in assigning leadership roles. Wachege supported her view and also asserted that:

History shows that the Church, too, cannot be absolved from the evils of inflicting lamentable injustices on women. This has been happening through its hierarchical structures, which are predominantly and essentially male. [13]

 Systematically, the Church has excluded its women folk from ordained ministry, especially in orthodox churches (an example is the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion). Crabtree supports this view by saying the following: “It is apparent that the contemporary Church’s view of women is that she is an aesthetically child-centered individual who has no talents for ordained ministry or policymaking position.” [14]

The effect of stereotypes about sex roles is seen in denominations where women are ordained; they still do not consider them for higher church positions. Crabtree gives the reason that these women are allocated for the most part to small country churches, which are not taken seriously by those in power. [15] Although ordination is not so vital for women’s participation in the Church, it becomes crucial as Wachege notes: “When the church fails to ordain women into Sacerdotal Ministry, it cuts them systematically from the subsequent religious roles.” [16] Lydia Mwaniki in her article, “Unveiling Paul: A Postcolonial Feminist Examination of the Construction of the Roman Family and its Influence on Pauline and Contemporary Christians, 1 Corinthians 11: 1-16” explores Paul’s construction of gender hierarchy as patterned after the hierarchy of the Roman family. [17] In the same article, she investigates ways in which the role and status of a woman in the Roman family influenced the role and status of a woman in Pauline congregations. Her overall argument is that the role and status of a woman in Pauline congregations cannot be adequately understood without considering the role and status of a woman in the Roman family. She hoped to contribute to feminist postcolonial discourses, which emphasize that de-patriarchalization is a process that must occur in tandem with decolonization. However, she does not explain women’s ministry in the Church at the grassroots and how the Roman structure influences it.

That hierarchical structure is reflected in the fundamental relationships of the husband and wife, parents and children, and masters and slaves. Within the family hierarchy, she notes, the father (paterfamilias) was at the top and had dominion (patriapotestas) over all those below him. This explains why the father’s authority could not be challenged. The Roman wife was highly privileged as the manager of the household affairs, among other privileges. As such, women’s roles in the first-century Church cannot be conceived outside the new Roman woman. John MacArthur, in his book, New Testament Commentary 1 Timothy, defends what he considers to be God’s plan for women in the Church. [18] He laments that:

The flood tides of evangelical feminism are sweeping away the traditional doctrines. Churches, schools, and seminaries are rapidly abandoning truths they have held since their inception. [19] 

MacArthur claims that biblical passages on women’s roles were being culturally reinterpreted and ignored because of the alleged anti-female bias of the biblical authors, or dismissed as the additions of later redactors. He writes that this is Satan’s plan to entice women away from their God-created role in society, the family, and the Church. MacArthur’s commentary on I Timothy 2:9- 15 observes that women’s role in the Church is to be learners and not teachers, especially in public worship. He says, “It may seem obvious to us that women should be taught God’s word since they are spiritually equal in Christ and the commands of the New Testament are to all (I Peter 2:l-2).” [20] He notes that first-century Judaism did not hold women in high esteem and that most Rabbis refused to teach women, likening it to throwing pearls to the pigs. He supports his arguments by observing that there is no evidence of queens or priests in the Old Testament in Israel or Judah. He claims that Deborah acted as a judge only in exceptional circumstances. 

As for the New Testament, MacArthur argues that there were no women pastor-teachers, evangelists, or elders and rejects that Philip’s daughters were prophetesses by arguing that their prophecy was never recorded. He further says that when the Church gathers, women are to listen to the men who teach. Women could only teach privately in their houses, as probably did Priscilla to Apollos (Acts 18: 26). John Stott considers the passage, I Timothy 2:8-15 the most controversial verse in the Pastoral Letters. [21] He advises that the conclusions one draws from the text depend mainly on the hermeneutical principles. 


  [1] The Bible teaches full equality of males and females in the Church, in the home, as well as in the general society through mutual respect and submission (Ephesians 5:21) e.g. Galatians 5:13, Romans 12:10. The Genesis creation accounts show that both male and female were created in the image and likeness of God; and were given equal mandate to fill the earth and take responsibility for the rest of the earth – Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 1 and 2

[3] http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/06/26/accelerating-womens-economic-empowerment

[4] Josephine Olatomi Soboyejo, “Maami 8:12,” http://nigeriaworld.com/articles/2013/aug/190.html

[5] http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

[6] http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/

[7] Ninian Smart, The World’s Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations, Cambridge, University Press, 1992 (1989)

[8] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction To Biblical Doctrine, Nottingham NG7 3HR: InterVarsity Press, 2015 ed., 857

[10] https://learnwithjoes.com/

[11] http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/poverty.htm

[12] Kosomo Daniel, “The Role Of Women In The Church In Africa” in International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 2(6), 126-139, June 2010 Available online http://www.academicjournals.org/ijsa ISSN 2006- 988x ©2010 

[13] P. N. Wachege, Africans Women Liberation a Man’s Perspective. Nairobi: Industrial Printing Works, 1992, 93

[14] Crabtree 1970, 19 cited in K. Daniel, 131

[15] Cited in K. Daniel, 131-132.

[16] Cited in K. Daniel, 131.

[17] Lydia Mwaniki’ Unveiling Paul: A Postcolonial Feminist Examination of the Construction of the Roman Family and its Influence on Pauline and Contemporary Christians 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 in Journal of Constructive Theology, Gender, Religion and Theology in Africa’, Volume 16, No.l July, 2010. 30-59.

[18] J. MacArthur New Testament Commentary, I Timothy, Chicago; Chicago Moody Press, 1995, 77-90.

[19] J. MacArthur, 77.

[20] J. MacArthur, 83

[21] See his lengthy commentary of the passage in John Stott, The Message of I Timothy and Titus, The Bibles Speaks Today Series, Leicester, Inter-Varsity Press, 1996. 73-88

Advantages of Hard Work

Advantages of Hard Work:

It is often said that hard work pays off. Some say only hard work enriches you and gives you wealth, while others feel only the Grace of God enriches you and not your hard work. The people of the latter opinion would say that if it were hard work, then the laborers would have been richer. I am looking at hard work from the growth concept and harnessing the advantages. 

Hard work is a fundamental cornerstone of personal and societal progress, offering many benefits across various life aspects. While the concept of hard work may vary depending on individual circumstances and cultural contexts, its advantages are universally recognized and can be expounded upon as follows:

Achievement of Goals: 

Hard work is often the driving force behind realizing one’s goals and aspirations. It empowers individuals to set ambitious targets and then put in the effort required to attain them. The satisfaction of achieving these goals boosts self-esteem and encourages setting even higher benchmarks for the future.

Skill Development: 

Diligence and perseverance in any endeavor lead to the acquisition and refinement of skills. The more one invests time and effort into a particular task, the more proficient they become. This enhances their expertise and widens their range of capabilities, making them more adaptable and valuable in various contexts.

Increased Productivity: 

Hard work often translates to increased productivity. When individuals dedicate themselves to their tasks and responsibilities, they tend to complete them more efficiently and effectively. This efficiency benefits the individual and can positively impact the efficiency and output of teams, organizations, and even entire economies.

Resilience and Grit: 

The challenges and obstacles encountered while pursuing hard work build resilience and grit. Individuals who consistently put in effort learn to navigate setbacks, failures, and uncertainties with determination and perseverance. This ability to bounce back from adversity is a vital life skill that helps individuals weather storms and emerge stronger.

Personal Growth: 

Putting in sustained effort and pushing limits fosters personal growth. Hard work often requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone, leading to learning, self-discovery, and character development. It encourages individuals to confront their weaknesses and transform them into strengths.

Opportunity Creation: 

Hard work can create opportunities that might not have otherwise been available. By consistently demonstrating commitment and dedication, individuals attract attention and gain recognition from peers, superiors, and mentors. This recognition can lead to promotions, new projects, networking connections, and other doors opening for further advancement.

Enhanced Time Management: 

Engaging in hard work necessitates practical time management skills. Individuals must prioritize tasks, allocate time appropriately, and avoid distractions to accomplish their objectives. This skill spills over into other areas of life, improving overall efficiency and balance.

Financial and Material Rewards: 

Hard work frequently produces financial and material rewards. Consistent effort and dedication are often recognized and rewarded through salary increases, bonuses, promotions, or business success. These tangible rewards can contribute to a better quality of life, increased financial security, and the ability to pursue desired experiences and possessions.

Inspiration for Others: 

People who consistently put in hard work often serve as sources of inspiration for others. Their determination, discipline, and accomplishments can motivate those around them to strive for excellence and adopt a similar work ethic. This positive influence can create a ripple effect promoting a hard work and achievement culture.

Legacy and Impact: 

Hard work has the potential to create a lasting legacy and leave a positive impact on society. Innovators, creators, and change-makers who dedicate themselves to their visions often bring about transformative advancements that reshape industries, communities, and the world.

In summary, the advantages of hard work extend beyond mere material gains. They encompass personal growth, resilience, skill development, and the potential to create a meaningful and lasting impact. By embracing hard work as a guiding principle, individuals can unlock their full potential and contribute positively to their lives and the world around them.