By Gbenga Osinaike
The provost of the West Africa Theological Seminary, Lagos Nigeria, Dr. Williams Udotong has observed that the United states of America is having the problem of the gay today because of the failure of the American church.
He made this observation during an interactive session with newsmen at the just concluded 25th convocation ceremony of the non-denominational theological institute founded by Dr. Gary Maxey, an American.
He however noted that that gay issue is being championed by a negligible percentage of the US population who has been able to influence the media and the legal system to perpetuate their conviction on the gay rights issue.
Udotong who holds a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary (ATS), Kentucky, U.S.A. said when the church in America was strong and dynamic, gay was not an issue. “But when the church in the US started having pastors who thought they were getting wise some part of the church started experiencing a new brand of Christianity which gave room for people who have split Christian personality to attain leadership position. This kind of Christians wants to flow with the society.”
He said the church in Africa stands the risk of being carried away with the tide of secularism if it does not stand on the truth and infallibility of the word of God. He said, “Africa is serving as the epicenter of Christianity. If Africa does not understand its prophetic and spiritual significance, God’s spirit will leave it and it risks hosting an apostate church that is rich but lacks the presence and power of God.”
The WATS provost then called on church leaders in Africa to go back to discipleship noting that that is only way to save the church from the infringement of secularism.
While noting that WATS is an example of a theological institute where the issue of denominationalism is not a problem he said, “Here in WATS we have students from over 100 denominations in Africa. That is why the institute has been able to affect a broad spectrum of the church in Africa. People come from all over the continent especially from West Africa to take up courses that help transform them and make them change agents.”
He said the vision of WATS is to be a catalyst for the revival of the Body of Christ and to motivate the church to go back orthodox Christianity.
The theologian explained further, “Orthodox Christianity is not about the traditional mainline churches like the catholic and the Anglican churches but about the very basis of the Christian faith. When we say orthodox Christians we are not referring to the Anglican Church or the Catholic. It is about those who adhere to the basis of our belief. People have vague knowledge of the gospel. But the gospel is all about Christ. It is about the fact that Christ came in the flesh, died for our sins, rose from the dead, lives and he is coming back again.”
With a clear understanding of the gospel he said, “We will not fight over mundane issues and things that don’t constitute the core of the gospel. The problem we are faced with in the church today is the consequence of a lack of understanding of the Christian faith which has produced split level Christianity. We now have Christians who pay allegiance to the god of this world on one hand and also give allegiance to Jesus. But this kind of Christianity will not take us far. It does not produce disciples but rather it produces spectators and onlookers.
That is why corruption is preponderant in Africa. Many of the supposed Christians are people with split personality. These Christians worry about the mundane things like what to eat and what to drink and wear. They don’t have the idea that the Christian faith is more than eating and drinking. There is a bigger purpose of the Christian faith which many Church people are yet to discover because of the craze for material and worldly possessions.”
The WATS, according to him has been positioned to help the Body of Christ fight denominationalism and make church leaders understand the bigger picture. “When you understand the bigger picture, you will not become impatient with people of other denominations. Rather, you will like to move with the mission of God for the world”