The Association of Christian Theologians (ACTS) yesterday condemned the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over its claim that its last week visit to Aso Rock Villa to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election, was done on behalf of Nigerian Christians.
The ACTS in a statement issued by its National President, Prof. Olakunle Macaulay, declared that those who visited Aso Rock on the platform of CAN “were church leaders and not Christian leaders.”
The theologians’ body stated: “CAN does not in any way represent the interest of Christianity in Nigeria. The presence of some Christian religious leaders in Aso Rock to congratulate President Buhari on his re-election at the last presidential election, on behalf of all Christians in Nigeria, was a misrepresentation.
“Christianity is more than ‘churchism’. Christianity includes the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which can be found in the Bible as preaching, teaching, and help ministries.
“Those present in Aso Rock Villa were church leaders and not Christian leaders. Christianity is more than building auditorium, clapping of hands, paying tithes and dancing. It has a lot to do with the message of Jesus Christ and the morals of people and of the nation.”
Stressing that Christianity is life and not a religion, ACTS also pilloried the idea of setting up the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC)-a joint body of the CAN and the National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs-saying the NIREC had failed in its mission.
“The idea of the NIREC should have been rejected in the first instance, because its goal to broker peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria has actually failed, when we assess the achievement of this body after three years of its existence.
“Today, Christians and Nigerians are killed, slaughtered all over country, therefore, we do not need NIREC to live together in love and peace. We only need Christian leaders (not church leaders) and other religious clerics to teach what the Holy Books instruct,” the ACTS argued.
The theologians’ body, however, stressed that Nigerians must understand what Christianity stands for, noting that it is not an assemblage of a small group, but of all people, and that as a faith, Christianity stands for the elimination of evil forces, which include armed robbery, kidnapping, corruption, stealing, covetousness, assassination, war, intolerance, and envy.