Most Rev. Dr. Peter J. Akinola
The former Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Dr. Peter J. Akinola, has lamented over churches turning Sunday services into “fund-raising event” instead of becoming proactive in winning souls and salvaging sinners.
“Every sermon is about money and projects, when we (clergy) feed the people with trash and theological jargon and not the spiritual milk for their nourishment and growth in the Lord”.
“We must, of course, beware that the Lord is watching us in this crooked and perverse generation in which fake teachers, and false prophets abound with popular theology and revisionist interpretation of scripture and get rich quick syndrome among other vices, are on the ascendancy,” he said.
The retired Archbishop and Primate of Nigeria, said these yesterday in a sermon at the Episcopal Ordination and Consecration of the Venerable Dr. Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto, as the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Accra, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
The Right Rev. Torto takes over the divine responsibilities from the current Diocesan Anglican Bishop of Accra, the Most Rev. Dr. Justice O. Akrofi who retires in October this year.
The Most Rev. Akinola, said there was the need for a paradigm shift in church activities to win the confidence and trust of the membership in line with the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ.
“The church universal today needs loving, humble and selfless bishops, pastors and teachers who have heard the call and have responded in humble obedience, those who will not be wolves to devour the sheep, but feed, seek the lost, uphold the weak and lift up the down trodden,” he said.
The retired Archbishop urged the leadership of the church to be resolute and not consign their call to duty to greed, materialism and penchant for controversies in the face of many other conflicting demands of the world and its seemingly attractive offers.
He told the new Diocesan Anglican Bishop of Accra, the Rt. Rev. Torto, that he was coming in to the episcopate of the church at a time when “there is a great turmoil such as internally self-imposed persecution and suppression of the word and from external aggression by resurgent Islam and acute materialism.”
“The body of Christ has turned itself into body of crises, rising from one crisis to another. I do not pretend to know the nature nor any details of the general situation of the church in West Africa and particularly in Ghana, but one thing is clear; the work of the Ministry has been made much more difficult over the years for the leadership of the church by “fellow Servants of God.
“In the face of all these, where do we place the Lord Jesus Christ and the urgent task of shepherding his flock?” he asked, and urged the leaders to faithfully follow the ways of Jesus Christ and serve Him with diligence and dedication to truly portray their care for the flock.