By Ifeanyi Olannye
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Sunday, charged clergymen in the country to preach the word of God always and not earthly materialism to entice men.
The governor gave the charge at the consecration of two Bishops-Elect and the Presentation of Archbishop of Niger Delta at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Bishop’s Court, Asaba.
Okowa, who took the first reading at the service, congratulated Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba on his successful ordination and the Niger Delta Archbishop, Most Rev. Blessing Enyinda and the two new bishops.
“Preachers must resist the ever-present temptation to resort to enticing words of man’s wisdom in a vain attempt to make the gospel appealing and acceptable to the secular mind.
“Happenings in our contemporary world and the church are a fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
He said that their elevation was an affirmation of God’s anointing upon their lives, their spiritual characters and pedigree.
Okowa said that God’s desire was for all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, adding that hell was not created for man but for the devil and his angels.
He called on clerics and Christians to constantly go on their knees to intercede for sinful humanity and intensify the drive for missions and evangelism.
He urged the Bishops-Elect, Rt. Rev’d Victor Okporu, consecrated as Bishop of Western Izon Diocese and Rt. Rev’d Nneoyi Egbe, Diocese of Calabar, not to follow the crowd or the trend but the righteous path.
“You must stay true to your calling by preaching the undiluted word of God. Every God-ordained preacher of the gospel is not at liberty to exchange God’s truth for his opinions, traditions or philosophies of men.
“The word of God is supposed to change us, not men changing the word to suit their circumstances.
“Hence, the man of God must be diligent to present himself as approved to God – a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly preaching the truth.
“The preacher of righteousness must be prepared to answer the call to duty at any time, not only when it is easy, profitable or convenient.
“The true man of God will answer the call to duty regardless of his/her personal circumstances and no matter where he is sent to; in other words, he should be ready to carry out the Father’s business whether he feels like it or not.
“The preacher must also be very patient with people and persist in delivering God’s message with the sincere hope that people will change and embrace a life of righteousness and holiness.
“He must not be quick to jump to conclusions and write them off,” the governor said.
Earlier, Archbishop Ndukuba commended Okowa for his commitment to the church and for his outstanding accomplishments in the governance of Delta.
He said that he was not surprised that Delta was peaceful “because when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice.
“We are proud of you because you are indeed the people’s governor and a true servant of God.
“The Lord will continue to bless and protect you and make his countenance to shine upon you”.
In his homily, Bishop of Ilesa Diocese, Rt. Rev. Samuel Sowale, admonished the clergy to flee from covetousness and follow righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness.
He stated that they were called to guide the faith, unity and leadership of the church, adding that a good Bishop was a source of strength and inspiration to his people.
“A good Bishop sets the tone in their words and in their actions and is charged with a daunting role and therefore, must strive hard to protect the integrity of the church at all times,” he said.(NAN)