Anglican bishop preaches dangers of hardness of heart
The Diocese of Mbaise, Anglican Church, Imo State on May 26, 2018 held its Second Session of the Ninth Synod under His Lordship, Rt. Rev’d Chamberlain C. Ogunedo, who presided over the synod with the theme: “Today, If You Hear His Voice; Do Not Harden Your Hearts” taken from Hebrews 3:7-8.
In his address, the Diocesan Bishop reminded Christians of the dangers of negligence/stubbornness and urged them to learn from Israel’s past history. He lamented that today’s church is faced with a lot of challenges, such as oppositions, persecutions, troubles within and without, wrong teachings and beliefs.
He said: “Many people practise cross-less Christianity – Christianity without suffering; diluting the word of God to suit their hearers to retain them. There is increase in wickedness, cultism, occult practices, ritual killing, human trafficking, kidnapping, infidelity, gay, lesbianism, lack of fear of God, rejection of the truth, falsehood, hardened heart, stubbornness and cultural pluralism. There are many members in the Church, but very few Christians. People, who though they listen to God’s word but never make effort at doing it. Hence the message, ‘… Today, if you hear His Voice, do not harden your hearts…’
While urging Christians to esteem God’s word, the Bishop said God’s voice is the Word of God. It is God Himself. It is the spirit of God, the command of God, His instructions and His laws. It is life and security. It is not man’s word, man’s reasoning, idea, philosophy, tradition and beliefs, not world’s system and order.Ogunedo who noted that Christians are often distracted, said: “Most of us are far too distracted by the things of this world to actually consider the person and work of Jesus Christ. I think for you and I, the greatest danger in the ‘desert’ is complacency.
The greatest danger in the ‘desert’ is apathy. What is distracting you from hearing the voice of Jesus? Don’t leave this Synod without learning how to listen. “There are those who have never heard God’s voice because they are spiritually deaf. There is another group of people who has, at some point, considered the claims of the gospel, you have embraced the person and work of Jesus Christ and yet you have become dull, and no longer hear Him. Rather, you have become apathetic and complacent. Don’t stay where you are in this state of complacency, do something about it. You need to take time to consider Jesus everyday. This involves prayer, reading and studying of the Bible and thinking about the person and work of Jesus Christ and embracing Him daily.”
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