(An extract of the Presidential Charge delivered by the Rt Revd Dr. James Olusola Odedeji, the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos State (Anglican Communion) at the 3rd Session of the 6th Diocesan Synod on Friday May 20, 2017 at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria).
In the 2016 general election in United States of America (USA), there were dissenting voices as regards the acceptability of the result of the election results. Mr. Donald Trump was the flag bearer of the Republican Party while the Democrats presented Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the wife of a former US President. However, one thing was very significant, Mr. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate had never been into politics but rather a business mogul, a capitalist and a Television personality. This made a lot of people, especially politicians, Americans and non Americans to see the election as a must-win for the Democrats. In the course of the intense campaign between these two rival political parties, it was clear that rather than addressing political issues, Mr. Trump embarked on hate speeches against American immigrants and popular former President s policies such as Obama Health Care. He created the impression that Americans were losing their positions to the immigrants, and there must be a reversal of the trend. It was shocking however that not only the Republican dominated states voted for Trump, but majority of the States of the Democrats voted for the man.
At the end of it all, Mr. Trump was declared winner of the election and eventually inaugurated on 20th January, 2017 as the 45th President of United States of America, a nation with the largest economy in the world. It is left to the Americans to determine whether this man has the charisma to lead them to the promise land and change their economy for better or not, the 100 days low rating of his performance, notwithstanding.
People of God, it is not in doubt that one of the signs of the end time according to the Scriptures is war all over the place. Today, there is palpable tension in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Central African Republic, Burundi, North Korea and part of Ukraine. There is relative peace in others, such as Libya, South Africa, the Gambia, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, to mention just a few. Christians of all races are therefore implored to be on guard, as the trumpet may sound anytime soon and the rapture takes place. The signs of antichrist are becoming more prevalent, mostly in the developed world. Talks are on among nations to start using the same currency, signs imprinted on people s bodies to benefit from healthcare in some developed world. Christians must not be caught unawares, when we are hearing all of the above, the end is nigh. May we be rapturable in Jesus name.
We must not also be ignorant of the grand plan to decimate Christianity at all cost in major continents of the world, particularly Africa and Asia. The emergence of insurgents, with religious colouration, such as Boko-Haram, El-shabab, Taliban, ISIS to mention just a few, must not be taken for granted, but to awake Christians to pray and watch. This is the right time to arise and to shine as our light, Jesus is always around us.
Brethren, the trend in the developed economies today calls for caution among the developing nations such as in the African continent. While Britain s exit (Brexit) from European Union is being vigorously pursued, nations such as Japan, China, Canada and even USA, with their intimidating economies may want to consider other options, to effect control of world economy. Their various optional decisions may not be in the interest of fragile economies and import dependent nations such as those in Africa, and particularly Nigeria.
Our government in Nigeria, for instance must work hard to diversify our economy and play down our overdependence on oil. A stitch in time saves nine.
Lastly, technology has really advanced in the world today and there may be significant improvement in the nearest future. Many people may be out of jobs because what is tagged “artificial intelligent” may have taken over the assignments by majority of the world population. This may result in a problem of unemployment especially in Africa where a single marriage can give birth to five children or more, others embrace polygamy and hence, population keeps surging. We want to appeal to governments in all nations of Africa and even Asia, to kick-start the campaign to curtail the number of children each family can have. This is the practice in other climes. Relevant legislations must be made to check population explosion in the third world to avert impending doom. When procreation is higher than the available means of survival, there is bound to be an increase in all forms of criminal activities. May God help us and guide our leaders to take the right decisions and at the right time too.
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