Renewal Members: What Are We Turning Into?

This isn’t anything close to what I would ordinarily desire to discuss. I would rather prefer to talk about Nigeria politics, the thuggery and roguery of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’ Presidency than to talk about the sad degeneration of majority of us. Doing this remains something I wouldn’t humanly speaking explain. For two days , I have fought the nudge to talk about it. The pain and the near tears it brings to my eyes look very disheartening.

Not until recently the saying if you would want to know someone in depth go on a long trip with them didn’t make much of a sense to me. It is true and my experience very dear to me.

Fifty years ago renewal was first formed in Nigeria. Then it elicited a lot of reactions and reservations from both the priests and laypersons . It came with the fire and zeal akin to what prevailed during the Apostlic era. The gifts and life weren’t asymmetrical. For lack of better word the two were like twins, so inseparable that life in the spirit and gifts of the spirit were the very indentity of the renewal members,expecially the former.

From a distance the fragrance of their life could be perceived, cherished and admired by many. Their gatherings a place for flies not to dare perch to dance makosa. Fiery in the spirit, picking signal of powers and principalities and providing a more spiritual arsenal to ward them off.

Then the passion to see God and have a wholesale intimacy with him the desire of all. There could be a lot of extreme expression of such passion but far from their gathering is this present lethargic, nonchalant, lukewarm and patient mentality that are more of the insignia of today’ renewal. I am the cause, not exempting self for the strength of a chain lies in its weakest link, talk more when majority of the links are terribly weak.

In this case we are legion whose priorities have changed and the effect on the overall spirituality of the renewal,very terrible. The word brother is more of an identification name than one of love, affection, trust and integrity. When Ananias called Saul brother Saul it was less an identification tag but more of an intimate relationship,bounded by love of Christ.

Brotherhood in the renewal circle now is skewed, far from what it is meant to represent. For this, many see it as a sign to be watchful and weary else one gets hoodwinked. It is that terrible. Under its cloak and cover heinous things, unimaginably disheartening have happened.

Brother and sister are names so beautiful but have been smeared and dented by the unchristain lifestyle of many renewal members.
Look at how Jesus called his Apostles, how Stephen and five others were chosen and the election of matthias , juxtapose them with the craze and dirty politics that shroud our renewal elections and tell your self the truth how more unchristain it can get.

Shame is my painful and disappointing reaction to our election process,humanly orchestrated, carnally delivered and sustained for selfish reasons.

Every Coordinator wants to plant someone that would be subsevient as against the choice of the Holy Spirit. Leadership obsession is getting hold of the renewal more than ever before. Not for selfless service and commitment but more of show of power and authority in a very brute and flaunting manner.

Our image as people of the Holy Spirit is having a nose dive, smeared by our lifestyle which oftentimes are incongruous to the tongues we speak, the vision we see, the healing and deliverance we do and the shout of power we display.

The image of the renewal is battered. It needs urgent repairs. Wondering why many parishioners are not enthusiastic to join us, even when they have issues under normal situation would have been solved by us?

70% of our parishioners look for where to get extra, why are they not seeing us as an option? Could it be that to them we need more spiritual help than they do? Doctor heal your self first hit back? It worries me, perhaps I am that Jonah in the ship that needs to be thrown out for the calm known in the renewal to return?

Our leadership recruitment strategy is marred. It is not built to produce the best. What miracle can possibly happen in a prayer group when the recruitment process wasn’t built on the Holy Spirit consultation output but fogged by human intrigues, plots and manipulations?

What does one expect from prayer groups where Coordinators are uncooked in life, ill in manners and a disaster in trust and Integrity?

Many prayer groups today are cold, attracting all sorts of flies, perching and attacking members, all because of leadership recruitment process. Leadership in the renewal should be 60% spirit driven life, 30% creativity 10% gifts. Gift should be the least consideration. Sadly in the present setting, gifts, creativity and manipulations are the drivers of elections more than life in the spirit.

Go read the whole of the acts of the Apostles and see what life in the Spirit is,how power is expressed, how evangelization was carried out, healing deliverance and conversion were done. Do what we see in the renewal today mirrow such life in the acts of the Apostles? Same spirit, same reception but different manifestation and use.

The degeneration is by day getting scaring. The Holy Ghost no more as expressive and powerful as he was and our lifestyle more worldly than spiritual.

Where did we get it wrong? We need to pause, retrace our steps, find where we missed the road and reconnect. If we neglect this as individual and as a body, to our peril we do so.walking on a thin line,the renewal might fall from the lane of a spirit renewing movement into a social club with little spiritual patches here and there.

My heart bleeds, for my lifestyle could be the reproach of the renewal in my environment. Help me lord 🙏🙏

Jarlath Uche Opara

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