The West is disinheriting its Heritage. Gospel Proclamation must be restored, says Metropolitan Okoh
Marriage only between a man and a woman

“The Good News that is proclaimed in the Gospel is the most powerful tool any person can carry.”

By David W. Virtue in Virginia
The Anglican Primate of all Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh said the Episcopal Church’s revisionist agenda in the Anglican Communion has weakened the church and “altered” time-honored theological positions resulting in some ecumenical friends now doubting our reliability, and suspect our fellowship.

Addressing the fourth annual Council of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), the recently installed Anglican Metropolitan of some 20 million Anglicans – the largest province in the Anglican Communion – also ripped the West for abandoning its Christian inheritance.

“Perhaps this is the easiest road to take. But it is certainly not the right road. As I look at the West, I see great nations with wonderful histories and the power to do so much good but they do not allow Christ to be present in these measures. If we do not give Christ the authority to transform our actions and our society, then the good of the West will be short-lived.


“The clear intention of Scripture is that marriage is a monogamous, lifelong, covenantal relationship between one man and one woman. All other sexual relationships are a sad reflection of our brokenness, self-centeredness and continuing rebellion against the expressed will of the Almighty God for which we need repentance. Let there be a change.

On America

“As Americans you occupy the lofty height of the world’s civilization and material glory. But as a prophet, let me humbly encourage you to remind yourselves of the rise, the reign and the fall of one of the greatest empires the world has ever known, the Roman Empire. It will do you good to avoid certain pitfalls, as you struggle to retain your enviable position as the world’s number one nation.”

Okoh cited President George Washington, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

The 59-year old archbishop blasted corruption both in the USA and Nigeria. “The world economic meltdown which is hardly over was partly a fruit of this fact. I wish to observe that humankind’s rebellion against God’s absolute authority to order out lives for the highest good is clearly continuing here, and those bold enough to differ are being persecuted.

“Scripture is the key to keeping Christ present in our actions. We must uphold Scripture. We must live according to its authority, and spread the Word through faithful preaching and teaching in our churches.”

Okoh also called on preachers to avoid selective preaching. “We must avoid dressing sin in a new garment of words in order to neutralize its offensiveness before those we pastor, thus hindering their chances of repentance. I see this as an attempt to escape the focus of a TV camera.

“This is the greatest challenge you face. The Western world has become afraid or is unwilling to acknowledge that there is right and wrong — that there is good and evil. The Western Church led the world toward Christ for almost 2,000 years. But now it has cast aside its leadership and finds itself leaving Christ’s path and following its own road.”


The outspoken archbishop praised the work and ministry of CANA even as The Episcopal Church has failed Episcopalians and to spread the gospel. “CANA is an important mission of The Church of Nigeria and we take seriously our responsibility to Anglicans in North America who are no longer in a position to find a spiritual home in The Episcopal Church. The relationship between the Church of Nigeria and CANA is a reminder of how God’s Church is a worldwide body and we in the Church of Nigeria are blessed to have CANA as part of our church family.”

Okoh said the church’s main thrust must always be the proclamation of the Gospel, the “faith once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). The Great Commission must be pursued vigorously, in spite of deliberate obstacles being erected by some States and cultures against the spread of the Gospel. Evangelism is a mandate and a responsibility of any Christian community. This is not only the verbalizing of the Gospel, but includes also a crucial aspect of teaching and disciplining those who have come to profess the faith.

“That is our great calling, a calling we share with Christian brothers and sisters around the world: to bring people to faith in Christ, so that their lives can be transformed and, in turn, transform our communities.”

The Anglican leader praised the early missionaries who arrived in Nigeria by sea in the 19th Century.

“When that Good News came to my nation, it transformed our people and our society. The missionaries came to Nigeria and they brought the Lord’s teachings of love and salvation. They brought Bibles and they widened our understanding of what was right and wrong in God’s eyes. What these missionaries did was difficult. They looked at us and told us we needed to change — to transform our lives and our civilization.

“The missionaries taught us that these rituals were wrong. They opened the eyes of our nation to the transforming light of Christ. By doing so, we were transformed by the Holy Spirit. This transformation is a continuing experience. Like those missionaries, we are all called by Christ to do what is right — not what is easy.”

Okoh said his own nation was undergoing transformation. “As Nigeria prepares to celebrate her 50th anniversary of independence, there is a great deal for my country to celebrate. We have a nation to call our own. We have survived a three-year bloody civil war. Democracy has been restored after a prolonged military rule. Our county has made remarkable progress in contributing to world peace through her peacekeeping operations. However, we continue to face many challenges: Crime is at an all time high. Poverty continues to be a major concern for a nation that has been blessed by God with vast natural resources. We are confronted by the challenges of religious/ethnic intolerance and violence between Christian and Muslim communities, especially in Nigeria’s north which has caused much unnecessary suffering and loss of life. We are trying to make Christians responses to these serious challenges.”

The Good News that is proclaimed in the Gospel is the most powerful tool any person can carry.

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