BY AMOS OKIOMA
Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has criticized the church as fast losing its true value in society due to excessive focus on material prosperity at the expense of the gospel of salvation.
Sen. Ewhrudjakpo took the position when he received a delegation of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, led by its President, His Eminence Reverend (Dr.) Israel Adelani Akanji, in Government House, Yenagoa, at the weekend.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media, Mr. Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor defined what he believed should be the focus of the church as being to promote morality and righteousness, with the salvation of man as its primary objective.
He, however, expressed worry that the attention being given to prosperity in recent years is causing the body of Christ to lose its rightful place and respect in society.
The Deputy Governor, who stressed the need for both Pentecostal and Orthodox Christians to always see themselves as members of one big spiritual family, urged them to propagate the gospel in its undiluted form to save souls from eternal condemnation in hellfire.
Speaking on the Prosperity Agenda being championed by the Governor Douye Diri-led Administration in the state, he pointed out that the mantra, which is both spiritual and material, was cued from the Holy Bible.
Sen. Ewhrudjakpo expressed readiness to collaborate with the Baptist Church and other Christian religious bodies in building schools and other institutions to revive and promote moral values.
He thanked church leader and his team for the visit, assuring them that he would convey their appeal for an access road to the Baptist Church Campsite at Nyambiri-Zarama in Yenagoa Local Government Area, to Governor Diri for consideration.
Earlier in his remarks, Reverend Akanji said he and his team were in the state specifically for a special investiture service for the new state conference president of the Baptist Church.
While appreciating the Diri administration’s monthly and annual Christian programmes, Reverend Akanji appealed for the State Government’s support toward the building of the Baptist conference secretariat as well as the construction of an access road to the Church campsite in the state.