Open letter to the Fathers of the church in Cameroon
My heart is smelting. “A nation can never be better than the state of the church within it”. There’s every truth in this statement my father, Bishop Chris, always makes. There’s every truth in it as you seem to mirror the hermit, entombing your heads in the pools of our blood while you chant “Hallelujah”; “Peace be Still”, to hungry hordes of weary souls looking forward to even one man standing in the gap.
I can recall one man who stood in the gap for those He loved, those He’d made. That person sacrificed His son, and sure bore pain when He saw His only and beloved nailed to the cross and had to forsake Him when He became sin. God did it because He had to sacrifice that in order to save mankind. I am cognizant in my spirit of Jesus who sacrificed it all. He lost His earthly life, was treated of all names and scourged with all scourging; had to bear the forsaking of His Father because He had to do what He had to do to save mankind.
In a contemporary case, I can recall the church in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who lost its members, saw some arrested and wounded, saw its buildings destroyed and its name tarnished, because it decided to cry out for the respect of the agreed canons of the people, in order to save their nation.
I’d also want to recall tomorrow how my fathers stood in the gap for Cameroon. We are dying. We are wallowing in misery. As days go by, our present and future are being minced. We have fathers. But, where are they? Why don’t they wake up? Why don’t they stand? Why don’t they SPEAK AS ONE MAN for the safety of Cameroon? Why don’t they carry the nation on their shoulders and be that light Jesus said we ought to be in the nation?
We have Fathers who got hordes of children west of the Mungo. You have a voice. Make it heard. I think of our fathers of The Apostolic Church in Cameroon; and of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon; and of the Cameroon Baptist Convention; and of the Full Gospel Mission; and of the Catholic Church; and of the Christian Missionary Fellowship International; and of the Council of Protestant Churches endorsing the several charismatic Churches we have today. And what about those also east of the Mungo, the EEC, the EPC, the UEEC, the UEBC, the EELC, the EFLC, the MEEC, and the list continues. Are you not our fathers?
I am making this statement because I have been so wearied in reflection that I too must unseal my lips. I have been so tanned by tears because I feel we have been forsaken. Cameroon needs fathers. Cameroon has got fathers, only they are maybe still to wake up to their responsibility as fathers.
The church has a prophetic voice. Where is that of the church in Cameroon? If it be not true, why do you give the impression that you have traded your voices for handshakes and contact numbers? Should that be your crown as the light of Cameroon and the salt of this land? Is that the kind of city on a hill you want the world – us – to see?
Stand for the truth – PAY THE PRICE. Jesus did. You are His followers. What can they do to you? Arrest you? Kill you? Defame your name? Soil your ministry? Close your church? Vandalise its buildings? Beat you? Scourge you? Attack your family? Please tell me, what really can/would they do to you that will be news? Is that what you fear? Didn’t your and my Jesus say that we shouldn’t fear those who kill the body but cannot the soul? Was He ignorant in saying that? I doubt. He sure knew there would be those who will kill the body, but He tells you it should matter not.
When will we stop the sermons, ecumenical or not; when will we stop the prophecies, inspired or not; and be true WATCHMEN of the city – Cameroon – in which God has placed us? Are you afraid you will no more be called to preside over them ecumenical services; that you’d enter their bad books? For crying out loud, what is really holding you back?
Fear? Spinelessness? Is that the spirit God gave you? Isn’t it a spirit of love, power and self-control His Word confirms He gave you?
Where is your love for the nation; for the people, when corpses increasingly litter our streets? Where is your power when you seem to cringe under the shadow of your seeming comfort? Where is your self-control when you won’t put aside your denominational cloaks and act like the BODY OF CHRIST that you are?
I know I may be wrong in all what I say, and I truly pray that I am. I pray this simply be my wits playing me turns and not reality. I pray your fatherhood to this nation has not been emasculated. I pray your fatherhood over Cameroon doesn’t end on our pulpits. I pray that like Jesus, after praying in Gethsemane, you will descend the mountain and go to the cross for your mankind – Cameroon.
Yes, get off the pulpits. Rally as ONE MAN. Speak to the political authority as ONE MAN. You may be arrested, yes; beaten, yes; killed, yes; whatsoever, yes. But then, you’d have stood up for the truth, the way and the life you stand for as Christians; for the ideals of a sane land the Bible does preach when it calls on righteousness to flood our streets. These may be sham ways out – forgive my utterances if they offend. You sure know better. Do something.
Even if nothing happens afterward, you’d have stood up for the people as ONE MAN.
You’d have been the VOICE; Our voice!
Is it so difficult or complicated? Just give it a try. Write a memo, like I’ve done to you. Condemn what’s condemnable; propose solutions to what’s arrangeable. Bring them to the table – show them The Way to peace.
If nothing avails, rise as ONE MAN. Get down, hand in hand to the gates of Etoudi. Ask to speak to its occupant. Tell him you have seen enough blood spilled. Give him your pathway to get out of this logjam situation. Confront him publicly with a good way out, so much so that he’ll be too ashamed to publicly turn it down while claiming he is working it out. Please, I beseech you, do something. Don’t sit down with folded arms. Sow that seed!
You are watchmen of the nation. Stop doing such disservice to our land. For how long will this continue? For how long?
Arise my fathers. This nation is miserably and expectantly groaning, earnestly longing after its fathers; its watchmen to take up their position at the gates of the city.
RISE UP; SPEAK UP!