The Anglican Archbishop of Lokoja, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu, has warned newly-consecrated Bishops of the church to guard against “repackaging the gospel”, for selfish and pecuniary interests.
Egbunu gave the charge on Friday in his sermon during the consecration service of Bishops Chukwuma Oparah of Owerri Diocese, Godfrey Ekpenisi of Ika Diocese and Jezerel Vandeh of Zaki-Biam Diocese.
The cleric told the newest members of the 164-strong House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Nigeria that the “position of a Bishop is prone to arrogance and dangerous assumptions”.
“We must be careful because God’s standards cannot be adjusted for anybody…no Christian, whether bishop, clergy or laity, has the licence to alter the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the clergyman said.
He added that those that were ordained into the ministry must guard against compromising the gospel as proclaimed by Jesus Christ.
“Like Timothy, you must guard the gospel. Keep safe what has been entrusted to you.
“In the name of sophistication some of us have lost the Gospel,” Egbunu said in the sermon at the consecration service at St Bartholomew’s Church, Kubwa.
At the service which was presided by the Primate of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Egbunu expressed concern about divisions and immorality in the church, warning Christians to guard against carnality.
“We are in church but there are scandalous things that we need to pay attention to like those mentioned in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians,” he said.
The major highpoint of the consecration service was the oath taking by the new bishops denouncing homosexuality and cultism.
In separate declarations, the new bishops said: “I confess before God and His Church that I am not a member of any secret cult.
I also vow that I will never join any secret cult and I owe allegiance to no other, but to the Lord Jesus Christ and my loyalty to Him will always remain absolute, total and undivided.”
While laying hands on the bishops, the Primate declared: “Take this staff, be a shepherd and not a wolf to the flock of Christ.
“Feed them and do not devour them. Seek the lost, uphold the weak, restore health to the sick, lift the down trodden. Ensure discipline but forget not mercy. Be so merciful and be not too remiss.