Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has cautioned religious leaders against the use of pulpits in their various worshiping centers for political statement that tends to divide people rather than uniting them.
According to Lalong, whatever would be preached should be based on the “truth of facts and truth of reasons” as followers often believe in submissions of their religious leaders.
Mr. Lalong gave the caution in his address at Jos COCIN headquarters during 95th COCIN General Church Council.
The governor said it was a welcome idea for Church to involve in politics but its involvement should be within the context of promoting good governance for common people.
“May I, at this auspicious time, appeal to the conscience of all religious leaders to avoid the use of the pulpits for political statements that tend to divide us, instead of uniting us for the common good. As men of God, elders, mentors, role models, light and salt of the world, whatever you tell your congregation should be predicated on truth of facts and truth of reason.
“Politics is a process of decision making on affairs affecting all members of the society. Politics cannot be separated from governance, which is the exercise of political, economic and social authority to regulate human interaction for the security and welfare of the society.
“These twin ideals are of absolute responsibility and not just for glamour or which political party is in power. Understanding these ideals therefore require us to set aside our differences and search for a common ground for the common good of the state and its citizens.
“Indeed, and without prejudice, the involvement of Church in politics should be a welcome development, within the context of promoting democratic ideals and good governance for the common good. The Church as a grease and lubricant in any political machinery should be able to change the orientation of both the followers and leaders to understand that government is meant to serve society and not for personal or parochial interests.
“The Church too, with the clergy as our light and salt should strive to keep the flocks together, with constant reminder of expected role in service, charity and fear of God.
“To any conscientious Christian leader, the Church must take a center stage. As you celebrate the 95th General Church Council today, the key word remains the CHURCH.
“Permit me, as a Christian too to share with you my love of the Church on this auspicious occasion. The Church is, and remains a mystery, but a reality imbued with omnipotent and hidden presence of God.
“This implies that the Church must always be open to new and even greater exploration. The Church as God’s family emphasizes duty of care, solidarity, warmth in human relationships, dialogue and trust, without having to exhibit any emotional outburst.
“In this our earthly journey to eternity, the Church should always emphasize its humanity, and the leaders must ensure that the Church is in the world and not over or against the world.
“This will help in maintaining a stronghold and confidence of the followers that they may always delight in spiritual nourishment. This is my solemn charge to both the Clergy and the Congregation as you mark the 95th General Church Council,” he said.
Mr. Lalong further told the gathering that his doors as a government will remain open to all and sundry for advices and prayers for peace, development and mutual coexistence of all inhabitants of the state.