Full Project – EFFECT OF MORALITY ISSUES ON THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCH
The study examined the effect of morality issues on the growth of the Church. The church of God today, especially Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide should already prepare herself to separate from claws of immoral acts. God is not God of confusion that would want His church to be wallowing in immorality and see herself as holy before God who does not play with sin. Such evil acts sink the good image of the church in the mud when necessary steps to curb it are not put in place. The research work adopts library/field based approach; this includes the study of related materials, books and the use of questionnaire. Data were collected and analysed and finding observed that immorality among Christians has significant effect on church growth.. The researcher therefore recommended the church should educate their members about various forms of immorality and its consequence and also teaching them Gods standard of holiness constantly. He further recommended that cases involving sexual immorality should be addressed head- long with strict discipline for offenders coupled with prayers as an essential factor to arrest the situation
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Morality today, it has been observed, is increasingly on a daily bases. Ethics as a way of ordered living which propagates ideal communal life and human relationship is speedily waning. There is concern inseveral quarters that at the rate immorality is making waves in the society;the likely tendency is that there might be serious breakdown of law and order which might lead to anarchy. It is said that a lawless and immoral society is prone to chaotic situation and anarchy. An ideal society is that which is devoid of violence, civil disorder, with minimal rate of crime and immoral practices cumunethical standards. This is why sound morals and ethical standard have been the concern of many social institutions in recent years. Hence, many campaigns in the society today are geared towards curbing immorality and other such vices and drama is a major instrument used by various anti-immorality and anti-corruption campaign agencies. In Nigeria, the church has been taking one of the leading roles in the campaign against immorality (Etire, 2002).
Moral, according to Webster’s Universal Dictionary and Thesaurus, is an adjectival word that is “of or related to character, particularly as regards to right from wrong. Morality has been defined as principles concerning right and wrong, good and bad behaviour. However, morality is to be seen as the right motive on which man is supposed to act, the good which one ought to follow or achieve, the discerning power or conscience with which one determines or knows right from wrong, the laws of mutual living able to yield positive action otherwise known as freedom of will. Ethics in theology, especially when referred to as Christian Ethics,is the same thing as Moral Theology. Manton (2001) thus explains Moral Theology as “the study of how people should act in the sight of God. The term is more frequently in Roman Catholic
The prevalence of immorality in churches among members in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It has grown to a level that creates fear and tension in the heart of anyone who has concern for the future of Nigeria as a nation and that of the teeming Christian populates of Nigeria. The society is grappling with many behavioral problems of the church members and clergy/pastors alike, which according to Ekundayo&Oyeniyi (2008) and Adebule (2012) include fraud, deception, intimidation, drug offences, smoking, flirting, stealing and armed robbery, violent conduct and demonstration, vandalism, examination malpractices, cultism and thuggery. In addition to the above listed widely publicized behavioral problems, Dotonu (2011) stated that heterosexual and homosexual activities are also viewed as part of the behavioral problems prevalent in some of the Nigerian churches.
They are coined in the literature as sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, immorality, promiscuity and maladjustment (Omoteso, Adeniyi&Bada, 2010 and Anise, 2011). However, Dotonu (2011) observed that sex abuse and fraudulent misappropriation of money appeared to be one of the most serious and most common immorality among the youths and leaders of the churches involved in this mess.
According to the new testament of the Holy Bible, jealousy, killing, lies, adultery, fornication, theft, heresies, pride and several immoral acts are against the will of God. However, the church is guided by the word of God which is against all forms of immorality, but there are still some level of immorality in churches.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Without doubt, there is an increasingly low level of morality and ethical standard in the society today especially in the church, many interest groups have laid blame on modernism and developments especially the advent of modern technology and the internet.
One of the outstanding remarkable virtues of a good society should be sexual purity which has received little or no attention from the society today. Also, sexual immorality has eaten deep into the fabric of the society. It has become the mainstay of the peoples’ behaviour (Adebule, 2012). Fraudulent accumulation of wealth has also been the order of the day in churches
Researches have shown (Omoteso, Adeniyi&Bada, 2010; Anise, 2011 and Odebiyi, 2001) that sexual immorality and corruption has thousands of destructive effects on the society. However, the researcher is examiningthe Effect of morality issues on the growth of the Church.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to examine the Effect of morality issues on the growth of the Church. The Specific objectives include:
- To examine the effect of immorality on the growth of Christ Apostolic Church, Ibadan.
- To determine the way forward on the issue of church immorality.
- To identify the factors encouraging immorality in churches.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the impact of Immorality on the growth of Christ Apostolic Church, Ibadan?
- What is the way forward on the issue of church immorality?
- What are the factors encouraging immorality in churches?
1.5 RESERCH HYPOTHESIS
To achieve he research objectives, the following hypothesis was formulated:
H0: Immorality does not have significant effect on Church growth.
H1: Immorality has significant effect on Church growth.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- Outcome of this study will educate the church leaders and the general public on the issues of immorality in the church and identifying the way forward on the issue of church immorality.
- This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study shall be confined to Christ Apostolic Church Academy, Ibadan in which careful study will be taken into consideration on The Effect of morality issues on the growth of the Church.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Despite the end product of this research work, this project faced some constraints such as time, fund, gathering of’ materials and co-operation from question respondents at the collection of data. There was also problem of getting the documentation of church in case study, which posed a delay in the compilation of the work. However, the researcher did this possible best to present a valid report.
1.9 RESEARCH PROCEDURE
With the intention of acquiring more knowledge and understanding on the challenges of immorality in the church hind its impacts on the growth of the church, the following procedures were taken:
- Materials of relevant authors and authorities on this subject matter were reviewed, especially those of Christian literatures, magazines and lecture materials, some literature books such as textbooks, commentaries, concordances. Dictionaries, Handouts. Bibles from LIFE Theological Seminary Library and personal Library.
- The researcher also consulted the internet for information on this subject matter. And of course various document from the Christ Apostolic Church, Ibadan.
- Lastly, Questionnaire where also administered to members, Pastor and other leaders of’ the church used as case study to gather relevant information for a reliable compilation.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following words shall be given a proper definition as to the way they are to be used in this research project to enhance more understanding for the readers.
- Morality: This is human attempt to define what is right and wrong about our actions and thoughts, and what is good and bad about our being and who we are.
- Immorality: The quality of not being in accord with standards of right of good conduct.
- Church: The word church is the group of believers. The word “church” is used to refer to the building where people congregate with other Christians. Also, it is referred to a particular grouping of churches or denomination. Biblically, “church” means either universal church or local church. The universal church refers to all member s of the body of Christ in all places and all ages.
- Growth: This can he defined as the positive increase in size over a period of time.
- Church Growth: This is the process of the church as a living organism to increase quantitatively and mature qualitatively in response to the great commission of the Lord Jesus Christ
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Full Project – EFFECT OF MORALITY ISSUES ON THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCH