Nation Building … Suggested Role of Christian Youth.
Influencing civilization with Christian Ethics:
The contribution of every citizen of a country is essential in nation building. However, what is not known generally is that each citizen existed first in the form of substance in the homeland of his origin. This homeland is outside this earth we live in. Meaning every man is living on current earth as a stranger under an illusion of self-importance (Ps. 144:4). Another thing that is not generally known is that the days of every man on this earth are like a passing shadow of the days of his substance in his homeland (1Chron. 29:15). This just qualifies every man as an idiot for a time (Job 11:12). Where man came from, which is the earth created from nothing, is his homeland of origin. Learn more in the book … ‘Visions of Righteousness of God’, at www.christthelordreign.com. Free online reading.
However, when man eventually departs the current earth by reason of death the body will return to the dust as it was and he (the soul and spirit) will return to live again in paradise (Eccl. 12:7; Lk. 16:19-31). In this heaven, there is neither man, nor woman but all are like angels of God (Mt. 22:30). This suggests there is no marriage of man and woman, and child bearing to raise citizens for nation building. In brief, there is no nation building in heaven. Instead God and Christ the Lord are all in all (Acts 17:28; Rev. 21:22-24).
So it is on this earth alone that all citizens go for nation building.
Equally happening only in this world is the house of Christ building. The later is done by the peculiar group which confesses Christianity.
Generally, nation building is the responsibility of every citizen of the territory.
The gradual sophistication or increase in knowledge of the citizens describes human civilization.
For convenience, citizens of a land are usually classified into suggested age brackets. As a result there are the Teen age below 18 years, the Youth or young adult age (18 to 35 years), middle age (36-50 years), senior adult age (51-65 years), senior citizen age (66 to 79 years), and octogenarian age (8o years upward).
Out of this groupings youth group is the most vibrant. But all are required to cooperate in nation building. An enduring nation building is predicated upon blending it with the principles of house of Christ building in earth (Hew. 3:6). Otherwise the nation will be inhabited by idiots alone as previously enunciated. This is where Christianity plays an important role. It is by it that man learns the act of house of Christ building. This will establish in earth the extension of the same homeland of every citizen on earth, irrespective of the country. However it is a matter of choice by every citizen to learn through Christianity the act of house of Christ building. Citizens that first learn the act will have opportunity to help other willing individuals to acquire same act while working together in nation building.
The act manifests in the form of ethics which everyone can observe as character of a Christian. This character speaks loud to other citizens working together in nation building on earth. It suggests Christian youth as the watch dog of conscience of citizens.
It might have been noted that the house of Christ is said to be in earth. This is because it is hidden within human body which is made up of the dust. Meaning the kingdom has no observable territory in this world (Lk. 17:20-21).
Christians cut across the suggested age categories as previously indicated.
However, it is the role of Christian young adult (youth) alone that will be examined in this Article. This is because the group constitutes the most vicious block of any society as previously alluded to. Someone might be asking?
What is ‘house of Christ’ and ‘Nation’ Building?
Each building is a constructive process of engaging all citizens to realize:
- communal bonding or social cohesion,
- brotherly or political stability,
- economic inclusiveness or viability and prosperity,
- inclusive worship or governance and
- structural development
as may be relevant to the construction type respectively.
This suggests that it is the duty of all citizens to take part in the building exercise. However, the building tools and materials of human nation on earth and of the house of Christ in earth vary significantly. So also are the realizable.
Part of this variable is that human nation is inhabited by a mix of people in terms of interest and desire in particular.
On the other hand the house of Christ is inhabited by people of unity of one body of Christ (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 4:4). Interest and desire of all remain the same as of Jesus. However, every individual has work to do alone and together for the benefit of all.
Nation building is done with secular knowledge, training, world way of thinking, human implement and earthly materials and so on.
But regarding the house of Christ building, Christ is the foundation and chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). This is the BRANCH of Righteousness of God which grew up unto King David (Jer. 33:15). The righteousness of God is the bedrock of the new man created according to God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). Apostle Paul laid the foundation for all others to build upon (1Cor.3:10).
Thus the ‘house of Christ building’ is the righteousness of God which is hidden in the earthly man (2Cor. 4:6-7). This building is erected with pure precious stones alone (1Cor. 3:12). The stones include:
- the gospel of the cross of Christ (1Cor. 2:2),
- faith (Heb. 11:6) which might best be described as meaning ‘surrender to God’
(James 4:7) … Learn more in the book ‘Visions of Righteousness of God’ at
www.christthelordreign.com. Read it free online.
- giving and forgiveness,
- knowledge and proper application of the word of God (Hos. 4:6),
- fruit of the Spirit described at (Gal. 5:22-23) and
- putting Him first always in the open and in secret (Mt. 6:33; Lk. 14:26).
Thus the stones are of spirit nature. Only Christian youth knows of this building block. By exhibiting the characteristics of pure precious stones, the youth will shine as the light of the world making him an epistle to co-citizens to read, learn the ethics, and glorify God. This will make Christian youth worthy co-worker, cooperating with other citizens in Nation building.
It clearly shows that both buildings require different methods and construction materials to materialize. Therefore every worker has to know where his skill will be best required to realize the overall success of the process. This leads us to find out what Christianity has to do with this.
The Role of Christian Youth in ‘house of Christ’, and ‘Nation’ Building:
- Who is a Youth?
This has been previously described as a universal estimate of an age bracket of adulthood from 18 to 35years old. Interestingly, youth occupies the top position in the rack of human resources required for nation and house of Christ building. Reason for this is that youth constitutes the engine room of every nation. Unfortunately, the potential of youth has hardly been tapped enough particularly in developing nations like Nigeria.
Regarding the house of Christ building in earth, the forerunners were youths. Jesus Christ led the group, followed by Apostle Paul together with the pioneer Apostles and several others afterward. Their work stood them out compared with the work of older citizens before them under the law.
- Potential of Youth:
In general, youth is visionary. This creative thinking might be directed to positive application or misdirected negatively. However, the vision leads to new ideas, innovation, adventure, ambition and push. So youth is a repository of energy and knowledge (scientific, educational and informal intelligence), mobility and preparedness to take risks.
The enduring perspective of this quality resides with Christian youth through the steady study of the scripture and meditating in it (Joshua 1:8).
It is this which prepares youth to walk with God, building His house within man on earth. Specifically, it strengthens the readiness of Christian youth to contribute to nation building and to be a watch dog against sharp practices of worldly nature.
In this way both divide of youths can make positive contributions to nation building. This suggests that it is blindness for any nation to neglect her youth.
- Preparing Youth for Effective Nation Building.
Youth requires capacity building to sharpen his inert talents and scholarship necessary to prepare for nation development. Parents have the responsibility to lead in this drive (Jer. 35: 6, 14). Therefore parents, teachers and the society have the burden of giving to the youth proper mentoring, guidance, good education and vocational training and entrepreneurship orientation. Next to this is funding or job opportunity for a starter. Christian parents have additional duty to train their youth in the way of the Lord by living an exemplary character of the fruit of the Spirit that the child might not depart from it later (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4).
3.1. Areas of Restraint in the Upbringing of Youth.
One area of concern is school politics. It breeds: cultism, intimidating instinct which leads to bullying, intellectual mediocrity and so on … all of which corrupt nation building in the long run. It is important to keep youth away from bad friends and company. Bad company corrupts good character (1Cor. 15:33).
Christian youth face a more challenging and deceptive front in the hands of several teachers and preachers of Christian faith.
These are the teachers and preachers of church doctrine, personal script and other messages different from that of Jesus crucified (1Tim. 4:3; 2Pet. 2:1-3).
This suggests that they are wolves in sheep clothing (Mt. 7:15). According to scripture, it is a curse to associate with them (Gal. 1:6-8). So it is better to run from such. Unfortunately, the daily increase in works of evil in the society in the face of overflowing local church attendance and increasing number of people claiming to be born again leave a sour taste in the mouth of truth.
- Mobilizing Christian Youth for Nation Building.
As previously recognized, youth is the personification of exuberance, vision and other virtues. This makes youth the most productive class of every nation.
Participation in Nation building gives Christian youth opportunity to demonstrate the characteristics of the precious stones he used in house of Christ building. This is where character evangelism comes handy. The technique makes the youth a billboard which other citizens can see, admire and possibly copy (2Cor. 3:2-3). It makes the youth an example of the light of the world (Mt. 5:14-16). As a result Christian youth has the charisma to impart the society and make remarkable difference of change to good governance and societal cohesion.
Souls will be won for Christ, making the youth a fisher of men (Mt. 4:19).
This will help to reduce the number of crooked minds and the works of evil amongst the citizens.
During mobilization, every youth must be given the right guidelines, opportunity, functioning equipment, and incentive and startup fund to excel.
The participation by youth in Nation building is most visible in areas of:
Organizing youths into outfits to disseminate government policies tailored toward cohesion in the nation. Help farmers to understand better, productive application of new scientific knowledge in farming techniques. Where necessary help to correct wrong use of technological tools, new innovations, fertilizers, insecticides and grains to enhance productivity. Youth might equally be deployed to help in adult education in rural areas. Similarly he can be grooved for political leadership by giving the opportunity to hold sensitive political positions at local and state level, and less sensitive and or attachment spots at federal level. Another area where youth can be of help in nation building is for Government to encourage him with grants and incentives to get interested to take up direct farming as a profession and to do other vocations that will guarantee self actualization.
However, it is important to keep an eye on youth. This is to guide him to direct the potential to constructive and not destructive venture.
A few instances of destructive exuberance in Nigeria might be located in the activities of South-South freedom fighters, Boko Haram terrorists, Independent people of Biafra struggle (IPOB) and Herdsmen menace. Offshore is similarly awash with instances of youthful exuberance like the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and student sit-in protest in Hong Kong.
- Huddles in Youth’s Wheel of Nation Building.
The lack of adequate knowledge, professionalism and skill, or an outright denial of any form of training breeds educated or outright illiterates respectively.
As a result such youth forms a pool of easy prey for exploitation by politicians, becoming victims of rapist, couriers, drugs usage, violence, idleness and cultism.
This might create poor reading culture. Worse still is the denial of Jesus, making youth unable to differentiate between being in this world and belonging to it, and being in this world but not belonging to it (John 17:14).
It might be the reason people do not see the difference between the way God and man regards word like love, faith, grace and all other words.
The lack of proper guideline and guidance might worsen the situation, leading to anti-social behavior, and un-ruling society which is not good for nation building. Another area which is capable of misdirecting the youth is uncontrolled interest in internet usage. Internet is a mix of good and bad. Without wisdom and right perception it might influence youth to direct energy and intelligence toward obscene practices. This is the backdrop of internet swindle. Then there is the evil minded people bombarding the mind with obscene practices like the worship of creatures instead of the Creator and sex escapade and abuse. Debased mind gets hooked to foreign culture, pornography, and other beggarly practices fit for animals only. All portend life that is in deep darkness and lacking values.
- Benefit of citizens’ cooperation in Nation Building.
The collective participation in Nation building breeds social bonding amongst the citizens. It provides environment for peace to reign, enhances proper developmental planning and execution across board and for business to thrive. All segments of the nation will have sense of belonging; take ownership of national infrastructures and show patriotism. As a result there will be less strife and suspicion by the people.
6.1. Christian in Polities.
Now it is known that Christian youth, like other classes of Christians, plays the role of change agent in cooperating with unbelieving citizens in Nation building. With his pious character on display he is able to win unbelieving people to Christ thereby saving their souls and obliterating previously sinful acts by them. This suggests that a Christian who desires to play any pivotal role in polities has to aim for same objective. Polities being a worldly game, a Christian desiring to go into it must prepare to face hatred, and all sorts of deprivations and wickedness for the sake of Christ. It demands perseverance, and denying self of improper benefit for a true Christian to play commanding role in polities and still be a true disciple of Christ Jesus. This is a food for thought for the brothers that Christ gave gifts before ascending to heaven. The scripture has made it known that man cannot serve mammon and God at the same time (Mt. 6:24).
What will it profit anyone to please men, and not God (Gal. 1:10)?
Dr Danson Ubebe.