Anglican Bishop Admonishes Christians to Eschew Hypocrisy in their Lives

His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Prof. Prince Christian Chukwudi Anyim (Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese)

Anglican Bishop Admonishes Christians to Eschew Hypocrisy in their Lives

The Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese (Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev. Prof. Prince Christian Chukwudi Enyinnaya Anyim (JP, GDJ) has admonished Christians all over the world to eschew hypocrisy in their lives in order to worship God in truth and righteousness.

He made this admonition during the presentation of his Presidential Address tagged, ‘Hypocrisy: The Cancer of Religion’ at the First Session of the Sixth Synod of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese (Anglican Communion) held at St. Stephen’s Church, Amokwe Amiyi (Ogboro Junction) in Isuikwuato local government area of Abia State.

The theme of the impressive Synod was taken from Matthew 23:28 and John 6:28.

It commenced on Thursday, August 31, 2023 with arrival/registration of Synod delegates, opening service among others and climaxed on Sunday, September 3, 2023 with Thanksgiving Service.

It attracted the presence of archbishops, bishops, arch-deacons, deacons, priests, noble Knights and Ladies of the Anglican Communion including other notable personalities from far and near.

Delivering his Presidential Address, the Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese (Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev. Prof. Prince Christian Chukwudi Anyim described hypocrisy, which is derived from the Greek word (hypokrisis) as a cancer of religion as well as the society at large.

He called on Christians within and outside the nation to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and avoid hypocrisy in all aspects of their lives and religion.

He charged Christians to avoid the hypocritical attitude of the Pharisees and Scribes who pretend to be righteous outwardly by keeping all the commands of the scriptures and other rules and regulations they had imposed on the people, but inwardly, they are liars and rebels.

He pointed out the different kinds of hypocrisy found in the church today such as inconsistency, pretense, blame, complacency and urged them to avoid it like the plague.

He attributed the root-cause of hypocrisy to fear and low self-esteem stressing that it could be overcome by examining one’s own moral code and determining whether there is any contradiction in it.

He stated that objective morality is the best tool to overcoming hypocrisy adding that since it is generally believed that stealing is wrong, it would therefore amount to hypocrisy for one to steal.

He said that such moral rectitude or awareness would always help Christians to avoid lying, hurting someone’s feeling and living a life of double standard.

He urged Christians to do unto others as they would want others to do unto them and also not to be so quick in condemning others because no one is perfect.

Bishop Anyim harped on the urgent need for Christians to embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and avoid hypocrisy in all aspects of their life so as not to stumble other believers or those who would have repented.

He charged Christians to nail hypocrisy to the cross to stop it from spreading further in the Body of Christ and society at large by surrendering their lives completely to Jesus and allowing him to cleanse them from hypocrisy and all forms of unrighteousness.

His fascinating theme and superb delivery drew resounding applause.

He appreciated the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Aba and Bishop of Isiala Ngwa South (Anglican Communion), His Grace, Most Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia (PhD, JP, FCBA, Ambassador of Peace), Rt. Rev. Christian Chiodoadighi. Ugwuzor, Rt. Rev. Samuel Chukuka (rtd) and other bishops of Anglican Communion present including noble Knights and Ladies, the host archdeacon, Ven. Christian Okezie and his wife, Grace, the priests, the men, the women, Diocesan officials, Bishop’s nominees, central planning committee members and the good people of Oguduasa for their tireless efforts in ensuring the successful hosting of the Synod.

Thereafter, the Diocesan Chancellor, Sir Barr. Josiah R. Nduka moved a motion for adoption of the Bishop’s Presidential Address as a working document of the Diocese.

It was seconded by the assistant Clerical Synod secretary, Rev. Canon Prof. Chidi Akpanta.

In his remarks, His Grace, Most Rev. Isaac Nwaobia congratulated Bishop Christian Anyim on his successful
hosting of the Synod, the Diocesan Chancellor, Barr. Sir Josiah R. Nduka and others for the able way they have been piloting the affairs of the Diocese despite the unabated security threats in the area.

He decried the worrisome incidence of kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes in the area and challenged all Christians in Abia State and beyond irrespective of their denominations to join their voices together in prayer to God to bring the ugly situation to an end, which he said has crippled economic, social and religious activities in the area.

In his remarks before presenting envelopes from the various Dioceses of Anglican Communion in the state, the Bishop of Ukwa Diocese and immediate past Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Manasses Chijiokem Okere (JP) lauded Bishop Christian Anyim for coming up with the thought-provoking and spirit-filled theme.

He acknowledged that hypocrisy is indeed the cancer afflicting not only the church but the entire society.

He described hypocrisy as deadlier than cancer and admonished Christians not to behave like the Scribes and the Pharisees by making mockery of others or peddling rumours or false information in the church and elsewhere.

He said that if it were possible for those who call themselves Christians to do away with hypocrisy that all of them would go to heaven stressing that it is the only sin that drags other sins.

He said that the only panacea to hypocrisy is Jesus Christ adding that if you repent of this cancer that Jesus would heal you and when you receive Jesus into your life sincerely you would begin to do things according to God’s will.

On his part, the pioneer Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese and Synod Preacher, the Rt. Rev. Sam Chukuka said that gossipping is also part of hypocrisy and enjoined Christians to refrain from gossipping about others and face their ministry or calling even if what they are gossipping about is true because that is not why they were called.

He averred that you cannot be a christian and a hypocrite at the same time.

According to him, once you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, your life is transformed and you cannot be a hypocrite.

Instead you would begin to deal with issues the right way.

In his remarks, Sir Dr. Collins Ugochukwu Obi, the President, Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocesan Council of Knights described the theme of the Synod as apt.

The immediate past special adviser to the Governor of Abia State on Police Affairs and chairman, PCRC, Zone 9 Police Command, Umuahia said that flesh and blood did not reveal the striking and spirit-filled theme to him adding that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

He emphasized that hypocrisy is a serious cancer that has eaten so deep into the fabric of Christendom and society at large.

He thanked Bishop Christian Anyim for allowing God to use him to expose the dangers of hypocrisy to the Body of Christ adding that it is left for them as Christians to adhere to the teachings and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The Synod was a huge success and attracted the presence of so many clergymen of the Anglican Communion including His Grace, the Most Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia, the Rt. Rev. Christian Chiodoadighi Ugwuzor (Bishop of Aba Diocese), the Rt. Rev. Manasses C. I. Okere (Bishop of Ukwa Diocese), the Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Ibeabuchi (Bishop of Umuahia Diocese), the Rt. Rev. Dr. Johnson Onuoha (Bishop of Arochukwu/Ohafia Diocese), the Rt. Rev. Dr. Chigozirim Onyegbule (Bishop of Ikwuano Diocese), the Rt. Rev. Dr. Temple Nwogu (Bishop of Isiala Ngwa North Diocese), His Grace, Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim (Archbishop of Province of the Nigeria and Bishop of Awka Diocese represented by Rev. Canon Samuel P. C. N. Nwogu, His Lordship, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin C. Okeke (Bishop of Orlu Diocese) represented by Limey Nwosu, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Chamberlain Oguneche (Bishop of Mbaise Diocese), the Rt. Rev. Dr. Nathan Kanu (Bishop of Aba Ngwa North) among others.

In a chat with newsmen, the Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Christian Chukwudi Enyinnaya Anyim bared his mind on the First Session of the Sixth Synod and other sundry issues. Excerpts.

His Lordship, let’s meet you.
I am the Rt. Rev. Prof. Prince Christian Chukwudi Enyinnaya Anyim, the Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese (Anglican Communion). This is my Second Synod as a Bishop.

What is the Synod all about?
It is an annual ritual and we use it to present our mission statement, all that we have done and what we intend to do in the Diocese. So that is exactly what we have done. It is mandatory.

What inspired you to caption the theme of the Synod, “Hypocrisy: The Cancer of Religion?”
A lot of things has happened in the church and society at large. If you watch closely you would notice that hypocrisy has afflicted all the fabrics of our society, especially the church. If you were here yesterday when different types of hypocrisy were exposed, you would agree with me that the theme is not only apt but also timely. Every societal ill emanates from hypocrisy.

What is the way out?
My advice is for everyone to change. Change in this context means repentance. We should turn a new leaf and ask God for forgiveness and begin to say the truth to ourselves, our families, our friends, church members and others.

What is your take on the security situation in your Diocese, especially along Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) Road, Ihube Road and Umunneochi Road?
The level of kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings and other atrocities committed along those areas you mentioned are alarming.

It has scared so many of our sons and daughters away from coming back home and also paralyzed socio-economic activities in the area. My Diocese extends beyond those flashpoints. I travel from Isuikwuato to Umunneochi to visit our churches there almost every Sunday and God has been protecting us. We have been praying about it so that God would restore peace in those areas. We also appreciate the Executive Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti (OFR) for deploying soldiers and policemen to those areas. There are lots of good tidings from there now. And we believe it would soon be a thing of the past by the grace of God.

What is your take on the new administration in Abia State?
The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti (OFR) has started very well. He has seen Abia State inside out and he knows what to do in order to rebuild the state. So we have to pray for him not to be distracted in his determination to better the state and enhance the lot of the people because some of those people who said crucify him, crucify him some years ago are the ones who are now hailing him and shouting Hosanna in the highest. We are praying for him without ceasing and we believe that by the grace of God he would listen to some of our advice. If Dr. Alex Otti succeeds Abia State has succeeded.

So my advice is for everyone to be patient with him. It is too early to assess him.

The Rt. Rev. Prof. Prince Christian Chukwudi Enyinnaya Ayim is the fourth Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese. He was consecrated in Abuja, September last year and enthroned at St. John’s Cathedral, Acha.

He is happily married to Mrs. Vienna Obianuju Anyim (President, Women Ministry, MU, WG, GG, Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese).

Mrs. Vienna Obianuju Anyim, the wife of Bishop of Isuikwuato-Umunneochi Diocese