The term “ethics” is derived from the ancient Greek word “ethos” meaning moral character. The first use of the term is credited to Aristotle. The modern definition of ethics is dealing with what is good and bad, right and wrong, with moral duty and obligation or a set of moral principles or values. Ethics is a term for a standard that establishes what is good or bad both for the society and individual.
Ethics and religious conviction often overlap. The major religions along with ancient Greeks gave us the virtues of prudence, temperance, courage, justice, love, mercy, self-sacrifice, kindness, non-violence, etc.
In Nigeria today, religious ethics have disappeared into thin air, replaced by flamboyant and extravagant “men of God” that have relegated moral duty and obligation to the background.
The standard that established what is good or bad has been replaced by get-rich-quick syndrome – at all cost. These days, many Christians have abandoned the “Old churches” that have failed to adjust to the new trend of posterity teachings.
The trend is not even different in the wider society, politics and government circles. That have left me wondering; what happened to love, self sacrifice, private morality and meekness. Are the meek inheriting the earth in Nigeria? Mind you, I am not an atheist or a religious non performer.
I see decay in the administration of the churches and the government. Various false prophets and politicians claiming to be messiahs are springing up everywhere in Nigeria, capitalizing on the frustration and confusion the stagnant and derailing economy has forced on the poor masses. The prophets are promising riches and breakthroughs in businesses, work search, bareness, and even successes in examinations while the politicians are promising turning around of the economy and construction of bridges even in the deserts.
The true church and upright Nigerians go underground. Everybody lives as if we have no sin. The beatitude; “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”, may have been all too prescient! The meek are not in all the government houses, the national and the state assemblies, corporate board rooms and even churches. I wonder where they are.
If they are scattered in the farms of our rural areas, in the markets and on the streets struggling to make ends meet, if they ate the impoverished peasants on the vast Nigerian hinterland, the growing ranks of the socially excluded in the cities and the countryside alike, just go and remind them of the beatitude; “Blessed are…” their response, I fear will be unprintable.
Then, turn back and look at the likes of Adedibu, Atiku, OBJ, Kalu, Chris Oyakilome and Okotie, TB Joshua, Rev, King, our senators and members of the house of Rep and assemblies, maybe, then you will understand the true meaning of meekness I Nigerian context.
My question thus is; “Are the meek inheriting the earth?