Dr Amaechi Nwachukwu, the Presiding Pastor of Rhema Deliverance Mission, Awka, Anambra State, has said that many of his fellow pastors have given in to holding Valentine’s Day celebrations in their churches because they fear losing members.
He spoke on Sunday, during the church service, saying that most pastors were under pressure to please their members, and so they believe that instead of letting them hold the celebration outside, they bring them into the church to celebrate the day.
February 14 every year is set aside as lovers’ day, in celebration of St Valentine, a priest of the Catholic church, who was said to have devoted his life to celebrating love by secretly wedding young people in love.
But the pastor in his sermon on Sunday said: “In this church, we will never celebrate anything that is not in the bible. Here, the bible is our guide.
“These days, the church is becoming too worldly. A lot of our pastors today are under pressure, most of them have given in to celebrate Valentine’s Day in their churches, just so that they don’t lose members.
“Some fear that if they do not do it, their members may say that the pastor is not a modern person. It is time to define who is a child of God. Many churches are now too worldly, and they are under pressure to do what the world does because they do not want to lose members.
“Let us ask ourselves, what value does Valentine celebration add to us. Anything that will increase your desire for sin is not of Christ. I have always said it, we will never preach anything we do not see in the bible.
“This church has three doors, any day you do not like what we say, just use any of the doors and leave, but we cannot preach to you anything we did not see in the bible because we want to keep our members.”
He insisted that there are people in the bible who gave their lives for the propagation of the gospel but have not been celebrated. He also insisted that there are some commands by Christ, which have not been followed; instead, people find time to celebrate things they know less about.
“If it is about celebrating love, it is something we should do every day. Nobody is celebrating the first man who was killed for the sake of the gospel, nobody is celebrating the feast of the martyrdom of Peter.
“In breaking bread, Christ said – ‘do this as often as you can, do this in memory of me’ how often have we celebrated the death of Christ for us? How often have we done this in his memory? So, why are we not celebrating Peter, I cannot celebrate what I do not see in the bible,” Nwachukwu said.