By Godwin Tsa
The presence of cassock-wearing men and women in the name of “clergymen” at the unveiling of Kashim Shettima as the Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2023 election is the highest act of profanity.
The object of “hiring the so called clergymen” (as events later proved), and clothing them in priestly apparels was obviously to sell to the public that some Christian leaders are in support APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
The core of all religions and cultures is the sense of the sacred. Many religion and cultures confess that sacred realities are to be related with deep sense of reverence and respect and when it comes to God Himself, reverence and respect alone are not enough.
In all religions, disrespect and profanation (mistreatment) of sacred realities are abhorred as abominable and are categorized among the terrible sins committed in religion with various punishment attached, some even prescribe death if this profanation is considered as blasphemy.
Collins English Dictionary defines sacrilege as behaviour that shows great disrespect for a holy place or object. The word sacrilege originates from Latin “sacrilegium or sacer (sacred) and “lego” (to gather or steal).
In addition to the literal theft of sacred objects or the violation of sacred places, sacrilege connotes violation of sacred practices (Orthopraxy) and sacred beliefs (Orthodoxy), as explained in Encyclopedia.com.
Biblically, sacrilege occurs when someone purposefully misuses a sacred or consecrated place or object. Priestly apparels or garments, which are called “Vestments of sanctity” are sacred objects won only by ordained priests.
The Hebrew word for “sanctity” comes from the word “holy” which is Kadoah. Therefore, these garments were only used in the service of the Temple and not at political gatherings, as was the case at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, Abuja.
The book of Exodus 28 contains a detailed description of the garments God commanded to be made and worn by the Priest. These were sacred garments.
God used these distinctive garments to set His spiritual leaders apart from the other Israelites. It is equally important to note that each piece of the Priestly garments held significance related to the work the Priest performed.
God spoke to Moses and said, “You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother for ” glory and beauty”. The garments are a picture of the dignity and beauty connected with serving God and not appearing at political functions like the ‘Tinubu ordained priest’ did.
Like everything with God, He requires a specific way to everything that has to do with Him because He is Holy. God often spoke to Moses, “Be careful to do everything that I have spoken.”
This is very important to note because, there is no place for “Man-Made” anything when it comes to God. We must always to things God’s way, not ours. Of course, dire consequences awaits those who commit sacrilege as shown in the Bible.
In the Book of Daniel 5:3-30, King Belshazzar of Babylon committed sacrilege at a banquet when, “he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that … had (been) taken from the Temple in Jerusalem, so that the King and his nobbles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. This was the last assignment he carried out, for he was killed that very night.
In Leviticus 10: 1-2, Nadab and Abihu, two sons of Aaron, committed sacrilege when ” they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord contrary to His command. This misuse of this holy office resulted in tragedy. “Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them and they died before the Lord.”
Obviously, God considers sacrilege to be a serious offence. In Numbers 16: 1-40 and 2 Samuel 6: 6-7, God struck dead anyone who violated the tabernacle or profane the sacred articles.
Therefore, all those who participated in the shameful drama at the Yar’Adua Centre shall definitely incur the wrath of God.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.