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The law versus the Spirit and the story of civilization

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Excerpts from Pastor Poju Oyemade’s Introductory Speech to be given @ The Platform 2nd October 2017 at the Covenant Place Iganmu. Time: 9.00am

Before we go into the Scriptures to see the essence of what is being said, let me give some background thoughts as to what civilization really means and how the work of the Spirit within our hearts should bring about the highest social order which is really the love of God operating within a community. We readily see a new social order emerging within the Christian community after they experienced an outpouring of the Spirit in the book of Acts, a new social order became apparent.

Civilization has been defined as the maintenance of social order. It has been said that the triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society.The recourse to force, however unavoidable, is a disclosure of the failure of civilization, either in the general society or in a remnant of individuals.

“Now the intercourse between individuals and between social groups takes one of these two forms: force or persuasion. Commerce is the great example of intercourse by way of persuasion. War, slavery, and governmental compulsion exemplify the reign of force.”- Prof Whitehead.

What this means is that the more civilized people are the less they need the existence of an outward authority to compel them to do the right thing. Their mode of behavior stems from their inner persuasions, a small still voice which tells them, this is right or this is wrong don’t do it. This is what is termed as the culture of a people, what they are taught within their families growing up. Information and training that regulates outward behavior.

I once observed in a particular country a practical example of the use of inner persuasion rather than outward force in regulating human behavior. We got to this cross junction on a freeway at a very busy time. It so happened that power went off and the traffic lights stopped working. I was quite impressed at what happened next. Without the presence of no governing authority, the people intuitively organized themselves.

Six cars would go from one side and on the seventh, they will stop. Then the other side will do the same thing and that is how the four-way traffic was regulated with no traffic lights and no enforcing officer. Civilization was seen not in whether the traffic lights worked but the in the behavior of the people in such a situation. Social intelligence at work.

The Spirit within us should produce the highest form of social order. We left to ourselves without even written laws should be able to evolve systems through which things in society will be done decently and in order. We understand the Scripture teaches that the Law was for the lawless, meaning that those of us who say we are no longer under the law should show by our behavior that the requirements of the law are fulfilled and exceeded in us.

It is this breed of men God aims at producing through the doctrine of Christ and the presence of His Spirit within us. Men with the highest sense of social intelligence and order, men with a deep sense of responsibility for the collective.

For Pastor Poju Oyemade’s full speech and more, plan to attend The Platform on October 2, 2017 at the Covenant Place Iganmu by 9am.


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