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Abstract

Moral decadence in the life of the Nigerian Deeper Life Bible Church appears to be spreading too fast as to be noticed in every facet of the society. This  `cancerous  disease’  spreads  like gangrene within the Deeper Life Bible Church of every decade. This decadent behavior is manifested in every sphere of life where these Deeper Life Bible Church are found. These Deeper Life Bible Church are the  `greater  tomorrow’s the  future  hopes and  the  pride of  our beloved nation. At the rate they are presently moving, one wonders whether the future of this country would be safe in their hands. Are there positive steps to be taken by either individuals or groups that can help curb this immoral attitude of a good majority of the Deeper Life Bible Church? Therefore, this project makes an in road into seeing the approaches adopted by the Christian religion to curb these immoral acts of these Deeper Life Bible Church. The materials used are primarily library and internet materials  which are further enhanced by personal experiences and oral interviews. It is a well known fact that prior to the advent of  the Europeans and the civil war, the moral decadence of the Nigerian Deeper Life Bible Church was not on the high rate. Finally this exposes some of the other contributors to the moral decadence of the Deeper Life Bible Church and some recommendations as a way forward.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

Background to the study (Discuss about moral standard in Church generally. Do not limit it to deeper life bible church). The question of whether or not morality requires religion is both topical and ancient. In the Euthyphro, Socrates famously asked whether the gods love good because it is good or whether goodness is good because the gods love it. Although he favoured the former proposal, many others have argued that morality is dictated by and indeed unthinkable without God: If God does not exist, everything is permitted (Dostoevsky, 1880/1990).1 Echoing this refrain, conservatives like to claim that declining moral standards” are at least partly attributable to the rise of secularism and the decline of organised religion (see Zuckerman, 2008). The notion that religion is a precondition for morality is widespread and deeply ingrained. More than half of Americans share Laura Schlessinger’s belief that morality is impossible without belief in God (Pew Research Center, 2007), and in many countries, this attitude is far more prevalent (see Figure 1). In a series of compelling recent studies, Gervais and colleagues (Gervais, Shariff, & Norenzayan, 2011; see also Gervais, 2011, 2013a, 2014a; Gervais & Norenzayan, 2012b, 2013) have demonstrated solid implicit associations of atheists with immorality. Although these associations are more robust in people who believe in God, even atheist participants intuitively view acts such as serial murder, incest, and necrobestiality as more representative of atheists than other religious, ethnic, or cultural groups (Gervais, 2014a).2 Unsurprisingly, atheists explicitly disavow this connection, with some even suggesting that atheists are “the moral backbone of the nation taking their civic duties seriously precisely because they don’t trust God to save humanity from its follies (Dennett, 2003). Other nontheists have taken a softer line, arguing that moral inclinations are deeply embedded in our evolved psychology, flourishing quite naturally in the absence of religious indoctrination (Pyysiäinen & Hauser, 2010).

Although there is no shortage of lively polemic, scientific investigations of the connection between religion and morality have so far produced mixed results. The interpretive difficulties are exacerbated by imprecise conceptions both of “religion” and “morality.” It is not clear that these terms are used in the same ways by those between, or even within, seemingly opposing camps. To make progress on this issue, we require a more precise specification of which human virtues are under consideration and which features of religion might be thought to influence their expression. Our aim in what follows will be to sort out some of the conceptual confusions and to provide a clear evolutionary framework within which to situate and evaluate relevant evidence.

 

We begin by highlighting a set of conceptual limitations hampering contemporary academic discourse on this topic. In our view, many current investigations suffer from (a) a failure to fractionate “religion” and “morality” into theoretically grounded units; (b) ethnocentric conceptions of religion and morality; in particular, (c) sanitised conceptions of prosocial behaviour, and (d) a tendency to conceptualise morality or religion as clusters of either cognitively or culturally evolved features rather than both. We advocate a cross-culturally encompassing approach that fractionates both religion and morality while carefully distinguishing cognition from culture to circumvent these problems. A thoroughgoing exploration of the religion–morality relationship must seek to establish the evolved cognitive systems that underpin the astonishing diversity of cultural concepts, norms, and behaviours that are labelled (perhaps arbitrarily) “religion” and “morality.” Accordingly, drawing on moral foundations theory (MFT; e.g., Graham et al., 2013), we outline sets of cognitive systems commonly associated with these concepts and consider whether their evolutionary histories might be somehow entwined.

  • Statement of the problem

From the  Bible  (Prov.  14:28;  Acts  4:  13), God is interested in  Church growth and the piety of every church member. Thus, Christians are supposed to showcase all the embodiment of godliness.  Therefore, the rise in the number of Churches in any society should correspond with developing interest in fear of the Lord for a  godly living to ensure societal development. Christians should live exemplary lives  (Mat.  5:13;  John  1:5)  that should warrant a  just society. That is why the above scriptures describe them as the light and the salt of the earth.   From all indications,  the reverse seems to be the case in  Africa, and this is increasingly becoming worrisome to scholars across the continent [1, 2].   In sub-Saharan  Africa  (SSA),  Mfumbusa  [3] contends that there has been a  remarkable increase in the number of  Churches and also a  commensurate rise in corruption and other social vices. It is assumed that if Churches are increasing, its positive impact in the lives of  the  people  should  be  greater than  when  there  were few Churches.

 

Mfumbusa [3] therefore  wondered if the Church growth and rise in corruption are coterminous in these societies.    Scholars  and  other  agencies  [4-6]  who  studied this  phenomenon  seem  to  agree  that,  initially,  when Christianity   was   first   introduced   in   West   African countries,   it   had   the   impact   of   leading   people   to holiness  than  contemporarily  when  the  reverse  is  the case.    In Nigeria, other writers such as [7-12] also seem to agree that little improvement has been recorded in the attitude,  behaviour, and  comportment  of  Christians though  the  number  of  Churches  has  risen  exorbitantly. Consequently,   indecent   activities   of   most   Nigerians have  caused  the  nation  to  be  constantly  ranked  low  in the corruption index [13-15].   So far, the Nigerian government is either not doing anything  about  this  problem  or  that efforts  put  in  place to curtail  moral  decadence  are  weak  and  have  failed  to yield  the  requisite  results.  The  following  reasons  could account   for   the   seemingly   unwillingness   and   the inability of government to bring about solution to moral decadence  which  some  authors  have  attributed  to  the underdevelopment of Nigeria [16-18]. Most  government  officials  attend  pentecostal Churches     where     the     emphasis     against corruption is very poor.  Most   pentecostal   Churches   generate their income  from  donations,  tithes  and  offering  of top government functionaries [94]. Nigerian top government officials seek divine protection, and other sundry solutions to their problems in pentecostal Churches    In-spite of all the above cited literature, it must be admitted  that  enough  scholarly  attention  has  not  been voted  to  the  understanding  of  the  causes of  high moral   depravity   in   the   face   of   rising   number   of Churches.

However, the study of Adesanya [19] which dealt   with   the   same   topic   was   restricted   to   the Redeemed  Christian  Church  of  God  (RCCG).  More importantly,  the  study  was  severely  limited  because  it focused mainly on environmental factors.   It   is   on   the basis   of   the   flaws   in   knowledge identified   in   Adesanya   [19]   that   this   study   was conceived.    The study proceeds in numerical order as indicated in  the  introductory  section  down  to  the  concluding remarks.

Research Questions

  1. What is the level of moral standard in Deeper life bible church?
  2. In what ways do the moral standards in deeper life bible church affect the way of life of its members?
  • What are the different sources of moral standard in deeper life bible church?
  1. What are the causes of the rise in moral depravity despite the growth in  the  number  of  Deeper Life Bible Church
  2. What factors are responsible for this menace and x-rays the religious, economic and social implications of Church growth without piety.

 

  • Research objectives
  1. to examine the level of moral standard in Deeper life bible church.
  2. to investigate how the moral standards in deeper life bible church affect the way of life of its members.
  • To evaluate the different sources of moral standard in deeper life bible church
  1. Examine the causes of the rise in moral depravity despite the growth in  the  number  of  Deeper Life Bible Church
  2. Assess factors responsible for this menace and x-ray the religious, economic and social implications of Church growth without piety.

 

  • Significance of the study

Studies on religion and religious institutions in Nigeria have focused on historical and theological aspects. Above all, the extant literature shows that religion and religious institutions’ moral and social impact have been a much-neglected area. Although Smith’s thesis could be considered an invaluable study regarding a few churches, to a certain extent, it was limited in that he only examined the historical and theological aspects of these churches. By examining the social and moral impact of churches and some of the other religious institutions in Freetown, this study will contribute to an understanding of those forces that led to the transformation of Nigerian Christianity. The analysis will be concerned with how Nigeria moved from a homogeneous Christian society to a heterogeneous one. It will also clarify some vital issues in the motives for the proliferation of churches in Freetown.

  • Scope of the study.

The study provides an in-depth survey of An evaluation of sources of moral standard in deeper life Bible church. Some religious institutions like Bible Schools and colleges will also form part of the scope of the study. These churches and religious institutions’ role and impact will be assessed to exemplify their influence on the transformation of Christianity.

 

  • Operational definition of terms

Moral: According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary  English, the word moral means principles or standards of good behaviour, especially in matters of sex. It further explains that morality means beliefs or ideas about what is right and wrong and about how people should behave

Moral value: Moral values, means “a set of social rules and norms intended to guide the conduct of people in a society. The rules and norms emerge from and are anchored in peoples belief about right and wrong conduct and good and bad character

Christianity is the religion based on the life, teachings,  and example of Jesus Christ. It is “a community, a way of life,  a system of belief, a liturgical observance, a tradition and more. The instruction and exhortation of Christian preaching and teaching concern all the themes of doctrine and morals: the love of God and the love of neighbour, the two chief commandments in the ethical message of Jesus (see Matthew 22: 34-40).

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