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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Immorality today, it has been observed, is increasing on a daily bases. Ethics as a way of ordered living which propagates ideal communal life and human relationship is speedily waning. There is concern in several quarters that at the rate immorality is making waves in the society; the likely tendency is that there might be serious breakdown of law and order which might lead to anarchy. It is said that a lawless and immoral society is prone to chaotic situation and anarchy. An ideal society is that which is devoid of violence, civil disorder, with minimal rate of crime and immoral practices cumin ethical standards. This is why sound morals and ethical standard have been the concern of many social institutions in recent years. Hence, many campaigns in the society today are geared towards curbing immorality and other such vices and drama is a major instrument used by various anti-immorality and anti-corruption campaign agencies. In Nigeria, the church has been taking one of the leading roles in the campaign against immorality.
Moral, according to Webster’s Universal Dictionary and Thesaurus, is an adjectival word that is “of or related to character, particularly as regards to right from wrong. Morality has been defined as principles concerning right and wrong, good and bad behavior. However, morality is to be seen as the right motive on which man is supposed to act, the good which one ought to follow or achieve, the discerning power or conscience with which one determines or knows right from wrong, the laws of mutual living able to yield positive action otherwise known as freedom of will. Ethics in theology, especially when referred to as Christian Ethics, is the same thing as Moral Theology. Manton (2001) thus explains Moral Theology as “the study of how people should act in the sight of God. The term is more frequently in Roman Catholic
The prevalence of immorality in churches among members in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It has grown to a level that creates fear and tension in the heart of anyone who has concern for the future of Nigeria as a nation and that of the teeming Christian population of Nigeria. The society is grappling with many behavioral problems of the church members and clergy/pastors alike, which according to Ekundayo and Oyeniyi (2008) and Adebule (2012) include fraud, deception, intimidation, drug offences, smoking, flirting, stealing and armed robbery, violent conduct and demonstration, vandalism, examination malpractices, cultism and thuggery. In addition to the above listed widely publicized behavioral problems, Dotonu (2011) stated that heterosexual and homosexual activities are also viewed as part of the behavioral problems prevalent in some of the Nigerian churches.
They are coined in the literature as sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, immorality, promiscuity and maladjustment (Omoteso, Adeniyi & Bada, 2010 and Anise, 2011). However Dotonu (2011), observed that sex abuse and fraudulent misappropriation of money appeared to be one of the most serious and most common immorality among the youths and leaders of the churches involved in this mess.
According to the New Testament of the Holy Bible, jealousy, killing, lies, adultery, fornication, theft, heresies, pride and several immoral acts are against the will of God. However, the church is guided by the word of God which is against all forms of immorality, but there are still some level of immorality in churches.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Without doubt, there is an increasingly low level of morality and ethical standard in the society today especially in the church, many interest groups have laid blame on modernism and developments especially the advent of modern technology and the internet.
One of the outstanding remarkable virtues of a good society should be sexual purity which has received little or no attention from the society today. Also, sexual immorality has eaten deep into the fabric of the society. It has become the mainstay of the peoples’ behavior (Adebule, 2012). Fraudulent accumulation of wealth has also been the order of the day in churches
Researches have shown (Omoteso, Adeniyi & Bada, 2010; Anise, 2011 and Odebiyi, 2001) that sexual immorality and corruption has thousands of destructive effects on the society. However, the researcher is examining the causes and effects of immorality in church with the hope of identifying the way forward.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
i. To examine the causes of immorality in churches.
ii. To determine the way forward on the issue of church immorality.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What is the level of immorality in churches
ii. What is the way forward on the issue of church immorality?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
i. Outcome of this study will educate the church leaders and the general public on the causes and effects of immorality in church and identifying the way forward on the issue of church immorality.
ii. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
iii. Ho: Immorality is not increasing on daily basis.
iv. Hi: Immorality is increasing on a daily basis.
1.7 SCOPE AND DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on immorality in churches will cover all forms of immoral activities that exist in churches today with a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem. The study will be limited to ECWA good news Narayi and ECWA Avenue Bayan Duste Narayi. The researcher encounter some challenges which include financial and time constraint.
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