There is a phenomenon in bacteriology called ‘Quorum Sensing’. In a layman’s language, this is how it works. When a bacterium is in an environment, its presence does not automatically confer on it the power to cause any visible effect on that environment. The bacterium knows this, hence it sort of keeps from showing itself too much on the environment; however, it releases a sensor also called ‘receptor’ which shoots out into the host environment looking for any other fellow-bacteria that is present within the system. By the instrumentality of its sensor-receptor, it is able to detect the presence of other bacteria in the system, while registering its own presence within the consciousness of other bacteria. This sensory movements continues as the number of bacteria in the system increases. A point is reached when the number of bacteria present in the environment has formed a ‘quorum’ or has attained what is called ‘critical mass’, that is to say, they have reached such a sizable number that they can cause harm on the host environment, then they unleash the fullness of their persons as bacteria on the environment. That way they are able to cause a visible effect upon the host. This is the principle of ‘Quorum Sensing’. We can also call it the principle of ‘Attaining Critical Mass’, and beyond bacteriology, it applies to how we as Christians can transform our society or environment.
Recently, I was reading a book by Loren Cunningham (the international president of Youth with a Mission (YWAM)) titled THE BOOK THAT TRANSFORMS NATIONS, with a rider, The Power of the Bible to Change Nations. In that book, he tried to push forward a proposition based on research, history and much travelling, that when a nation begins to read the Bible and apply it to their lives, such a nation will be transformed. He hinted at the power of the Bible preached, read, believed and lived out to change nations. However, at a point, he began to look at nations that appeared to be exceptions to that proposition. One of such exceptions he addressed was Africa. The challenge with Africa was this, why is it that lots of Africans claim to be Christians, and African churches are growing in leaps and bounds, and churning out multitudes who are members of its body, yet, African is not transformed? Corruption, Bribery, Theft, Ethnic rivalries and wars, etc. reigns in Africa. After x-raying some facts, he drew this conclusion that though Africans are religious and committed to the activities of their churches, many Africans are not even reading their Bibles, while those who appear to be doing so are not even applying it to their lives. He concluded his writing by saying,
“When a critical number of Africans don’t just read the Bible or quote it but apply it in their lives, Africa will change. It will change radically.”
This is the burden of this write up you are reading now. The greatest challenge facing Christianity in Africa and in our countries is not particularly Islam, and all those other things, but the fact that not many of us who claim to be Christians are truly loyal to Jesus Christ in the life we live daily. We go to church, we fast, we pray, and we even do quiet time (i.e. for the more serious ones who even bother to read their Bibles), yet when we take our daily decisions, or discuss with people concerning the state of our countries, there appears to be no difference whatsoever between the Christian man and the average non-Christian on the street.
Most times, I hear people complain about the state of this in our nation Nigeria, and how Islam is taking over, and how we need Christians in places of political power; and when these people talk, they do so with such air of authority as if that is what it will take to make Christianity thrive in Africa. While, we desire to have men of like passions in positions of authority, our problem as a people is not with the absence of Christians in positions of power.
I was talking to a friend recently and I told him that the challenge I have with people who think that more Christian presence in positions of political power will change things is that Christianity does not lend itself to political solutions. We do not expect that any Christian president will enter office and begin to sponsor a campaign against Islam, or persecute those who are not Christians, or force men to become Christians. It simply will not work. The highest thing a Christian king can do is provide an enabling environment for all men to freely enter the Global Public Square and display their goods without fear of retribution.
How many voices did the early church have in Caesar’s cabinet? How many Christian governors did Jerusalem have, and how many Christians were in positions of high esteem in the early days of the church? Yet, they turned their world upside down. How did they do that? Simply, CRITICAL MASS. They were simply artisans, fisher men, medical personnel, and normal people in the society, yet wherever they found themselves, each one of them stayed true to Christ and continued to be a fort of resistance against evil in their own environments. Each man standing faithfully in his own ground for God resulted in Christianity becoming a terror to the whole of Roman Empire without any force of arms.
The Rev. David Pawson said in one of his messages that according to research, what it needs for any philosophy to begin to cause a tremendous influence on society is that at least 5% of the members of that society subscribe to that philosophy and live by it. I doubt, my friends, if Christianity in Nigeria can boast of 5% of Nigerians who truly live by its tenets in their daily lives. Go to our offices, to our shops, to our schools, to our parastatals, and you will be asking yourself one question, “where then are the Christians?” Simply, they had mixed up with everyone else, they are doing like every other person, and telling lies like every other persons.
Hence, if we simply will push forward from the Christianity of simply reading Bibles, praying long hours, fasting long days, and much evangelizing, and begin to apply our Bibles in our marriages, dressings, offices, businesses, etc., we will see, in time, transformation in our land, and in our environments. And, it begins with you, and with me. We must ask God to forgive us for our many compromises (and they are quite many), and our many secret sins, and begin to see the need for each of us to be faithful in our own corners for Christ. If a critical mass of us will begin to genuinely apply the Bible in our attitude towards our leaders, towards our nation, towards our schools, towards our careers, towards our businesses and every other areas of our lives, our nations and our continent will change for the better, and that change will be quite radical.