By Gid Ahanonu
The Anglican Bishop of Isi Mbano, Rt. Rev. Godson Udochukwu Ukanwa, PhD, JP, has identified zeal without knowledge as a worrisome trend in today’s church.
Expatiating the theme of his presidential address at the First Session of the Eigth Synod of the diocese held at St. Mary’s Church, Ibeme in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo state, the bishop explained extensively biblical examples of religious zeal without knowledge.
The theme of the presidential address was; “Zeal without knowledge; a pseudo-Machiavelellian approach to serving God” during which he depicted the ancient Isaelites as having “zeal (in religion) but misdirected zeal” because “to them God’s mercy extended no further than themselves.”
According to Bishop Ukanwa who is also an Ambassador of Goodwill (Israel), other biblical instances of zeal without knowledge included the cases of Uzzah, Saul of Tarsus, the Scribes and Pharisees and the man Jephtha.
The prelate warned that “dangerous heresies, erroneous teachings and false doctrines can destroy God’s people unless they have complete knowledge of God’s words”.
On speaking in tongues, the Bishop of Isi Mbano noted that “many believers zealously lack understanding about speaking or praying in tongues” adding that such a situation “has brought about much confusion to some believers”.
In his words; “the public spiritual gift of tongues with interpretation is God speaking to the church but tongues as a private personal prayer language as is zealously propagated today is the believer speaking to God and is zeal without knowledge”.
Bishop Ukanwa arrived at the conclusion that “zeal without knowledge is Machiavillian because it is guided by consideration of efficiency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison religious or irreligious for achieving its ends and the end resulting in self-aggrandizement.