MULTIPLICATION OF CHURCHES AND INCREASE IN IMMORALITY AMONG THE YOUTH IN BARIGA OF SHOMOLU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, LAGOS STATE
1.1 Background to the Study
Immorality is the failure to uphold sound ethics in a particular society. Muraino and Ugwumba (2014) asserted that immorality is the process of behaving in a way that shows low moral standards. It means gross reduction in the moral values in a particular society.
The issue of moral decadent in the society is a thing that is needed to be looked into. Many things have gone wrong, since no one sees the reason to be upright in action at all times, in all places and in all circumstances. The continuing degeneration of personal virtue among the world’s societies seems to be emerging as the single-most urgent issue of the time. Until recent years, churches had since deferred from their original roles in morality, though many outside the church continued political pressure to move churches either towards or away from a value oriented (Ugwu and Ugwueye, 2004).
Mfumbusa (2010) contends that there has been a remarkable increase in the number of Churches and also a commensurate rise in immorality 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 (2010) therefore wondered if the Church growth and rise in corruption are coterminous in these societies.
Ehusani (2003). opined that moral and morale are polite, decent and appropriate way of portraying theselves in the duties, home and society. It is a socially acceptable manner of life. It can also be referred to as the principle of right and wrong or decorum. The parents and ancestors practices moral and morale to the core and had high regards of them. They also handed them to us with diligence. At that time they paid particular attention to the manner of sitting, walking, talking, greeting, eating, principle of right and wrong, discipline and commitment in everything they did and the way they did it. They were conscientious about their duties, keeping to the rules and regulations related to them. They saw this as maintaining their own dignity and respect for themselves and others. They made sure that everybody was well brought up.
Berkowitz and Oser (1985) opined that in the past the society had a high sense of respect, determination and diligence to work. Today the sense of awe, respect, determination, and diligence to work is gradually fading away. This they say is obvious in the way people do things carelessly. There is no doubt that things are falling apart due to the fact that many people behave as if there is no need for decency and diligence for things that matter. There is an increase in moral, social and cultural decadence. Children seem to be losing their innocence. As a result so many young people and even children tend to become slaves to fashions and modern things that pave way for destruction. They parade themselves with arrogance, cultism, vandalism, and great lack of morals. The youths and children are now like sheep without a shepherd. They can no longer concentrate or remain focused.
1.2 Statement of Problem
There are many outcries against immorality in the Nigerian society today. The level of indiscipline and crime waves among the youths has seriously escalated in geometric progression. Immorality in the Nigerian society today is beyond sexual perversion. From general observations, the severity of immoral actions ranges from “simple cheating” at school to drug abuse, murder and the exhibition of other anti-social behaviour. The depth of the problem has reached a point where common decency can no longer be described as common. For instance, decent people are honest and behave in a way that most people approve of, but in the society today, honesty as a virtue most especially among the youths, is not as common as it was in years past and this in one way or the other, has affected the development of the society.
However, the problem is that with these show of outward display piety one would have expected to see a very high degree of social morality among the youth, this is because all world religion generally promote truth, justice, honesty but unfortunately the phenomenon of corruption greed and gruff, robbery drug, sexual immorality have often eaten deep into the fabrics the society especially among the youth and has affected the government and retarded the pace which the society should grow.
The problem in this modern society today is the high immorality in the society, as the churches, parents and tutors etc have failed in the role of moral education. Hence, this study intends to investigate the multiplication of Churches and increase in immorality among the youth in Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised in the study as follows:
- What is the condition of morality among the youth in Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State?
- What are the possible measures that could be adopted to address the problem of multiplication of churches and increase in immorality among youth?
- What are the perceived causes of immorality among the youths in Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State?
- To what extent will the programmes and activities put in place by Christian in Bariga of Shomolu checkmate moral crises among the youths?
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the multiplication of Churches and increase in immorality among the youth in Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State. The specific objectives of the study are to:
- Ascertain the condition of morality among the youth in Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State
- Find out the possible measures that could be adopted to address the problem of multiplication of churches and increase in immorality among youth.
- Investigate the various perceived causes of immorality among the youths in Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State.
- Examine the programmes and activities put in place by Christian in Bariga of Shomolu to checkmate moral crises among the youths.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research is important it teaches us the relationship between church and morality. It will serve as a document that can be referred to in order to clear some doubt about the issue of immorality.
It will serve as documents that will enlighten the Christian leaders on the need to embark on teaching of morality in churches and society.
Finally, the study will also enlighten the public on the causes of immorality and how to find a lasting solution to such a problem.
It is of great important to note that the multiplication of Churches and increase in immorality among the youth raises concern and indeed a serious issue all over the globe hence the significance of this study cannot be overstated, the study can be seen as having both theoretical and practical significance theoretical the study will add to the body of existing literature of multiplication of churches and increase in immorality in the society (Nigeria) and other developing countries with particular reference on Christian youth.
This research will serve as a reference for future research work and also stimulate further research on multiplication of churches and increase in immorality. Its effect among other Christian community within urban and rural areas where little or no research has be done on the above topic, such research will help to unravel thee various factors, jeopardizing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and provide body of information about these factors. The study in addition provides invaluable opportunity validity of Christian youth in the face of multiplication of churches.
The finding of this research will provide vital information for Pastors, Bishops, Evangelist, Missionaries and other Church workers on how to prove a high level of commitment in exercising their duties.
Finally, the findings will serve as eye opener discovering the state and activities of the youth in the society and beyond in handling multiplication of churches and churches in immorality.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study is designed to investigate multiplication of Churches and increase in immorality among the youth. The study is restricted to the Bariga of Shomolu Local Government Area, Lagos State.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Decadence: This could be seen as a decline in moral standard. According to Potolsky (2004), decadence is a temporal contrast or comparison; a body, a society, or an artistics form falling away from something prior and better: health, virtue, tradition and so forth. Oxford English Dictionary sees decadence as behaviours, attitudes etc which show a fall in standards, especially in relation to moral, an interest in pleasure and enjoyment rather than in more serious things. Immorality according to Badijo (2004) is moral depravity or decay.
Morality: According to Okwueze (2003), “morality just like ethics involves the idea of good or right conduct and it is utterly hostile to bad or wrong conduct”. For him, morality involves a more or less clearly articulated set of belief about the nature of man, ideals about what is good or merely desirable or worthy of pursuit for the sake of orderly co-existence. Okwueze (2003) also defined morality “as a specific form of social consciousness, of awareness of awareness of your relatedness to others without which social life would be impossible”.
According to Eliade (1987) in Encyclopedia of Religion, morality refers to the actions, dispositions, attitude, virtue and ways of life that should characterize the moral person and the society. For Gbenda (2006), “morality is derived from the Latin word mores which refers to customs or habits.
Christianity: According to Elwell and Comfort (2001), Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. It is the worlds largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers or 31.5% of the world’s population (Woodhead, 2004).
Religion: Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion (Morreall and Sonn, 2013). Religions are shared collections of transcendental beliefs that have been passed on from believers to converts, that are held by adherents to be actively meaningful and serious and either based on formally documented doctrine (organized religion) or established cultural practices (Beckerlegge, 2001). In both forms, there are religious professionals who embody formal aspects of the religion and who act in positions of leadership and governance, and there are certain rituals reserved for them to carry out. The beliefs generate practical implications for how life should be lived (Bird, 1999).
Church: Church and society are and will always be linked. A church is a community of people tied by common life principles that make them different from the rest of society though taken from the larger community. It is in a sense a counter-community, “not a task force whose members’ mutual social contacts stem only from the common task itself”, “not a periodic encounter of otherwise unrelated individuals” (Mott, 1982), but a community with social structures and principles embodying “patterns for shared life that God desires for all of society”. Mott (1982) goes on to say that “because the church is the manifestation of the Reign of God, the norms that guide it exemplify the highest vision of human community”. It is these “norms” that demarcate the church from society while at the same time connect it to the same society.
Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (Macmillan Dictionary, 2013). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young” (Furlong, 2013). Its definitions of a specific age range varies, as youth is not defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges; nor can its end point be linked to specific activities, such as taking unpaid work or having sexual relations without consent.
Youth is an experience that may shape an individual’s level of dependency, which can be marked in various ways according to different cultural perspectives. Personal experience is marked by an individual’s cultural norms or traditions, while a youth’s level of dependency means the extent to which he still relies on his family emotionally and economically (Furlong, 2013).
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