Government that Cannot Secures Her Citizen Does Not Deserve To be in Power – Bishop Agbolabori
Bishop Simeon Agbolabori is a US based Nigerian trained engineer. He is presently the Presiding Bishop, Chapel of Restoration, Houston Texas and the Prelate, International Communion of Bishops and Apostles (ICOBAPS). He was recently in Nigeria as the convener of ICOBAPS annual International Ministers Conference held at Carlton Gate Hotels, Ibadan, Oyo State where he bears his mind with Providence News on sundry issues. Excerpt;
Kindly share the motivation behind the annual ICOBAPS conference and the goals?
The motivation behind the International Communion of Bishops and Apostles (ICOBAPS) annual conference is to see men and women of God sharpening themselves and to do all that God has given them to do without everyone being left behind. If iron does not sharpen iron, iron would be old and rotten. In this regard, If we can share with one another what we know, we will both be sharper and stronger for effective purpose more than we used to be. The days of alone rangers and I know it all is gone. We are presently at the point, where, together, we can achieve much which is the focus of ICOBAPS and why we are doing what we are doing. At the same time, I want men and women of God who participate in the conference to leave excited, energized and empowered, and looking forward to doing much more than they have ever done. At the end of which everyone will testify to the glory of God.
How do you see the present state of the church in Nigeria?
I believe the church in Nigeria as a body is very relevant in this country. The reason why God is still keeping this country, Nigeria, is because of the position of the church in the country. We can agree to the fact that, globally, Nigeria is acknowledged, the most prayerful nation of the earth and Nigeria has the highest numbers of the congregation in the world with God’s special interest in Nigeria. With what Nigeria passed through in the past years, I have seen Nigeria in different times and in different seasons. But at this point in time, greater things are coming our way. The church just needs to reposition itself. Unfortunately, some among the Christian leaders in this country have given Christianity a different name by seeking what does not glorify God and the church. But that does not nullify the position where God will use the church to reposition the nation and to bring us to a place where the fear of God is being used to rule the nation. Regardless of what is going on or happening now, I have strong confidence that this country will have a great economy. Because, there’s a plan of God to shift things in this nation and those who have been oppressed will come to the top. There is a shifting in the realm of the spirit and soon, we shall see it happening in this nation by the grace of God.
What is your opinion on the church leadership development without consideration to the society?
The problem is, the church is not preparing and positioning her followers for the marketplace and the society. It is now time for the church to do whatever they are doing with understanding and different perceptions that we are living on the earth and in the world, not yet in heaven. Though, we are not of the world. But we have to prepare and position our members to interact with those in the world, otherwise, we will lose our rightful place and position, to occupy and salt the earth.
How do you see the new administration for Nigeria?
The new administration has a lot to do and the president must understand that, he is the father of the nation and must govern with the fear of God, purity of heart, sensitivity and service to humanity. Knowing that this country does not belong to a particular ethnic or religious group, Nigeria is a country where we have many tribes with multiplication or multiple religions, and as a result of that he should be conscious of that and be careful not to marginalize anyone or group. The new administration should find a way to create jobs for the people, especially the youth. Security is of great importance and any government that cannot secure the life and property of its citizens is a government that does not deserve to be in power. Security, job creation and taking care of the youth are very important in any government programme and implementations. The youth crying and yearning for a change of new Nigeria should be considered and be given the utmost priority.
What is your reaction to failed prophecies and predictions?
Absolutely, I don’t believe in all these political prophets who come around in camouflage of prophet to prophesy about the winner or loser at every election. I called them, people who just want to be heard and who are seeking attention, using the advantage of social media and gullible followers to seek attention. Truly, there are prophets of God in the church and among ministers of God, but they are not like those who rant in the media and their prophecy are mainly to predict falsehood that will not come to pass over the election and the politicians. Is it not shameful? The same people who gave different prophecies over the election that a particular candidate will win over another prophet declaring that the name of the election winner is in the bible. Not that I don’t believe in prophecy, I am a product of prophecy, I believe in prophecy and I’m a prophet. But, we, especially the ministers of God, should be careful of how we get involved in politics. Are those prophets prophesying for relevance or to get government recognition or what is their primary motive? Let everyone operate in the office God has called them and give prophecy within the church. If it is for the nation, do that. But don’t become a prophetic voice to a certain politician or political group, the moment we deal with that, it will bring respect to the church and the church is meant to be respected. Because, all these prophet are saying what they are saying and it didn’t come to pass, people don’t see them as hearing from God. Even if they hear from God, people will question them, if they really heard from God, because they are failed prophecy.
Do you foresee the unity and the spirit of fellowship in the body of Christ?
Let me say No, there is no unity in the body of Christ. For, as long as we still hold on to our denominations, there cannot be unity. I strongly believe denomination is a tool of the devil to separate the body Christ and I don’t believe in denomination, also not suggesting they should cancel denominations. There is a trend in the body of Christ, everyone follows and defends their denomination against the body. But when we begin to be defenders and followers of Christ, I believe, we will be more united. Unity is far away from who we are in this country and until we begin to say, I’m a Christian first before becoming this and that denomination and then relate with each other on the basis that, we are Christians and not, I’m a Baptist, Anglican, and Pentecostal or African church. When we do away with that, we will have the expected unity in the body of Christ.
What role should the church play in the present political dispensation and your advice to Church leaders?
The role of the church is to be the true voice of God. We are the salt of the earth; the church should be the true voice of God to sweeten the earth. We should not be a biased people, a nation as this looks for a true voice of God. When God speaks through prophets and it comes to pass, people will be afraid. They will know that, even whatever they are doing in privacy or in secrecy, God knows and will reveal them through His prophet, so there can be more fear of God in the society than what we have today. The role of the church is therefore to be the true voice of God. The church leaders should lead righteously, feed people with the true word of God, lead them to the presence of God and guide them to fulfill the purpose of God. Church leaders should live by examples and not hesitate to rebuke, correct, chastise and admonish erring members where necessary.