Problems of Nigeria Are The Religious Leaders – Bishop Adol Obinwaogu
Bishop (Dr.) Adol Paul Obinwaogu is the General Overseer and presiding Bishop of the Redeemed Pillar of Fire Ministry, Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Isolo, Lagos. He recently bared his mind and spoke with Gracious Akintayo on ranging issues concerning the church, society and Nigeria, especially on the forthcoming general election. Excerpt:
Are you satisfied with the present state of the church and Christianity in Nigeria? The church of today has lost the focus, capacity and standards of God from the beginning. God created light and darkness, and confirms light good, not darkness. But, churches today confirmed darkness as good instead of accepting God’s standard and confirmation. That standard of God called good, separated the light from darkness. But, of churches today, all including the darkness is good. No one cares to know whether it is light or darkness because many ministers today are yet to experience the truth of the word of God or have an encounter with God to know the standard of God. And you cannot expect the mango tree to produce oranges. The truth of today’s church is, truth has departed from churches and no more truth in the church. What people honour and celebrate in the church today is lies and earthly material things.
Material things have taken over the church and honoured more than the truth of the word of God that was supposed to make the church to, the church of truth. Truth comes by day but darkness comes by night, most ministers today called themselves by the night, God did not call them by the day. That is why they establish churches with a foundation of lies and for the purpose of darkness. Many want to be ministers in the vineyard of God, but did not consider the word of God in 1 Timothy 3: 1-13. Many can’t rule their home and don’t know how to manage people. How then can they take care of the church of God? Some cannot even manage their own life, much more than other people’s lives. If they have not told themselves the truth, how are they going to tell the truth of the word of God? It is not possible, so far they can’t manage their own life and home, they cannot manage others, instead they will destroy them. Truth is, you can’t give what you don’t have, because you don’t have it. Pastors and ministers today are hiding under the guise of producing unity without tracing the truth before unity and unity without the truth is a disaster. You can’t expect unity without first tracing the truth and it takes tracing of the truth for unity to last. But, they want to produce unity without first tracing the truth. Ministers today are not interested in how to direct people to seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness first, but what they will need to do to be blessed and soon teach them how to sow seed without first teaching them how to clear the bush for genuine repentance. Because they themselves as pastors have not repented. Majority of pastors today have desecrated the word of God and destroyed the foundation of Christ with their lies. Salvation and righteous messages are no longer taught in the church today; prosperity, breakthrough and success messages have taken over without consideration to salvation of souls as bedrock of Christ foundation which is, “seek first, the kingdom of God”. There are many self seeking and deceitful pastors preaching than the genuine ones. Many didn’t wait to be properly brought up – taught, trained, mentored, managed and disciple before jumping out in the name of God’s calling to establish a church. They did not hear clearly because they were not patient enough to take instruction and direction. All their attractions are the fame and material things they are going to acquire.It’s unfortunate, most ministers today are not different from showbiz and modeling personalities who only show off the clothes they put on, the cars they ride and shoes they wear. They consider physical good looks and fame with popularity as success in the ministry, when all they know, teach and speak is motivation for how to prosper and be successful without salvation. I did not mean, your look and what you wear does not matter, but what should matter most is your inner package and what God has loaded in you. Even if you wear white garment everyday, it is still a fashion, if your heart and lifestyle is full of sin and unrighteousness. Very sad, the church of today has disappointed Christ.
What should be the solution to all these infractions in the church and among ministers? The word of God has left the church and what is thriving today is the word of prophecy. This is why everyone now wants to be addressed as a prophet. If Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) with another bloc will set up a high powered monitoring, disciplinary and ethics committee or task force with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to monitor, oversee and trace whoever wants to establish a church and be their member. Also, to know where they are coming from, who pastors or mentors them, what is their background and character, why do they leave their former church and to establish a church and how they have been managing their homes? This will reduce the rush into ministry work and establishment of churches by every dick and harry, including occult and herbalists. Because the process would have become an onerous task, many would not be able to embark upon it. And members of that committee or task force must be selected church leaders with proven integrity and without bias. Most pastors and churches are after the followers, not worshippers; they want the crowd, not disciples, they prefer membership, not master’s sheep and the Church numerical growth with crowded membership does not determine spiritual growth and discipleship of a church.
What is your take on the present situation of Nigeria? The problem of Nigeria is with religious leaders, the church Rabbi’s (pastors, clergy, bishops, etc.) and the Muslim Huzzahs, imams and Alfas that has followers who constitutes the society and people in positions of authority, but still did not tell the truth to their followers or call them to order. If religious leaders can do that, we will have less problems in Nigeria. Religious leaders in Nigeria have been bought, sold their rights and compromised the standard of God. There are fraudsters and criminals in the church known to the pastors who know what they do, so far they bring them money, they will not tell them the truth that what they are doing is evil. Same thing, there are criminal Muslims whose clerics, the imam and Alfas know they are into evil and criminal practices, yet they will not tell them the truth that what they are doing is evil, since they share and partake of the proceeds. Without religious leaders playing their roles of sacrificing everything to tell their followers the truth, Nigeria will continue to wallow in problems. The bible says, “Buy the truth and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23) and Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Religious leaders, be it Muslim or Christians whip up the sentiment of people’s pain to lament on bad governance and state of the nation by condemning people in authority and power, whereas they are well okay and secure. Many religious leaders with followers who boast of material possession and properties here and there, when many around them cannot afford three square meals, decent accommodation and cloth to wear are liars and a problem of this country because they refuse to tell their followers the truth. Until churches and religious leaders begin to tell the truth to their followers, we will continue to create problems for ourselves and our nation. Religious leaders have sold their conscience to their followers in positions of authority who now control them instead of them controlling their followers. The followers don’t listen to them, instead, the followers tell them what they want, because they didn’t tell them the truth. With our devalued and derided societal character, parents also contributed to the decay in our society through ideological lies and lack of proper upbringing being deceitfully and ignorantly inculcated into the children. We teach them religious traditions and practices instead of the truth and the fear of God. Today many acclaimed prophets go to the public unchecked, telling lies and spreading falsehood of what God did not show or tell them. How can God show you His truth when you are a liar living in unrighteousness and disobedience? All I know is that God is not an author of confusion neither has He repented from His word, “without Holiness, no one can see God”. They are claiming God shows them this and that, didn’t He show them the problems of this country and the solution? Before God created man, He has blessed him and for any cleric to now tell you God wants to bless you, without preaching the message of salvation to you, he is a liar and deceiver. God has blessed you before creating you, all you need to activate His blessings for you is to be genuinely saved and live righteously. Truth is, religious leaders don’t tell the truth that there are problems that hinders the flow of God’s blessing, instead they keep telling people too fast and asking them to sacrifice by sowing seeds with going extra miles confining them in a particular spot without reasoning. Without apology, many pastor, reverend, bishop, prophet, imam and Alfa are liars, deceivers and thieves in the name of God. They are not working for God and heaven sake but their stomach and selfish sake. Many people have been misled with souls and lives destroyed, marriages broken and homes shattered by these religious leaders with false prophecy, deceitful messages and evil sacrifices without genuine repentance. Yet, we are clamouring for a better society and praying for progress, when those supposed to lead righteously are deceitfully misleading their followers. God never sent many parading themselves as men and prophets of God, the god of their belly and the spirit of lies called and anointed them to deceive people and falsify the gospel. The bible says, “no one put this upon himself, except it is from the above” and further said, “Cursed is anyone that says, God said, when He has not spoken”. Anyone that says, “thus saith the Lord”, without the genuine spirit of God is a liar, thief and accursed. God has His standard and He will not bend for any man or reason. He is not a liar or a confusionist. Religious leaders, especially pastors and church leadership have systematically rendered the word of God hollow. No one can know what will happen tomorrow, once you know what will happen tomorrow, then tomorrow is no more the miracle of God. Another problem among ministers preventing the move of God and influencing the ego and the move of men is, title. The chase after title and religious offices has influenced many ministers, who don’t pursue after the presence of God to chase after the mantle. Their focus is on the title for self’s attraction, attention and affection, they look away from the mantle for service as the bible teaches. Men and women of God, including other religious leaders should remember that judgment will begin from them with all they acquired and possess, including the title shall one day be taken away from them when they will answer the call of their maker. If we may ask, where is the first minister to own a private jet and where is the private jet? Too bad that focus has been shifted from seeking the kingdom first to anxiety of first seeking the earthly possessions and anyone whose taste for acquisition of material things is high, cannot hear the voice of the truth.
What do you suggest as the solution?
Nothing happened to the country, Nigeria is okay and doing well with beautiful weather and greenland. We only have bad people managing Nigeria’s affairs and resources. No matter the situation of the country, Nigeria remains a great country and giant of Africa. All the mineral resources of this country have not been well utilized to the benefits and advantage of the country and her citizens by leaders who are privileged to be in positions of power and authority. No religious leader is bold enough to tell people in authority and power the truth, because the majority have sold their voice and conscience one way or the other, either as a contractor, prayer merchant or beneficiary of their largesse. If they should tell them the truth, they know what they will lose, so they rather keep quiet or look away from the truth and pray for a politician with a bag of money than for a dying soul seeking salvation. Isn’t it surprising that religious leaders encourage and pray for people to get visas and japa, reminding them to send their tithes in foreign currency and same religious leaders also pray for politicians with assurance that God will take control, when God is not taking any control or interest in that politician.
What is your view of the present political situation and the 2023 general election? Today we shout and sound like empty drums. People are echo, including pastors, bishops and other religious leaders; they are echo and not a voice. The 2023 general election, even before the campaign, is a secret known only to God and can only be determined by God. But first, let us play our role by getting our PVC and later use it right according to our conscience, not according to tribe or religion, then God will perfect it and it will be a miracle. If you know the truth and believe in the standard of God, you will not call a bribe and vote selling as a miracle to win election, that is delusion. It is faith and our vote that counts in the 2023 election that will carry us and if your vote doesn’t count, you are an enemy of yourself and of the country. I believe, the anxiousness God is trying to tell us and the message He’s passing across to us as a people and citizens is that, the bad life we are living now, are we ready to change it? So that, He can rightly position the right person He wants to use and not by our permutation and calculation. Let us stop politicizing God’s word, but be objective with it. I am not saying politics is not good or Christians should not participate in politics. Politics is good and God is a politician, He created the earth and all therein in a democratic way, Saying, “Let Us…”. What I am saying is, we should not be too extreme and think we know more than God. Only God knows the right person to be there. The person we think is best can be worst before God. Anyone or prophet, no matter how highly placed that say, it is going to be this way, this person or that party is a liar, perambulator and demon. Let God give us the right person. No one can tell God what He should do concerning His plan. His ways are not our way, His yes is not based on our no and His no, not on our Yes. No one can predict the outcome of the 2023 election, no matter the level of manipulation, God already knows who will win the election. But let us play our part with our PVC and pray to God in faith to give us the right person. Any pastor predicting about tomorrow or a particular candidate is a demon. Tomorrow is pregnant and loaded, even the Lord Jesus said, “do not be anxious about tomorrow…”. So anyone saying it’s a particular candidate or party that will win is not hearing the truth of God, the person is a political jobber and liar with fake predictions.
What advice do you generally give Nigerians?
My advice to Nigerians is that God has given us conscience to know the difference between good and bad, also to do right or wrong. It is now our choice to do what is right or wrong according to our conscience. Let us as people repent from our bad ways and religious leaders should tell their followers the truth without minding who is offended and rather than imprisoning people’s lives with lies. Let religious leaders first do the right thing they are supposed to do according to their conscience, the bible says, “if anyone knows how to do the right and refuses to do it, it is evil”. Therefore, let everyone in this country depart from our iniquity, evils and selfishness to do what is right and please unto God. It’s criminal to be sharing money to buy votes. Any politician that gives money to buy votes is buying people’s authority and conscience, their children and future, their rights and destiny. When such a politician does any wrong, there’s no way he can be corrected and, to correct him, is to be ready to refund the money he gave in buying the conscience, right and the future. Such politicians have rendered many people, especially the youths useless and encouraged criminality by inducing people into lawlessness and banditry. If you have conscience and the spirit of God, you will not need money to do the right thing.