The Gospel Has Been Watered Down To Motivation and Entertainment – Pastor Israel Rotimi
Pastor Israel Rotimi is the Senior Pastor of Christ Apostolic Church (Palace of Miracle), Oke-Alafia, Olodo, Ibadan, Oyo State and the Convener, Christ End-Time Revival Ministries (CETREM). He shared his thoughts with Providence News on the state of church today and sundry issues. Excerpt:
Tell us about this programme
The journey of this program started In 2009, but the maiden edition was held in 2013 with the theme, ‘The Danger of the End Time’. Then subsequent ones, ‘The Eminence of His Return’, ‘The Faithful Soldier of Christ’, ‘Christ for Revival’, etc. It was ‘The Mighty Hand of God’ in 2021 and this year, 2022, we had ‘Priesthood of Jesus Christ’.
This year 2022 is all about how the New Testament church ought to be. But it’s unfortunate, most churches today are operating like the Old Testament church.
There are three types of priesthood; the Patriarchal priesthood, The Aaronic priesthood and the priesthood of Melchizedek, Jesus Christ. Many ministers today are operating like Aaronic priesthood. They created fear and many ministers had made themselves a demigod, becoming a mighty man with a domineering spirit. They create fear in the heart of people instead of putting the fear of God in the heart of the people. This is what many ministers are doing today. They diverted the heart of people and shifted their focus from God to themselves. They want people to see them as demigods, as if without them no one can pray and their prayers can be answered by God. But under the priesthood of Christ, we are all priests and kings of Christ.
How do you describe the situation of the church today?
The situation of the church today is lamenting. Even Jesus Christ who died for the church is crying, weeping and shedding tears of blood because of the church. This is not the type of church that Jesus died for. This is not how Jesus Christ wants the church to be, He wants the church to stand out among the world, changing the world. If the world is sinking, today’s church supposed to stand, pulling it up and turning it around. Unfortunately, today’s church is turned upside down and to be sincere, the church is turning the world upside down. The baton has changed, instead of the church to impart the world with needed changes, it is now the world that is influencing the church. All that is happening in the world today is exactly what the church turned out to be doing. To the extent of bringing jesters to the pulpit and turning the worship place into a mini theater hall and entertainment hub. Rather than bringing sinners to the kingdom with salvation message and truth of the gospel, we now entice them to the church with attractions and entertainment. Those days, when people answer the altar call, they will be shedding tears. Because, the gospel of salvation was preached undiluted with power. But, today, people’s salvation is not genuine, because the gospel has been watered down with messages of enticement and entertainment.
What is your advice to the church generally?
My advice it’s for the church to wake up to her responsibility, take up her duty and stand. God will not lower His standard because of anyone. Because His foundation is standing sure, God knows those who are His. We have to change the way of doing things and come back to Christ.
What is your opinion on christian participation in politics and governance?
I am not against christian participation in politics and do not have a problem with believers participating in party politics, so far it will not drag the name of Christ in the mud. Many are in politics for selfish reasons and for what they want. Not that, they are there to do things in a normal way or to make policies that will affect lives and bring changes to people. If anyone is duly call into politics or goes into politics, because God can call someone into politics to use politics to turn things around. God will back the person up to excel.
My advice is that we should pray for Christians in politics not to make similar mistakes of the past, by neglecting the people that can do it and placing the responsibility on someone that cannot do it. If a genuine christian is convinced to be called by God into politics, let him go there as a candidate that will make an impact as representative of God and the church. We will support such a person and back him up spiritually and morally. All we need to pray for now is that God should choose for us and give us someone after His own heart. We should acknowledge that God reigns supreme in all affairs and pray to the Father to give us His mind, someone who will lead us back to God and to lead us right. We don’t want anti-christian government or a government that has no fear of God.
What do you have to say about situations affecting marriages today?
The word of God cannot be altered or changed. God says, “I hate divorce.” The reality is that there is a difference between divorce and separation. Unless it is a matter of life and death, you can have a separation for a while and be praying for God to take control of your home and marriage. If you are a Christian, divorce or remarriage is initially against the will of God for us. In Christian marriage, the bible did not give us the grace to divorce your spouse to remarry another person. When the Pharisees came to Jesus, questioning Him about marriage, even quoting Moses saying, they can write a certificate of divorce. He answered them and said, it was because of the wickedness of their heart, for it wasn’t so from the beginning. If anyone one or a couple think divorce is the solution to their marriage problem, then, where is the place of reasoning together, forgiveness and reconciliation? Because there are many unmarried ladies around, we think we have an option, which we do not have. Because divorce has never been part of God’s plan. If you are a Christian and believer in the word of God, you must be seen in and not out of marriage. Divorce is not the best option in marriage.
What is your advice to christians?
Christians should be christian in attitude, character, expression, action and indeed. It’s sad when you meet some christian with bad character and attitude.The drama ministation