Duncan David, my beloved brother and a Pastor in the RCCG, sent me a WhatsApp video clip. In it, is this write-up: “That is the President of Tanzainia playing drums in the Church. No wonder there is no COVID-19 in Tanzania. This is the same man that declared that he would not shut down Church because Jesus Christ is bigger than the coronavirus”.
Seeing it, I was convinced that the President of a country plays drums in the Church, not in the dream, but in real life! Of course, the Lord Jesus would do the same. Peter, Paul, John, and indeed, all the Apostles of old, would do the same gladly. Today, the story has changed. The General Overseers, Pastors, and various officers in the Church may not do it. To them, it may be diminishing their office and personality.
It was after our morning devotion that day, that I received the video clip. Our devotion was from the Acts of the Apostles 5:29-42. The Jewish leaders were angry with Peter and John for healing a lame man, and also for preaching the Gospel message to people. Peter told them that they would obey God, Who had commissioned them into the ministry of His Word, rather than the inhibition of man. In anger, they decided that they would kill the apostles, but Uncle Gamaliel, one of the Jewish leaders, a doctorate degree holder in Law, prevailed on his colleagues. He cited the ministries of Theudas and Judas of Galilee, who drew crowds to themselves, and at their deaths, the ministries folded up. That was in contrast with that of the Lord Jesus, Whose Ministry was growing after His death. He told them to leave the servants of God. “If this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought,” he told them.
I recalled immediately with pathos, our brother Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, who was a great pillar in the House of God. A captain of industry, he was the chairman of many limited liability companies. He was humble and his love of God knew no limits. That was the man, who sold his only house in Lagos Island, to upset the loan he guaranteed for a Christian brother, when he defaulted in payment. Our Uncle beat drums literarily in the Church and in people’s lives.
In Amsterdam in 1986, Dr. Billy Graham, the renowned world Evangelist, joined us in going out for evangelism. That was a man, who had touched many lives all over the world, going out with us to win souls! That was the man, who, during his life time, would be invited to pray for all the US Presidents during their swearing in ceremony! Yes, that was Billy Graham, who started the ‘Samaritan Purse’, a Ministry that caters for the welfare of the needy all over the world. Many Pastors would preach in such a way that the audience is held spellbound, but nothing may happen.
I am talking about a man, who would give a simple message, often, on the Prodigal son, and tears would be flowing, even from dry eyes, as large crowds of people would be coming out to receive Jesus. I mean the man, who all Ministers of God, all over the world, respected, yet, he went out with us for evangelism. For sure, he beat drums literally in the Church!
We used to go out the last Sunday of the month for evangelism. One day, I went with our General Overseer. That was the person we handed over the church leadership, after leading for 20 years. In one of the houses we entered to minister, they were very uncomfortable when they saw us. “This is our G.O, a retired Major General, and this is his wife,” I informed them. All eyes turned to them. It was likely that they had never seen a G.O going out for evangelism. They might never have seen, heard or imagined that a Major General, serving or retired, trained to fight in battles, would be the one going out to share God’s Word to ‘idle civilians’. Yes, that our G.O, beat the drums literarily in the Church too!
In 1975, during the Scripture Union Students’ Camp in Lagos, our late brother, Prof. Francis Onofeghara, who in 1977 became the Dean, Biological Sciences and later the Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, was the Camp Chairman. One day, the student campers were compelled to go out and fetch firewood from the bush. As they were doing that, our brother joined them. Imagine him, my Bible study leader, fetching firewood! In 1976, I had a terrible accident, when my driver was teaching me how to drive. Dr. Francis Onofeghara and Elder Silas Eke, came by danfo bus to see me at Ijeshatedo! Of a truth, Bro. Francis, as we called him fondly, beat drums literally in the Church!
One may wonder why a President would be beating drums in the Church. There is nothing a child of God cannot do for Him. The essence is for one to enjoy oneself before Him and to honour Him. Abraham wanted to sacrifice Isaac, his son of promise, born when his wife, Sarah, was 90 years. They had waited for 25 years after God’s revelation about his birth! The disciples of the Lord Jesus committed their lives to His Ministry till they were murdered. Judas and Uncle John were the exceptions. Judas committed suicide after betraying the Lord Jesus, while John escaped death by the whiskers.
Imagine, King David telling Mephibosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan, to be eating at his table all the time! Imagine the reaction of his fellow kings, any time they came for State banquettes, dining with a cripple! That was the grandson of King Saul, who laboured to murder David! In our Church, a fellow Pastor surrendered his bank account for our use, when we were building our Church auditorium. A member of our Church pleaded to be allowed to finish our three-storey-administration block, after we had done the carcass. We obliged him. They all beat drums literarily in the Church too!
There is nothing anybody can do for the Lord Jesus that is extraordinary, compared with what He did for us. He made all things, yet had a humble birth through a woman. He identified with His disciples by living, eating, dressing and sleeping with them. That was why Judas was hired to identify Him. Nothing we do can compares with His vicarious death.
It is not enough for us to know and then appreciate the fact that the President of a country plays drums in his Church. It might be once, it might be always, but it does not matter. It is also not enough for us to be humbled by the humility demonstrated by these great men I detailed above. What is important is for us to obey God’s command: “Go and do likewise”.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]