Nigeria is a peculiar country. With all our security and economic challenges, we are still rated the happiest people on earth. Specifically, we just won two Grammy awards in music through Burna Boy and Whizkid. Congratulations to them. What makes people from other countries commit suicide create avenues for us for comic reliefs. It is still shocking to hear that someone committed suicide in Nigeria. This is because of our strict moral and religious background. We are also rated the most religious country on earth. This means that our subscription to religion is and should be the right thing to do. It makes us have hope and faith that one day God will come to our aid and make everything well. Hope, they say, “maketh not ashamed”. The peculiarity of our country extends to how we organise ourselves. It is often said that we operate a system of organised chaos. In the local parlance, we call it a system of “wuru wuru”. This wuru wuru has permeated everything we hold dear and sadly it has meandered into the church, pentecostal church for that matter.
When Jesus rose from the dead, he cautioned his disciples not to step out of Jerusalem until they have received the promise of God to imbue them with power for efficient christian service. Acts 1:4 states that Jesus “commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father …”. This promise was the baptism of the Holy Spirit which was meant to be the power with which the Christian is to operate. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost …”.(Acts 1:5). And “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you …” (Acts 1:8 ). It is dangerous for any Christian to operate without the power of the Holy Spirit in this present wicked world because everybody is using something to operate spiritually and if you are not using something, you will be used for something.
The Holy Ghost eventually descended on the disciples on the day of Pentecost. On that day, the scriptures noted that “they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost …”(Acts 2 :1-4). This confirms without equivocation that there is the original pentecostal power from God, through the Holy Spirit, and there have been genuine apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers from then till now, despite their present bastardisation. The Pentecost then marked the beginning of the church of Jesus Christ and the power of the church is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus commissioned his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature so that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. Alongside preaching the gospel, Jesus commanded them to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. He admonished them that “freely ye have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8). There was no time Jesus contemplated or anticipated that the gospel should be merchandised or that miracles powered by the Holy Spirit should be exchanged for a price by the disciples. When he met people trading in the House of God, he chased them away and declared them thieves and robbers. “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves”. (Mark 11:17).
It is obvious that Jesus knew before hand that false teachers and thieves will arise in his name and be claiming to be pentecostal preachers of the gospel. Hear him “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”. (Matthew 7:15). For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22). Jesus called these wuru wuru pentecostal teachers thieves, ravening wolves, false Christs, false Prophets and seducers. Are you then surprised about what is happening today? Definitely, I am not. The Author and Finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, foresaw them long ago and warned us to watch and be careful.
Are you surprised that a Pastor was caught seducing and sleeping with his members and wives of his parishioners by his own wife, who decided to divorce him, because of that, when Jesus hinted they will seduce the very elect? Are you surprised that a Prophet is praying that covid-19 should not end because it affords him the opportunity to buy more private jets while Jesus commanded them to heal the sick? Are you surprised that most of the preaching you hear these days is prosperity, no matter where it comes from, not the gospel of repentance and remission of sins? Most pentecostal pastors will prefer you paying your tithes and offering and be the worst sinner to your being very holy and not pay your tithes and offering. Indeed, they will frequently remind members how irredeemably cursed they are when they fail to pay their tithes and how God is a merciful God for thieves, fornicators, adulterers etc. Contrast this with Christ’s teaching that holiness and righteousness precede offerings and gifts to Church. Hear Lord Jesus, “if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God (Matthew 5:23-24 GNB). Are you surprised that a purported pentecostal preacher claimed that God told him that any man that sleeps with his wife in any other style of sex, apart from the missionary style, will go to hell? For Christ’s sake, what has the gospel of salvation got to do with the style of sex deployed by a couple for convenience and pleasure?
Don’t take my words for these, take the words of one of their own, Pastor Abel Damina, who accused some of his colleagues in the ministry of using counselling to extort church members. He said some people who seek counselling are made to pay registration fee and consultation fee and then when he counsels you he will now tell you: “Can you give a seed according to your age? How old are you? Thirty! Can you give N30,000? Yes Sir!. Try, go and bring it”, Dr Damina said, adding that “if you cannot, he [the pastors] will tell you your life is useless”. He warned, during a sermon, that some pastors twist Scriptures and manipulate members to enrich themselves, recalling when he was invited to preach in the United Kingdom only for the pastor to send him back because his message centered on redemption in Christ and the finished work of Christ whereas the pastor had hoped for prosperity message. “Covetous people like that kind of teaching”, he concluded.
There’s no area where this wuru wuru is prevalent as in the area of the succession to the church leadership in the event of the passing on of the founder. It is troubling how these merchants of the gospel invoke God’s name as the source of their authority to declare that they will be succeeded by a family member thereby effectively transforming the church of God to family business. If a General Overseer dies without a grown up adult child, “God” will decree that the wife will take over, even when other more qualified non-family men of God are present. If the GO dies with surviving adult children, then “God” will decree that the GO should be succeeded by one of his children irrespective of the fact that he wasn’t born when the church was founded and there were other older men of God who suffered with their Father in raising the church. “Na lie, nobi God, na wuru wuru” in most cases. Such decisions often lead to the balcanization of the church as some of the disgruntled Men of God usually pull out of the church to establish their own. Amongst the famous first generation churches, only the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is known to have a succession independent of the founder of the church and the result is too clear to see. From a congregational strength of about 3000 worshippers when the founder died, the successor to the church leadership, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, by the leading of God, has uplifted the church to become the biggest pentecostal church on earth.
Everyone going to any church today should shine your eyes. Relationship with God is more important than relationship with any man of God. Once you notice that a “Man of God” is a fornicator/adulterer or mismanages money, run. Jesus did not call his disciples to any man but to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18 made it clear that, “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation”. You must strive to be baptized with the Holy Ghost so you can acquire the power to relate with God directly. This will shield you from the shenanigans of these traders in the church. Above all, strive to read and understand the scriptures so you won’t be carried away by any wind of doctrine. Ephesians 4:14 admonished “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”. Consider the strategy of one cute guy that found himself in church and was informed by one lady, under the “auction of the Holy Ghost”, during a worship section in the church that “Jehovah said you should marry me”. The guy simply waited for the next worship section in which he himself came under the “auction of the Holy Ghost” and declared “Jehovah said I should not marry you”. Whatever message from any person or Man of God, which does not give you an inner peace, should be treated with caution.