By Bolaji O. Akinyemi.
The tradition of Pauline epistles followed the pattern of Christ message to the seven churches in Asia minor, probably because Apostolic confirmation which at that time was limited to those who had seen the Lord and have been with him. Paul’s style was therefore in synergy to spiritual apostolic induction.
John said of his encounter that brought forth the book of Revelation which had the message to the churches, _I was in the Spirit…_ Paul wrote of a similar spiritual adventure at the desert of Arabia.
If John were to write given our situation, it would have been to the church of God in Lagos. If Paul were to write to Lagos Christians and her Leadership a letter about the owners of Lagos’ attempt to hijack Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Lagos state chapter in their bid to advance the
“No Igbo” in leadership agenda as the revenge for their humiliating defeat on the 25th of February 2023 Presidential election, he possibly would have titled it, _”o ye foolish Lagosians.”_ Whichever vessel chosen; John or Paul, only a man in the Spirit can truly situate the predicament of the Church of God in Lagos.
Thank God for the intervention of the National body led by Bishop Wale Oke, the president for their timely intervention, an act that stalemated that agenda of hell at the gate of the church.
Gal 5 vs10:
“I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.”
The verse quoted is the central submission in a chapter of a book written to prick the conscience of a church that was bewitched from outside and overtaken by the work of the flesh from within.
Paul had marvelled at their departure from the gospel unto another gospel which was really not another. For what they freshly imbibed was actually another of a different kind. This undoubtedly, according to him was at the command of those troubling them whose aim was nothing but the pervertion of the liberty and life of brotherly love that the gospel conferred on them being same in Christ without tribe or division!
Their motive, Paul revealed in 2 vs 4, “…who came in privily (secretly) to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.”
The aim of those behind this manipulation of PFN Lagos is to pull the carpet off the feet of Igbo Christians in Lagos State.
In Paul’s time, these fellows, whoever they are were fiercely resisted, he stated we didn’t give them room, no, not for an hour.
The attempt of some Christian Leaders and sponsors of “Igbos are not wanted in Lagos” narrative should be neutralized now by our leaders or the spirit life of the church in Lagos will be buried for the rule and reign of the flesh through this political manipulations!
We know many of the Christian leaders in Lagos owe their landed properties to the generosity of the Emperor of Lagos who “charitably” handed them their C of Os in exchange for their political pliability.
It is for matters like this that we must work for a state where law is upheld, over and above tribe and religion. No where else is the church at the whims and caprices of the political power except in an Islamic state.
In Chapter 3, Apostle Paul exclaimed about the foolishness of the Galatians and went on to remind them of Abraham their father of faith with whom God built the nation of Israel on the concept of him being Hebrew, the first man to be so called. He was one from beyond, a man without tribe and culture!
Gen 12vs1 KJV: “Now, the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from the kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.”
Abraham believed God who called him out of his native identity into a no identity status; the Hebrew; one from beyond!
After this pattern, the SEED (Christ) of Abraham in whom all Nations of the earth will be blessed will pattern his own “city”; the Church!
I will build my Church… The word “church” in Greek, is “ekklesia” meaning a group of citizens called out of their homes (tribes and tongues if you like), to form a public assembly of the brotherhood of Christ having all things in common!
A new Nigeria can only be built by those who priced the vision of a new nation by God for God beyond their earthly inheritance.
Those pricing their Church buildings above the brotherhood of the brethren are nothing but existential threat to the faith of the Church of Christ in Lagos!
If the Church fails this nation in the Nigeria Project then, I am afraid! If the foundation is destroyed, where will Nigeria stand?
Glory be to God that all hope is not lost for there are children of Abraham after the Spirit. Sheep who hears and obeys the voice of the Good Shepherd who will put to test the voices of all under shepherds and hirelings to align them with the direction that Christ has set for His Church.
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (KJV)
Anyone who has stopped following the Lord doesn’t deserve to lead you.
Churches of men may be confused about the ongoing debacle that the Church in Lagos is engulfed in. The direction of the Church of Christ in this tribal political war spin going on in Lagos is very defined.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (KJV.)
It is an insult on our collective political intelligence for us to pride ourselves in the endorsement and victory of any candidate. The question we should ask our bragging leaders is; how many House Assembly Members did the Church aid their victory in the last election. Both Lagos CAN and its political surrogate, PFN, should go and learn lesson from Bishop Dami Manza in Adamawa state who in wit and wisdom through every available political party was able to get 17 seats out of 23 without going to war with Muslims, neither endorsing any candidate nor selling the Christian birthright for a morsel!
Few days before the Governorship election, the DPG/PFN openly declared its endorsement of a particular candidate, and it made the headline. I put a call to Apostle Enyinnaya Okwonu, Chairman of PFN Lagos State to alert him of how unethical that was and to warn him of the consequences of the action, but he never picked my call and we haven’t spoken till date. Do I hate the people in power? Of course not, but we are not all wares that can be purchased. My response to the so called endorsement is on record and posterity will judge us all.
Apostle Enyinnaya Okwuonu’s leadership in Lagos PFN is circumstantial owing to the death of his boss, Bishop Olusola Ore whom he deputized, and whose leadership found favour in the magnanimity of Pastor W. F Kumuyi and the Deeper Life Bible Church Family that made the purchase of the PFN Secretariat possible.
PFN Lagos should ask Deeper Christian Life Ministry the impartation that has sustained their home for all tribes of men structure.
Apostle Okwonu has no doubt steered the ship of PFN in Lagos away from troubled waters. However knowing, unfortunately, that he is Igbo, he endeavoured daily to tread with caution, yet stretching, striving to leave a legacy of completing the State Secretariat Project.
Many of our “Igbo brethren” have strengthened this project by financial contributions to help their brother succeed because they believe that we are one!
The drama at the State Secretariat of PFN at Onipanu on Tuesday 25th of April 2023 where all the state Excos were summoned to watch the Yoruba coup d’etat of an Igbo Leadership in seeming alignment with the spirit of the now infamous Yorùbá ro’nú, is a betrayal of the death of Christ!
A blasphemy of the Holy Spirit who descended on the day of Pentecost upon all men without consideration for tribe!
Just last Sunday, 23 April 2023, Dr Alex Otti the elected Governor of Abia state and his wife knelt down to God before Pastor Gbenga Aremu, the Senior Pastor of Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry in Umuahia in thanksgiving to be prayed for. The tribe of the clergyman was not a factor, neither was the denomination of the Governor elect who is of the Adventist. Talk about being members of one body under God!
Archbishop John Alagbala Osa Oni is a man who followed the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa very closely, he should know how well our late father was respected by Government after Government.
I can’t remember any instance when he, Archbishop Idahosa though supported by government, allowed himself to become a tool in the hands of government to be used to fractionalize his family; the Church of Jesus!
Sir, in this circumstances, ask yourself what would the Archbishop Idahosa do if faced with same circumstances as you are?
I stand to be corrected; the attempt made to remove Apostle Okwuonu from office was obviously without due clearance from the National Exco.
This must have been done in a bid to curry the favour of the owners of Lagos in alignment with their no Igbo man in leadership of anything in Lagos State. If this isn’t the case, the Government of His Excellency Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu should dissociate itself from the ungodly move.
The intervention of Bishop Wale Oke saved the day and anything that resembled a United Family of PFN in Lagos State though, not without a scar as all substantive positions left the meeting in acting capacities.
The only ground left to the Igbo and other Christian non-indigenes in Lagos is the Church!
1Tim 3vs15 (KJV): “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth!”
PFN Lagos State would have succeeded at trading Christ’s ground and pillar of truth for lies of politics, politicians and patronages.
Sickening pharisaic Church Leaders must be reminded of this exhortation that whatever applies to Lagos as a tribal territory, can’t be carried into the Church of Christ. They therefore should know how they ought to behave themselves!
We can only hope that this won’t come to Pauls standing up to Peters!