“Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law”. (2 Chron 15:3)
“In every way it has come to this that what one now calls Christianity is precisely what Christ came to abolish. This has happened especially in Protestantism” – Soren Kierkegaard, 18th century Danish philosopher.
It is not humility to deny your identity and calling. Some people said they preferred being called simply Brother or Master. This really is immaterial. Titles are not the problem but what they indicate. If a title breeds pride in you then you are in sin and you should forgo the title. However, as I have seen, this can also be a form of pride, an inverted pride. It is pride for God to call you to an office and you refuse to answer the title pertaining to that office because of what people will say. Then, that is also pride. I cannot deny my calling or office because of what people will feel or say. I am by calling a prophet and apostle. I cannot deny that, even under threat of death. Soon everyone, the whole world will know it, and there will be no argument about it.
There are classes of prophet. Jonah was a prophet, so was Amos and Nahum; so was Elijah and Moses. But do you need to be told that they are not the same or equal both before God and before men? There are prophets of the night and there are prophets of the day. Prophets of the day can give you the Word of God anytime. But the prophets of the night must wait at least for a day to get the answers in the dream.
“If there be a prophet among you I the Lord will appear to him in dream…”
There are other classes of prophet. They can see even in daytime several years away. When the Disciples showed Jesus the Temple and the stones, He did not see the beauty He saw the desolation, which came to pass about forty years later. This is the spirit of the prophet at work. In 1990, I came to Lagos and we visited Oshodi market to buy some appliances. But as they showed me those electronics, I wasn’t seeing the gadgets I was seeing something else – ashes and desolation. And I was crying in my spirit. I myself did not know why. Few years later fire gutted that very market and destroyed those very shops that I visited. That is the spirit of the prophet.
In 1993, people in my office were rejoicing about the possibility of an Abiola presidency who was already winning as they started announcing the results. I didn’t rejoice with them. I had told them, “Neither Abiola nor Tofa”. One Alhaji who heard me came to me and asked me to clarify. “Abiola is already winning, the results are coming in. So, how do you mean “neither Abiola nor Tofa?”, he asked me.
Then I told him, “Wait till next week and come back to me and see whether what I said is coming to pass or not.” The following week the results were stopped and on the 23rd of June, the election was annulled. He came back with fear and trembling and for once he saw the wide gap between Apostolic Christianity and Islam.
I have gone this far to show something. Most of the messages I write are not just because I want to write but the prompting of “the spirit of the prophet”. Like Jeremiah, my heart maketh a noise within me and I cannot hold my peace “for thou has heard Oh my soul, the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war” (Jer 4:19). When that inspiration is on me, I know it and I must speak or write, even if it will lead to trouble. That is why I always go about with books and papers and pens. Prophetic inspiration is usually stimulated by sight or pictures. When Balaam saw Israel abiding in their tents, the Spirit came on him and he began to prophesy. When Jesus saw the Temple the Spirit of the prophet came on Him and He began to prophesy.
This is how the prophetic works (for prophets who belong to that class, because there are classes of prophets as I said). The prophetic is often actuated by pictures, good music, insults, tyranny, oppression, danger among others. I have provided this lengthy introduction so that you can understand the background of this message.
Sometimes ago, a video was posted to me which has gone viral on the internet, of a notable Nigerian pastor who visited an American church, a Morris Cerullo church and solicited for dollars. I cannot now remember the exact amount whether $5000 or something. He asked 90 people to stand to give the said amount and someone besides him had some white “mantle ” as a precondition to meet God or get to heaven or something to that effect. I watched the video though no one responded till the footage was over. As I watched this the Spirit of the prophet came on me and the message you are now about to read came to me.
The title of the message itself is unusual, if you are observant. Notice I used a small ‘g’ god and not the conventional God or the Lord God, Jehovah, the Most High God – because I am now in doubt, serious doubts whether what modern Christianity calls God is actually the Lord God or another god. There is a true God and there is a false god that also calls himself “God’. There is Jesus of Nazareth and there is “another Jesus’ which Paul warned against. There is the Holy Spirit and there is “another spirit”; there is the real authentic Gospel and there is “another gospel”. To clarify and distinguish between these requires a whole book.
In the days if King Asa, there was an aberration in the spiritual government of the nation of Israel. After the division of the Northern kingdom, the ten tribes were separated from Israel leaving Judah alone. However, Jeroboam turned out to be a disaster, much worse than the House of David he was raised to correct. He did worse and destroyed God’s altars and raised false altars everywhere. He forbade the Levites from doing service to the Lord and ordained his own priests. Soon, Rehoboam too fell from following God and he too began to serve idols. Thus, both Israel and Judah fell. Then the words of the epigraph became reality in the days of ASA.
“Israel was without the TRUE GOD…”
Notice it did not say that Israel was without God but “without the true God”. They certainly had a god or gods but it was not the TRUE GOD. There was worship, the Temple was still functioning. The external observances were intact, sacrifices were still killed – but it was not to the True God but to another god. And it was not that there were no prophets or priests but there was not a “teaching priest” and the Law. Definitely, they had priests and even prophets too but not a teaching priest or a classical prophet. So, it is also possible for religion to exist, for all the external trappings of religious observances to be intact – tithes, offerings, preaching, singing and a host of others yet not to the True God. From the day Rehoboam forsook the Law and the Temple, God too forsook them but they were not aware of it. Could modern Christianity have suffered the same fate in our day?
The Trouble with Modern Christianity
Every time I think and consider the Christianity of our day, the largely effete religion that is a shame to Heaven and a curse to the earth, I always remember this passage of King Asa. “For a long season Israel was without the true God…”
My fear is that what some people think or call God may be the god of their own imagination, of their ethnic religious cosmologies like Allah of Arabia, Olodumare of the Yoruba, Chineke of the Igbo, Egbesu of Ijaws and many others. Until you come to this rationalisation, much of what is done in the cult of modern religion will not make sense to you. I am in doubt whether the god of modern Christianity is the true God, whether it is the same as the God of the Bible, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider these two cases first.
Case 1: A boy saw heaven
A young teenager, a Christian boy died and was taken to heaven. It was not yet time for him to come. Jesus took him aside and sent him back to earth with a message. Jesus then showed him something about the Church, modern Christianity. As Jesus removed a curtain, they began to see the Church here on earth as the congregation danced and worshipped. Then this boy observed that Jesus took His eyes away in shame as the congregation danced and sang. The boy was perplexed. Later, Jesus asked him to look again. And then he saw a strange being inside to which they made obeisance and that what the Church called God or Jesus is not the “true God or Jesus of Nazareth” but a strange being.
Case 2: A pastor and Serpentine Spirit
Another brother went to a church to worship with them. During offering time, he saw everyone bring out money. Suddenly, he saw a vision. In the vision, the pastor told him pointedly “We don’t worship God here; we worship the serpent”. This church is now a megachurch and millions are now trapped under this serpentine spirit, the controlling spirit of this popular church that has fornicated with all the kings of Nigeria just like Babylon of which she is the best modern illustrative model.
Let me start with one area: Money.
The most surprising thing to me today is the similarities that the god of modern Christianity and modern pastors and the god of traditional religion have when it comes to money. The god of Yoruba religion, for instance, cannot do anything until he has been propitiated with money, sacrifices and so on. You must first give something to get anything from him. So is the god of the Igbo. You are nothing before the god of Igbo traditional religion if you have no money to propitiate it. The god of the Igbo even celebrates success and achievement more than even virtue and honesty.
This much is true for anyone who can undergo the labour to study the culture and history. What I cannot understand therefore is why the god of modern Christianity too begins to behave the same way. Or are they the same?
The question I always ask is this: Why is money so important to the god of modern Christianity? Why is it that He can do nothing until money has been given or solicited by his votaries?
In the video, a pastor assisted by another carrying mantles to be sold is asking for $5000 from each to be able to keep an appointment with heaven (or is it to make heaven?). Now if we needed this amount to keep an appointment with heaven or receive the blessing of heaven, then of what use is the coming of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ? Why did Jesus have to come? How many will be able to afford that blessing? The man even limited it to 90 persons. $5000 is a lot of money for anyone who has lived in America!
In the olden days, the Church of Rome sold indulgences to grant absolution and freedom for sins (both the ones committed and the ones you will commit) to those who could give; today Rome is no longer selling indulgences, it is the children of Luther, supposed evangelicals, Pentecostals, apostolic, pretended children of Wesley that are selling them. Tetzel is now perpetrating his craft among Pentecostals not Papists.
The True God, the Maker of heaven and earth, Father of Jesus Christ does not need anybody’s money to do what He wants to do or perform a miracle. To even make that suggestion is a gratuitous insult to Him. A god that must be primed like a pump with water of monetary inducement is no better than the gods of Rome or Greece or of Arabia or of Yoruba or Igboland. That is not the God that I serve, and for Whom I have suffered so much over the years. That is not the God of my own calling. That is not the God of Joseph Babalola, of Moses Orimolade, of the Original Aladura Movement, of the Original Apostolic Church, of the Original CAC. No, that is not the God of our Fathers and the day of confrontation is now finally here.
Unfortunately, today that is the same story everywhere in our churches. It is money all about money because the new god is powerless without human propitiation and money is an instrument of propitiation. That is why in the modern church there is no end of offerings even when they don’t need the money.
God’s servant Joseph Babalola spent 50 days in Ilesha between July 10 and August 30, in 1930, “the 50 days that made Nigeria” without for once collecting a penny, offering or asking for money from anyone. Terrible things, miracles that had never been witnessed in this land or in any land, and many that will never be witnessed again. Yet for all these, how much offerings were collected? All were in agreement – churches, Muslims, traditionalists, newspapers – that this is God.
Today, the god of the modern church, the god of the effete religion of butter and bread requires money to do anything. The other day, another of the votaries of modern Jezebelism says she married as a virgin and all her children married as virgins. Then the shame: whoever wants the same grace should send offerings only to her and her church for the grace. How about that? You can always predict our pastors these days. Everything ends with sowing a seed, giving offerings and it must be to them. If it is Grace that kept your children from formication as virgins, why do people need to give money to you? Are you the Owner of the Grace? Why not direct them to the One Who suffered on the Cross to make that Grace possible and available?
The words of Renan have come to pass over Nigerian Christianity: “If you love Christ, then you should leave the church”. It is a sad day but it is true. Those who really love Jesus must separate from this counterfeit Church, this Harlot Church, this Jezebel system.
“Don’t forsake the assembly of yourselves”- some have said quoting the words of Paul out of its context. But that is not the message of this hour. The message today is: “Come out of her my people, come out of Babylon that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues”. The plagues are coming. Examine your foundation before it is too late. S.G. Elton’s words now appear set for fulfillment: “God will use the enemy to shut many churches in these last days”.
In 2001, there was a bomb blast in Ikeja and by the close of the day over 1000 people had perished. In a city with more churches than shrines, where almost everyone is “born again” and where pastors are more than craftsmen – a tragedy of monstrous proportions took place and not a single church or fellowship or assembly saw this tragedy ahead or had the power to deflect or abort it. Why? If we are a wise people we ought to ask: Is the Lord really in our midst? Is the God that most churches and pastors called upon the same as the God Elijah, Moses and Babalola called upon? It is not a sin to ask question and our God even asks us to come and reason with Him. He created the mind. He cannot be intimidated by reason. The greatest alibi of the modern church is that many never think and most Nigerians, as a rule, do not think. Perhaps they misread Moses’ 8th commandment: “Thou shall not steal” to mean ” Thou shall not think”. Perhaps that is why we are a nation of thieves and a land without thinkers.
".. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God... "
What if the God your pastor or churches called upon is not the True God?
Now consider the following facts to help you think.
- In the old times, pastors or priests were the ones who suffered because answering the Call was synonymous with taking the Cross. The elements of suffering and denial was there because of the Cross. But so also too was the power that followed them and the conviction that followed their words. Today there is a reversal. There is no more suffering in priesthood, it is the members who are now famishing while the priests grow fat just as it is in traditional religion.
*The message of old was about the Cross, about the Majesty of God, about the utter depravity of human nature and necessity of reconciliation. Today, it is about self, achievement (what the mind can conceive it can achieve, turning scars to stars,) and other sloganeering of Motivation. The Cross has been taken away “and we know not where they hide it”.
The cross is the power of Christianity. Once you take it away, you not only lose, you are lost. That is why there is no conviction again after sermons. That is why Christians and non-Christians think and look alike now. Have you noticed that some Pastor (Mrs.)/Rev (Mrs.) and actresses of Bollywood now look and dress alike? If our women cannot be distinguished from the women of popular mass culture, the gods of entertainment – is it difficult to see that they might be standing in the same place?
The God of old Christianity told people what He wanted and passed judgment on people, customs and habits. The god of today accepts what people want and the judgment passed on him. He lives to make people happy, successful, rich and prosperous. The God of Abraham will not be a slave to any man’s ambitions. He does not share His Glory with man.
This leads to another reality: if the Land of Israel or let us say a church now was without the True God, then she cannot have the True Jesus.
“Whosoever denieth the Son the same hath not the Father, but he that acknowledged the Son hath the Father also”. (1John 2:23).
It stands together or falls together. You cannot serve the True God and not serve Christ or follow the Man of Galilee and not serve the True God. If there is doubt about the god of modern Christianity that doubt is even accentuated by the Christ of God. There is the Historical Jesus, the Man of Galilee who appeared on the earth around 4 B.C during the reign of Augustus Caesar in the land of Palestine in the empire of Rome and died around 30 A.D tried under Pilate and crucified and rose on the Third Day. Forty days later, He ascended to Heaven without rocket, defying gravitation. That is the True Jesus.
There is however “Another jesus’- the Jesus of other religions, of Rosicrucian, of Islam and secret societies. This jesus did not have a Cross and he did not die or rose. This is the jesus witches and familiar spirits call and nothing evil would happen to them because he is their jesus. This is probably the jesus of the Koran who we are told did not die on the Cross. That is why he hates the cross and denials. The Authentic Jesus took His Cross and asked His followers to do the same. The “New jesus” has no cross.
The True Jesus was no friend of the world and of the world’s systems but the new jesus sees nothing wrong with the world and of innocent enjoyment of its pleasures. The True Jesus taught renunciation of the world while the other jesus taught similarities between the world and partnership with it. The True Jesus would have nothing to do with Herod or Pilate; this new jesus courts celebrities, cultic politicians, bank embezzlers, con men and others and even serves on their altars just like Jeroboam.
From the little I have said so far, now look at the modern church and tell me which Jesus is calling the shot at the present time.
There is the True Spirit, the Holy Spirit of truth and there is “another spirit”. Since the Holy Spirit is to bear witness to Jesus then if the True Jesus and the True God are not present, He too will not be there. The Spirit of old time convicted people of sin, reproved pride, arrogance, vain glory. The new spirit has no conviction. You could leave the top of a woman that is not your wife today and still mount the pulpit to preach and the new spirit, the spirit of Antichrist, the animal spirit of this current age, will not protest. She will even acclaim you. The other day, armed robbers in Abuja confessed that they leave the church for robbery operations. So much for church!
In the Holy Ghost Services of old, terrible things happened. When God descended in Fire on Ilesha, according to Prof.Oshun’s Inaugural Lecture, “people collapsed even as they approached the town of Ilesha, some while getting near Oke-Ooye and others at the Revival site due to the overpoweringness of God”. Witches and familiar spirits fled when True Fire appears. Woe betides that cat who meets a lion in combat. But today in our Holy Ghost Services, what is happening? It is witches and familiar spirits who are even ushers, they too come to receive inspiration and empowerment to further perpetrate evils. And nothing happens to them.
So, has God changed? Has the Holy Spirit changed? Is He still the same Holy Spirit of 1930 or “another spirit”, a serpentine spirit? Is it the same Jesus of Nazareth or “another jesus” that the fathers did not know? Is the True God still in our midst?
“Now for a long season Israel was without the True God….”
Arise Oh Lord, do what only You Can do.
“A tree is known by its fruits…”
“By their fruits ye shall know them”.
Two things concerned the fathers of old-time Christianity: the root and the fruit. The Mystics, Reformers, Puritans, Quakers, Anabaptists and others looked for two things: the root and the fruits. But since they cannot see the root, they focused on the fruits. They didn’t accept anyone to be a Christian because he says he is one. They checked his life to see whether the fruits of Christianity, of righteousness and holiness were present in the life. If they did not see the fruits: good works, love, humility, piety and others, they did not bother to waste their time about the fellow. Let me quote John Calvin in his masterpiece, Institute of Christian Religion: “For properly speaking we cannot say that God is known where there is no religion or piety” (p 40).
Let me translate that into modern language. “We cannot say that someone is a believer in God when there is no evidence of virtue of honesty, reverence, holiness etc. in his life”. Later Calvin defines what he means by Piety – “By piety I mean that union of reverence and love to God which the knowledge of his benefits inspires” (p.41).
Theirs was a practical religion. Their Christianity beams with the sound and fire of God. They were sound in logic. They were profound in their thoughts. And what they built survived several generations and the world is a better place today because they lived. They believed that if there is a proper Root in the life, there would be proper corresponding FRUITS to bear witness to it. Christ is the Root and if Christ be the Root in the life, then we should expect to see the FRUITS because Christ will act like Himself, He cannot deny Himself. If He lives in a place, He will show Himself in the same conduct and practices that we know Him with. That was their logic. They did not accept just anyone because you said you are a Christian or preacher or whatever. They looked for the fruits that bear witness to salvation.
Many of you may not know this, that even the Primitive Church, the Early Church did not just welcome anyone to its membership until they were sure that they could see the evidence that they were followers of the King. Perhaps that’s why they were called atheists and cultists. The Root determines the fruits. But the root of a tree cannot be seen because it is in the ground. The only way we can judge is by the fruits. If you say you were born again and Jesus appeared to you and called you and anointed you, we cannot verify that because we were not there when it happened. But there is a test, a scriptural and historical test we can apply: what fruits come out of your life, works and ministries? That thing that you said Jesus called you into, what are the fruits and where are the fruits? What fruits does your life bear?
We can extend that question further: what fruits does modern Christianity bear? Look all over around you – in the nation, society, education, business, politics and democratic groups. What fruits does modern Christianity bear? Look at the lives and thoughts of preachers, ministers, Christians and compare even with others. What fruits do you see? Just yesterday, an Abuja pastor was accused by one of his own of fornication – the kind of fornication that is even rare among unbelievers and of taking ladies in his church in a serial ‘sexcapades’ and this is known to his own pastors.
“By their fruits you shall know them”. Satan too gives anointing and power to pastors to prosper and that power is usually renewed by fornication and regular adultery. Sex is a tool of renewal in Satan’s kingdom. It is not for nothing that every occult meeting of satanists usually ends with sexual orgy. It is not for nothing that before cults, campus cults admit to membership they must see evidence of a violent rape with the pant of the lady involved. You now understand that why sex is now on every lip, newspapers and how to enhance libidos another source of money for herbal merchants and aliphatic medicine. (By the way, there is a Jezebel on one of our popular newspapers who is coaching men and women how to enjoy and have great sex and she is a “minister” too. To boot, she also sells medicine too and concoction).
“By their fruits you shall know them.”
“A tree is known by its fruits…”
Today, we look for some other things as proof of Christianity: appearance, prosperity, brilliance, outspokenness, ability to quote scriptures and preach, and miracles. All these are wrong. There is nothing in Christian theology that a thief cannot master or preach. There is nothing that makes a sweet tongue impossible for sinners too to possess. Today all over, you can see the fruits of modern Christianity in our nation and even in the church.
The Christianity of Peter and Paul produced Martyrs and heroes in record number until Rome bowed with its antichrist religion. The Christianity of Augustine produced great thoughts, sound theology and depth that would prepare the church and Europe for that murderous and barbarous zealot and jihadist two hundred years later. But for Augustine’s ‘Just War’ theology which allows Christians to bear arms and defend their lives and lands as against the pacifistic religion of Early Church, Europe might not have survived. That murderous religion with its warrior prophet would have conquered the world. Till today secular scholars pay homage to Augustine and his Confessions is taken as the beginning of standard autobiography in Western Civilisation. That was the fruit.
The Christianity of the Crusaders was a practical one, a no-nonsense Christianity. It met the army of Islam with fire for fire. No, it met Islam’s fire with greater fire and terror with greater terror. It dislodged the Muslims from the Holy Lands of Jerusalem by force of both physical and spiritual arms. Although they went into excess and overreached themselves, for once the world “knew” that there was God – by fire and by force. The kinds of provocation that sprang the Crusaders is now happening presently in our nation and soon history may repeat itself. The Crusaders led the world to know that there is another side of God: Terror and Severity. That Jesus is not only a Lamb, He is also a Lion – the symbol of terror and hostility and swift destruction.
The Christianity of Reformers fought battles to free the minds and spirits of men from ecclesiastical tyranny and imperialism. They built education centres, knowledge systems that would free the people from Romanism and its associated evils and concomitant heresies. They fought physical wars to secure the right to serve God in their own ways. They paved the way for democracy and free Enterprise system of capitalism. That was the fruits.
The Christianity of the Puritans entered into the world and took over. They didn’t for wait praying for things to get better they entered and forced the issue and made it better. They staged Revolution in Britain and led by Cromwell, they installed a righteous government and overthrew the concept of divine rights of Kings. They removed Charles I from the throne, a budding Catholic on a Protestant nation, an aberration. They brought God into the world rather than withdraw from the world. And brought the nation of America into being. Yale, Princeton and other centres of great learning were founded by Puritans. Harvard was equally founded by another church.
The Christianity of the Quakers challenged orthodoxy, popular conventions and changed business practices. They brought honesty to business and life and refused to bow to human potentate. George Fox’s encounter with Cromwell remains a case in history of incorruptibility. Cromwell had ordered Fox to be brought to dine with him. But Fox refused saying “I will not eat a bit of thy bread nor sup of thy drink”. Cromwell the Great Protector himself then said: “Now I see there is a people risen and come up that I cannot win either with gifts, honours, offices, or places; but all other sects and people I can”. (See Journal of George Fox p.106) Can a modern Czar say this today about our religion? The Quakers brought prosperity because God blessed them. Cadbury was a Quaker, Hemnant, and William Penn who founded the State of Pennsylvania were just some of their leaders.
The Christianity of Early Methodists sent missionaries into heathen lands to preach and provide conveniences of life. The religion of Wesley and Whitefield was a practical religion. They brought schools and hospitals that the poor could afford. Ask if there is a family in Ilesha today who has never benefitted from Wesley Hospital. The Christianity of the Aladura was a vibrant Christianity with a soul and a voice. It could hear and it could speak and it brought a change to our nation within its own time.
Theirs was a practical religion, a religion with fruits that we still see today. They acted. They fought injustice practically, totally and completely to standstill. They didn’t wait for God while the society was collapsing before them. They moved because they believed the scriptures that “the heaven of heavens were the Lord’s but the earth He has given to the children of men”. They fought if it became necessary. They struggled and engaged the powers of evil. They fought the enslavers, the evil business cartels and stopped slavery and in America, they fought a Civil War to abort that evil. It was a Christianity without compromise, it was a Christianity of action, of social involvement not withdrawal. A Christianity that cannot pretend not to see the woes of the poor and the socially disinherited. The Abolition was a Christian movement from within Methodism and Anglicanism that abolished slavery even when in the other religion, slavery still thrived because even their prophet held slaves just as their latte- day apostles are doing with abduction for money and rape – mere brute beasts.
Now, what are the fruits of our own modern Christianity today? What fruits can we see today of contemporary Nigerian Christianity?
One is apathy. Sheer indifference that verges on criminal irresponsibility. No one wants to take responsibility. No one wants to risk his life. No one wants to die but to enjoy peace and blessings and prosperity while others can do the dying for us. Why should unbelievers be more concerned about evil in the nation than us? Why should they take all the actions in popular struggle against unrighteousness while we are quiet and content with our withdrawal? The Christianity of Luther, Fox, Knox was a Christianity of engagement and action, a religion of Confrontation. It is not a religion of surrender and abdication. Knox did not run away from Queen Mary; it was Mary who ran away for Knox.
Today I see the fruits of our Christianity in the apathy so common among Christians. We are not ready to do anything. Just be receiving. No action. And faith without works is dead. Today we see this effect in our nation a “spectacularly- misgoverned nation”. These are the fruits of wrong preaching over the years, fruits of neglect of the Cross.
The previous Christianity took the Cross seriously and because Christ the Lord laid down His life, they were not afraid to lay their own lives too even if in a righteous war to fight evil. Today, the Religion of selfishness that we have encourages only gains and blessings, not suffering or denials. We would rather wish Christ to do all the dying and others do all the suffering for us while we enjoy the benefits. That is why we are in this mess and it would get worse. Because the false Message will always bring its false fruits.
The Christianity of no truth, no commitment, no love except for what you can get. No solidarity. Why should there be more fraternity and solidarity among cultists than Messengers of Christ? Doesn’t that tell you that we have missed the road somewhere? Why should there be more unity and faithfulness, fidelity among Ifa priests and herbalists than among supposed followers of Christ?
Don’t tell me what or who you are, your fruits will bear you out. Nigeria is now one of the most corrupt places on Earth and one of the centres of extreme poverty. That is the fruit of our own religion, our effete Christianity. Britain was on top all the days of the Puritans; Geneva was world famous for order and progress all the days of Calvin and several years after his death; the seat of the Reformation in Germany, Luther’s seat is still the most industrious till today in Europe; for more than fifty years after Finney, the Midwest of America did not recover from the impact of the soul-stirring Messages of that great soul. They had the Root and the world bears witness to their fruits. Even secular historians of Britain agree that Wesley’s Revivals saved Britain – that “fantastically- treacherous” nation – from the path of a Bloody Revolution as suffered by France.
Where are our own fruits today in Nigeria? Poverty, mind-boggling corruption, chaos, counterfeit Revivals – occultism, campus cults, crony capitalism and suicide. Where are the fruits of our religion? They can be seen in our students, politicians, civil servants, immigration, customs, army – that was described by a retiring Chief of Staff as an “army of anything goes”; police that is, barring a divine intervention, beyond redemption and remediation, customs that even clear the way for smugglers, pastors that took power from women.
These are the fruits of your religion of butter and bread, effete Christianity. Some people believe I am rude, that my language is uncivil of the church. Can I be honest with you? I am not harsh enough, in fact my language is mild compared to Bunyan, Luther, Puritans or George Fox. Read their journals and books. Many of you have seen me weeping publicly in the midst of a sermon or prayers. Am I a coward? Do I look like someone afraid of anything or anybody? Ask my wife. But the conditions of this Church and of this nation and the lack of purpose or coherence among even those who claim to have the truth break my heart.
Where are our fruits? The reformers changed the world, they built institutions that are still with us today.
Where are our own institutions? We built universities which a middle-class person like myself cannot afford not to talk of the poor. We establish franchises which we call churches that will most probably bring shame to Christ instead of glory nor survive us after death. And the more of these franchises the steeper Nigeria goes well into the ditch.
Our Christians cannot even meet the world’s standard of morality. Babylon now glories over Zion and Egypt sings a song of approval over Jerusalem. All the bank directors that were removed during the last financial upheaval due to graft were Christians. The one who stole 140 billion of depositors’ funds and shareholders’ funds is a member of our Expressway Church. The president who tried to bribe his way to a Third Term even purports to preach the “gospel”. Many of our Christians now do with daring what even Muslims would think twice about. These are the fruits of your Christianity. This is why I believe something is fundamentally wrong.
- Religion of Selfishness
One of the bitter fruits of effete religion of our day is selfishness. It has made people to focus only on themselves, their interests and nothing about others. I, Me, mine, my, I … those personal possessive pronouns define modern Christianity. The Christianity of Peter was a selfless one; the Christianity of Luther, Fox and Wesley was a Christianity of renunciation for public good. That was why Wesley could not afford to have two silver spoons while there were citizens in Britain who lacked bread.
Today our Christianity allows private jets, oxygen beds, palatial mansions, luxury of Hollywood style that even Charlemagne or Louis IV would have wondered about. All these, in the midst of squalour and endemic poverty of the worst kind. Now you see why I always weep? Why I have become Nigeria’s weeping prophet? Where is unity today in Christianity? Where is solidarity, community among believers? Have you considered Muslims? Or even the radical community, the followers of Marx and Lenin? Itse Sagay, – the same man who has now become the able defender of Buhari’s uneven anti-corruption war -, Festus Iyayi and another colleague were sacked by the University of Benin where they taught, on the orders of military junta of Babangida. They were thrown out of their apartments like dogs. What happened? Alao Aka Bashorun took up their case. Without collecting a penny from them. That is not all. Every month he would send Femi Falana to Benin with the salary of these three lecturers paid by his chamber to support them until they were reinstated.
Aborishade was sacked from Ibadan polytechnic. Fawehinmi continued to pay his salary from his pocket while he fought the case on his behalf. Tell me, is it fair to Christ that the followers of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, men who denied the existence of God, should have more solidarity, love, and bonding than the One Who gave His Life for humanity? Should socialists and materialists tell us about love? Do you see why I weep?
That is modern Christianity for you. The religion of selfishness and self-centred individualism. Have you seen the wicked betraying one another? Have you seen the Ogbonis betraying one another; no, they stand by each other. Socialists and Marxists stand by each other. Only the pretended followers of Jesus work against each other.
That is why when you say Jesus is coming and some say they are expecting Him I laugh and also cry. If Jesus should come now, it will be to destroy many of you who claim to be His followers. Because you falsely portray Him to the world and drive people away who would have naturally come to Him. You know He is not coming as a Lamb again to be spitted upon, He is coming as a Lion – in power, glory with anger, hostility and terror. Soon you will see what I am saying that the “Terror of the Lord” must be avoided.
“By their fruits you shall know them”.
What fruits does your life bear? Where are your fruits? Can we see the fruits – patience, love, truth, meekness, hope, genuine converts, Holy Spirit inspired works in you?
A tree is known by its fruits. I sincerely pray we ponder on these issues and make our ways right with Christ while we still have the chance, and bring glory and honour to His Name, God helping us.
Moses Oludele Idowu is an author and writer, an apostle by calling. He is the Convener of Apostolic Christianity Network.