Letter To Bishop Oyedepo: Thou Shall Serve No Other God, By Adeolu Ademoyo

Dear Bishop Oyedepo,

Based on the foundations of our faith in the Acts of the Apostles whereby as Christians we are urged by the living God to proclaim the Gospel with joy, great enthusiasm and minister to the poorest among us, I bring the word of God to you with respect to your decision to be part of the 2015 elections and what they hold for the poor and most vulnerable among us –the friends of our Lord Jesus, our Emmanuel-God among us.

Ordinarily, it ought to be presumed that as a Bishop of your Church that you are aware of this divine message, which rests on the divine unity of the Body Of Christ. But your recent decision which divided members of the Body of Christ in your Church-Winners Chapel, Ota, western Nigeria- when you  openly asked them to pray for President Jonathan’s success at the polls, and, which led to the open resistance of your curious prayer point has justified this reminder.

The Incorruptible Body of Christ rests unmistakably on Joy To The World for that Joy To The World is at the core of His Word among us, which is at great risk given your embrace of the source of major corruption in the land-President Jonathan, who is the source of the misery, poverty, joblessness, un-employment of the poor and vulnerable who our Lord Jesus calls us to minister to and proclaim the joy of the Gospel to.

This message concerns the visit of President Jonathan to your church-Winners Chapel- at the thick of the 2015 campaign during your church’s third service on January 25. President Jonathan was in company of Mr. Jones Arogbofa his Chief of Staff and Mr. John Kenny Okpara Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Board.

Given the way our kind God is working for Change in Nigeria we have it on record that President Jonathan has been sending emissaries to some Pastors to pray for him meaning to pray against change. The information yet to be confirmed is that money is changing hands and the emissary in this transaction where money is being used in hot pursuit of Pastors and the Body of Christ is allegedly Mr. Okpara Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Board.

Dear Pastor David Oyedepo, here is where you come in because you are one of these Pastors praying against Change in Nigeria. And this calls to question our call to serve the poor and most vulnerable among us by our God.

First, as a Bishop, you are expected to say the truth. As a Bishop, you are in the eye of the Nigerian Christian Community. Yes it is true that as Nigerians there are some of us Christians who can reconcile our Christian faith with corruption. There are some of us who in open disregard to the scriptures, which proclaim “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption.
For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. ” Peter 2:19 would force a false reconciliation of the Incorruptible Body of Christ, the scriptures with the insane corruption under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Regardless of this, you have the faith obligation to say the truth before Nigerian Christian Community whether you visited President Goodluck Jonathan, and whether you asked members of the Body of Christ in your church to pray for President Jonathan who has never been a friend of the Nigerian poor and the vulnerable. So Bishop, I have a simple question for you: did you visit President Jonathan, and did you ask your church members to pray for President Jonathan’s success at the polls?

If you did, did you visit with other brother Pastors? If so, who are these brother Pastors? What are their names? Who organized the visit? Nigerians know that your brother Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria who is also supposed to be the president of Christian Association of Nigeria has sold CAN to President Jonathan as part of his campaign structure. Hence, we want to know if Pastor Ayo Oristejafor was part of this visit too.

Now these are what are in the pubic domain. Because the vast body of the laity across all Christian denominations of our faith who are closer to the street conditions of the poor in Nigeria have decided to defend the Incorruptible Body of Christ by distancing themselves from the corruption under President Jonathan, the president has panicked.

The president panicked because unmindful of the history of our nation, he has in a most divisive manner  initially sold himself as “the Christian” candidate. That did not gain any traction among Nigerians and the Christian laity   because President Jonathan’s regime seethes in corruption, and President Jonathan’s social and moral corruption stands in fundamental contradiction to the Incorruptible Body of Christ.

Hence, Nigerian Christian laity have decided to distance themselves from him in defense of the Incorruptible Body of Christ. This is because if someone is a Christian and he/she is going into politics, and he/she wants to put herself forward as a Christian, then such person must go into the roots of Christianity which is a service to the poor, the socially and economically broken, the lonely and the most vulnerable and socially disabled in our society.

This, the Christian-in-politics must do in defense of the Incorruptible Body of Christ. That is, we know a Christian candidate if there is one, and not the mere parroting that “I am a southerner then I am a Christian candidate” like President Jonathan is mistakenly doing in direct offense and antagonism to our individual Christian and moral consciences.

Sir, Bishop Oyedepo, a Christian candidate is not who is dubiously and on private, personal friendship basis anointed by the CAN president-Ayo Oritsejafor, a business man though a Pastor, whose role is transient and who like all of us mortals must account for his service and sins against the poor, before our God.

Rather, the Christian candidate is that who represents the “poor” roots of Christianity as a service to the broken and who then ministers to the spiritual needs of the poor as the poor is lifted out of poverty as we proclaim the Gospel with joy.

Thus a good Christian must run on an anti-corruption platform for the Body of our Christ is Incorruptible. Sir our faith is fundamentally irreconcilable to corruption. Because our anointment is an anointment to serve the poor ceaselessly without season, our anointment knows this.

Dear Bishop, I am not the one talking. It is a voice from the scriptures, which I commit to you thus “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. ” 2 Peter 2:19

But on the contrary, Pastor Oyedepo, sadly, you stated your position on the nature of our anointment. Against, 2 Peter 2: 19, Pastor David Oyedepo, you brought in President Jonathan-a corrupt symbol of the negation of the Incorruptible Body of Christ and therefore of our anointment.

Pastor Oyedepo, you chose to abandon the divine roots of Christianity which is service to the poor, the vulnerable, the broken, the lonely and the socially ignored in favor of the artificially “mighty” and possessor of the transient and finite in our lives.

Pastor Oyedepo, against the voice of the lonely, the broken, the ignored, the economically and socially invisible due to poverty, you chose to align with the transiently “powerful” the finite, the mortal, due to the transient “power” of Oil money.

Pastor Oyedepo I put it to you, due to your worship at the altar of the transient, gold, silver and oil, you divided members of your church. It will take the restorative nature of the mercy of God to restore unity. This is why we must see the end and exit of corruption in our society and lives.

For our God gave us a commandment brought down by Moses form the divine Mount, which says “Thou Shall Have No Other god beside me”. Pastor, do you still remember this? When you bow before oil money as you do, you have created other gods.

When you divide members of your church through intimidation as you do, you have created other gods. When you secretly worship at the Mount of Corruption as you do, you have created other gods.

When you look at the poor straight in the face and you say, “I do not care… I care only about my oil and the money it festoons me with” you have created other gods.

But Pastor at this holy hour, just before the decision remember the voice of the poor from the Nigerian streets. At this hour, there are no Christians, there are no Muslims; there is no young there is no old, there is no literate and there is no illiterate, there is no south, there is no north, there is no west, there is no east; you only have the poor and the transiently “mighty” it is one body, one soul, one divine voice reminding you of the “poor” roots of our faith of Christianity in the Acts of the Apostles and commandment handed over to us from generation to generation saying and beckoning “Thou Shall Have no other god before me… Thou shall serve no other god beside me…” This is the word of our Lord.

Dear Bishop David Oyedepo I leave you to your Christian conscience and the loving and kind hand of our God of Change who is ceaselessly patient and kind and who will welcome us and you anytime we change and return to HIM.

Yours in Christ.

Adeolu Ademoyo Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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