Columns

Ministers of a different gospel

with Rev Canon Chinemerem Uche

It is not a sin to have pastors, priests, and evangelists who relate with politicians and leaders, what is sinful is what they bring to bear in that relationship. Nathan related with David and rightfully and respectfully engaged him in his adultery with Bathsheba. Daniel engaged the Kingdom of Persia and Babylon. Many other prophets ministered to the conscience of the nations and leaders, calling them back to God. Unfortunately in our age, majority of pastors and religious leaders go to these politicians with tongues dripping saliva, all in anticipation of the loot from oil money. All those pastors and priests who danced around the odiously corrupt Governments in the past should have suspended themselves from the ministry by now, while those doing the preliminary courtship dance to attract the current seemingly clean regime should beware!  During the PDP siege on Nigeria, certain pastors were the praised singers and prayer contractors of the regime. Being in Aso Rock was a status symbol that many of these “gods of men” craved. Now that a new regime has come to continue from where PDP stopped a new set of lying prophets have taken over and soon the adoration ground would be shifted to Aso Rock where the song shall be “O come let us adore…” (May be “Him” or “him” I don’t know!)
On the doctrine of “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” [Psalm 103:15], we should look at the larger picture. This scripture did not refer to a class of ordained as we see priesthood today. The Lord was referring to the whole community of Israel, a people called out of the nations to be distinct. Even when these very anointed sinned; God raised people who called them to order like Nathan and others. Men of God are not fascists or feudal leaders who must not be corrected, they are mortals like you and I. Not even an angel would demand the kind of worship we accord our priests, pastors, reverend fathers, bishops, archbishops and popes. This is what an angel did and said when John tried to worship him: “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” (Rev 22:8-9). We must respect our ministers because the Bible urges us to do so: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7). The Bible never instructed us to clap for leaders who have strayed from the path of honour. The Bible only urges us to emulate leaders whose characters are in agreement with that of Christ Jesus.
It is good to sometimes publicly rebuke religious leaders or pastors who have gone astray.  This is so because these ministers go about their shameful activities brazenly and publicly. Their activities are misleading a lot of Christians. When they are publicly rebuked it serves as a way of enlightening those who are confused and being misled by their actions to know that such acts are ungodly. Jude warns of these people: “I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”  If a man who calls himself a servant of God errs, call me to order! I did not say insult him!

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