Dear Dr Sunday Adelaja,
I have followed your YouTube videos on the Nigerian pastors and the church with serious concerns. I understand that you intend to defend Nigerians from so-called exploitations but there are things you are inadvertently doing wrong. I do not know what your annoyance is but I wonder if you have received the mandate from Jesus Christ himself before setting out to work against the Church. It is essential to embark on a task of this magnitude after heavenly clearance to avoid the repeat of the story of Paul the Tarsus on his way to Damascus.
First, you are bringing the entire Nigerian church to disrepute before unbelievers and you are causing confusion as to what exactly you want Nigerian Christians to do. This is a shame! If you ask them not to associate with Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Adeboye, Prophet TB Joshua, Pastor Chris Oyakilome, etc, who do you want them to associate with? To be clear, can we have your list of Nigerian denominations and pastors that meet your standard, please? One would have expected you to come to Nigeria to open a branches of your church and lead by example and lead from the front. Yet, you stay in Kiev, Ukraine with all the amenities and good socioeconomic environment to cast aspersions on people who are doing their very best to evangelize Nigeria, and indeed the world.
I have been looking for your video on the potential effect of CAMA 2020 on the church, Muslims and other civil society organizations that keep government in check but you are more preoccupied with the church and Pastors? As a Nigerian, I recall that you spoke passionately about voting out Dr Goodluck Jonathan because you believe he is a Christian. You have not updated us on your satisfactions on the state of the Nation since then.
The most ridiculous logic I kept hearing from your videos is that it is the prosperity of the church that caused the poverty of Nigeria as a nation! Are you serious and convinced with evidence on this point? What branch of economics did you use to arrive at this conclusion? I dare say that you are dead wrong as you tend to mistake the role of the church with the role of the government. Governments create wealth for the citizens not the church. Unless you are saying that your members at Ukraine became poor as you became rich and influencial. Even a stupid person will disagree with this logic, yet it is a manipulative phrase to cause a revolt by not just Christians against the church but unbelievers against the church. This too will fail by God’s grace.
One would have expected that your advocacy would give people alternative rather than detaching them from where they get spiritual nurishment. There are thousands of people whose life have been better by associating with these churches you criticise. Of course, your interest is on what is wrong with the church. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are employed by the Nigerian church and they earn a living working for the church. Pastor Adeboye provided the best Lab where Nigeria study diseases such as Ebola, COVID-19, etc. The people working in all the church organizations are not delivering free services. So, it is not just true that the church is a creator of jobs but support people to create jobs and run them sustainably. Effectively, your arguement is that the Nigerian church is a societal parasite and it must be plucked out of the body of Nigerians; it is an evil system,it must be pulled down by all means. This is develish, deceptive, and uninformed.
On the contrary, the Nigerian church is where Christ is now on earth, if you understand the times. Africa and Nigeria is currently important in Church history. As you are aware, many churches have been turned into supermarket, pubs or closed in Europe, but Nigeria is in the forefront of spreading the gospel around the globe. The Nigerian church is in every country of the world and they provide home church for Africans and others who need spiritual rejuvenation. If you achieve the destruction of the Nigerian church, and let us suppose you have your wish, it means that Africans may not have places to worship God in countries where they travel to. You are not thinking about this because you are not looking at the entire church systems that deliver the gospel and sustain the daily administration of the church as an organization on earth. You must understand that the kingdom of God is “of” the spirit but “not” in the spirit. Thus, the church must acquire and maintain earthly logistical apparatuses to advance the gospel. It is believers who will foot the bills not unbelievers!
To rephrase, Church as the body of Christ is different from church as an organization that needs to pay bills, pay workers, prepare a conducive environment for people to worship God. Do you mean that a poor church is better of than a wealthy church? Do a video of poor Pastors and Bishops who are barely surviving in Nigeria and show us how that suffering has furthered the gospel. Or are you saying that ALL are equally rich? I do not understand your anger and illwill against the Nigerian church. Does simple logic not tell you that if the Bishops and Pastors who are doing well have impoverished their members as it were, they should have become poor as well. You cannot kill your host as a parasite and still live. On the contrary, people give because they keep getting. Ability to keep getting is what is called financial blessings. Are the Nigerian Christians asking for your help, as a self acclaimed Messiah, to come and save them? If they are, how many have you stopped from going to church? To repeat, is your objective of castigating the Nigerian church and church Leaders to depopulate Nigerian churches? This is because you are not offering them alternative Pastors or faith. You simply want them to withdraw their support from the church and allow Nigerian church to retrogress. I am amazed at your reasoning ability, strategic thinking quotient and goal-orientation.
Let me tell you and the world that it is your commercial interest that drives you into criticising Nigerian church and Pastors. Like Judas, your only interest is the pot of money. I am aware of the “social media business model” which the creators grow in popularity and income by attacking popular figures and generating controversies online. This is what your friend Daddy Freeze is doing as well. While I wish you well to do your business and become wealthy, you need not abuse the church and use fellow pastors and workers in the vineyard as social media income generator! You deceive people that you love them and care for them and request them to subscribe and increase your followership – which translates to income. Youtube and other channels sell advertisement from which you make income and you sell your books and branded products while generating hatred against the Nigerian church. Do you fear God at all, Dr Sunday Adelaja?
Another plausible reason for your passion to pull down the Nigerian church is that you may be receiving funding from anti-christianity organizations. Of course the visible approach requires you to strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter. This is exactly what you are doing because you are more focussed on discouraging Christians in Nigeria without offering them your church as an alternative.
If you love the Nigerians, do you love God? You cannot claim to love God and love the people with your current approach. I expect that you generate intellectual discussions on models of funding alternatives for 21st century churches that will replace tithes and offering. Show how you have used such frameworks to prosper the gospel at the scale Pastor Adeboye and Bishop Oyedepo have done. No theories and postulations – only works! Even at your present standard of life, what can young people learn from you, I am interested in referring young people to you. What role model do you represent? Who are you? What have you done for others? I have referred people to watch videos of Apostle Joshua Selman, who is doing a great work for this generation. You need to make a contribution other than generating money from disparaging Church leaders in Nigeria.
Finally, I challenge you to debate your position with the others with opposite views. Engage them more constructively instead of resorting to insults. I think you should stop using the church and Pastors to generate income and popularity while you decieve many Christians who are simple minded. Engage in debates and help the church globally to innovate alternative funding and financing of church activities based on the realities of our time. I challenge you to a debate on this issue. You have held unchallenged views on this matter for a long time.
I hope you will reflect deeply on your vituperations and desparaging of the Nigerian church and heroes of faith. Christians like me will no longer allow you to deceive people because you think that speaking from abroad will elevate your fallacies to truth. Enough is enough!
For Christians who will read this. You must find a church where you can contribute your time, energy, money and other resources to serve your God. When you serve God, build a personal relationship with God and pray that the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus Christ to you. Give money you can afford and take care of your family, poor neighbours and community. Do not believe anyone that tells you that you will become poor by giving to others. Of course, not just to church, give what you can give to people in need. Be like Christ.
Written by Destiny Chukwuma