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Methodist Prelate, Bakare, others speak on Adeboye: Religion : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
Methodist Prelate, Bakare, others speak on Adeboye
Methodist Prelate, Bakare, others speak on Adeboye
January 10, 2017, 05:54:29 AM
FOLLOWING the announcement of new leadership of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Nigeria by the General Overseer, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, on Saturday, more reactions have continued to trail the development.
Pastor Adeboye, at the ministers’ meeting, announced a new General Overseer in the person of Pastor Joseph Obayemi, who would superintend the affairs of the church in Nigeria.
In his message at the meeting, Pastor Adeboye referred to the governance code as he made public his resignation.
However, it has been a potpourri of reactions from members of the church, non-members and clerics of other denominations.
For Folorunsho Odutola, a member of the church in Lagos, there was nothing wrong with the move. “I was actually shocked by the announcement but I am confident that it is in the interest of the church. I have been a member of the church for many years. I know that our father in the Lord, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, will only do what is right for the church and will also ensure that he walks according to the will of God. He remains our spiritual father and nothing can change that.”
Sharing a similar view, Mrs Esther Inem, another Lagos-based member of the church, argued that whatever happened had the knowledge and approval of God.
According to her, “God is aware of what is happening at this moment. I was shocked when I heard the news. The development will not tear the church apart, because we are very confident that all things will work out fine. Whoever God has raised to lead us will lead us in God’s will and favour.”
But Jide Adejina took a more emotional twist to it when he spoke to the Nigerian Tribune. “I almost wept when I heard the news. We have been used to Pastor Adeboye for over 20 years. Many of us feel pained but we are God’s children and we must understand that all things work together for good. We have faith in God and we know that He has our interests at heart.”
Emeka Chukwudi, a member of the church in Ibadan, stated that Pastor Adeboye had repeatedly said that he would one day retire and nothing would change.
“He has repeatedly said that he would retire years before now. Many people are shocked but this should not be so, because we are children of God,” he said.
Clerics also commented on the development with various interpretations of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Act.
Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN), Most Reverend Samuel Uche, speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, stated that “some persons visited the MCN headquarters months ago to find out the process the MCN takes on retirement and holding leadership positions.
“What they said at the time was that they wanted to know the tenure of the MCN, Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic church for heads of churches. I told them at that time that in the MCN, 70 is the compulsory retirement age, even if you are the best cleric the MCN ever produced.
“We also have two terms of five years each. A reverend minister should be able to retire after 70 to give chance for the younger generation. I would advise church founders to ensure they train those who would succeed them when they leave office.”
The Archbishop of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, The Most Reverend Michael Olusina Fape, while speaking with Nigerian Tribune, noted that the development caught him unawares, adding that he was discussing the issue earlier on Saturday with some of the diocesan officials, one of them being a legal professional.
According to him, “from my findings, the issue has been on for some time, probably because of the need to establish probably a kind of separation of powers, especially where financial matters are concerned.
“The irony, however, is that the church, as it were, is not a business venture and what they are trying to allude to are profit-making organisations.
“Of course, I think it may be healthy in a way for the church, so that a single individual does not perpetuate himself in office. I will appeal that the process should be handled in a way that the church is not left in chaos and so that it would not generate bad blood among those in leadership positions.
“I would appeal to those really affected to pray for God’s guidance and grace so that the new regulation would not bring retrogression to the church, or lead to division and unhealthy rivalry among church leaders.
“Whoever aspires to establish a church or whoever is affected should ensure that in the governance or administration of the church, he/she is mindful and raises reputable leaders who would easily step into the shoes of those from whom they would take over. Those affected should understand that the new development is not about rubbishing them. The church is nobody’s personal property; it is the church of God and God can raise anybody to shepherd His own people. They should ensure that the transition process is done in a way that God is allowed to make His choice.”
A cleric of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), who preferred anonymity, welcome the policy, stating that it would give the younger generation opportunity to handle such leadership positions.
According to him, “it is a good development, but the process of leadership varies according to ministries. Different ministries have different approaches to handling such issues. The time will come when a church leader has to hand over to someone else and watch from the sidelines.
“From what I’ve observed in some churches, members become too attached to a particular leader and leadership shift sometimes affect membership. Some members attach so much importance and allegiance to a particular leader and there is the fear of change.
“Some leaders also entertain fear of the future, as to what would happen to the ministry if they leave. As much, I would advise ministries to begin process of leadership change on time, to prevent unhealthy rivalry in church.”
In his reaction, founder, Revelation of Life Ministries, Lagos, Pastor Emmanuel Oluwagbemiga, berated the government just as he called for a stoppage of the FRC regulation.
“It is uncalled for and unnecessary. The mind of God is different from the way and manner that we perceive things. It is wrong for the governments to meddle in things that do not concern them. The church in Nigeria must speak out at a time like this. What is wrong with a church founder spending more than the 20 years in such capacity? I think there are more important things that the government should focus on,” he said.
A cleric with the Nigerian Baptist Convention, who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, lauded the regulation but expressed that caution must be observed.
“The act is in order but the government must be very careful. Pastor Adeboye has only done what is expected of him. Whether there is a policy or not, he would leave one day. It is, indeed, true that things must be looked at from all sides. A person who has served in such capacity for two decades should be willing to allow others come into the picture. This is in the interest of the church as a whole,” he said.
Also speaking on the development, Pastor Patrick Esho of Rabboni Ministry International said the code is not new.
“I remember that I have attended a number of seminars about it in the past. There is nothing wrong with it in any way, as a matter of fact, the church should benefit from it immensely.
“When new laws are made, people are bound to kick against it and this is what is happening with this code, but as a matter of fact, the code is actually in the best interest of the church.
“It is expected to help every church have a well structured management structure in place, instead of church overseers and founders thinking that churches are their personal businesses,” he said.
Adeboye’s action noble –Bakare
The Serving Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, commended Pastor Adeboye and described his act as noble and a demonstration of living by example as enjoined in the scriptures.
Bakare, while addressing newsmen on the “State of the Nation,” contended that nobody could continue in a position forever, adding that it was through the grace of God that Pastor Adeboye was able to see and pick someone who he had mentored and trained to succeed him in his lifetime.
The Serving Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, who spoke against the backdrop of FRC Act, said “whether we like it or not, one day we would have to leave office.”
While narrating a personal experience, Pastor Bakare said “in the past, I would stand there and minister from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m., but last Friday, nobody had to tell me before I asked for chair to sit down. Although I became stronger after the service, I could see that one can’t go on forever.”
According to Bakare, “this is the way I want you to see what happened to Pastor Adeboye. God granted him grace like David to have someone sit on his own throne before he died, but so many people would collapse before they know when to leave.”
The cleric stated further that “there is nothing to fear in complying with law and regulations. We must not be a lawless people.”
Once registered with CAC, you are bound by the law –Rev Adeoti
General Overseer, Victory Apostolic Church, Reverend Paul Adeoti, said Christians should learn to obey relevant authorities, adding that “the truth remains that once you are registered under CAC [Corporate Affairs Commission], you are bound by the rules and regulations.
“Take for example, churches in the United Kingdom are registered under charities and they are bound by certain rules which they have to abide by.
“I believe Nigeria is no exception. If a church doesn’t want government’s intervention or interference, they should not register under the CAC,” he said.
FG’s meddling in church affairs dangerous –Fayose
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, on Sunday, claimed that the Federal Government was meddling in the affairs of churches in Nigeria.
The governor also alleged that it was the Federal Government that made Pastor Adeboye to step aside as the General Overseer of the church.
According to him, the recent law by the Federal Government had created an influence on the leadership of Nigerian churches, as well as with their administration.
Fayose, who spoke at a thanksgiving service for his wife’s 53rd birthday, held in Ado Ekiti, cautioned that the government “must thread softly on this path, to avoid tragedy of monumental proportion.”
Fayose expressed worries that the law would soon affect the smooth administration of churches, adding that it would make other clerics to retire likewise.
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