CHURCH BUSINESS: What legacy are you leaving behind?
By Oludare Mayowa
One of my leaders in faith recently wrote a note on a platform we both belong on his experience during the lockdown imposed by the government in a bid to contain the spread of covid-19 and it was illuminating and took me back to reflect on my own past.
“I found out that the dreams I had while growing up were truncated by the leaders that came into my life. I found out that I lost me to them.” This was an extract from the post by the cleric.
I was struck with awe because his experience was similar to mine and I am sure millions of others who had the misfortune of sitting under some leaders who simply manipulated our innocence and naivety to lead us astray and away from our dreams.
When we were taught about faith, we were not told all that we need to know, rather faith was taught basically to enable us open our wallet for them to spend or believe them as epitome of faith.
We were made ‘to bribe God’ so that he can give us the grace to realise our dream, not knowing that our giving was to enable them live larger than life and ascribed their prosperity as a sign of divine blessing and the quality of their faith.
We were taught to exercise our faith and step out in confidence in assurance that our faith will produce amazing result that is beyond our imaginations.
Indeed, in truth, we confidently step out of the boat to walk on water the same manner Jesus and then Peter did in the scripture. But we were almost swept away and drown by the tidal wave of the sea even when we were not shaken in our faith, as we sank deeper into the bottom of the water.
Still confident that our faith will see us floating back to the surface and in our foolishness, we still hope that our teachers will lend helping hands to rescue us when our faith is no longer sufficient to carry us further.
We were rescued by providence of His mercy, not by our faith or by the helping hands of our teachers who had propelled us to go further regardless of our experiences and the outcome of the experiment.
We came back from the depth of the water to tell our story because of our innocence and not by the faith of our teachers. Our experiences taught us that faith could turn to foolishness if not properly exercised and guided by the instructions from the father of light.
We learnt through the hard way with our experience that it is not faith alone that saved, but faith that is rooted in knowledge of Him who is able to bear us in his hands when the tide changed and the storm ranges.
We realised in moment of time that what our teachers failed to tell us, is that our faith was technically built not on the solid rock but on the assurance of our teachers who had substituted themselves in our eyes for the one who has the power of faith in His hands.
That the principle of faith is guided by the deeper knowledge that comes through the inspiration of the spirit of the creator of the universe and not in believing the miraculous power of our leaders who themselves need to learn to lean on the father of life.
If we had not sank into the bottom of the sea, perhaps we would not have realised the need to seek Jesus and walk with Him.
Our teachers did not tell us that walking on water was not a natural occurrence that could be dare by our ordinary faith.
They failed in their instructions to note the significance of Jesus presence at the scene and His command to Peter on the specific term on that occasion.
They did not reckon with the fact that if Jesus had wanted to make walking on water a natural occurrence for the apostles, He would not have instructed the disciples to enter into the boat to cross to the other side.
They neglect to see that Jesus walking on the water was meant to symbolise His authority over all things and that such authority can only be given by Him alone through His spirit and commandment to those who ask for it.
They did not tell us that our gaze should not be on man because vain is the help of man, but that when we focus on God, the owner of power, and our gaze connected to His face, he will lead us with His power to ride the storm of life.
They glibly show us the example of Daniel in the lion den that it was the faith of the one who was thrown into the den that made him survived the claws of those bestial animals.
In their desperation to make us the guinea pig for their experiments, we deliberately enter into the lion’s cave, with a mind that the one who rescued Daniel from the den would also do likewise for us.
We did not take into account that Daniel did not on his own volition jump into the cave to have a meeting with the lion.
Just like what happened some years back, when a Prophet went into the lion cage at the University of Ibadan zoological garden, we were mortally wounded in our desperations to prove the efficacy of our faith.
They did not tell us that even Jesus did not jump from the pinnacle of the temple when the devil tempted Him to do so, even with the innumerable angels at his beck and call, He recognised the need not to temp His God but spurned Satan instigation.
Their descendants are still following their footsteps till date, pushing more innocent people into the rivers of water; telling them that their faith will make them float in the manner of Archimedes principle of buoyancy.
They are still making more people to jump from the rooftop, in disobedience to the law of gravity as discovered by Isaac Newton.
While we believe in miracles, it’s our firm belief that they are not a daily occurrence that we should base our lives on but that miracles are divine intervention from the one who has the time and season in his hands.
We were once told that too much knowledge wearies the heart, quoting the scripture to back their position, but guess what would have happened to us today that we suddenly find ourselves in the information age, where you cannot survive without knowledge if we had trusted their judgment?
They nearly ruined the salvation of my first fruit, when the innocent child was in a secondary school owned by a religion sect that does not believe in the use of medication and with her expectations that the teacher of the law will practice what they preached alas, that was not to be.
The lid on their hypocrisy was blown open when one of their top leaders in company of some members of the church had an accident and were badly injured and in order not to put a lie to their human indoctrination that forbids the use of medicine for healing, they secretly employed a Doctor to treat their leader while the rest of the people who were also victims of the same accident were left to apply water, line and anointing oil on their own wound to heal.
Seeing their hypocrisy, my daughter nearly denounced the faith until she was brought back to her senses and shown the difference between the church hypocrisy and the efficacy of God’s word.
Am I against the preaching of faith? Am I denouncing the efficacy of miracles? Am I saying that all leaders are not doing the right thing? Nay, far from it, my position is that leaders should recognise the delicate position they occupy and the danger of misleading their flocks with the quality of the word they are being fed, which often is below the required standard.
That they should stop feeding the flock under their shepherd with half baked truth not rooted in the scripture but in human tradition and doctrines.
They should stop teaching their flocks out of selfish interest or based on personal experience but on the truth of the word as stated in the scripture.
The scripture is an encyclopedia of knowledge and wisdom from above which laid out principles governing life with the divine intervention coming to play only when all human efforts failed.
That is the reason God gave the knowledge of medicine to some for healing purposes and only intervene when such administration of drugs fail to yield the desired results due to the counteraction of demonic operations.
That way God had to intervene on behalf of the Israelite when they found themselves helpless at the bank of the red sea where there was no ship to convey them across while the enemies were on their heels to destroy them.
That was the same way He showed up for them when they were thirsty for water in the desert where there was no traces of river to quench their thirst allowing water to gush out from the rock.
That was why God rather chose to open the eyes of Hagai to the oasis within her reach and not create fresh flow of water for her and her son to drink in the desert when she was confused, thinking the end has come.
Spiritual leaders should be conscious of applying the content and context of the scripture in leading their flock so as not to lose their positions and places.#GFD