Deep Things with Sunday Ogidigbo: Pastors and Jonathan

Sunday Ogidigbo

On daily basis professionals, politicians, artisans, labourers, soldiers, journalist and firefighters are called upon to discharge the duties of their trade or profession. I remember like yesterday when my father shipped off to Liberia at the peak of the civil war in that nation to serve as an ECOMOG soldier. What was supposed to be a six month tour of duty became three years and eight months. Expectedly soldiers are called upon in times of war to fight for the peace.

Doctors are called when there is a medical emergency. Legal cases are referred to lawyers. Fire fighters must answer the call when there is a fire outbreak. It is the calling of teachers to impart knowledge. Entertainers entertain. Michael Jackson with all his talent was never listed as an athlete for an Olympic sport. Society and systems places demand on what you profess except for pastors.

Pastors are the only people whose line of duty is situation, circumstance, time and place specific. Paul in communicating this truth said    “I became all things to all men”. It is a societal fact that Pastors are expected to become what people want them to be, depending on the issue the people are dealing with without any recourse to the reality, feeling or opinion of the Pastor in that material circumstance.

This multi-disciplinary and near superman status is underlined by Pastors as “men of God”. Men of God are supposed to be representatives or better still Ambassadors of God. Since men see God as omnipotent and omniscient, His men are expected to connect anyone to the miraculous power of their employer. The Pastor is expected to be a Doctor when people are sick, a counselor when there are issues, and an activist when there are sociopolitical challenges.

Therefore, It did not surprised me at all when Nigerians of all faith and percussion expected Pastors to lead the protest that greeted the decision of government to remove the subsidy on petrol on the 1st of January, a policy that many describe as an economic petrol bomb. The whole social media platforms were flooded with calls on all Pastors to step into the shoes of Martin Luther King Jnr. That the leading voice at Gani Fawehinmi Park was that Pastor Tunde Bakare, that an Archbishop marched in Akure and many nameless faceless Pastors came out was not good enough.

The calls degenerated to subtle Pastoral blackmail. While acknowledging the role of religious leaders to shape society and influence policies, it is unfair to drag your Pastor into politics or anything for that matter. All are Pastors but all are gifted differently. Pastors are men under authority and instruction. Pastors are men of God; they are answerable to God and God alone. Pastors have to be led by the Spirit and called on him to undertake any task political or otherwise.

It is suicidal to embark on a mission without divine backing. Saul lost the kingdom because he was more concerned about the expectations of the people even when such a position is in direct violation of an instruction or principle of God. John the Baptist was beheaded because he dabbled with politics, because politics was clearly outside of his mandate. Your Pastor is not MLK, and not every Pastor can operate like Tunde Bakare.

Moses as a leader did not go with them to war, he goes up to the mountain where he lifts his hands in prayers until victory is won. Joshua on the other hand led the people into battle. If God called your Pastor to stand in the grace of Moses he cannot operate like Joshua. Not all Pastors are called to detonate petrol bombs. 

Sunday Ogidigbo is the Lead Pastor of Holyhill Church Abuja. Sunday can be reached on psun@holyhillchurch.org or 08095494044.


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  • Bosun

    But they hear from God pray for people who will rob the people blind when such are seeking office? PLease sir, we also read and understand the bible. The Government tried to pertray us as people who did not understand economics, now you try also to portray us as people who do not understand the bible? You do not have to detonate petrol bombs but to stay quiet in the face of evil being perpetrated against the finances and lives of the very people you bully into giving the church their tithes? No excuse sire, no excuse. See Isaiah 58 – God does not need to tell you before you do certain things.

  • simple003

    toooooo bad! ur article stinks, it reeks of poor understanding of the bible, Moses told pharao “let my people go” he even paved way for the isrealites on the red sead.

    we dont need ur foolish comment. Nigerians are suffering and u sit there to post trash. Afterall, ur tithe is sure so why worry.

  • Psun

    The people that know me know that I am a strong critic of government. I was in the committee that planned the Enough is Enough protects. I was part of the effort to release the first set of OccupyNigeria Abuja protesters arrested by the police. I was part of the delegation that met with the human right commission to petition the killing of protesters during the protest. I marched with the group that protested the friday before the NLC general strike…..I did not go alone, I went there with members of our church. I don’t like Jonathan the reason I campaigned for Nuhu Ribadu. I can only take responsibility for what I write, but not for your understanding. follow me @SundayOgidigbo, check my tweets during the strike before you colour me bad. I still maintain that not all Pastors are like MLK and Tunde Bakare.

  • Bosunib

    PSun, my apologies for perhaps jumping to conclusions about your motives if I did. However, I still maintain that you must give people the benefit of the doubt that they also understand the good book. A pastor does not need to go to Ojota, one does not need to petrol bomb Jonathan as you said, but the likes of Oyedepo and the GO surely have an obligation to speak against evil. If a man has come to ask you for prayers when seeking office and without recourse to God and prayer you pray for him, surely when such acts in a completely undemogratic, illegal and duplicitous manner you should say so rather than keep quiet. Oyedepo is happy and proud to slap a completely defenceless young lady in front of 50000 yet will not speak against the evil perpetrated by those in power. I am sorry but Psun as Paul remonstrated with his senior Peter, we also need to point out to these men that their actions are tatamount to suppporting evil – Silence can and will be construed as acquiesence. Have you thought that perhaps these men keep silent because they are compromised in some way? favours have been received from those in power (disguised as obtaining favour from God before the king) and now you can’t turn around and bite the hand that feeds them? favours have been obtained on behalf og high tithe paying members of the church – the same way Elisha asked the Shunamite woman if he should speak to the king on her behalf – and now they cant speak the truth publicly?

    When men keep quiet in the face of evil who ordinarily speak out when weaker people are involved then compromise has taken place.

    And before any silly individual tells me to fear God because of these men, they need to go study the bible well first. Don’t spew any silly scriptures quoted out of context and history pease.
    Thanks PSun.

  • Greg

    I agree that Pastors need divine backing, and are answerable to God.

    However considering the moral backwardness in Nigeria over the last 30 years, and the level of corruption; shouldn’t there be an urgency of the clergy to rebuke corruption in the congregants, and the political leadership?

    With the density of churches especially in southern Nigeria, the impact and fear of God should be very clear. There should be documented media rebuking corruption at all levels by the true men of God. After-all, clearly there is precedence in the bible, and God responds to his peoples prayers.
    Isn’t this so?