Is the church an endeavor? Sure. Is the church a spot of non secular alliance with the author? Sure. Naturally, the church as an trade must be indifferent from incorporeal keep watch over. Each will have to no longer be conflated. There’s the tabernacle of God, which no mundane or terrestrial order has energy over, and there may be the project of mammon which will have to post to the rules of the land. Caesar will have to be given his due. The righteous one, Jesus Christ, stated so.
Bishop David Oyedepo, the redoubtable preacher, took umbrage in opposition to the federal government over a bit of the lately signed Corporations and Allied Issues Act (CAMA) which warrants the Company Affairs Fee to droop the trustees of an affiliation or a non secular frame and appoint an meantime supervisor or managers to coordinate its affairs the place it moderately believes that there was any misconduct or mismanagement, or the place the affairs of the affiliation are being run fraudulently or the place it will be significant or fascinating for the aim of public passion. Through implication, the regulation regulates non secular and charity organisations.
Venting at the regulation, Oyedepo accused the federal government of jealousy. He stated he is aware of the “prosperity of the church is making them jealous”. I believe, that is mammon talking.
Pay attention him: “The church is God’s heritage on earth. Molest the spouse of someone and you’ll see the anger of that particular person. The church is the bride of Christ. You understand how a robust guy is while you tamper together with his spouse. The church is the frame of Christ. We’re beneath legal responsibility to offer warnings to depraved rulers so we may well be loose from their blood.”
“The church works at the development delivered by way of God no longer the development of guy. Govt has no energy to nominate other people over church buildings. This can be a secular country. The church is the best asset of God on this nation. Please be warned. Judgment is coming. The Lord says I’ve been nonetheless however now I can stand up. Anyone this is on this deal is taking poison. This may occasionally by no means paintings. I’m looking ahead to an afternoon when any one will appoint a trustee over this church… You’ll’t gag any one. We personal this nation in combination.”
Not anything can be successful in opposition to the church of God – no longer even Hades.
However we will have to situate and contextualise the “church” in Oyedepo’s cadence. The “church” right here consistent with Oyedepo is a few behemoth or unwieldy company. I doubt if that is the church Jesus the Christ intended and established.
Over time, the church trade in Nigeria has carried on as an company defiant to secular rules regardless of incomes its sustenance from worldly interests. Some slightly even pay tax whilst working publishing companies, hospitals, faculties, eating places and different companies. If I’m really not flawed, Pastor Tunde Bakare is among the few clerics who established companies distinct from their non secular vocation.
What’s baffling is that those church buildings, which stand in opposition to rules searching for to put in force transparency of their industry dealings in Nigeria, capitulate to identical rules in a foreign country. As an example, in 2019, the United Kingdom Charities Fee appointed an meantime supervisor for Mountain of Hearth and Miracles Global, the church based by way of Daniel Olukoya. The fee hinged its resolution on acts of fraud within the organisation.
It stated: “The fee is anxious over the trustees’ unwillingness to file severe incidents. The inquiry discovered two alleged incidents of fraud by way of former staff involving important sums, either one of that have been no longer reported till plenty of years after the frauds have been found out.”
Additionally, in 2015, the United Kingdom Charities Fee probed Oyedepo’s Winners Chapel Global over alleged misappropriation of 16 million kilos. Oyedepo didn’t rail in opposition to the regulatory fee. He surrendered his church to the investigation, and fortuitously, his church was once cleared of all allegations. No wrongdoing was once discovered. However why is he up in opposition to identical regulatory procedure for the church trade in Nigeria?
As well as, in 2014, the fee appointed an meantime supervisor for Christ Embassy Global, the church based by way of Chris Oyakhilome. It located its resolution on “severe misconduct and mismanagement within the church’s management, insufficient recording of its decision-making processes and failure to agree to grant-making coverage”.
As an issue of truth, the church trade in Nigeria has incurred a variety of karmic money owed over time owing its trafficking in ”ungoverned” industry interests. In 2017, the Monetary Reporting Council (FRC) sought to convey transparency into the church industry, however the company’s noble endeavour was once resisted and its boss sacked. Now not that any one is alleging that there’s corruption within the church endeavor, however all proprietors of such companies will have to post their organisations to regulatory scrutiny.
We would like a rustic the place issues paintings however we don’t wish to be ruled by way of rules. We wish to are living by way of our personal self-made canons. We agree to the criteria in a foreign country after we jet out, however we persist in our “quotidian Nigerian techniques” after we are within the nation. How can we make growth?
The church holds a powerful position in society. It will have to be no longer be discovered short of ahead of God and guy.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a author and journalist