CHURCHES SHOULD BE REGULATED
Over 75 percent of churches established in Nigeria are not duly registered under the aegis of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) due to religious bigots that some church pastors indoctrinated into the religious circle.
During the era of the late Bishop Benson Idahosa who was the founder of Church of God Mission International (COGM) when ministerial work of God was greatly anointed by the saints and he overtly challenged the then leadership of Alhaji Muhammed Buhari as the Head of State in the military era and present presidential candidate of the Congress For Progressive Change (CPC), who viciously introduced taxes to churches but the firebrand clergy reverted the infamous policy of the government on the churches which every church is presently benefiting from it without qualms or be humiliated by the government.
One of the major challenges facing PFN and CAN is ability for professed pastors to register their ministries under the umbrella of these two recognized Christian bodies that would help to protect the churches across Nigeria in terms government nefarious policies and nothing more. The so-called fundamentalists popularly called as “Boko Haram”has wickedly stormed the Northern churches and killed many innocent Christians without a cause and humiliated the Christian community. At least 45 percent of Christians have been killed since the emergence of this dreaded Boko Haram in Nigeria and property worth millions of naira destroyed while government has failed to provide alternative solution to this crisis. In Nigeria at present, the Christian bodies are weak in terms of stable leadership when compared to other professional bodies in the country.
Some pastors in Nigeria have religiously painted the house of God as a place of getting rich quickly and showcasing wealth of all sort without considering salvation. It sad that one of the respected Pentecostal pastors could pay for the electronic media to showcase his abundant wealth without God’s salvation in his members’ lives. His assertion is that when you come to his church, you will be automatically become a billionaire. Is that the gospel? It is good that a child of God must be blessed spiritually, numerically and physically. But the notion of the church that riches is the major goal should be removed from the system and allow the spirit of God to follow in the saints.
Taking a statistical analysis on church growth among church pastors, it is dawn on the country that Nigeria has the fastest growing churches in the world with ultra modern auditoriums, yet many people are still living in object poverty and while the leadership of the country has no respect for religious leaders except few ones. The fact remains that PFN and CAN does not have strong based religious fathers that oversee the affairs of pastors in Nigeria. Most of these PFN and CAN leaders are mere leaders with no respect at grassroots level of ministry in Nigeria. Some state governors in the country are taken advantage of churches to impose laws on the Christian bodies especially Lagos State and others to pay taxes. The recent PFN meeting in Lagos State to compel all Pentecostal churches to register their ministries under the association of these Christian bodies is a welcome development to know the numbers of churches that operate within Lagos State.
It all depends on the numbers of members such a church pastor controls that is in his or her ministry. Each pastor pays according to its size of the church with a registered identity card to it. Though PFN and CAN are not limited whether we like it or not.
Over the years, most PFN pastors failed to identify with their fellow pastors due to inferior complex in the religious circle. Some courageous pastors that are filled with the anointing of God has challenged government wicked policies without fear of intimidation or favor from any quarters of leadership in the country. The purpose of the church has been totally defeated by some untrained and junk pastors that come into the ministerial work for their selfish interests and nothing else. Some pastors have decided to use the name of God to exploit innocent members of their hard-earn money. I am not hear to judge any pastor but what is right must be fixed to avoid destructive criticism among unbelievers in Nigeria. It is sad that some big time pastors that we celebrated in Nigeria today are not members of these recognized and registered Christian bodies because of mediocre multifaceted attitude which has gravely eaten deep into the religious circle while the PFN and CAN leaders are handicapped to the core. Wealth display is more pronounced in todays’ churches and while salvational messages have been dashed into the thin air. Some top Nigerian pastors have demonstrated their widomite support in the house of God like Pastor T.B Joshua, Rev Infeanyi Albert,Dr Ben Obi,Rev Benedict Eto, Deacon Okeke Micheal, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Pastor Jonah Isreal, Pastor Patrick Ike, Pastor Isaac Emiyede, Dr D.K Olukoya,Dr Chima Okereke, Evang Saviour Ede, Rev Felix Ogadeji, Prophet Goddey Akhagbe, Pastor Barr Okiogbero Jonathan and just mention but a few. Some pastors assumed that after registering with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), there is no need to join PFN or CAN but it is totally wrong to assume that at this present religious crisis in the North.
In nearby African countries, it is difficult to set up a church which the high rate of taxation is alarming which prevents many church pastors not to plant their ministries over there rather relocating back to Nigeria for spiritual safety. Even in foreign countries, preaching is very taxing which they believe that churches make money but in Nigeria the reverse is the case. In Nigeria, PFN or CAN cannot regulate the numbers of churches that operate in the country as companies are regulated in Nigeria. It is good that all churches registered under the PFN and CAN and must have a documented data for every new church and to know the numbers of churches that operate in the country.
Some church pastors have been accused of diabolic operation of the gospel while some do not have a father that trained them in Christ.
Finally, this year 2013, PFN or CAN must checkmate the excesses of some of these so –called pastors and find a lasting solution to the religious crisis in the country and create unity among the Christian bodies without incongruity..
Written By GODDAY ODIDI