WHY PASTORS SHOULD SHUN POLITICS
When the Lord Jesus Christ told Pilate in John 18:36 that His kingdom was not of this world, He probably had in mind some of His Nigerian ministers who have unbridled penchant for politics. The Lord never got involved in the politics of the nation, Israel throughout His earthly ministry. His focus was on His mission which was the redemption of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He never got entangled in the affairs of this world. Jesus Christ had this to say about Himself in John 8:29: 'And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him'. Can these ministers say the same thing about themselves? Are they pleasing the Father by their actions and utterances? Is there anywhere they have read in the Bible that the Lord abandoned His ministry for politics? If the Lord, who called them into ministry, is not their standard, who then is their standard?
How can a minister of God abandon the pulpit for politics? To whom is he abandoning the pulpit? At the Bible College, we were told that as ministers of God, we are yoked together with Christ, meaning that we have no mind of our own and that it is only what the Master wants us to do that we do. Ostensibly, what the Master wants us to do is preaching the gospel to the heathen until they are converted, hence the Lord said, Occupy till I come. The greatest desire of the Lord is that we fulfill our ministries, but there is no way we can do that when we are serving two masters at the same time. If indeed we are following the Lord closely and obeying Him implicitly, I am sure no minister will do anything contrary to His will. It is not the will of God for any preacher to abandon soul winning which is of paramount importance to the Lord for a worldly pleasure. How can you please the Lord as a politician and how do you effectively combine ministry work with politics?
The admirers of these political ministers are quick to point out that we need such people in government to bring about changes. I want to state emphatically as a minister of God that as long as the world and its system are under the control of the devil, the participation of a minister of God in politics cannot bring about any change. Some men of God have held some elective offices in the country, but what changes have they brought to their various states and local government areas? A cleric, who once called the shots in one of the states in the country, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged misappropriation of funds.
There is no way a minister of God will get there and his image will not be soiled because he or she will be surrounded by evil men and women who will advise him/her to steal as much public funds as possible. At a gathering of ministers in Lagos recently, a fellow pastor told us how a pastor renounced his pastoral calling as soon as he was appointed a commissioner in one of the states in the South-West region of the country. He reportedly told all and sundry that he was no longer a pastor and that he should now be addressed as a mister. The only way ministers of God can bring changes to this corruption-ridden nation is for us to use the instrumentality of our office to declare war on the wickedness in the land.
If Prophet Elijah could bring revival to the nation of Israel singlehanded by destroying the prophets of baal, we can do much more in this nation. The problem with us is that majority of our ministers are deceivers who capitalize on the ignorance of members of their various churches to extort them. The truth is so scarce in most churches. All you hear is prosperity. I f all the preachers in the country were preaching against evil, Nigeria would have been a better country by now. Nigeria will be a better country the moment these ministers can go back to Bethel where they first met the Lord and promise Him to preach only the truth of His Word. It is only the truth that can set us free in this nation and bring the desired changes and not the participation of any man of God in politics.
Are the vice president and deputy governors no longer spare tyres? That is what we are told they are. If there is no flat tyre, a spare tyre will have no function to perform. What changes can a spare tyre bring to Nigeria?
The office of a minister of God is, no doubt, the most highly revered anywhere in the world and I wonder why an occupant of such office will abandon it to pursue an elective office. But the Lord warns in 1 John 2: 15-17: 'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever'. And in Revelation 22: 11 & 12, the Lord also counsels us: 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be'.
Pastor Wilfred O. Jibril.