Let Nigerian Pastors Preach Peace To This Nation – Afelumo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Let Nigerian Pastors Preach Peace To This Nation – Afelumo

PastorWale Afelumo
Posted: Sep 10, 2016 at 5:16 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

Pastor Wale Afelumo, the Lead Pastor of Inspiration Life Community Church spoke to Suleiman Bappa, about his church’s activities, upcoming one-year anniversary and some critical issues of national interest.  Excerpt:

Kindly comment about Inspiration Life Community Church and some of your activities since inception?
Inspiration Life Community Church is about eleven months and a few weeks old. We will be one year on the 13th September 2016. We are about 500 members on regular attendance on Sundays. We are a Pentecostal Church, and we believe in the Word of God as the authoritative truth in all matters; we also believe in self-actualisation for all our members and their fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives. In so doing, we are also contributing in raising good citizens of Nigeria.

What role does the clergy in Nigeria play in ensuring peace in nation building?
First of all, I believe it is important to let the members know that it’s critical we do our part to have a peaceful atmosphere, because in the absence of peace, you cannot even practice your religion. As my people say, ‘You don’t put fire in your ceiling and go to bed;’ we can’t create a tumultuous and chaotic Nigeria with our words and by our actions and expect to have peace in our religion or in our land. So, it is the role of the clergy to first of all preach the word of God. Jesus Christ called us all to be peacemakers. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” So as much as possible, we should speak peace, preach peace and sometimes when you feel strongly about a matter, you should apply wisdom. When I look at the social media today, you see religious debates, tribal debates.  If you don’t want to preach peace, please keep quiet and do not add to the fire. So, I think what we preach from the pulpit should be to tell our people to seek the path of peace, because when the country is one and at peace, we can practice our religion in peace.

The country is going through hard times and as a pastor, some of your members are also going through harrowing situations. How do you manage to keep the congregation?
Well, it is true we are facing challenging times as a nation. Years ago, most people would never have thought that we would be in this situation today, although some economic experts had been looking at certain trends to predict where we are today. For the average Nigerian, the exchange rate between Naira and US Dollar is the thermometer he uses to check the temperature of our economy – and that right now, is very hot! One of the things I know is that ‘tough times don’t last but tough people do’. Between January and February this year, God directed me to prepare the people for the times ahead. We did a series of messages titled “Money Wisdom In Uncertain Times,’’ to provide money wisdom to everyone in these financially tough times, teaching them that they should first of all re-appraise their spending; that is, let’s learn to save, let’s invest, look at your business dealings, and also ways you are bleeding financially.

Some men of God, like Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church and others have predicted that Nigeria will soon come out of this ugly situation. What is your prediction? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel?

Well, who am I to talk when the ‘big boys’ have spoken? Haha! Yes, there are two ways to look at it, when you check the mind of God generally, things are supposed to get better always. We do not have a God that is wicked, who when you go down, keeps pushing you down and down until you get destroyed; that is not the nature of God, so I believe the mind of God will be ‘How I desire that My people will come out of this.  How I wish that things will get better’. Just like any father, if your child comes home with a bad report sheet from school, the father will pray that the next time the child will do better, and as a father, you will hire lesson teachers to coach your child, so that next time he will do better.
But on the other hand, the responsibility now falls on us; we started looking at the illustration of the father, the mother and the child. If the child comes home with a bad report sheet, you will pray for the child, you will encourage the child; you will get him a lesson teacher. It is the responsibility of the child to take advantage of every lifeline that you offer to that child; you will tell the child that you have been through similar situations in your business, but you came out of it. So, yes, the mind of God is that, the situation won’t last. But, as a people, we need to take responsibility and make certain adjustments, cut down on certain spending, remove our hands from certain immoral acts and put our acts together; then you will find out that the desire of God will come to pass. Two cannot work together unless they agree. So yes, I see light at the end of the tunnel, but we must pull up our sleeves, and do what must be done, so that we will get there.

Many are of the view that Nigeria is suffering for its sins, especially the downturn in the country’s economy today. Would you say that these are signs of end times?
Yes, partly end times, because the Bible says in 2nd Timothy Chapter 3, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away”, and truly when any of these signs comes into any society, what is happening now will happen. When people become lovers of self, lovers of money more than God, lovers of pleasure, when they become rebellious, when they become disobedient, some of these will happen. So yes, I can say it’s a consequence of sin.
But let us look at sin in the religious way, action and reaction, you know, the law of gravity. If you walk off the mountain edge, you will fall; if we put our hands in certain things, we should expect that certain consequences would follow certain actions. So if what we have heard in the news over the years is true – the years of looting, corruption, people taking billions of naira from the system- then all of these will be the natural consequence of such extreme actions.
That is why I said in my earlier answer, until we begin to correct this, we wouldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is partly end times because there is an increase in average love of money, the love of pleasure, the love of self over people, people are becoming more rebellious, more desperate. I am sure you have an email address, a lot of banks nowadays are sending messages through emails, banks you don’t have any affiliations with, will be sending you e-mails, and you know its 419ners asking you to log in.  All these things will make people deviate and will lead to the breakdown in the social structure.

States like Benue recently declared prayer seasons for the state on the economic hardship, can prayers alone solve our problems?
First of all, I will commend the efforts of Governor Artom of Benue State. The first thing into solving any problem is to realise you have a problem, and for me, his calling for prayers means that he has admitted that there is a problem, that the problem is beyond them and that they need help from above. If you allow me to say so, I commend that effort. To even come to that realisation means that we have admitted that we have a problem.
Yes and no, this is how I will answer that, by doing that and getting people there to begin to say, ‘we have done wrong, something is not right’. Prayer is more profitable to them than to God. This is because the process of praying changes the person offering the prayer not God.  If I say God, I am sorry I stole that money, I am realising, even within myself that I have done something wrong, so the consciousness that prayer brings is to attune the mind of the people that something is really wrong.  It is equally important to God that they are coming to a place where they realise that they have done wrong, but the known fact is that it doesn’t stop there. If I tell God I’m sorry that I took a bottle that is not mine, ‘Father forgive me, God forgive me’, when I leave the place of prayer, I should not take the bottle that is not mine again.
So yes, prayer takes us to the point of being sorry for what we have done wrong and realizing we need help from God because we can’t help ourselves but from the place of prayer, we need to rise up and outline our goals and visions. We need to hold ourselves accountable to those goals and visions, as individuals, communities, states and as a nation. We equally need to appraise our budget, spending, and investments to bring our goals and visions to reality

Comments (2)

  • Sep 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm Chidiebere

    Sound reasoning. I totally agree with you sir.

  • Sep 11, 2016 at 10:21 pm Pius Ameh

    Right on point.

Comments are closed.