In the last few months, I have been actively involved in the social and political affairs of my native country Nigeria. As a result, many of my well-wishers and friends have become very concerned, especially those who don’t really know me intimately. These folks are of the opinion that I am digressing from my main calling as a Pastor, when I focus on writing the so-called political articles hence I write this article titled “PASTOR FACE YOUR CALLING, BUSINESS”
As a consequence and also because of many other reasons, I felt prompted to begin to address the topic of ignorance in a series of articles. These concerns and questions that are sent to me on a regular basis, reveal to me that things are not as it should be in the body of Christ. I am of the opinion that this is either due to a lack of understanding of the Kingdom message or a poor understanding in general of biblical truth. I concluded that the above misunderstandings under-gird most of the fears and concerns that I have become accustomed to in the past few months.
It is easy for anybody to call himself or herself a “Christian” but the truth is we respond from very different world-views. Our world-view determines the manner in which we engage the world. The comments and letters in response to my articles have revealed to me that the Gospel of the Kingdom has not been fully expanded upon to this generation of believers. Many use the word “Kingdom” flippantly. Even though we sing about it in our praise songs, we talk about it in our sermons, yet we seem to still not understand its reality in our daily lives.
It is obvious that the prevalent Christian world-view is not a Kingdom world-view. It appears that the paradigm of the modern Church has mainly been based on some fragments of the truth rather than the comprehensive totality of understanding God and His Kingdom.
Today I am continuing with a title that I coined from a popular phrase that is often addressed to me namely: “Pastor Face Your Business.” When people say this, they mean that I must just stay behind the pulpit and preach. A Pastor dare not open his mouth to speak on issues regarding anything outside the four walls of the church.
My concern is not the fact that other people don’t understand where I am coming from, even though Christians are supposed to be doing what I am doing. What alarms me most is the fact that, even when God has now raised up a voice to speak on these issues, many sincerely believe that I am in error or at worst, that I am doing something utterly wrong. My response has been to deal with these comments based on my understanding that we all are sensitive to change, we don’t really like change. We tend to get irritated when we see somebody doing something that is unusual and unfamiliar to our way of thinking.
Today, my aim is to make a case for the fact that I am actually embracing my business and calling, when I speak about political issues and other issues outside the four walls of the Church.
I’m fulfilling my calling when I raise my voice high,
I’m fulfilling my calling when I raise my voice concerning injustice,
I’m fulfilling my calling when I raise my voice against all wrongs, no matter what is happening and against whom,
I’m fulfilling my calling when I raise my voice for the truth,
I’m fulfilling my calling when I seek to uphold righteousness in all spheres of life.
I’m fulfilling my calling because that is the calling that Jesus gave us all. That is the calling he brought to the earth. That is the calling and the mandate that God the Father gave Jesus to bring to the earth and that is the calling that every Christian, in full-time ministry or not must dedicate themselves to.
I will make my case based on the Holy Scriptures. God’s word says:
John 3:16…19-21 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
The above verses are central to the whole Bible. Most “born-again” Christians are familiar (in the least) with the first part of this Scripture. Most believers know it by heart and can quote it easily, but yet miss the message. Because just a few verses down the line, we see the full picture of what verse 16 was talking about. Let’s examine this Scripture step by step;
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In verse 16, we see the love of God for man and for the world at large. There is an apparent need to save the earth and the means God chose to do this is not by sending POWER. More so God didn’t choose to resolve the problem of the earth by sending PRAYERS. Whenever God wants to intervene in the affairs of the earth, he intervenes through light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom. The general instrument by which God interferes in the affairs of men is by the weapon of LIGHT. Light means knowledge in the Greek language, it can also be translated as illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom.
That goes a long way to say that the most important mission of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth was to destroy ignorance by manifesting light. We see it in the words of Jesus in verse 19;
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
From this passage God himself is referring to Jesus as light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom. Jesus refers to himself as light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom. That is the most potent power in this world. God himself and Jesus, relied upon light to function on the earth. Jesus functioned on the earth through the power of light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom. That is their real power on earth.
If God the Father and God the Son use light, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom to function on the earth, it means that is the greatest power in existence. It is no wonder then when it was time for God to intervene in the affairs of the universe in Genesis chapter 1, He relied on the same weapon- the power and force of light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom. Light was the first thing that came into existence in the order of creation. The same thing happened in the New Testament in John chapter 1. God introduced himself to us as the light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom.
Whenever a nation or a group of people is devoid of light, catastrophe comes, calamity hits, there is danger everywhere.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
This is the condemnation… or you could say this is the destruction, this is the calamity, this is the danger. That the light has come into the world, but men have loved darkness rather than light.
When I look at the Church today, not just in Africa but worldwide, it seems to me that we have come to love darkness even if we are called Church or some other religious names. We have come to love darkness of religion more than seeking for the knowledge of God. We have come to love darkness in the church rather than finding God in creation. We have come to love darkness of religion rather than striving to understand how the world is supposed to function. We claim to have the light in the Church yet we want to lock ourselves within the four walls of that same Church. If we indeed possess light we shall never be afraid to go and face darkness anywhere, anytime.
“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” John 3:20
Scripture states that it is the people of darkness who are supposed to be afraid of us- the carriers of light. Instead it is the Church hierarchy that is rather teaching congregants to be afraid of darkness, instead of teaching them to go with light to overcome darkness. We ourselves are behaving in the Church as if we are afraid of the light, it should not be so.
“But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:21
People who truly serve God embrace light, they fall in love with light, and they proclaim light, they fight with light. They actively look for darkness in order to chase darkness away, they run after darkness, they search for darkness in all its ramifications and destructive consequences. They do this in every sphere; personal, societal and national life, wherever darkness may be hidden.
Why do they do this? They do it because light has come to the world and men loved darkness rather than light. Why should they even bother? They make it their business because God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (light) that whosoever believes in him (the word, light, illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding, wisdom) should not perish (or be destroyed) but have everlasting life.
Friends, I would like to challenge you to do an experiment, in the privacy of your studies. Everywhere you see the name “Jesus” in the Bible, replace it with the word light and see what that does to you. Some other times replace it with the word illumination, knowledge, insight, understanding and wisdom.
The second experiment I would like to challenge you with is: anywhere you see the word “ignorance” or “lack of knowledge”, replace it with darkness or evil and see what that does to you too.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Friends, the light has come to the earth. We now have no right any longer to be in any form of darkness, especially in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. What I am aiming to do with these articles is to bring light wherever there is darkness.
If I see darkness in the Church I bring light to it,
If I see darkness in Christians I bring light to them,
If I see darkness in men of God I bring light to them,
If I see darkness in politics I bring light to it,
If I see darkness in my nation I bring light to her,
If I see darkness in the area of finances I bring light there.
That is the number one assignment of every believer, minister and Church.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja