By Gbenga Osinaike
Rev Dr. Mike Oye, veteran preacher and well respected church leader who was at the forefront of the revival in Nigeria in the 60s and 70s has come hard on preachers of hate messages noting that those who preach hate and not love hate can’t be of God.
Oye who was the guest speaker at the just concluded Glorious Freedom Assembly organised by West Africa Theological Seminary stated during the meeting that Christians are supposed to operate in love. He said, “If you pray for your enemy to die it is witchcraft. If you pray for your enemy to suffer you are an anti-Christ. The love of God that we talk about should lead us to sacrifice.”
Oye who clocks 80 this year said believers must come to the point of loving sacrificially. “That you showed love and evil was repaid to you does not mean you should stop showing love. Jesus loved and was killed. Our love for people should cost us something. We should be compassionate and loving. You may be holy and not compassionate. Love is higher and bigger than holiness. Love goes all the way to be sacrificial. That is the level God wants us to be” he stated.
When reminded in the course of the programme that the Biblical David prayed against his enemies, he said, “The New Testament believers know more than David. We are followers of Jesus not followers of David. So we should not compare our lives with David. We should aim higher. What Jesus told us is to pray for our enemies and all those who despitefully use us. Jesus asked us to bless and curse not. The apostles also gave such command. David is not our standard. Jesus is.”
The Nigerian preacher who was born and bred in Ghana also told his listeners that “in Ghana love means death in traditional parlance. If you love Jesus you must be ready to suffer. You can’t express genuine love without losing something but the difference is that when you are suffering you suffer with joy and with great expectation”
He stressed further that godliness is different from holiness. “What many don’t understand is that godliness is the total attribute of God. Holiness is a stepping stone to godliness. Godliness has to do with the glory of God. The glory of God is more than a holy life.”
Rev Oye one time lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, a researcher and alternative medicine advocate explained that holiness means separation from sin and victory over sin but godliness means God enveloping himself in and displaying himself in man. It means man becoming an envelope containing God. It has do to with exhibiting the life of God. It simply means your life becoming an exhibition ground for the glory of God. People who are godly may not even need to talk before their life would affect others.”
While stressing that the salvation we have teaches us to say no to sin, he noted, “there are preachers who don’t know the word. What they do is to imitate. There are two ways to preach the gospel. One is by our utterance and the other way is by the way we live our life. The life we live is deeper and has a lasting impact. People may forget what they hear but they hardly forget what they see.”
He said further that it is the power of the Holy Ghost in us that enables us to live for God. “it is God in us that enables us to live for Him without stress and effortlessly. Any man who does not obey his father is not a true child of that father. You know a good son or daughter by the love he shows to his father. The key to the heart of God is love for him and obedience of his commands. It should be willing obedience not forced obedience.”
The octogenarian decried the way many pastors are manipulating their congregation when it comes to giving. “if we teach our members to give we will not have to manipulate them. Our own is to teach them and allow God work through them; not using gimmicks and all kinds of subterfuge to wrest money from them. People should give out of love for God and not out of compulsion. Some preachers rather than support widows in their church would collect the little the widows have. That is not of God. The preacher is meant to feed the congregation and not the other way round. When you feed them with the word and they are blessed they can on their own bless you with their material things.”
According to him, undue emphasis on the gifts of the spirit is a cause of the distraction in the church. “What we must appreciate is that speaking in tongues is just one of the signs of being filled with the Holy Ghost not the sign. It is by their fruit we shall know them not by their gift. Love summarises the law. Preachers should preach love”
He recalled that he was baptised two years before he began to speak in tongues. “When the grace of God comes upon your life it brings with it holiness. Grace is not a license to sin. It is freedom from,” he enthused.
The meeting provided an opportunity for Rev. Oye to challenge participants to a life of commitment. “We are too passive and too complacent in this country. We are weak in faith. But God is looking for people who are prepared to die.”
Read also: Igbo missionary in Niger Republic…says the Lord has given us the deserthttps://churchtimesnigeria.net/igbo-missionary-in-niger-republic-says-the-lord-has-given-us-the-desert/
The ex-SU travelling secretary who surrendered his life to Jesus in 1962 recalled how he was faced with a temptation in 1973. “I recall in 1973 I was in Ikare and some people came to persuade me to go to Borgu somewhere in Kwara State for missions. Shortly after some people came from the US to persuade me to come to the US to preach to some black people and live there. I went to meet the Lord and the Lord told me not to honour the US invitation which was so attractive. The Lord said he has preachers in the US and they would be able to handle the people there but that I should go to Borgu. I had to obey God. But many people thought I was foolish to have done that. God expects us to live our life as a sacrifice to others. We must be able to sacrifice our comfort, money, time and any other resources for the purpose of expanding God’s kingdom.”