Home Interview Only immature pastors don’t associate with CAN or PFN-Bishop Taiwo Adelakun

Only immature pastors don’t associate with CAN or PFN-Bishop Taiwo Adelakun

by Church Times

 

 

 

Bishop Taiwo Adelakun is the presiding Bishop of Victory International with branches in and outside Nigeria and also doubles as the Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Oyo State Chapter. In this interview with our correspondent, Abraham Oladipupo, the pastor of pastors, who runs a forum for ministers under the umbrella called International Fellowship of Charismatic Ministries (IFCM) bares his mind on the state of the church in Nigeria.

How will you react to allegations that churches do whatever they like while the PFN or CAN looks away?

We can’t use the energy of the flesh to regulate the things of the spirit. Even Jesus Himself recognises this fact that there are tares among the wheat when He said, ‘let them all grow together’, He will sort them out. We are living in the end time and there is no legislation that can put a stop to evil men. There are people who are charlatan, people who are not called of God. The devil has planted them to smear the ones that are truly called of God. But be rest assured that at the end of the day, the difference would be very clear for all to see. Every effort to use man made law to segregate the wheat from the tears will bounce back. My opinion concerning the now suspended FRC code has not changed. The government are not the employers of ministers of God and they are not there when they were called and as such should not interfere in this area. I think it is at the point of church registration that the government have works to do. The government needs to have a registered standard from that point, once they get it right at that point, other things would follow and quite easily. It is only those who are not truly called of God that are usually found in this evil acts. You can’t be truly called of God and be involved in anti-God activities.  The fact that we now have charlatans or uncalled men should not be used as basis to rubbish everyone, most especially, those who are truly called of God. I will never be part of this 20years retirement or stepping down thing. Take for instance, this year, I’ll be 54 years of age because I started the work of the ministry early and this year marks the 28th years of my ministerial work. If you are asking me to step down from what God has called me into, what other thing do you want me to be engaged in for the rest of my life? Has the God who called me changed His mind? That kind of rule can’t work; it can’t stand the test of time.

PFN in Oyo State

I took over the leadership of PFN in Oyo State about 5years ago. By the grace of God, we have carried out a lot of structuring. We have brought in more provinces from 14 now to about 31 so that we can minister to the people at the grassroots’. We have been going round having crusades and now we are coming to Ibadan because that is the primary reason of our relationship. The target is to make Christ known to the people. We have been to Saki, Igbeti, Oyo, Ogbomoso and now we are coming to Ibadan to do same. We are encouraging our members to be outreach oriented. Jesus express instruction is that we go into the world and preach the gospel. Any PFN Church that is not doing that does not know what we stand for.

What is your view of the PFN President?

On a personal level, he is a person that has been close to me for a long time. I had an encounter with God through him at the early part of our ministry when I got frustrated with the way things were going and I felt like packing it up. It was at that point I saw a banner at Dugbe announcing a national minister conference with the theme, ‘making the minister that makes the ministry’. Because I didn’t have money then, I had to walk long distance to the venue of the conference and I entered the place which was filled beyond its capacity. I was able to secure a sit at the back and this man of God (our current national President) was the one speaking and the message was for me. I recall he said, ‘a glorious gospel has been committed to your charge’. If nobody heard that message, I heard what God was saying. He went by adding that, ‘you are not good, He only chose you and had mercy on you’. He was stretching his hand towards the back and saying, ‘young man’. Then I looked around me and all the people that were sitting around me were elderly men and I knew God sent me there and I got encouraged and decided I was not going to pack it up.

Rev’d Felix Omobude is a man of God with a clear mandate of God on his life who has been doing a lot for the gospel over the years. He served under Bishop Benson Idahosa before he set up his own ministry. God doesn’t just bring people up to take position anyhow without a purpose. I believe God gave him to us for a purpose and he has done a lot. Within this time, we have finished up our building at Lagos, he has restructured the system. The honour and dignity of that office has been well projected by him. I have a great respect for him both personally and in his office as the PFN President.

What is your view of the Church in Nigeria?

My view of the church in Nigeria is that we are marching on and the gate of hell cannot prevail against the church. I have heard people say the church in Nigeria is one inch deep and one mile wide. They say this in a way to look down on the revival going on in Nigeria. There are certain countries that there is no revival at all, hence we should be thankful for the one inch and see how we can dig deeper. Before you can clean the fish, you have to get the fish first. The church is like a hospital with people of diverse sickness and ailments. It is the work of the doctor to begin to treat them and that is what the church is supposed to be. The church is not for saints, it is for sinners. It is when the sinners come that the word of God will now change and transform them to become a saint. I believe strongly that we should be appreciative of what God is doing in our nation and not look down on it or talk it down. It might not be the best but we are going somewhere. The way other nations look at us is not the way we look at ourselves. There is a revival going on in Nigeria right now and how we relate with it would determine if we are going to sustain the revival or not.

Do you think the church is prepared for Christ second coming?

The Church is not prepared for Christ second coming, not only the church in Nigeria, but even the church worldwide. It’s being a while we listen to the message of rapture, Christ second coming on most pulpits today. For the last 5months that has been my message every Tuesday here in order to arouse the interest of people and bring to their consciousness that everything is not ending here as we have another home in view. It is important that we don’t allow the happening here to affect our eternity. I believe church leaders should return to the teaching and preaching of Christ’s second coming. So that converts would be conscious of the reality that it is not just about this present world. They must know that everything is not ending with prosperity and the rest.

From your views what in concrete terms are challenges facing the Church in Nigeria?

Whenever there is a challenge in the nation no one is exempted so what affect members of the church affects the church because members of the church are also citizens of the nation. For this reason, whatever affects the nation, affects them. Take for instance the recession in the land. The church has to keep doing welfare. The point is that the challenges in the nation raise corresponding challenges in the church and we must not shy away from that.

There are Pastors who do not wish to be associated with CAN or PFN because they are not to convenient with some things in the body. What can you say on this as PFN Chairman?

They are not mature. A tree does not make a forest and the fact that the forest is not pure does not in any way exonerate any tree from being part of the forest. If you think others are darkness, then it is your duty to bring the light. For those who maintain this stand, it does not show maturity. When Elijah said he was the only one left, God made him know that the opposite is the case as there are seven thousand others who had not bowed their knees to baal. That singular action is to humble him. I therefore do not believe any minister of God should stay aloof as not to have anything to do with PFN or CAN, if the organisation is the umbrella body for all churches in Nigeria, then every ministers of God should belong to one.

What is your stand on women general overseer?

In the Old Testament, there is little or no regard for women in the ministry but this is not so in the New Testament. There is neither Greek nor Jew now, no female or male as it pertains to the altar work. There is no female or male Holy Ghost and if the Holy Ghost is on a woman why not. She is just a woman by physiology. Both in the Bible, Church history and now, there are women who had and are still doing excellently in the work of the ministry. Take for instance the founder of the Four Square Church and her exploit with the Church still standing firm today. I have nothing against women general overseer.

There is this creepy feeling that church leaders are harbingers of corruption. How will you react to this?

Ejo nbe lorun (people have cases to answer in heaven), I won’t say more than that. Mammon is a god that every Christian must fight and overcome. No matter whom we are or who we have become, we must understand the fact that we brought nothing into the world and we definitely won’t leave with anything. There are people who ask people to give but giving is alien to them. People who ask others to pay tithe but won’t pay tithe. That is why I started the response to this question with that Yoruba saying. There are clean ways of getting things done in the church. Our operation here is in threefold. We have the church, the school and the media. As it stands today, the school is standing on its own (initially it was the church sustaining it until it was able to stand on its own). The church planted other churches and when we started international works that we have to go to other African nations to do missionary works, all the other arms of the church with the exception of the media which we are still nurturing were involved. As we are going on evangelism and asking people to give, the school is also giving, we are starting schools in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya etc. There must be a reason why people are blessing the church and this purpose must remain central. There was a time that the blessing was so much and we channelled it towards the University and we asked what next Lord and He said CableTV and we moved into action. It is important that we reach out because any church that is not going on evangelism outreach is fake. It is a direct disobedience to the instruction of Jesus and preaching of the gospel requires money.

Why are most Pentecostal Churches more concern with establishing churches in the city and neglecting the rural area and this is in direct contrast when we consider the orthodox churches?

Motivation is the answer to your question. Every man is controlled by what is motivating him or her to do whatever he or she is doing. There are people who are in the gospel work for gain but the interesting thing is that they don’t last. For those who are sincerely committed, the blessing follows them and the whole world is their territory. Jesus asked us to seek first the kingdom of God and that every other thing shall be added.

What is your stand on the use of objects of faith like Oil, Handkerchief, water etc?

My stand is bible stand. If I don’t find anything consistent in the Bible I don’t establish a doctrine on it. For instance the use of handkerchief, we have the record of how Paul’s mantle was used in the Acts of Apostle and we have records of the use of anointing oil and out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, the truth shall be established. You are the one calling it objects of faith; it is not called object of faith in the Bible. I must stress this that our faith must not be on these objects but the God behind it. When these objects become God then there is an issue there. Oil is not God and neither is any object but God can work through it but peradventure they are not available, won’t God still work? God works in diverse ways and that is why I don’t agree with those who are of the opinion that God can’t work through them, God works in divers’ ways and means. What I condemn is idolising them, people maintaining fear without them. Some won’t go out because they don’t use these items or get scared because they left it at home, those are excesses.

There is attack on Christians. What should Christians do in the face of these attacks?

We popularly quote these words that when they slap you on one side you should turn the second. After they have slapped the second what next? He didn’t say you should put your head after. What this simply means is that you have to learn to defend yourself. Take for instance, somebody who is willing to die and is ready to kill you along with himself what do you do? This fellow is ready to terminate his own life because he has no purpose in life but you that God have a purpose for to fulfil then you open your eyes and allow him to kill you? You have to rise up against such kind of people and say enough is enough.

Isn’t the best option to leave?

If they slap you the first time and you leave and then again and again, where else do you go? Nobody has the monopoly of violence. We don’t believe in bloodshed and that is why we are on this campaign that let’s sort our matters amicably. We don’t believe in violence because we know that our weapons of warfare are not canal but that does not mean we are stupid if we are pushed to the wall. Take a look at how we live in the Southwest in peace and harmony. This is how it should be. If we are using religion to kill each other, it shows immaturity.

 

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