Before I start my comments, I wish to quote a portion of scriptures in Proverbs 30: 11-12,
“There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother.
There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.”
I am writing this piece because of an attitude I am seeing prevalent in my generation (especially among young people). They open their mouths wide (and without restrictions), and curse, insult and speak with disdain of Christian elders. I have written a piece on this before, but necessity is laid on me to speak more freely on this matter.
There are some OAPs (On-Air Personalities) who feel that they have a responsibility to “free the people” from ‘pastor-preneurs’, hence they take it upon themselves to speak insultingly of Christian elders. They condemn pastors owning private jet (a practice I am yet to see someone tell me what exactly is wrong with it), and they speak evil of Church-owned universities for charging high school fees (an attitude which stems from ignorance, populism and un-analytical mindsets). They also speak against some other Christian practices like the way churches emphasize tithing, giving, seed-sowing, etc. (which I confess I am a little bit sympathetic with). My intention in this post is to address this negative attitude of young people towards their Christian elders.
See, let me tell you, young one, you do not have to agree ‘hook, line and sinker’ with all the teachings, practices, and perspectives of your elders in the faith. They are human beings, who have their own walk with God. You also have your own walk with God (I am assuming you do). Thus you may not agree with everything they say, do and practice. God gives you that liberty not to.
But this is the attitude I must correct. Talking about men like W.F Kumuyi (of Deeper Life Bible Church), E. A. Adeboye (of RCCG), David Oyedepo (of Living Faith Ministries), Chris Oyakhilome (of Christ Embassy), and many of our Christian elders who own large network of churches all over the world; these are men who began the race of God before us. Most of them encountered Jesus while they were young, and they followed Him more faithfully and truly than many of us are today. Through their ministries, many have come to the knowledge of Jesus, and freedom and liberty has come to many more. What is now their crime to you, young man, that you speak with disdain of them? Did you find fault with their doctrines, or did you just feel that there are so many things they have or do that ‘men of God’ do not do? Your attitude towards these men is it inspired by your knowledge of God’s word, or is it sheer pride, and dislike for the success and relevance God has given them in their time?
Google scholar has a motto that reads, “stand on the shoulders of giants”. This is the secret of a successful life. We find the men who have gone ahead of us, we listen to them, we stand on their shoulders, and we make progress in life. If we disdain them because there are certain of their practices we do not agree with, we stand the risk of never being used in the way God wants us to.
See, let me ask you, young man; how many of W. F. Kumuyi’s messages have you ever listened to? What of David Oyedepo? E. A. Adeboye? Etc. Do you ever take the time to hear what God has taught them in life? This is sheer stupidity, young people! It is madness! It is the epitome of pride and arrogance! Even if you do not want to respect the anointing on their heads, no problem (after all you are also anointed), at least respect their old age. They have been in the world far beyond you, seen life more than you, travelled more than you, met more people in this world than you, read more books than you. Why not listen to what they have to say? Even if you will form a different opinion from they, your listening to them would have made you wiser and able to form better and more balanced opinions.
This is sheer madness! A generation that cannot overcome sexual lust, a generation that is being ruled by money, a generation given to exam malpractice, a generation under the hold of pornography, a generation that keeps divorcing and re-marrying, a generation full of thieves and robbers; yet they open their dirty mouths to insult Christian elders; and some of us Christians who should know better join them in their madness.
I do not speak to about the new generation of pastors and apostles and prophets that are springing up day by day. Please feel free to say whatever you want about them, but be careful how you speak about elderly people. Be careful to ensure that you are being influenced by proper Christian thinking, and not that you read a blog from one mad man or woman on the street, who have never successfully lead even 40 human beings, yet because he/she has a computer and internet, speaks freely of things he cannot understand.
Who told you a pastor cannot have a private jet? What is the difference between a private jet and a private car? Do you know that there is no big deal in having a private jet, it all depends on whether you have the money to maintain it? They are taking people’s tithe and offering to do that, so what? Assuming that is true, what does that insinuate? Did they point guns at their members to remain in their church? Many people have left their church to start their own churches, did the heavens break? If you are no longer comfortable with any church, the Spirit of Jesus gives you the liberty to leave. But please, stop talking about what you do not know.
I may have to speak in another post on the subject of Christian universities charging high school fees, but let me say here that I am perfectly OK with it, and I believe God is also OK with it. Our problem is that we do not reason, we just deploy poverty mentality, and come to wrong conclusions.
Finally, I speak with pity on young men who no longer go to church. Some of them have joined ‘non-denominational’ ministries that condemn the local churches. Some of them say that the things they have seen in church is making them not want to go back there. All I can say to you is, be fooling yourself. If you cannot enjoy the fellowship of the brethren (except those in your own little denominational or non-denominational group), be sure that you will have no part in heaven. Gal. 5 vs. 19-21, says so.
May God help us to walk with humility towards our elders. Feel free not to agree with ‘everything’ they say or do, but never join that generation of young ones who curse their fathers and mothers, just because they feel they know better. If only you have spiritual eyes, and you can see, you would have seen that despite all the flaws you see in the church, our Lord Jesus still walks in the midst of His church, and they are His own.
God bless us all.
IN HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE
J. M. OBODOZIE