I’ve observed how in recent times, the founder of International Godsway Ministries Bishop Daniel Obinim has come under a lot of flak for his controversial exploits in his church. Most people especially biblical connoisseurs label him as fake because his modus operandi doesn’t fall within what the scriptures say. What bothers people the most is how he’s able to garner a huge following in his church. Some attribute this to the use of some strange powers (Voodo) to manipulate people. I cannot confidently say the likes of Bishop Obinim are fake because I don’t have the spiritual ability to discern the authenticity of a pastor but what I can say for a fact is the likes of him understand what church in modern day has become. This is something the so called genuine church leaders don’t want to come to terms with.
The likes of Obinim have come to the understanding that, most people don’t only go to church to listen to the scriptures or sound doctrines but they rather go to have their needs met by a God of all possibilities. In case you doubt this, analyze the content of your prayer and see the number of hours and energy you invest in praying to God concerning your needs. When was the last time you prayed for God to enable your Pastor preach a sound doctrine or when was the last time you prayed that the word of God should reach the uttermost part of the world as Jesus desires? So while we’ve turned most of our churches mainly into history classes telling people about a God and Jesus in the Bible and showing them his works from the Bible, these pastors we’re quick to label as fake have turned their churches into Science laboratories where they demonstrate what you talk about in the Bible for people to see with their naked eyes.
This is how simple it is. Imagine you’re in need and have no idea about God and someone comes to you and says “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” and leaves without meeting your need. Another person comes and supplies all your need without saying “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” but says I am God. Wouldn’t you mistaken the second person to be God? Even if the 2nd person doesn’t say he is God but tells you about his God, wouldn’t you follow him and turn a deaf ear to the first person who is authentic ?
But you see, most “genuine” churches fail to understand this basic principle. They sit back and only chastise fake pastors and their followers. They hide behind the excuse that it’s a Biblical prophecy that has to be fulfilled that in the last days, false churches would spring up. They forget that innocent souls are perishing as a result of their failure to understand this basic principle. The reason why people are patronizing these “fake” churches is mainly because they are not getting their needs met in the so-called genuine churches who claim they are ordained by God. You preach about a God who heals, liberates the oppressed and blesses but they don’t see healings manifesting in your church. What do you expect them to do? Stay with their sickness and hope one day God would have mercy on them and heal them? While there are nearby churches preaching about miracles and these miracles are manifesting?
When you study the ministry of Jesus carefully, you’d realize that the effectiveness of his ministry wasn’t only based on preaching the gospel but also bringing that Gospel to life by meeting the needs of everybody he encountered. There was no occasion where someone came to Jesus with a problem and left with that problem unsolved.
Let’s look at Peter and his brothers for instance. They were struggling to catch fish when Jesus met them for the first time. By the time He was done with them, they had a bumper harvest. That is why Jesus could tell them to quit their jobs and follow Him and they never hesitated. He gave them proof that He is a problem solver. It was after they followed Him that Jesus started talking to them about His father (God).
When Jesus entered the temple for the first time he said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” When you study Him carefully, you’d realize he accomplished every single one of them. We claim the Christ who accomplished these things is the foundation of our churches but what is evident in most churches is just the preaching of the gospel. The other aspects are missing and it has created a loophole for the churches we’re quick to call fake to capitalize on and thrive. Ask yourself, how can you tell a blind person you come to him in the name of a Christ who healed the blind and you leave him/her blind? And you expect him to follow your God by coming to your church? How can you talk to a cripple about a Christ that made the cripple walk and you leave that person crippled? And you expect him/her to follow you in that crippled state to church hoping one day he’d be healed?
If you claim you’re “genuine” show me the qualities of genuity so I won’t fall for the fake. If you tell an unbeliever you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, then you should be able to do everything and not find difficulty so I can also believe and follow you. That is exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t tell people about a superficial God who only lives in Heaven but he made God real to the people by demonstrating He is a God of all possibilities.
Jesus and his mother attended a wedding ceremony and wine got finished. His mother turned to Him and said: “They have no more wine”. Jesus told her His time has not yet come but his mother ignored him and told the servants “Do whatever he tells you”. What Mary was trying to tell Jesus is, I don’t care whether it’s your time or not but since you claim the God of all possibilities sent you, demonstrate it now that there is an impossibility. And Jesus had no choice than to make the impossibility happen so the reputation of His God of all possibilities wouldn’t be questioned.
Imagine what would have happened if Jesus had perished with His disciples on the stormy seas. People would have rubbished all the sermons he preached.
There was a situation where a man brought his lunatic son to Jesus’ disciples so they cast out the demons out of him but they couldn’t. The man had to come to Jesus before his son was delivered. The man could have gone to Jesus straight away but he believed since they were disciples of Jesus, they could equally do what Jesus did but they failed. This is where most churches find themselves today but they fail to admit it. Instead of accepting their failure, they hide behind the excuse that you didn’t have faith that’s why it didn’t work. It is common sense that if you’re not getting satisfaction from somewhere, you move to another place.
When you do a research on the people we claim are delusional and follow “fake” pastors you’d realize they were once members of the so-called genuine churches. They left because they couldn’t see the God we claim was in the church. They couldn’t see the Christ we passionately speak about manifest in the churches so they left and chose to follow what looks like Christ manifest in other churches. Half a loaf is better than none right?
Instead of church leaders chastising so-called fake pastors and calling on the government to bring them to order, they should also acknowledge their failure of not showing their followers a God beyond Biblical stories. If they were able to manifest a God who is a God of all possibilities to people faced with impossibilities, they wouldn’t be running to the so-called fake churches for respite. Let’s not forget that God doesn’t only live in Heaven but He manifests himself through people. Don’t blame people if they can’t see a God you read to them and expect them to just believe in Him by faith. Blame yourself for not being able to manifest God to them and leaving them with no choice than to fall for an imitation of God.
It wasn’t just faith that made the people of Israel follow Moses from Egypt to the promised land. It was Moses’s ability to engage God to show himself to the people through him that made them follow Moses and believe that God was a living God and was with them. Talk about splitting the red sea, striking a rock to gush out water when they were thirsty, manna falling from heaven when they were hungry etc. Who wouldn’t see these manifestations and believe there is a living God with Moses?
As the Bible rightfully says “first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”.
The churches who claim to be genuine should do a deep introspection and retrospection about whether they’ve been able to adequately meet the expectation of Christ before chastising other Pastors they’re quick to call fake.