very year, I ask God for how to prepare for the coming year, as regards my immediate family; I believe he told me - Harvest. I took what that meant wrongly, I assumed it was the obvious harvest planned overtime, a week before the New Year, the meaning of Harvest started to mean something different - definitely surprises.
The story of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and the restructuring of RCCG Nigeria, is taking on a different meaning and it is separating Nigerians into camps based on a red-herring by the enemy, the real issues are NOT being addressed.
Here are the real Issues:
Is there a problem of Internal governance in our Religious Organizations that we need to address ourselves for integrity sake?
Should there be a federal agency (or parastatal) monitoring Religious Institution activities and what should be the jurisdiction of that agency (or parastatal).
The Nigerian factor - Faith-Leaders as Intermediary gods (hence fear of them).
To me, as I shared in my earlier write-up on this issue, it was NOT the existence of FRCN that is my problem, but the particular regulation that crosses the boundary of oversight from financial to spiritual, getting involved in spiritual oversight is DUMB, nowhere in the world is this done today (it was done in the early centuries).
In Christianity, leaders don't retire, you share the gospel until you drop dead, even if you are NO LONGER able to manage day-to-day administration, like Rev. Billy Graham and BGEA. Only physical (or other inhibiting) ability stops you from sharing the gospel. At the same time, we (church leaders) must set up succession plan (that reflects God, not our kingdom), knowing that God can call us home at anytime.
I believe either CAN or PFN or other independent churches must check themselves, so that the world does not check them. In America, religious institutions have (financial etc.) oversight so that fraud is not perpetrated, and every year the Church fight IRS on what their oversight covers (that has been the case since I've been active - about 10 years now). There are ton of organizations that fight IRS overreach in their oversight.
I believe the Body of Christ need to re-evaluate the governing style of our churches especially as we expand internationally, we are not about our growth or kingdom, we are about "sharing the GOSPEL" which is does NOT belong to us, but the Groom - Christ (it is His kingdom and business). A system where "pastors" does not have in-house oversight is wrong or where top-down order is the norm rather than the Holy Spirit (taught in context), would breed "butt-kissing" and hero-worship.
The body of Christ must welcome and advocate for a government agency (or parastatal) oversight, but must insist on having a sit at the table of whatever law or regulation is being enacted, so that we live what we preach INTEGRITY. We must get involve in the political arena, not based on personality or laws we like or don't like, but on issues of Righteousness in our land.
I have written on this many times before, we (Nigeria) brought a lot of "animistic" attributes to Christianity, and one of those attributes is "worship of men" who we see as "intermediary gods". Many, including those in power are afraid of a "Man of God" saying something negative about them or using his influence against them (more spiritual than physical).
I want to appeal to Nigerians of Faith and No-Faith, this is not about US and THEM, this is about what is right and even ordained by God and our country walking in Righteousness before God. Change is difficult and tough, but armed with God's Truth - we'll pull through.
William Femi Awodele is the Executive Director of Christian Couples Fellowship International, Inc. and a Vice-Chair of Embrace the Heartland in Prayer (http://www.prayheartland.com)