Worried about the state of the church and the attendant evil plaguing it, the Elijah Commission led by Bishop Abraham Olaleye has enumerated seven evils that is dragging the church in Nigeria behind.
Olaleye who addressed a crop of church leaders in Lagos in December 2011 told the church leaders that if Jesus Christ did not return to take away the saints in 30 years from now, there is every sign to show that the spiritual strength of the church would have waned greatly if there is no genuine repentance from these evils.
Making copious reference to some of the practices in the church, Olaleye stated that one of the signs of the false prophet is that it has many people going to him. “People hardly follow a true prophet of God who preaches the truth of the gospel. He deplored the attitude of many Christians to the faith noting that Christianity is not just in preaching but in showing the life of Christ.
Giving an insight into why the Elijah Commission was set up, he said, “The Elijah Commission is a commission of the remnant in the Body of Christ who saw the church in its former glory. Our Children will be greatly endangered if something urgent is not done concerning the drift of the church.”
He then went on to talk about the seven evils plaguing the church noting that the number one evil is that the Jesus message is gradually disappearing from the pulpit. “if the message is not about Jesus, what are we preaching?” he queried. He observed that emphasis is gradually shifting from the person of Jesus. People now use mundane examples of personalities while preaching and direct attention to themselves rather than to Jesus.”
The second evil according to him is that the message of the cross is fast disappearing from the pulpit too. He stated, “We are no longer taught that suffering is part of taking the cross and following after Christ. When people suffer they see it as an anathema. We forget to realize that suffering for the child of God is a fellowship. The fact that a Christian has challenges does not mean he is no longer a Christian. But we have so elevated the material gospel that many have been taught when they have challenge that it is of the devil.”
Olaleye who is an evangelist by calling noted also that motivational speaking has taken over the message of faith. Many preachers while preaching now quote more from secular books and make reference to them as if those books are more authentic than the Bible.
On the fourth evil plaguing the church, Olaleye said, “Righteousness and holiness is no longer being preached in many of our pulpits. Discipleship is fast becoming scarce. The Christian standard is falling at an alarming rate”
On the fifth evil he said “so much attention is being paid to the fire rather than the process of getting the fire. Many church leaders are interested in the power but they don’t want to pay the price. That is why many now resort to some ungodly things to get power by all means.
Perhaps the greatest evil that is plaguing the church according to him is the tendency towards idolatry by many church leaders. He said, “Traditional religion is fast gaining ground in many churches. That is why many people are getting demonic results in the name of miracles. What we have now is that pastors ask members to bring items to be prayed for in the name of point of contact. They have turned it to idolatry because it is in traditional religion that they ask people to bring things. Church leaders have made religion out of personal revelation that God gave them.
Churches have turned feet washing to a tradition and a doctrine rather that the simple show of service and humility that Jesus demonstrated with his disciples. There are churches who also preach the redemption of first born and organize special prayers for the first born. If Jesus had died for our sins what other redemption do we need?” he queried.
He warned Christians to be wary of the result mentality noting that the fact that it is working does not mean it is godly. “It is not godly because it is working because it if is not godly, Satan will do everything for it to work”
Concluding his address, he said, “The seventh evil in my view that is also bedeviling the church is the fact that faith is suffering decline. We now find it difficult to live by faith but rather we live by our senses and by logic. The average Christian hardly demonstrates living faith in God again.”
Also speaking at the forum Rev. Tony Akose observed that drift in the church must be addressed. Commenting on the preponderance of motivational messages in the church he said, “Motivational speaking is a satanic design to distract us from the message of the cross. The cross is a monopoly of the church, but motivational speaking is not. Our faith should be centred on the Bible not on the intelligence of an orator.”
He contended that motivational speaking leads to greed, rascality and covetousness. Anything we do in ministry that does not give us fellowship with God is fallacy.
In his message also at the forum, Rev David Olatunbosun observed the task of bringing the church back to its original position is not a tea party.
He said, “The land you want to take over is not available. You have to contend for it. It is a sad thing that the church is playing with death and we are merchandising with the destinies of people who worship in our congregation by not telling the truth that will liberate them. Bringing the church back to where it should be will not be a tea party. The Elijah Commission needs all the support and prayers. We can only do it by the power of the Holy spirit.”