Sunday Adelaja: I have a greater assignment than doing church

We bring you yet another interesting response to the question we asked Nigerian Ukraine based Pastor Sunday Adelaja. It makes very interesting reading. Below are excerpts:

Do you think with the preponderance of perceived wrong doctrines in Nigeria you will be able to thrive in the Nigerian environment doing church?

Answer.
You people are asking me these questions because of who you are and not because of who I am. Your questions are revealing more about your mindsets as Nigerians and not the way the world thinks, talk less of the way I am. You don’t know the way I think but your questions are revealing the way you think.
Now, you are asking me if I am going to thrive in the Nigerian environment because of my perceived wrong doctrines because you are thinking I am coming to do church in Nigeria. Why is it that you are not seeing me by what I am saying, because in the previous interview I have told you people that I am not coming to do church in Nigeria.
I have a greater assignment than doing church, but you just cannot get yourself out of that. Instead, you are always putting me in that church box, enforcing me, wanting to make me to even believe it is church I am coming to build, and that I want to pull other people down because I want to come to Nigeria to build my church. That is not my assignment.
Yes, by the grace of God, if God would talk to me and instruct me to do church, I would do it. But right now, I have not gotten that instruction and that is not my focus. I am not coming to do church in Nigeria. So, I don’t care if anybody is going to follow me or not follow me. I don’t want people to follow me. I just want to come and do what God has asked me to do in Nigeria.
My focus is not to build a church in Nigeria. In fact for me to build a church in Nigeria, God has to work hard in convincing me because I don’t have any point to prove in building church anymore. I have already built the largest church in Europe and one of the greatest churches in the world. So, what point am I trying to prove? It is 100 times harder to build a church in Europe, especially in Russia with 99% Caucasians. Nigeria is too easy a task, which is not a challenge for me to take.
I am not coming to Nigeria to build a church. I have been able to build a church of over 100,000 people in Europe. In Kyiv city alone, we had over 25,000 people. So, I already accomplished what no human being had done for the last 200 years in Europe. I have already done what no black man has ever done in the history of humanity. I don’t have any point to prove in coming to build church in Nigeria.
As I mentioned earlier, I am not interested in people following me in Nigeria, which is not my focus. Even though I am aware people are going to follow me, either I like it or not because of the value system that I present and the Kingdom of God I represent. People would follow me not because of me but for the values that I represent. So, it’s not about thriving as a pastor or as a church when I come to Nigeria.
On the other hand, why do you people think I am the one with the wrong doctrine? I am affirming and I am ready to gather a council of theologians not from Nigeria but from all over the world to come and give assessment of the present Charismatic and Pentecostal church. 90% of all theologians would say we don’t have doctrines in most of our Pentecostal churches. We have neither doctrines nor theology. (Whenever I say Nigerian churches, please don’t get me wrong. I am not implying all churches in Nigeria, rather I am speaking of the mainstream Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Nigeria)
A vast majority of our churches in Nigeria has backslidden. Most of these churches are not the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are syncretic churches. They are a neo-paganistic churches. Most of our charismatic churches have lost the true theology. I know there are still a few people in Nigeria who understands theology and the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ, but their voices are not heard.
Everybody has his own doctrine most churches in Nigeria now. Every pastor has his own. Each G.O creates their own doctrines. We lack coherence in most of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Nigeria. We don’t have confession to faith that the whole world subscribes to. These churches don’t subscribe to those doctrines of faith. These confessions of faith are universal, so I am not speaking about my own doctrine.
What I am reintroducing to the Nigerian churches are the standards and confessions of faith of what true Christianity is about. That is what I’m reintroducing to the Nigerian Christianity.
Even in the 80’s in Nigeria, what I am saying wouldn’t have been strange. It is what is practiced now in Nigeria that would be strange especially to the Nigerian Christians in the 70’s and 80’s. In the days of the scripture union (S.U) and student Christian associations of that time, they are more like me than what we have in Nigeria now. What we serve now in Nigeria is the god of mammon.
Most of the Pentecostal churches in Nigeria of today have backslidden. These churches are similar to the Laodicean church in the book of revelations. I am not the one having problems with the theology I preach but the popular charismatic churches and this is why the Pentecostal church has to look inside, query themselves and go back to the original faith. We have to go back to those days when we sang, “give me the old time religion”. Nigeria needs to cry out now for the old time unadulterated doctrines and theology.
So, I don’t have problem with theology. Let’s take for example, if I am truly the one that has a problem with his theology, why is it that all African churches that go to Europe to start churches cannot attract the Europeans? Why is that the theology of all Nigerian pastors, for example the Redeem church all over the world is attracting only Africans as members? I have been to their churches in America, 99% of people there are only Nigerians and other Africans. Why can’t they attract the indigenes of the land? If you go to England, it is also the same set of people. Go to Italy, Germany, Holland etc. they are only Nigerians who attend their services. This doesn’t happen only in Redeem but also in Winners and all other African churches who can only attract Africans.
So, does that testify to the fact that they have the right doctrine? No. It only testifies of the opposite that they don’t have the right doctrine and their doctrine is faulty. Because anything that is truth must be universal. Anything that is truth must be absolute. Anything that is truth must be attractive to everybody.
But if the gospel that is coming from Nigeria is attractive to only Nigerians, it means they are not preaching the gospel of the lord Jesus Christ. They are preaching culture because the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ is a universal truth and it’s supposed to attract every culture and nationality equally.
If the gospel we are preaching is not attracting everybody, then it means it is not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What we have in the Nigerian Pentecostal and charismatic churches is our culture, which is attracting people to those churches. Then, we say we are having churches but really what we are having are not churches but only cultural groups which we call churches.
But examine me, I am the only Nigerian alive today and has ever lived that has built churches in over 50 countries of the world and the people in those churches are not Nigerians. These churches are not only in Ukraine and if you go and visit churches started by Sunday Adelaja in any country, it is only indigenous people you would see.
In Europe, we have 99% indigenes everywhere not just in Ukraine, but also in Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, America etc. they are only indigenous people. Is it because of my wrong doctrines that I am attracting all other cultures and nationalities? No, it is because I have a doctrine of Christianity that is universal and understandable by all those people.
If I had been teaching error, they wouldn’t have come to me. Then, it would be Nigerians like me that would be coming to my churches. But the gospel that I preach attracts both Nigerians and the population of the indigenes who live in those countries where our churches are. Now that I started talking to Nigerians on Facebook, they have been attracted too.
Therefore, the gospel that I preach is the real gospel, which I want to return to Nigeria and not the erroneous gospel in Nigeria now. I want to let people in Nigeria know that what they are calling the gospel in the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Nigeria is no more the gospel. It is a compromised gospel. It is a backslidden church. We don’t have the church of the lord Jesus Christ as it is supposed to be in Nigeria now. What we have now is a camouflage. It is an imitation.
People are only using the name of Jesus and quoting the bible because of money. They are using all of these just to get money from people; it is no more because of Christ. The church of Nigeria is no more Christocentric, it is either money centric, mammon centric, G.O-centric or church-centric. It is no more kingdom-centric nor Christ-centric
That is what I’m bringing back to Nigeria. That is my doctrine.

About Gbenga Osinaike

Gbenga Osinaike is a 1992 graduate of Dramatic Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He specialised in Play-writing. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Lagos. He was Assistant Editor in Punch Newspapers from where he resigned having worked for 13 years to start Church Times Nigeria in March 2007. He is currently the Nigeria representative of US based Institute of Global Church Studies and also the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos, Nigeria Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. He is married and blessed with two children.

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