Praising God to heaven: What is Pastor Adeboye saying?
Out of 10 people who know Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, you’re likely to get nine who will vouch for him. They can attest to his integrity. They can attest to the fact that he has maintained a high moral standard in the face of a corrupt world. In fact he is to many people the face of the church if not on a global scale at least in Nigeria.
He has a compelling antecedent and a great credential. When he came to know the Lord in 1973, he came with a determination to serve the Lord from accounts about him. His faith is adjudged to be a raw faith. And truly he has been a giant in the church.
Given the great impact he has made over the years, it will be unjust and criminal for anybody to underplay his contribution to the growth of the RCCG which was founded by Pastor Josiah Akindayomi in 1952. He inherited a church that was largely unknown. But since he became the General Overseer in 1981, God has used him to make great impact which has made the church become a phenomenon.
One can not despise a man who sits atop a church that has branches in almost all the nations of the world. It’s not just his impact that is compelling, the social capital he has brought to bear on the church in Nigeria is phenomenal. It’s not a mean achievement for one to be counted as one of the 50 most influential people on the face of the earth by Newsweek, one of world’s most outstanding publications.
Beyond that rating the high and the low respect him so much and would readily fall for whatever he says. If Pastor Adeboye says it, then it must be the gospel truth. That seems to be the thought line in many circles. And frankly, Pastor Adeboye who is generally called Daddy G.O. has not disappointed keen followers of his ministry.
Even when he made so much controversial statements in the past like the “no tithe no heaven message”, Issues of redemption of the first born son, his hobnobbing with leaders of other faiths in an attempt to bring world peace, many still believe he could still be trusted. He is certainly not a flippant person and has demonstrated that he is a man who is fully in control of his thoughts and actions.
Though you may not agree with some of his messages, you’re compelled to face the bare facts about his life which are evident to all. This is a man who God has used to heal many people and who has been instrumental to the liberation of many. He also has a record of being a beneficiary of God’s manifold grace. From a dingy apartment in Imusin Lagos, God built for him a city.
So it’s really hard to fault him on both moral and scriptural grounds. In the first place he is a traditional preacher who holds the canons of scripture in a sacred way.
With this background picking hole in his theology may not sit well with many. The reason is because of his large scale acceptance and the fact that whatever he says which are perceived wrong may not necessarily be error of the heart but error of the head especially when such statements are made in passing.
But then how do you explain a “gaffe” that has been repeated twice in a space of six months? Several months ago, Pastor Adeboye made a harmless analogy about possibility of accessing heaven after death if one can praise God very well at the gate of heaven
He said it with the so much gusto that, if by error of omission he dies and he is not allowed to access heaven, he would simply begin praising God. His position is that if he praises God so well that God would not be left with any other option but to open the gates of heaven for him.
That analogy came as a passing message. It was preached at the headquarters of the Church in Lagos during one of the Thanksgiving Sundays.
Then, one had viewed that utterance as an attempt to underscore the importance of praise, and that it was just an attempt to get people to praise God regardless of their circumstances.
But again, this time on Sunday June 7 2020 at the Thanksgiving service of the church aired from the studio of Dove Media, the official television station of the Church, he made reference to that message and again repeated exactly what he said months ago. This time with some emphasis.
It then became obvious that it’s not only a gaffe but something he believes could be possible.
That brings us to a huge debate. A man who is not accepted in heaven can actually influence God through praise and enter heaven ? So God can pander to our praise and succumb to pressures from our end if we praise him? Oh, If that is the case why bother about any other thing?
What does the Bible say about those who will enter God’s kingdom? Is it without praise no man shall see God or without holiness.. is it possible to praise your way to heaven after death.
Is it no longer, ‘it is appointed to man to die once, after death judgement? Why did Pastor Adeboye make this analogy and left it hanging thereby giving the impression that there could be hope after death?
It will be great if Pastor Adeboye can come out to say he was only joking. But if there is no rebuttal of that message from the Church then we can as well agree that the Church perhaps has a new Bible that is not known to many.
By the way it is heretic to think God will answer any prayer after we might have shed this mortal body. It is also heretic that praising God is the passport to heaven. Though Pastor Adeboye only made analogy, that analogy was far fetched. In any case praise and thanksgiving cannot influence God’s justice system. He is not man.
While it is correct to say God inhabits the praise of His people, we must appreciate that, that scripture is about his people while they are here on earth. If you’re his people there will be no cause for you to miss heaven. And there will be no reason to ever imagine that when you get to heaven you will praise your way there if he denies you access.
This teaching would have been ignored if it is coming from a neophyte in faith or from a man who wants to play down the Bible. It’s just akin to some childhood jokes that if God wants to punish a sinner that he would be so angry that by the time he throws the person, the person would have been thrown past hell and by mistake thrown into heaven.
That sounds ridiculous you say? That seems to be another dimension of what Pastor Adeboye is telling millions of people who are listening to him. Could he be serious about this analogy? What scripture does he have to back up this analogy? Are there no people in the RCCG who try to checkmate him when he is veering off track? Is it not obvious that he is going off the radar by this analogy?
It’s sad that a beautiful message on ‘how to fly through your mountain’ ended on that note. While the rest of the church looks on, it’s important that we sound the alarm that our dear DADDY Adeboye was joking by that analogy that people who miss heaven can access it by praising God. Evidently, he must have been joking. Being human, who is fallible, he is capable of making wrong utterances.
It is hoped that Pastor Adeboye who is evidently a humble servant of God will take a second look at the analogy which could be taken on a face value.