By Olumide Oyekunle @olusocgracia
This is Africa, where sentiments prevail over reasoning. Even the church is the habitat of fools. No matter the level of spirituality of preachers, they are vessels in earthen vessels and the individuals who attend churches must discern personality, and elements of flesh when it strikes. Better still, focusing on Christ.(I’m coming back to that).
A dark day occurred (and there are quite a number of such in the scriptures), where a man of God called Elisha called out two bears to devour 46 children just because they had called him a bald man. That was terrible, frightening and one cannot imagine the anguish brought on the parents and the entire community. Bible skeptics would argue that how could God allow such when He claims to be a loving God who detest evil?
Well, the scripture is inspired and written for reproof, correction 2Tim 3:16. Our mentors aren’t perfect. Learn from their mistakes. That makes the Bible real and authentic. I mean those events happened here on earth among men.
Now, when Christ came, the Apostles had thought that a man with such extraordinary supernatural powers would invite Angels to consume his enemies and backbiters just as Elijah would do or call out bears like Elisha. They thought the gospel of Christ was that of war, judgment and condemnation. Peter, a Sanguine personality and impulsive man, walked about with knife in case of a bust up – a street fighter. Jesus Christ was too meek for him and he tried to ‘defend’ his ‘weak’ God. Jesus rebuked him and cautioned the Spirit behind Peter’s action, of course he could bring down Angels in their legions Matt.26:53 but he chose not to.
I see a trend today among men of God or so called, today in this country. They boast of using their pulpit to lay out curses when they are falsely accused, they unleash words of judgment when items are stolen and become overtly confident when they see the manifestations of their words of destruction. We hail them just because we have a generation of Bible illiterates. Hmmmn!!! We follow them in our ignorance and dogmatic freelance because their statements create reverence and fear in the minds of their followers rather than liberty given to them by Christ.
The mistakes made by men in the old testament like Elisha was why Christ brought to us the ministry of reconciliation not of condemnation. The use of the name of Jesus to curse or thinking it can be used to conjure evil is a great error among African Christians. (something similar to pagan worship and witchcraft which dwells on revenge and mystical ravings against the enemy). Jesus Christ faced persecution, they lied against him, they mocked him and spat on his face before being beaten and crucified.
We do not have the gospel of Elijah, Moses, Jacob, Elisha or Abraham. They are mortals, with their flaws and sometimes scandalous in today’s lexicon. That someone has spoken against you or against your church or even against Christ does not automatically guarantee that he must be condemned in the manner of the old testament preachers. Get this clearly, this is the dispensation of grace, where the doors of salvation is opened to the vilest offender. The gospel is of Christ not of Elijah who sends down fire.
We must beware lest, we become a terror and chase away men, whom Christ died for and hold many in bondage. When a man orders death from the pulpit on another man – spiritual homicide, that simply is not Christ’s way. It is not in God’s interest when the doors of Salvation is not shut, even Boko Haram terrorists can still enter into the Noah’s Ark of these last days. It is not our world as Dominionism (a theological belief that we serve God for earthly gain) proposes. Nevertheless, we can call the hand of God when His will for us is being held to ransome by evil men. Do we wrestle against flesh and blood? No.
God still decides and hold exclusive right to condemn and decide what will be or what won’t. Not your curse, don’t boast. It is evident that human elements exist even in the most holy of places until Christ comes to perfect the church… Until then, it can only be refined continuously.