Pastor Adeboye: Ministry, Vision and Nation Building
POLITICS DIGEST- As I was saying, again, in June 2011, Adeboye was at the same United Nations for a meeting of religious leaders calling on the UN to foster an alliance for the “Culture of Peace”, which among other things was expected to enthrone peace in the Middle East and serve as a model for conflict resolution globally.
The summit was sponsored by the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics and co-hosted by the mission of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the UN and the Christ Redeemers’ Friends Trust (CRFU) led by Adeboye under the patronage of Frederic Mayor, a former Director General of UNESCO, who introduced the ‘Culture of Peace’ at the UN, and the King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The meeting was attended by leaders of the “Abrahamic Faith Groups”, namely, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Commenting on this summit, Sam Eyoboka and Olayinka Latona wrote:
“For the first time, the Pastor has joined forces with the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics to bring together religious, academic and diplomatic leaders to the summit at the UN with the goal of agreeing to work together and individually implement the UN resolutions developing a Culture of Peace through education, communications and legislation as a milestone to achieve peace in the Middle East region and as a global model”.
Again, on June 21, 2016, in furtherance of his commitment to global peace, Adeboye met with the then UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon to discuss how the UN system could exploit the influence and goodwill of the RCCG to facilitate inter-faith harmony, thus creating a conducive environment for action towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the issue of global peace and development, he noted that the RCCG, through its provision of above-board leadership and promotion of Christian faith and values, will continue to impact the global community, especially the youthful population positively.
From the RCCG model, it is expected that Christians worldwide will serve as “a strong moral compass and voice for the society, speaking for the marginalised and disadvantaged” while remaining accountable to the general population.
These UN meetings showcased the growing significance of Adeboye and they illustrate recognition of the cleric by the inter-faith world of international ecumenical engagement and the willingness of the RCCG to work with global institutions like the UN for the common good. The engagements also deepened the continuing expansion and globalisation of the RCCG brand equity.
Another illustration of Adeboye’s involvement in international politics is the underreported case of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard was an American (later turned Israeli) agent convicted in the US in 1987 (though arrested in 1985) for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the US. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. After spending more than two decades in American jails, his health began to fail and various groups started to plead for his release. The most consistent request for clemency for Jonathan Pollard came from Israeli authorities in 1995, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014. According to reports, some American statesmen and politicians also began to speak on his behalf. In 2010, 39 members of Congress submitted a Plea for Clemency to the White House, while former Secretary of State, George Shultz wrote President Barrack Obama in 2011 to commute his sentence. It was around this time that Adeboye wrote to President Obama, requesting that the remainder of Jonathan Pollard’s sentence be commuted “in the interest of justice”. Several other leaders pleaded on his behalf, and eventually he was released on parole in 2015, after spending thirty years in prison. Adeboye’s involvement in Pollard’s case underscores his cordial relations and remarkable influence with Israeli authorities.
After all, Pollard was not the first political prisoner sentenced to life in US jails.
In the main, as we celebrate Pastor Adeboye @ 80, it is important to borrow some brilliance from his ministry, learn from the power of his focus and the benefits of his uncommon humility despite the power and the glory of God’s grace upon him. That should be the source of his blessing: humility. Remember that in Philippians 2: 8-11, Apostle Paul reveals that Jesus Christ fulfilled His Ministry and Mission through the power of humility nurtured by obedience.
‘And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross…Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given a name, which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. Of things in heaven, and things in earth: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’.
This is the power that uncommon humility can give any man who wants to do greater works as the Master, Jesus also promised his followers.
‘A Reporter’s Notebook on Adeboye’
‘Pastor Adeboye identifies three key enemies haunting man at RCCG Holy Congress 2017’
“The first and biggest victory in life is victory over oneself,” Pastor Enoch Adeboye said in December 2017 Holy Ghost Congress at the Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), where he identified the three major enemies of man as Death, the Devil, and Self – the individual. The central idea in that message that Monday is this: that if you want to be powerful in the spirit, the first enemy you should conquer is yourself, and if you can conquer yourself, the first enemy of mankind, you can conquer death and the devil who brought death.
I continue to listen to that message you can find on Youtube. That God has given each and everyone of us the power to do greater works, to be humble and be exalted, to study to show yourself approved, to acquire not only fruit of the spirit, which will help your emotional, social and executive intelligence, to acquire gifts of the spirit, which will help your mission and ministry, the power to be wealthy and healthy to acquire power to be prayerful, etc. But you, and only you have the willpower to do these through obedience and humility. And so, in the same vein, you alone can destroy self by the same willpower. That is one more brilliance, one more lesson we need to borrow from this humble God’s General who also has taught us that: when anointing meets with a very sound intellectual background, there is bound to be some explosion and the heaven will be more open.
Remember that even as many of us ran away from Ordinary Level Mathematics, the humble man of God holds a doctoral degree (PhD) in Applied Mathematics when universities were universities. I mean our Daddy G.O has demonstrated too to mankind that education quality, higher education and its quality can be a significant difference maker even in the Ministry of Christ – The Great Commission. That can also explain why the ‘Intellectual In The Temple’, Adeboye has always paid uncommon attention to one of his greatest legacies, establishment of the Redeemer’s University in Ede, Osun State, unarguably one of the best-rated private universities in Nigeria, building skills and character of Nigerians of RCCG extraction. This he hasn’t explained too loudly but one can hazard a guess that he established this Redeemer’s University because that is one remarkable way of building a great nation.
How do I know that? Have you read the submission of a great teacher in South Africa who noted that, ‘collapse of education is the collapse of a nation’? A lecturer in a South African University actually wrote an expressive message to his students at the doctorate, masters and bachelors level and placed it at the entrance of the college. The quote has been wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela.
The South African lecturer wrote: “Collapsing any nation does not require use of Atomic bombs or the use of Long range missiles. But it requires lowering the quality of Education and allowing cheating in the exams by the students.
The patient dies in the hands of the doctor who passed his exams through cheating.
And the buildings collapse in the hands of an engineer who passed his exams through cheating. And the money is lost in the hands of an accountant who passed his exams through cheating. And humanity dies in the hands of a religious scholar who passed his exams through cheating. And justice is lost in the hands of a judge who passed his exams through cheating. And ignorance is rampant in the minds of children who are under the care of a teacher who passed exams through cheating.
The collapse of education is the collapse of the nation”.
So, establishing this great University whose medical laboratory has been uniquely useful to the nation since the time of Ebola, the precursor to the strange demon called Covid-19, has been part of Adeboye’s nation building effort that will outlive him. He builds this every day through his teaching in his classic, the daily devotional, ‘Open Heaven’, you see everywhere you go.
So the conclusion of the whole matter is this: we as people of God should thank Him for manifesting our own Barnabas, the man they Bible specifically describes as a ‘Good Man’: ‘For he was a good man and full of Holy Ghost and of of faith…’( Acts 11: 24). He should be celebrated because he has by His grace through humility fulfilled the Mission God gave his (Adeboye’s) Pastor, Pa Josiah Akindayomi to establish the RCCG in uttermost parts of the world. The Great Commission has been greatly fulfilled in his hand. He has established a great City of God in ‘Redemption City’ he humbly calls ‘Redemption Camp’ in Ogun State, which enjoys stable electricity through incredible independent power project free from ‘national greed’ that has caused collapse of our national grid. How else can anyone build a nation other than using what Michael W. Smith calls ‘Ancient Words’, Holy words, long preserved for our walks in this world. Adeboye has given millions ‘Words of Life, Words of Hope, which has given us strength and helped us to cope in this world, where e’ver we roam, for the Ancient Words to guide us Home…The Ancient Words ever true, changing me and changing you… and so we have come with open hearts the ancient words have imparted to say, Father, The Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, Thank You for Giving us a pastor, a teacher, a preacher, a leader and a good man full of Holy spirit and of Faith, who has been helping to build a new nation, Nigeria to fulfill destiny as the leader of the most populous black nation on earth.
Martins Oloja is a Columnist with the Guardian