Posted by By Rose Senewo on
Rev. Wilson Badejo, the General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, recently spoke with Daily Sun about the churchís quarterly Refreshing Vigil and other national issues.
Rev. Wilson Badejo, the General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, recently spoke with Daily Sun about the churchís quarterly Refreshing Vigil and other national issues. Below are excerpts:
It is our regular custom by the special grace of God to have the Refreshing Vigil every three months, bringing together members of our congregation in the Lagos area. During this period, we come to pray, first for the fellowship with the brethren and the pastors in our country. Secondly, we also pray for our country Nigeria. Thirdly, we try to bring peopleís needs before the throne of grace for Godís divine intervention. And this has been a wonderful gathering of the children of God in our land, especially in Lagos area. It takes place in all our district
headquarters all over the country and those outside Lagos do have the same opportunity too.
By Godís grace, we are looking forward to God visiting us with the power of His great unction and with His anointing to break the yokes in the lives of men, as we gather tomorrow. By it, we believe God being our helper, the needs of people will be met. God in His supernatural manner will give a breakthrough to the heart desires of His people. We will also pray for the wealth and peace of Nigeria, we are not going to neglect the issues that perhaps are plaguing the individuals. And I believe God will manifest himself in a supernatural dimension.
What makes Refreshing Vigil unique?
One of the great things to note in our Refreshing Vigil is that it is the coming together of the brethren within the Foursquare fold and their friends who are either close to them, neighbours or co-workers. During this period, we also give room for people to share their personal requests one with another. We have kept steady to this vigil once in three months because we believe that there are so many other activities going on in our local churches which we know will be very useful for us not to disrupt unnecessarily and bring people together to achieve a desired purpose. This is our heart desire.
Things we have to bear in mind is that Nigeria is a great country and we are not in Dahomey, neither are we even in Ghana. We have millions of people within this geographical location called Nigeria, and it is not easy. However, our expectations were very high when we moved out of dictatorship into the civilian era. The expectations have not really been met because the degree of decadence rottenness is very deep, and it takes a lot of work to bring us out of the foundation level and even allow us to trust in the good work this gentleman is doing. I think when he went in he said he would sweep all the corners and clean the country of corruption. When he got in, he discovered that it was a tap root that didnít need a broom but pick axe, spade or caterpillar. Therefore, I believe that he has laid some solid foundation and he is still trying to do some things that will also ensure he lasts in his term of office. And you know when we are doing these things, not too many good things people from outside see. It will take quite some time.
So, I believe he is in the right direction. But we want to see things quick. You know Nigerians are people who always believe in instant coffee, instant tea and instant everything. But we are very optimistic that with a good foundation, tomorrow will bring forth the desired result.
Advice to President Obasanjo
I believe that he should make more consultations with people who are meaningful, one of which is the church. And the church will make a contribution in its own little way to help his process of development. I am a strong believer that the last hope of the ordinary man is not the judiciary but the church. Therefore, if the church fails we are in trouble. And that brings me to the point that the church has a role to play in assisting this man of God to be able to do that which the Lord is laying in his heart. We are grateful that he came on the scene at a point like this. Our expectation is high and our yearnings very dramatic to see a change around. But after 30 years of military rule, I donít think the correction can come just in three years or four years or five years. I believe it is a gradual process.
I think the first thing we should be doing for him is to pray, because except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it. Except the Lord watches over the city, the watchman watch but in vain, (Psalm 127:1). Therefore, we need to pray for him for Godís guidance. We also need to believe that by the special grace of God, he will be listening to God and not man. Fancy me in my major corner here, how many people want to influence my decision, and take a look at a man who has to look after millions of people. And everybody has his own gift on how to do it and do it well. And you fancy that it is not easy because he needs to listen to God and hear what He wants him to do, and he follows it squarely.
We in our own little corner should contribute the best we can by making positive pronouncement over Nigeria. Godís word says the words of your mouth can either set you free or get you entangled. Letís start professing positively believing that by Godís special grace, we will get out of the woods soon.
You would notice very strongly that the youths are coming from a background of serious decadence and decay. Fancy the young man we are calling a youth today, all he knows is military coup. If you have a gun, shoot the man there and kill him and take over the government. So, violence is the order of the day. He has never seen anything different. He sees a sergeant like we had in Liberia becoming a Head of State. He hears a Major who plays the marshal music being declared the Head of State. So, he doesnít even know any other way in which he can do things to rise to the top than violence. That is why the youth of today is violent.
Secondly, you will also fancy that the government did not do us much good by removing Christian and religious instructions from schools. They said we were getting fanatical and dogmatic. Therefore they didnít pray in schools again, there was no scriptural instructions (it used to be a core subject in my own time). There were so many other ways by which the government took away godliness and allowed the rottenness, which we are seeing in the system right now. We want to see a return of them.
Lastly, I also want to counsel that parents at home should help the church take care of their children. The home makes the youth and not the church, not the school or some other social gathering. If you look at it very strongly, it is the home. Every youth is a reflection of his family or home. How many hours do they spend with us in the church? Barely four hours in a week, and another one hour during the mid week, out of 24 hours multiply by seven. The parents at home have a great role to play and we want to encourage them to please help us to inculcate godly values, sound morality and Christian instructions in our homes. Let them know that there are some values that are beyond naira and dollars. When they have that at the back of their minds, I believe we will be moving in the right direction.
The church and crime
One of the things I would like to mention like I did say to you before is that the church has its limitation. The youths are the leaders of tomorrow and we canít neglect them. And we believe that we have a role to play. But please can we start from the home? Can we start from where some of these children grew up, and the community and environment where they are found has a lot of impact upon their lives. Secondly, I want to counsel that the government and our nation should give enough priority to this closure of schools. Itís not helping us. Children who should be in school are roaming around the streets and committing crimes and they get away with it. Thirdly, I am also looking at the society and some of the things we are reading and seeing taking place and nobody seems to be in charge. Fancy Bola Ige being killed in his bedroom and up till now we donít know who killed him. And up till now we are still speculating.
I am asking that the police wake up to their responsibility. Let them go about their duty with some diligence and some dexterity. We are asking them to please look into this.
We are also saying that the level of bribery and corruption in the society has eaten into every fibre of life. Fancy a young boy who perhaps believes he passed his examination and went to tell his parents this is the mark which I got. And they will go to the Ministry of Education to find out that although his name is there his letter will not come out until a bribe is given. And this little child is imbibing these things. And he is asking what sort of society is this. And before you know it, he himself is moulded into it. And therefore, the church has a major strategic role to play, to inform parents that they are number one custodians of these children. And they need to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Please, bring your children to church, donít leave them back at home to be watching TV. Have family altar in your home and pray with them. Read the bible into their ears. The word of God says God commanded the children of Israel to teach these things to their children and their childrenís children that they may be able to obey the Lord and the commands, which He gave them. And Joshua said unto us, ďAs for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.Ē
We are looking forward to such godly families all over the land. And may they help us to bring and give their children the right values.
Now talking about nudity and fashion in the society, we are really worried as ministers of the gospel. And some churches have really gone very drastically and said look if you donít dress well, they wonít give you Holy Communion. If you donít dress well we will not allow you in this or that. Well, those are superficial, those are outward signs of an inner decay. So, we want to ask the church to continue to preach righteousness, for righteousness will exalt a nation and sin is a disgrace to the people. So, we want the church to continue to preach righteousness. We want them to continue to tell that sin is sin, and letís not modify it.
The church has a role to start enshrining holiness as a lifestyle. What is somebody who is wearing a bikini or showing her navel up to? Is that dressing? Afterall, dressing is supposed to be a cover of my nakedness. Therefore we are looking forward that some of these things would be tackled on our pulpit, in our Bible studies, in Sunday schools and in every gathering of the young people and they will see the church as a cleansing element, as a focal point to turn.
Has the church failed?
I wouldnít say the church has failed. I am a strong believer in the fact that the church is on course. Sincerely, I believe that the church is on revival path. And the level of revival and the quickening of the spirit of God in the land is tremendous. However, I believe that by the special grace of God, the things that pertain to righteousness must be preached. The word of God says in the book of Mat. 6:33, ďSeek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.Ē First, those are the first things. And then, all other things will be added unto you.
I agree with you that the gospel has been perverted. But there are still many churches that are preaching nothing but the truth and they are standing for the truth. I believe there are churches who do not see anything wrong in the way things are being done in the society. There are still some churches who are holding strong. You donít pay a large sum of money into the church without them asking how did you come about it? What business did you do?
In this church we have returned some obnoxious money because we donít want blood money. We are not crazy about people just coming around and saying because he is wealthy, and therefore we must put him in some position of responsibility. No. In a church like ours, for you to become a leader, you must be born again. You must have had a rebirth, an experience and encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We also encourage you to continue because christianity is not just an encounter, it is also a process. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away and all things must become new.
We also encourage people to be involved in our Sunday school where you are systematically taught how to know the things of God and follow the pathway of righteousness. By this, we also enshrine in our day to day activities some godly values, which we call tenets of faith, which we maintain very strongly.
We believe in the Holy Scriptures as the word of God, we believe in baptism by immersion. We ask people to pay their tithe. We also ask that you believe there is heaven and there is hell. We also preach moderation and we tell people that they need to dress moderately. Your life should show everything in good moderation. And then, we go on to tell people that God is God of justice as well as God of love. These are things that people need to hear and build up. The word of God is spirit and life.
So, these are issues that I know many many churches are still preaching. There may be some few ones that have a little digression, but I believe the Lord is the owner of the church, and he will correct them and put them on the right path. Things will change as the days go by. And those who change, the lord will continue to prune his church. For we know very well He says ďI am the vine, you are the branches,Ē the trees that bear fruit he says he will continue to prune them and cut off those that do not bear fruit, and put them in fire. He says ďwithout me, you can do nothing.Ē
With that assurance, I believe that a glorious day awaits us in Nigeria. The church is on the right path. Breakthrough is around the corner and we are looking foward to a glorious tomorrow.
A word for Nigeria
By the special grace of God, I believe Nigeria will see a breakthrough. Because there are many people who are praying and believing that this situation should not continue. And I believe that Nigeria will come out of this tunnel of darkness into light very soon. Patience is needed. Endurance should be part and parcel of our lives. And we should focus our mind on things of God and of righteousness. And the good God whom we serve will see us through. Itís a stage of a national development. It may be tough, it may be rough, but I believe at the end of the tunnel, there shall be sunshine.
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