By: Andy Akporugo Jr


A DEBATE OF UNFLATTERING REALITIES AND PROBABILITIES

Live matches do not pretend to majorly seek dispassionate reception. They are broadcast essentially out of a desire to satisfy known partisan palates and almost always as with the broadcast of the Vice Presidential Debate, get the judgements they desire, truly or pretentiously, based on the limitations of preconceived prejudices or choices. Yet there is a chance soon after, for a more circumspective view upon a ‘re-view’ after the cheering parties have departed, except of course if one, bearing cymbals and shekere, actually makes the cheer in the party.

If anyone fairly undertakes this review, perhaps there are at least three matters they would be concerned about.

  1. The quality of the leadership the other parties, leaving out the PDP for now, seek to offer us.

Except they protest the usage of their performances at the debate as indicators, the candidates for Vice President do not seem like people with knowledge enough to run a roadside coal-bakery, let alone lead any informed efforts at revamping our economy. If they were not honouring knowledge by its absence, they were struggling with their infectious nerves so much as to likely out-fret participants in a primary school debate.

But perhaps more importantly, the choice of the candidates for Vice President, suggested a hurried, unserious selection process that placed scant value on the size of the job in the same manner that it did for the competences required for its execution. Would their choices for Vice President qualify as their deputies in their previous work places where effective systems unaffected by them have been developed for making such appointments?

Well at the end, the choices spoke very badly about the appointors themselves more than it did for the appointees, whose choices ironically seemed to victimize them either for the benefit of purely ethnic statistical considerations or worse, as elements of contrast so as to project the appointors own capacities as stars of the pack in the same way that an ugly girl, [forgive my discourtesy] burnishes her better endowed friend by sheer accompaniment.

  1. The implicit offer of the PDP at the 2019 Presidential elections by the truly impressive performance of Mr Peter Obi, if we discount for the moment his strange effort at importing such diction as made him sound like a badly tutored ventriloquist.

On the economy for example, where many tout Mr Obi as rich in pedigree wrought out of years of trading big from well-appointed shops, through his stints in a couple of banks, to owning a brewery and some fine real estate, for which capacities he had enjoyed apprenticeship from ‘‘his master’’ and then at several executive Ivy league courses, he, and by him, his party the PDP offered us cold statistics, an earful, most of which by far, were false.

Since then, those who have gloated his so-called victory at the debate have said that despite the false statistics, he thoroughly understood the problems of the Nigerian economy and was eminently positioned to solve them, an assessment that should thoroughly confound logic for the implication that it claims that false statistics proves knowledge and accurately identifies the problems. If that were so, what becomes the function of the correct statistic? Thus rather than being enthused by Mr Obi’s presentation of “facts and figures”, we ought to be worried that his figures do not present the facts, let alone understand them. And yet, it is true, isn’t it that unless one understands the question, they are bound to provide the wrong answers despite their best efforts.

But more importantly, if Mr. Obi’s false figures create alternative and not real facts, doesn’t it ask the question: has the PDP as a party or any committee thereof, in fact, committed any real effort into ascertaining the factual state of the economy, beyond the fact of moaning the loss of such privilege that gifted them spare keys to our collective patrimony for their self-gratification a while ago? If they had done some real group work on investigating and articulating the facts, would we be left to the rusty, residuary knowledge or worse, the poetic licence of Mr Obi’s creative genius to simply manufacture such statistics as he felt suited the outcomes of the debate as he desired? What exactly was the Dubai trip about? Was it just one for binging and ‘‘moonlighting’’, with allowance for a once a week photo op, for the benefit of cheering atikulators back home?

There are those who would accuse me of over reacting to mere statistical errors, and perhaps they are right. But when we consider that Mr Obi also does not provide any solutions capable of being interrogated, along with the fact that as Dr Chukwuma Soludo had drawn our attention, he had only recently as governor, on the back of statistics perhaps of similar manufacture, ‘mis-invested’ almost all state revenue constructing roads of scarce vehicles or business interest to connect villages of no real economic value, such that his testimonial, despite this huge investment in infrastructure was an increase in poverty in Anambra State from 20% in 2004 to 68% in 2010, i.e. some 238% deterioration by the records of the National Bureau of Statistics, shouldn’t we be afraid of a repetition of such development that leaves us poorer, on a national scale?

But it is his response to the fight against corruption that must make us more afraid. His position, as surely that of his party, is that fighting corruption is not an economic policy, but he was not careful enough in the same breath, not to suggest promotion of corruption as economic policy, when he excused the government from the obligation to fight corruption by the twisted allegory that you do not close down your shop to chase thieves. What is the value of an open shop if the shop keeper is not in it because he chases thieves? Or does Mr Obi suggest in this two character story, that the shop keeper remains in the shop tending his remaining wares while the thieves go unpursued, unapprehended and unpunished? It is important at this point to note that both Mr Obi and Prof Osinbajo were agreed that while the government in this story is the shop keeper, the fleeing thieves are actually PDP members who had held office previously. What economic policy, should we expect then if the erstwhile fleeing thieves in the story, emerge also as shopkeeper?

  1. The quite uninspiring position of Prof Osinbajo that if they won the 2019 election they would simply continue to do what they have been doing. He said this repeatedly without demonstrating why their actions today have not reduced suffering in the land and how a continuation will inevitably lead to an improvement of the people’s fortune. He thus ended up as unhelpful as the man with a bag of lying statistics.

To mouth the building of rails, roads and similar infrastructure without demonstrating the direct positive impact of that on the people truly says nothing better than a Peter Obi network of roads to nowhere while the people stayed poor offers.

At all times investment in the people’s development and capacity to create and enjoy wealth should take priority over cold concrete infrastructure. I recall to make this point, the monumental misadventure in Cross Rivers state when a starry-eyed Donald Duke invested all state funds in a humongous infrastructure called the Tinapa, as priority over policies that would eradicate poverty in the state at the earliest possible time. His projection we understood, was that Tinapa would earn the state such revenue that would in turn cause an improvement the state’s economy and quality of life for its ‘citizens’. However by the consequence of existing crushing poverty and incompetences which they suffered, the people of the state could not be the immediate patrons of the facility, neither did they have the capacity that would enable them benefit from it. And thus having been excluded by reason of their lack, they began to regards it with disdain.

Tinapa sits there today as victim of surrounding poverty as it is a testament of how great infrastructure can come too early to be useful.

Greetings

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PRESIDENT BUHARI – THINK TWICE BEFORE RUNNING FOR 2019 ELECTION

Mr. Abiodun


NOT AS INNOCENT AS YOU THINK

Several people have said, “Why the fuss about doctrinal correctness?”

Such people argue that there is no need to worry about doctrinal details, what is important is love. So far as we love our neighbours, the details of what we believe do not make much difference.

Is this really the position of the Bible?

While it is true that we ought to love our neighbours as Christ loves us, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that it is also very important that we pay good attention to the details of what we believe.

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the DOCTRINE; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1Tim 4:16)

“As I besought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine.” (1Tim 1:3)

Why is this so? It is because doctrine drives practice. What we believe mostly determines what we do. In other words, our belief system is the engine that drives our lives. We can’t love our neighbours as Christ loves us if our belief is faulty.

For example, the true Gospel places a high premium on giving to the poor and the needy. As far as Jesus is concerned, whoever gives to the poor gives to Him (Mat 25:31-40). In fact, He says categorically that He would reject some people on the last day for their insensitivity to the poor and needy.

“41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Mat 25:41-46)

The Apostles of Christ took the words of Jesus very seriously. The few occasions they raised funds as documented in the New Testament scriptures were basically because of the poor and the needy.

However, the prosperity gospel places a higher premium on paying tithe and sowing seeds to the institutionalized church or “the anointed” above giving to the poor. Some of the prosperity teachers actually teach that giving to “the anointed” or “an anointed ministry” is sowing to the Spirit while giving to the poor is sowing to the flesh. In other words, giving to “the anointed” or “an anointed ministry” is highly profitable while giving to the poor is of no value.

A keen observer cannot but agree that this teaching is primarily responsible for the skewed pattern of giving in the Prosperity/Pentecostal circle today whereby church members strive to give substantial portions of their income to “the anointed man” and his ministry while they turn blind eyes to their suffering neighbours whom they could have easily helped.

Another reason why it is important to pay a keen attention to doctrines is because doctrinal errors that are left unchallenged have a way of spreading far and wide in the Church like the way a small quantity of yeast does in a lump of flour. Just like the way a good doctrine spreads across the body of Christ, an errorness doctrine left to continue without adequate countermeasures would sooner or later become mainstream.

“Another parable spoke he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Mat 13:33)

“Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Mat 26:6)

For example, a crop of preachers started the prosperity gospel in the US about 70 years ago. Today, the theology has become a global phenomenon that is a serious threat to the Gospel message. Another example in this regard is the the fall-down-and-die theology. One man in one corner of Lagos repackaged the concept of praying against enemies that was previously restricted to the indigenous Nigerian “Aladura” group some years ago. Today, this theology that majors in “killing” both human and demonic enemies in prayer has spread like a wildlife across various denominations in Nigeria and is now becoming a pan-african phenomenon. This is in spite of the fact the Lord Jesus and His Apostles expressly commanded that we should love our human enemies.

Not only do the unchallenged error spread, it also creates room for several errors to spring up since the peddlers know that whatever error they concort will meet little or no resistance. Again, we see examples of this in the Pentecostal circle how one error after another sprang up and spread because many of those who know the truth were not willing to speak against the errors being peddled around by their contemporaries.

In order to underscore the importance of doctrinal correctness, the Apostle Paul in particular devoted substantial portions of his epistles to the churches to doctrinal instructions. In fact, a recurring pattern in most of his epistles to the churches was a lager initial portion that was committed to doctrinal instructions and a smallar second portion that was devoted to moral instructions.

From the foregoing, we can see why the Apostles of Christ and the early Church saw doctrinal correctness as a matter of life and death.

They wouldn’t allow anyone to peddle an error around them, no matter how innocent it looks, without adequate challenge.

Those who were sincerely wrong like in the case of Apollos who preached the baptism of John were corrected in love. They were not left to themselves out of feigned courtesy.

However, unrepentant peddlers of error were treated with appropriate measures ranging from sharp reprimand to isolation and excommunication from the community of the believers. For them, the way to love error peddlers was to rebuke and expose them.

“10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” (Titus 3:10-11)

“19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Tim 1:19-20)

“10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2John 1:10-11)

So, we see that doctrinal error is not as innocent as we may have wrongly assumed.

We would be wise to realise that all the Apostles of Christ except one, the Apostle Paul and many other early Christian leaders defended the truth of the Gospel with their very lives. They poured out their lives as a libation in order to pass on the Gospel to us undiluted.

Are we sure our generation will be able to transmit an unadulterated Gospel to the next generation?

IS IT WRONG TO REBUKE A MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL?

Change is constant with time : the only variable is man

An army barrack had four soldiers guarding a concrete slab in front of the barracks at all times.

Different commanders came and went but the tradition remained; the soldiers changed shifts guarding the slab.

​After 80 years, a new commander was assigned to the barracks.​ One of the things he did was to ask why things were done the way they were. ​

When he asked why soldiers were guarding the slab, he was told, We’ve always done it this way. It’s our tradition.​ Our former commanders instructed us to do that.

The commander was bent on finding out the reason for this practice. He went to the Archives to look for answers and came across a document that had the explanation.

The document was very old. It had instructions written by one of the retired commanders who had even passed away.

The new commander learnt that over 80 years ago, the barracks wanted to build a platform where events could be performed. When the concrete slab was laid, wild animals walked over it at night before the slab could dry.​

The soldiers would fix it the next morning but when evening came the same thing would happen. So the commander ordered that four soldiers should guard the concrete slab for three weeks to allow it to dry.

​The following week the commander was transferred to handle another assignment elsewhere, and a new commander was brought in.​

The new commander found the routine and continued to enforce it without asking any question.

And since then, every other commander that came did the same.

Thus, eighty years later; soldiers continued guarding the concrete slab. ​An assignment that was ordinarily designed to last just three weeks. . . 80yrs of ignorance​ with hard labour has passed.

CHANGE IS CONSTANT WITH TIME : THE ONLY VARIABLE IS MAN

​Are you carrying on obsolete beliefs, attitudes traditions/culture that were relevant to certain people or a certain time?​

What is your opinion about yourself, people of a different race, politics, certain business opportunities, new products etc ?

​You might just be guarding a concrete slab!

​Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible (Ignorance can make you work hard without progress).

Find out why you do what you do. Change the way you work and be creative. Do new things, try newer ways and always be open to Change. Change is constant with time : the only variable is man.

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WHY YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO CHANGE THE WORLD

By, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, OON.


PRESIDENT BUHARI, THE IMAGINATIVE CLONE AND HUMAN GENETICS.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t like to involve myself in the nauseating debate about the rumoured cloning of President Muhammadu Buhari and the imaginative Jibril Aminu of Sudan because it is rubbish in the face of scientific realities.

As a Nigerian who bagged Ph.D degree in Human Genetics in congenital malformations arising from chromosomal aberrations in 1975 and had Post-Doctoral Research in mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, I consider myself as competent to comment on the needless controversy.

For a 75 years old adult to be cloned, a living cell must be obtained and subjected to some manipulations that will convert it to totipotent cell. The totipotent cell will now undergo embryological development that will produce a young human fetus.

It should be noted that for the fetus to grow and become a replica to a 75 years adult, it will take 75 years to grow.

It must also be said that the phynotypical presentation of a man is a product of interaction between his genotype and the environment.

Therefore, for the clone to look like the same man, it must be exposed to the exact environment for a period equivalent to 75 years.

It is therefore ridiculous for anybody to think Mr President has been cloned and that the person who is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a clone from Sudan.

Instructively, I have had opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with Mr President before he took ill and after his recovery, there is nothing to suggest that Nigeria is governed by a clone of President Muhammadu Buhari.

I will therefore appeal to Nigerians to stop making insinuations and statements that ridicule our beloved country in the global scientific world.

Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, OON is the Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District.

THE SITTING NIGERIA PRESIDENT IS NOT BUHARI, HE IS AN IMPOSTER FROM SUDAN!!

By: Mr. Abiodun


ANATOMY OF THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL –

PART 2

DEFINITION

The prosperity gospel, also known as the prosperity theology, is difficult to define precisely because it is not a systematized theological thought. However, it is often defined by many theologians as the “gospel of wealth and health” because of its disproportionate emphasis on material wealth and physical health as opposed to the traditional Gospel message that emphasizes deliverance from sin through the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

ORIGIN

The prosperity theology is a relatively new concept because it was birthed less than 70 years ago. It is an offspring of the Pentecostal movement which broke out of the Methodist-Holiness movement. The Pentecostal movement began on the Azusa Street of Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1906 through the Azusa Street Revival that spanned from 1906 to 1915. The revival was led by William Joseph Seymour (May 2, 1870 – September 28, 1922), a holiness preacher of the African American extraction. From the street of Azusa, many participants of the revival went to different parts of the United States of America and the World at large with the Pentecostal Revival message that spread like a wildfire thereafter. Prior to this, Charles Fox Parham (June 4, 1873 – January 29, 1929), an American holiness preacher and evangelist, started conducting a Bible study series in late 1900 with his students in the Bethel Bible College at Topeka, USA, where it was discovered that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was usually accompanied by the evidence of speaking in other tongues in the Bible. On the evening of 1st January 1901, Agnes Ozman, a female student at Bethel Bible College, requested to be prayed for to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which she received. She was the first person among this group to speak in tongues, even before Parham. William Seymour was a student of this Bible college before he left to start the Azusa Street revival.

Although several individuals have tried to label the Pentecostal experience as false or demonic because of certain character defects noted in Charles Parham, I am of the opinion that Scriptural evidence ought to take precedence over human frailty since God often uses imperfect people to accomplish His work. We shall deal with the subject at another time if God permits.

Classical Pentecostalism emphasized four cardinal doctrines: salvation by faith in Christ alone, baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in new tongues, divine healing and the second coming of Christ, in addition to other classical Protestant beliefs. This continued until after the World War II (WW 2) when the American healing revival broke out. Several healing evangelists began to emphasize divine healing in their messages in addition to salvation and prayed openly for people to be healed. Some of these healing evangelists in the early 1950s then began to emphasize that God blesses His people financially and materially in addition to salvation from sin and healing from sicknesses. We shall call this the “Abundant Life theology”. In the 1960s, the abundant life message became the primary focus of the healing revivals. During the decade, Willian Braham, a healing evangelist and prophet, criticized these preachers that their fund-raising tactics unfairly pressured the seekers.

We need to at this point understand the state of the Church prior to this time. Due to overemphasis on the sovereignty of God, it was a general believed that sicknesses and poverty in the life of the Christian were acts of God. Whoever was afflicted with any of them thought they were suffering for Christ. It was the will of God as far as they were concerned. Some actually thought that poverty was synonymous with piety. They had a limited understanding of the scriptures in regard to the origins of these twin afflictions, the efficacy of prayer and the application of practical wisdom in overcoming them. Hence, the general belief in the Church then tended towards fatalism.

It would have been alright if these teachings were limited to exactly what the Bible says on these subjects. Alas, this was not to be. Just like all other restoration movements that went beyond what is written in the scriptures, the healing revival and the Abundant Life gospel went awry in their emphases.

Several healing evangelists such as Asa Alonso Allen (A. A. Allen), Gordon Lindsay, T. L. Osborn, Oral Roberts etc. championed this movement at inception. Gordon Lindsay and A. A. Allen, among others, published literature that outlined the basic contents of the Abundant Life message. However, Oral Roberts is believed to be the one who laid a grand foundation for the theology. He published a book in 1970 entitled “Miracle of the Seed-Faith” in which many, if not all the principles and methods of the Abundant Life theology were outlined. A revised edition of this book was published in 1999.

Classical Pentecostalism ab initio maintained that the believer’s healing is in the atonement based on Isiah 53:5.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa 53:5)

Two basic questions come to mind in regard to this belief. Is divine healing truly in the atonement? If divine healing is indeed in the atonement, is it meant to be manifest exactly like salvation from sin in this present dispensation for all believers in Christ at all the times? We shall leave these questions unanswered for now until a later time.

About fifty years after the beginning of Pentecostalism, the Abundant Life theology declared that the believer’s material prosperity is also guaranteed by the atonement. This time around, there was no explicit scriptural reference that could be cited to establish this assertion. Though paid for by the atonement as taught by the theology, the believer can only access these blessings through the seed-faith that comes in form of tithe, first-fruits, seed offering, special offering, prophet offering, sacrificial offering, vows, pledges etc.

In addition to the Abundant Life movement, the “Word of Faith” movement also began among the Pentecostals in the 1970s and became very popular thereafter. The Word of Faith emphasize divine healing and material prosperity like the Abundant Life message but it teaches that positive confession (Word of Faith) is the means by which these blessings are obtained. In other words, the Abundant Life theology teaches that the seed-faith is the key to these temporal blessings while the Word of Faith teaches that positive confession is the key.

The Word of Faith theology was popularized by Kenneth E. Hagin, although Essek William Kenyon (1867–1948) who died about two decades and a half before the teaching became popular laid down the principles of the theology. Several individuals have attributed the origin of the Word of Faith theology to the New Thought or Mind Cure movement pioneered by Phineas Quimby and the other New Age teachers because E. W. Kenyon once studied at the Emerson School of Oratory as a young person. This may not be absolutely correct because he rebuked the New Age teachers for their faulty theology because it isn’t based on Christ. Kenyon believed that positive confession is alright but it has to be founded on Christ’s finished work.

To Kenneth E. Hagin’s credit, he made effort to correct some of the excesses of the prosperity gospel towards the end of his life. Some of the corrections were documented in his book “Midas Touch” but it seems many of the second-generation prosperity preachers are too far into the theology to retrace their steps.

Therefore, the prosperity gospel, as we know it today, is an admixture of the Abundant Life theology and the Word of Faith theology.

To be continued………………….

ANATOMY OF THE “PROSPERITY GOSPEL” (PART 1PREAMBLE)

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