Pastor Tunde Bakare, Politics and the Church – In Defense of Truth By Peter Akpobasah

Peter Akpobasah
A lot of criticism has been generated on Pastor Tunde Bakare with regards to his role in politics and the attempts he has made so far to try to put right what he perceives wrong in the house of God.
When you critically look at the man Pastor Bakare, you see someone with a very strong passion and desire to free Nigeria from the grip of satan which has been made possible by political leaders and to a large extent supposed men of God.
The motive behind a person’s action is what really matters, not just the content of the actions itself. I have listened to Pastor Tunde Bakare’s teachings over the years and I must admit he has a passion for excellence. In one of his messages, he revealed how he flogged two of his children for not showing appreciation for the car him and his wife bought for them after suffering through the day going from one car shop to the other because the colour was similar to the old one they changed. According to the children, their friends would not see the difference between the new car and the old one because of the resemblance in colour. They had to be taught a hard lesson by their father. Also, he decided to close down branches of his church, the Latter Rain Assembly, because, according to him, his surprise visit to these churches showed that they were being run like “day care centers”.
So you can see that the man’s zeal in ensuring that things are done the right way is in his blood. He did not spare his children neither did he spare his churches; he dispensed discipline indiscriminately.
Pastor Tunde Bakare is the convener of the Save Nigeria Group. This is the same group that stood firm to ensure vice president Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as president when the late president was hanging on to life on a life support machine. For months Nigerians were ruled by a cabal. Nobody did anything until the man mobilized Nigerians to stage a protest. Today, he is labeled “enemy of state” because he voices out what he perceives as bad governance. The same government he stood to defend now tells a sad story about him. Can someone not see what the man stands for? In my eyes, he stands for truth.

According to the bible, it is a known fact that God used his prophets to warn kings of their atrocities. At a particular time, he sent a prophet to tell a king that he would die. What? Can that happen in Nigeria? God did not say: “go and pray for him”. The message was clear: deliver the message and leave. There are many more examples that abound in the Bible. Another account is recorded in the book of 2nd Samuel, Chapter 12 of how King David, (a great prophet of God,) committed murder because of covetousness. A far lesser prophet by the name Nathan was sent by God to go and deliver a very unpleasant message to the king. He had the courage to go to David, a man known to be strong at war – one who had killed a lion, a bear and the giant, Goliath, when he was a teenager. Nathan refused to fear, but went to confront David. How many of our pastors can do that today? Would they not change the message if they were to meet the president face to face?

We are told in our churches to keep quiet even in the midst of pain and become religious morons or robots. Even if your pastor engages in sexual acts with your wife, keep quiet. This reminds me of an unconfirmed story of a senior pastor in one of our churches in Nigeria who was having an affair with one of his church workers. At a point, the sister decided to get married. As customary in that church, she had to announce the good news to the pastor. The pastor still bound in his lust, kicked against the marriage and his action led to the sister singing songs that brought the pastor’s nefarious acts to the open. The wife, also a senior pastor in the church, finally got to know. Hell broke loose. The matter was discussed discreetly, so that “God would not hear”: “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm”. Then the question is: “has God changed?” Has he changed his nature, so as to accommodate filth in the church and society at large? The pastor in question was shielded and I am sure no punishment of any kind was meted out to him. Instead, the sister was blamed for spilling the beans. Why he was not disciplined for his action still poses a surprise to me. What is the church turning to?

A serving president decided to remove subsidy on imported fuel into Nigeria without recourse to the people who voted him into power. He did not thoroughly consider the pain they would go through. Pastor Tunde Bakare indiscriminately identified with other passionate leaders including but not limited to Seun Kuti, Patrick Obahiagbon, Dino Melaye, Shehu Sani and staged a strong resistance by organizing rallies that forced the government to renege on the full removal of fuel subsidy and Nigerians were a little bit relieved. Today, the same person says the rot in government that led to the suggested discarding of the Ribadu’s report on the oil sector must not be ignored. He is standing firm on the line of truth to ensure that things are done in the right way. Corruption, he says is too much and must stop so that Nigeria can move forward, but someone with a twisted mindset may condemn such a man. Something is truly wrong somewhere.

Bakare does not seem to me a hungry man. He is a lawyer and from the way he speaks and reveals truths I am sure he would have been a successful lawyer if he decided to practice law. I am also sure, there are many pastors who may not be half as influential and comfortable as Pastor Tunde Bakare that would never risk their lives in the way he has done; they would keep quiet and praise a failed governor and invite him to their churches for thanksgiving after entering into office via engaging in election malpractice and/or bribing judges with state money to influence election tribunal judgments in his favour. Why do some pastors engage in this acts? At the end of the thanksgiving, an offering will be given and you can bet the pastor will be smiling to the bank thereafter. However, I am yet to hear of any crooked political leader to go to the Later Rain Assembly to do such unholy thanksgivings.
Some Christians may feel opposed to the fact that I am writing in a manner that may not be edifying to the church. But how much more should we keep quiet? We kept quiet and same sex marriage crept into the church. Meanwhile, for the same reason God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The word sodomy came from Sodom. Did that act please God? No, otherwise he would have sent a Jonah to them, like what happened in Nineveh. God is not interested in numbers. He showed it to Gideon when he told him that he would over-run the philistines as one man. Gideon had to recruit many soldiers to go to war, but God reduced the number. At last it was only Gideon that did what was asked of him to do: win the great battle.

I have discovered a trend in Nigeria. People wear the cleanest of their clothes to churches, but they carry “unwashed” hearts. If people’s hearts could be as clean as their clothes, then the world would have been a better place to live in.
The Bible tells us that God is a Spirit and anyone that worships him must do that in Spirit and in Truth. These are the true worshipers. I believe strongly that God is pleased with the man, Pastor Tunde Bakare for standing on the side of truth.
Let every one of us boldly and respectfully correct one another without fear and favour and soon, Nigeria would become a nation of pride. The pastors who ‘close their eyes to filth’ so they may get favour from political leaders are worshiping Mammon. God is love and love does not rejoice in iniquity. Jesus Christ proved this when he used whips (Koboko) on gamblers and money changers in the house of God. He even called them names. If Jesus were to be in Nigeria today, he would chastise many pastors for the same reason he upturned tables in his time.
Pastor Tunde Bakare deserves a National award. He is a true man of God!

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