In 167 BC. AD, Antiochus IV, also known as Antiochus the Fool, the Seleucian Greek king of Syria conquered Jerusalem. To cement his grip, subjugate and Hellenize the Jews, he forbade the daily temple sacrifice, and in its place he sacrificed pigs on the altar of God to Zeus. According to most Bible scholars, Antiochus IV’s sacrilegious act in the temple of God in Jerusalem was a partial fulfillment of a prophecy in the book of Daniel and a foreshadowing of what will happen at the end when the Antichrist will be revealed. For a layman, the abomination of desolation refers to the falsification of the sacred rite.
In a sense, it is a state where Satan and his demons have taken God’s place in the Church. It is a state where the altar of God is transformed into a bed of immorality, where rape, pedophilia and even incest are rife. Two weeks ago, the media ran the story of a 12-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by her pastor, Michael Abiodun. According to the story, the girl’s mother sent her to the pastor for prayers in hopes of casting out the demon that claimed the lives of her other children. But instead of casting out any demon, her pastor became the demon that touched the unclean thing and ate the forbidden fruit. This precious little girl is only the latest victim of so many others who had been raped by so-called pastors under the influence of the devil, or under the direction of the “holy spirit”.
This evil is alive and well in every denomination in the land. However, it has a higher prevalence rate in what most Nigerians call a one-person church. This brings to life the words of another prophet who once lamented that because of people like these pastors, the name of the Lord is blasphemed, discredited among the unbelievers. Cases like this abound. Last month, news broke that a pastor Enoch Sule from Kaduna State had impregnated two sisters during a prayer session on the mountain. According to the story, the holy spirit commanded them to pray naked. In February, a pastor Michael Onoyume in Delta State made headlines for impregnating a married woman, whose wedding ceremony he conducted. In 2021, a pastor in Lagos, Cletus OIatunji, defiled and impregnated a 14-year-old member of his church, and also obtained an abortion to terminate the pregnancy.
In August 2020, a pastor Ebenezer Ajigbotoluwa impregnated two sisters; he also cheated their mother out of around 2 million naira. His defense was that every man of God is cast out by the devil except one whose time has not yet come. Also in 2020, in the distant United Kingdom, a Nigerian pastor, Michael Olurunbi, was convicted of sexually assaulting six girls and a boy; however, the saddest thing was that his wife, Juliana Olurunbi, helped him and eased him.
In a 2019 Ibadan court, a woman accused her husband, pastor Adeyemi Adekunle, of impregnating two church members; and she begged the court to dissolve her 18-year marriage.
The cases are countless, but what is most heartbreaking are the cases of incest committed by some of these pastors; such as a case in 2020, of a pastor Oyefemi Oyebola, who was reported to the police for raping and impregnating his daughter, and providing her with an abortion three times. He was even organizing family planning before his bubble burst.
The abomination of desolation in our churches today runs across the spectrum, and it ranges from various types of financial abuse, sexual crimes, and outright murder.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stop because evil seems to have transformed our daily reality; and church men and women have outsourced their brains, making their pastors, Mom and Dad GO the fountain of all wisdom. It should not be so for any true Christian. In fact, God calls his people to worship him in spirit and in truth; He calls them to worship him with all their minds. He said to his people, “You must be holy to me, for I, the Lord, am holy. It is very easy to miss the importance of the term spirit, as it is used in the scriptures, unless it is clearly understood as the seat of intellect, reason and will. humans.
The implication is that Christians must know God for themselves. Yes, their pastors can preach and teach, but they have to think for themselves. It behooves them to go back and search the scriptures for themselves to see if the teachings and doctrines they adopted were in tandem with the existing scriptures. They should follow the example of the Berean Christians whom Paul calls honorable because they did not follow his teaching with hook, line and sinker.
They went back to the scriptures to confirm if Paul’s teachings were consistent with scripture. Take for example the case of Timothy Ngwu, an excited pastor who allegedly impregnated 20 women in his congregation in 2019 under the instruction of the holy spirit. How was it possible that all these women, including married women and their husbands, believed Ngwu’s prophecy, that the holy spirit commanded him to impregnate anyone chosen and revealed, whether married or not? ? During an interview, he had the audacity to say that he never slept with a married woman without the husband’s consent.
It is easy to wonder why or how this is done. Or, what Bible passage did Ngwu use to deceive his victims, and if the victims read the passages for themselves? Obviously, women and their husbands are lazy. Come to think of it, most Christians today are highly educated, but they indulge pastors, joining them to do very stupid things that our uneducated Christian grandparents would never imagine. You may remember that a few months ago in a viral video we saw young men and women bathing naked in a stream under the instructions of an acclaimed poster, Onye Eze Jesus. We were amazed by the show, but he preaches the Bible, under the instruction of holy spirit. But if Paul were to be alive today, his words would have been, O foolish Nigerians, who have bewitched you.
In reporting most of these stories, most national dailies use the term “acclaimed pastor” to signal the incongruity of such behavior for men of the cloth. But are they all pastors? No. All are prophets? No. Do all have healing gifts? No. Have all been called? No. But many have called themselves, and their God is their belly. They are the charlatans among us. Hunger and unemployment are the Siamese twins that are diluting and driving Christianity to extinction, while the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) sleeps.
Should anyone be allowed to start a church? Of course not. This may not sound nice, but is there a biblical standard for who can pastor and church governance as a whole? Yes. Has the CAN or the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) used this criterion as stated in the books of Timothy and Jude? No why? Because the world influences the Church instead of the other way around, and immorality has spread like gangrene.
The weight of immorality has made the action of ecclesial organizations impossible; some even go so far as to cover up such cases to protect their name and that of the pastors. It is high time the government compelled CAN, PFN through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to add an extra layer of verification, which requires pastors and future GOs to obtain a “Good Report Form completed by at least 300 verifiable people before they were registered, including church elders. Would that take away the abomination in the church? No, but it would eliminate as many predatory pastors as possible.
Christians know that God will hold every pastor accountable, and those who committed crimes would face the wrath of the law here and now, but most Christians have to take responsibility, they have to read the Bible for themselves. Even though the word of God is understood through revelation, according to the Bible, He still invites His people to approach His word with reason, like any other literature. People shouldn’t go to church leaving common sense at home.
If, for example, the mother of this 12-year-old child in this case used her common sense, being fully aware of the world we live in, this evil may never have happened. But trusts blindly, and today her daughter is in the headlines. Her husband is not without sin in this saga. If his wife did not agree with him before allowing their daughter to attend a solo prayer session, then he is an absent father. My mother has an Igbo parable which when translated means that after you blame the kite or the hawk for taking the chicken, you also blame the chicken for being in the wrong place at the wrong time
The abomination of desolation is the operative doctrine of most of our churches, and as a result millions of good Christians hitherto suffer from it. It shouldn’t be like that. The solution to this madness is in every Christian home, even on cell phones. This solution happens to be the same Bible that millions have been deceived with. It should be read with reason and common sense, checking everything that GO Mom or Dad says.
By: Raphael Pepple