According to the English dictionary, a rebel is a person who resists an established authority, often violently.
It is with a heavy heart that I listened to the audio part of the video released by Pastor E.A Adeboye in respect of is late son, Pastor Dare. I was only able to listen to the audio part because of my visual disability. That to a great extent has limited my visual activity but increased the performance of other sense organs. Even when I was only able to hear Pastor Adeboye’s voice, in what fits in for description as his ‘Divine Acceptance Speech’, I was able to capture in entirety the essence of what humanity is in comparison with Divinity. His sermon was indeed an unprepared sermon which no one will ever pray to deliver in a lifetime.
One thing that stands out in all that happened as a result of the demise of a champion as well as a general in God’s army is that the pains are commensurate with the lessons. However, it has been the pains that are being expressed in different forms and shades even when Pastor E.A Adeboye, the general overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God and the biological father of Pastor Dare has concluded that the death of Pastor Dare should be seen as a seed. From the said video of Pastor Adeboye’s speech, little can one see any sign that indicates that the church has seen the incident as a wakeup call in any way. When the church and every one of us finally come to understand the sacrificial colouration or nature of Pastor Dare’s death, then, it will be easier to see and appreciate him as a rebel with a cause.
To start with, Pastor Dare’s death coincided with the 40th anniversary celebration of the Living Faith Church Worldwide aka Winners Chapel. Interestingly, Pastor E.A Adeboye was the man of God who was privileged to commission the ministry in 1981 as guest minister. Praying for the family of Bishop David Oyedepo, President and founder of the Living Faith Church and his family by Pastor E.A Adeboye has been a yearly routine since 1981. Coincidentally, this year’s 40th anniversary had Pastor E.A Adeboye in attendance of Monday, May 3rd for family prayers as usual. The following day, 4th of May, the news broke out that Pastor Oluwadare Adeboye went to bed peacefully and passed. It is unimaginable and won’t make sense to believe that Pastor Dare was not smart enough to recognize the difference between peace time and war time as well as celebration time and mourning time. With that understanding, the timing of his death would have been wrong.
For reasons known best to him, he chose to give up the ghost. What a man! Not just of words but actions and not just of contributions but commitments.
Another important circumstance that is worthy of mention in relation to the passing of Pastor Dare to glory is the position of the second in command person in Nigeria which is occupied by a Pastor and a member of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. Nigerians have never had it so bad in the country like this before to the extent that the unity of the country is being compromised. There is problem of insecurity everywhere ranging from banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, insurgency, herdsmen, farmers clashes, kidnapping of students from schools. It takes someone who understands the fear of God and is flexible to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know when to choose the good and refuse the evil.
The occupation of a very sensitive political office by an ordained pastor at this perilous times in the history of Nigeria is a cause for worry and a source of concern. Pastor Dare may not have much to do in his powers to change the tide when he was alive but has expressed his disaffection in the strongest and irrecoverable way.
These are questions that agitate the mind of an ordinary Nigerian: Which one is better, to have one’s child lost or dead? What would have been the mood today if Pastor Dare was kidnapped and killed? How can one compare the pain experienced by Pastor E.A Adeboye and all his well-wishers with those of the parents of the Chibok girls whose 7 year anniversary in captivity was marked on 14th of April.
The situations on ground are the worst that have ever happened but unfortunately, with an ordained pastor of The Redeemed Christian Church of God at the helm of affairs. Pastor Dare was averse to these and served as a cause for rebellion.
Worthy of mention here also is the hopeless situation of the Nigerian youths who have their majority domiciled in the church. Recall the #EndSars protest where Pastor (Mrs) Foluke Adeboye, wife of the general overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God and mother of the late Pastor Dare was reported to be sending relief materials to the #EndSars protesters on the street. Think of all the frustrations and the killings carried out against the protesters.
The churches in Nigeria are misplacing their priorities with regard to their social responsibilities to the church members especially the youths. Building of churches costing billions at the expense of creating employment opportunities for the youths is counterproductive and not even when you are aware that the vice president of the country is a Redeemed Pastor.
In a nut shell, Pastor Dare’s death should not only be seen as a seed but more importantly, it should serve as a wakeup call for the church of God in Nigeria against idolatry (love of money and the mundane things of life), corruption (stealing and diversion of Church’s money for personal use), denominationalism (discrimination, hatred, holier than thou attitude and arrogance) and lack of the true spirit of worship (turning the church into a social gathering).
On a final note, Pastor Oluwadare Adeboye was indeed a man of God with a ‘not how long but how well’ attitude to life and a rebel with a cause. “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.”
The gate of hell will not prevail on the church of God but until the church of God changes and transforms, travail will continue.
By Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju