Bishops who scramble as religious crusaders and political activists may be fired by heavenly guards – By Isaac Asabor
It is undeniable that virtually all of the journalists and other attendees who graced the formal presentation of former Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima as the running mate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Standard Bearer Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Wednesday hilariously watched as people dressed as pastors and bishops showed up at the scene. Their presence at the political event undoubtedly set off a hilarious atmosphere as onlookers and guests stared at them as they entered the reception of the Musa Yar’Adua Center, dressed in their usual clothes and habits, amid a strong security presence on site. .
To the dismay of many Christian-affiliated Nigerians, bishops and pastors were seen at Tinubu’s unveiling of Shettima as running mate and then anger spread across the country.
In its reaction, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) issued a statement disavowing the clerics present at the event, saying they were fake. The body said they were mechanics and craftsmen hired by the APC with robes on them to make it look like they were bishops and pastors.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and President of Kaduna State, Reverend Joseph John Hayab, said Tinubu was free “to hire mechanics and other craftsmen and to sew office clothes for them”.
He said, “The people we saw at the unveiling of Shettima parading as bishops are people who haven’t had enough time to learn how to wear bishop’s clothes. Take a closer look at their picture and you will see another Nollywood movie.
However, in an attempt to extinguish the literary flame of the blows that continued to hail the theatrical incident, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the campaign organization of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, rightly denied the report doing the rounds that feigns bishops have been hired to witness the official unveiling of Kashim Shettima as the running mate in the 2023 general election.
Reacting to development, Tinubu Campaign Organization through its Director of Media and Communications, Mr Bayo Onanuga said the Bishops have not been hired, adding that the clerics are patriotic Nigerians who believe in the unity of the country, emphasizing that they (the bishops) are not big names in Christianity yet but to come.
He said, “We want to say that these clergymen were not fakes or mechanics or yam sellers as the purveyors of hate made Nigerians believe in social media. They are not yet big names in Christianity, they are gradually building their missions.
“These are church leaders who sincerely believe that Nigerians should shun the policies of hatred and religious bigotry and instead embrace the policies of peace and nation building.
“We therefore deplore the hysterical turn of the presence of these men and women in cassocks and the false accusation brought against our candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Shettima”.
In my opinion, the leadership of the Tinubu campaign organization should not blame anyone who says the bishops are wrong, because there have been 10 obvious mistakes that exposed them and got people talking about them. First and foremost, they all came to the event at the same time, which means they were from the same location, and second, they were rushing into a queue at the entrance, and whoever says that they are truly ordained bishops should know that a truly trained bishop who is called by God will not publicly behave in such a reprehensible and disorderly manner. As if the previous errors were not obvious enough, many netizens who understand the dress code of bishops have taken to social media to enlighten other Nigerians that so-called bishops are wrongly wearing the cassocks which should be attire. ceremony at a political event. They enlightened Nigerians that the Roman Pontiff wears a white cassock, Monsignors, Bishops and Cardinals have what is known as a “choir cassock” for liturgical occasions, but they are not worn for everyday occasions.
They also explained that their dressing lacked a pectoral cross which should be worn on the neck even though the Pallium was supposed to be fake and the insignia they wore were not ironed. To make matters worse, the Miter/Skull Cap was observed to be erroneously adorned.
Again they all left at once and all headed in a particular direction (like they were going to share something) while some of them couldn’t afford a taxi but used Keke or Okada (motorbike) to return home.
Quite suspiciously, they refused to be interviewed by journalists even though they individually use bags to shield their faces from the cameras. Again, those in costume had no Bibles or necklaces as they all looked stressed and distressed. Worse still, among them, 30 were unknown men of God.
At this point, it is appropriate to say that the fact that the bishops are fake and that they were mercenaries does not take away from the fact that the Muslim/Muslim ticket is not a bad omen, even if their visit to the location of a political event generated an unprecedented level of support. politics in the political history of Nigeria.
Inasmuch as I am of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with men of God involving themselves in politics, for the involvement of more Christians in the political affairs of the nation is without doubts the only way righteous rulers can exercise authority over the people. rejoice, I hate to see men of God getting involved in partisan politics, and in the process literally dirtying their cassocks in the murky waters of politics.
In fact, the reason every man of God should avoid political partisanship is that, quite literally, it is one of Satan’s most powerful instruments for conforming the Church to the world. Jesus was clear in declaring that “His kingdom was not of this cosmos” (John 18:36) and praying that his followers would be unified “in the cosmos, but not out of it” (John 17: 14-19). The Greek word κόσμος (cosmos) is aptly translated as “the social order of the world”, the very substance of partisan politics.
This is what Jesus resisted when Satan took him to a high mountain and offered him the “kingdoms of the cosmos and their glory” if Jesus would submit to him (Matthew 4:8-11). If the kingdoms of the world belonged to Satan, they are still under his jurisdiction.
When these “cosmetics” are worn by the Church, and the social order of the Church resembles that of the world, the Church loses both its moral influence and its freedom to speak truth to the worldly power of all edges. Jesus clearly ordered his followers to avoid this social order of the world with all its power games (Matthew 20:25-28).
Again, there are legitimate reasons for men of God to get involved in politics, but partisan politics is not one of them. Paul establishes that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20) and that we are “ambassadors of Christ” imploring the world to “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Each local church is an embassy of the kingdom of God, and each member is an emissary from heaven with a missionary visa to the world. The redemptive prayer of everyone in Christendom is that the kingdom of God be visible “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Along the same lines, Paul advises all members of Christendom that their “true and proper worship” be “transformed by the renewal of their spirit, not conforming to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:1-2 ). In this context, I wonder how this is possible if men of God take Satan’s bait and make our churches into temples of political ideology.
At this point, it is fitting to say that any man of God, a bishop in this context, should understand that he lives and ministers in the same “deep state”; the state of fear and shame. Every time he begins to believe that he is simply fighting those on any side of the aisle, he forgets that “our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities , against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies” (Ephesians 6:12).
In fact, our bishops should be in the church preaching the good news, and also speaking the truth to the collective conscience of politicians urging them to bring about good governance, because they cannot avoid the real problems as ambassadors of Christ in a world they are called to redeem. . They should refrain from preaching partisan politics, for nothing would please Satan more than to set foot in the door of their various churches in his quest to conform them to his will. Therefore, they resort to preaching the infallible word of God, and that has a way of offending us all sometimes, because it reminds us again and again that we live in a world that doesn’t even make sense. if the world is not our permanent residence. .
In this context, one cannot be mistaken in saying that in view of the fact that the Bible states that the heavenly gates are guarded to prevent evil from entering the city of heaven, and that each of the 12 gates is protected by a angel, whom the bishops jostle because Christian crusaders and political activists can be dismissed by celestial guards.