This is an official Statement from Church Arise! on the coming gubernatorial election in Osun State. It is also applicable to the coming general elections in February 2019 - from the Ward level to the Presidential election.
Summary: The CAN should dare to have a single candidate (transparently chosen), and should dare to give him maximum legitimate support; and we have won, irrespective of the outcome of the election on September 22!
CHURCH’S PRIORITY IS TO DISCERN GOD’S WILL AND BOLDLY PROCLAIM IT WITH A UNITED VOICE
“But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:13-17)
Our God is the true God, the living God, and the everlasting King (Jer. 10:10). He is not scratching His head concerning who should be the next governor of Osun state. He has a candidate in mind. The Church, being God’s ambassador in this space has the duty to understand God’s will and proclaim it authoritatively with a united voice (Eph. 5:17).
So far, with respect to the coming elections, the Church can best be described as having been more or less “playing politics” – of course with a godly intention, seeking the best for the State in general, and Christians in particular. The leadership rather than putting the Church’s full weight to back the candidate discerned to be God’s will, is trying to cautiously calculate which candidates have sufficient clout to win the election and consequently guard her pronouncements so that the Church will not “lose out” should the wrong candidate win!
Producing the winner into the gubernatorial office is very good and desirable. However, it is far more important that the Church learn to discern God’s voice, agree on it, and mobilize her constituency appropriately, than the Church being in the good books of the eventual winner of the election – whether such be her candidate or not.
Whether the eventual winner be the church’s preferred candidate or someone else, what would give the church a clout in the affairs of the state is the clear demonstration that the Church can mobilize her constituency to defend clearly defined legitimate interests. And the basic interest of the Church, (as Salt of the earth and Light of the world) is clear anyway: it is primarily for a government that is honest, responsible, righteous, and fair to all, delivering “life more abundant” to all and sundry!
Even if the eventual winner is the church’s preferred candidate, the clout that the church will have on him (could be her) will be proportional to the role she played in standing up for him. That is, it is those who actually sponsored and supported the candidate that will call the shots during governance - even if the candidate wishes otherwise!
Conversely, should the eventual winner not be the Church’s preferred candidate, he will still have no choice other than continually respect the Church if he perceives that she is able to mobilize her constituency to stand on clear principled issues.
As a responsible Christian organization, Church Arise! endorses the theoretical claim that it is not impossible that Islam could totally push Christianity out of circulation in Nigeria as happened in Turkey, and presumably is set to happen in Europe. Every legitimate step to forestall this must therefore be diligently pursued. We would however be sorry for deluded Islamists who actually hang to such hopes! As we wrote before, Islamists could only push so far before they trigger certain unprecedented backlash. That was exactly the phenomenon that produced Donald Trump in the US and is actively manifesting all across Europe at the present time, even in France! Mohammed Morsi and the Moslem brotherhood of Egypt can tell the story better! (see our previous articles on this here and here!).
As far as we are concerned, things can hardly be worse for the Church than they are in today’s Nigeria – to us, one of the clear indicators that we are in the final moments of the end time! There is a general lack of sense of purpose of what the Church should be doing on earth: ushering in the Kingdom of God, which guarantees TRUE peace, prosperity, and life more abundantly for all! The satan-inspired evils that threaten to engulf our society are real – drugs, immorality, bloodshed, violence, unrighteousness, persecution of the godly, etc. The Church should realize that we are the ONLY solution to all these desperate endtime moves of the Devil (Rev 12:12). Not only do we have the resources (the Gospel, Prayer, and the indwelling Holy Spirit), we also have the responsibility to put the Devil in his place as we enforce God’s will on earth. We should therefore be bold and assertive on the issue of nation-building.
Demonstrating the superiority of the Gospel in building a righteous and functional society in this way is the only legitimate and effective way of evangelizing the world. We ask people to come to Jesus and embrace His ways not just because we want to claim them as “members” of our faith, but because Jesus is the benign Creator of all, whose ways provide the pathway to sustainably enjoy the goodness He has designed for all!
If we are focused on this, the emphasis would shift away from who occupies a political office; but building systems that would lift up the nation, prosper her inhabitants, and bless mankind in general. If a wrong person should somehow get into political office in that clime, he would need to either adjust himself or get vomited out of the office. Conversely, if the system continues to be skewed and dilapidated, with no clear voice of the Church to provide principled deterrence, even the “right” person might not be able to accomplish much in political office!
So, Church Arise! urgently urges the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Osun state to prayerfully and formally adopt a candidate in the coming election. CAN should similarly urge all other candidates who subscribe to her leadership to step down for such a candidate and openly support him not only at the polls, but during governance – should he emerge eventual winner. More importantly, such a coalition of godly politicians who subscribe to the leadership of the CAN should be nurtured and kept active irrespective of who is in office.
The CAN should consequently ensure that every bloc and segment of her constituency is mobilized to support and vote for that candidate on Saturday 22nd September. There might or might not be an official press release documenting the key factors informing the choice of the Church and our expectation of the incoming government; but it is important that the decision be repeatedly announced on every pulpit throughout the length and breadth of the state. There is still ample time to do this.
Once the Church can agree and mobilize in this way, we have already won the election. And even more than that, we are on our way to winning the much bigger battle of entrenching good and godly governance, thus fulfilling our mandate to ensure God’s will is done on earth as is in heaven. If we are united and purposeful, making use of our physical and spiritual weapons, there is no way we can lose!
Ile-Ife. 14th September, 2018