By Nneka Okumazie
Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Church is a Pastor with fierceness in two ways: build the Church and build the Nation.
He probably understands that physical and economic welfare is better for faith in Jesus than in a society of many flaws.
Tunde Bakare, out of his comfort zone, has passionately spoken about national development and poor leadership in the nation.
The Pastor has been courageous. He speaks truth to power, risking much and showing selflessness.
He is outstanding. He pursues Salvation for his people. The smartness of the Pastor has fascinated many for decades.
Closely and from afar, he mentored lots of activists. He has done much in the pursuit of change.
However, it is clear to everyone that while it is possible to see obvious reasons why underdevelopment persists, it is possible to say the reason for slow development is complicated.
Leadership is a problem in Nigeria and across Africa, but what if leadership is not just the problem?
It is possible to blame the electorate, but what if the electorate isn’t just the problem?
Over the years, there have been multiple programs in different communities and places at any time. But how come progress is generally slow?
There have been changes, adjustments to project finance, strategy, shape, duration, yet progress is out of reach, even in cases of near absolute credibility.
What else could be wrong that cannot be defined?
The pull of protests and criticisms has been powerful in civilisations – through history. There have been so many stories where authorities backed down or went with the demands of the people.
It is expected that leaders listen when the collective roars.
In Africa though, with the sociology of the people, criticisms, protests or dissatisfaction aren’t necessarily respected.
There are leaders who have been able to cheapen activism and criticism because of how some wield it deceitfully.
There are many others who are just selfish or think they are untouchable. There are some leaders who find the individual agenda of leading activists and buy them.
There are people who think criticism means smartness, intelligence, enlightenment or development. That is not the case.
Still, in the measure of passion, Pastor Tunde Bakare wants change for the nation.
The Pastor was a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG. He spoke about how he started model parishes of the Church and how he sometimes voiced disagreements with some ways of the lead Pastor of the Church.
There are things to disagree with the Pastor, in general. But focusing on that is to forget that Christianity is looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the Christian Faith.
Even when it looks like people like the pastor, there are many who aren’t sycophants. They’re doing their service in worship to their Lord.
Pastor Bakare also disagreed with Winners’ Chapel Head Bishop over a comment.
It is impossible to be a Minister of GOD and not have some disagreeable interpretation, of some sort of the Scriptures, or just broader explanation.
A verse maybe interpreted in several ways, a parable also, but without tolerance either from knowing or learning at the feet of Jesus, may sow seeds of separation.
Pastor Tunde Bakare reacted to criticisms and hate by those against Christianity sometime ago on social media.
The extraordinary intellect of Pastor Bakare could take on any external enemy of the Church. But, if harmony in the body of Christ was askew, ease of joining forces might be slight.
Pastor Bakare and Candidate Buhari in their presidential aspiration a decade ago visited RCCG’s expressway headquarters, what would have been his second home.
In general, Christianity is not criticism. Christ ferociously denounced hypocrites. His banner is love. And since He created people, He reserves right to say anything.
The friends of Job were saying what they know about God’s judgement, but the Lord – in the end, said Job spoke right not his friends.
Flood of criticism of government makes people abandon the things they can do with their power – corporate, academic, professional, etc. – for the good of the country.
Nation building in some past empires spanned class, sector, intellect, everyone, not just government.
The Protestant Reformation was a half millennium ago, though it allowed for proliferation of Churches, there will be new paths for correctness.
[Matthew 22:21, They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto GOD the things that are GOD’s.]
Nneka, a Christian wrote in from Lagos.