‘Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.’ (Romans 13: 1-2)
The attention of the Pastor and Spiritual Head of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide, Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa, the Board of Trustees of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide and the Pastor-In-Council has been drawn to the controversy ignited by a derogatory publication in an online media platform concerning the presence and the role played by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi at the Christmas eve service held at the Celestial Basilica, Imeko, during the recently concluded 2018 Celestial Convocation.
It is quite disturbing to note that in a church pillared by the powerful Christian values of humility, love, respect for elders and those in positions of authority, a new trend of rebellion powered by a lack of required knowledge, wisdom and understanding has led many into making comments and contributions to issues about which they are not properly tutored. The free access to the online media too appears not to be helping matters in this regard.
The said online publication condemned the presence of the Ooni of Ife at the Christmas Eve service while wearing his crown inside the church auditorium. The author further condemned the church authorities for giving the traditional ruler the grace to read the first Bible lesson at that event, alluding that such would not have been allowed to happen in the days of the late Pastor Founder, Reverend S.B.J. Oshoffa. The question here is this: Who gives grace? It is the Almighty one who does so through those that the Lord has put in positions of authority.
The Celestial Church of Christ has a divine mandate to cleanse the world and right before our eyes, this divine covenant is beginning to be fulfilled. But then, it would be too much to expect those who are visually impaired spiritually to see this. Is this the first time that this kind of grace was extended to a traditional ruler in a Celestial Church Service? Nay! A peep into Celestial archives confirms.
On Sunday the 27th of April, 1980, the late Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa 1, was invited to and graced the Sunday Service of the Celestial Church of Christ, Upper Igun Parish, Benin City. This invitation was extended to the traditional ruler by the late Pastor Founder, Reverend S.B.J. Oshoffa. The Oba attended the service with a retinue of his palace chiefs all decked in their traditional attires. Special seats were arranged for the respected Oba and his entourage just before the altar entrance. The sermon on that day was delivered by Papa Oshoffa himself and at the end of that service, the Oba of Benin and his contingent, not only praised God but also testified to the awesome powers of God in the Celestial Church of Christ. How do we fulfil the mandate of cleansing the world if we continue to operate as if we are living in a vacuum?
Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, The Ooni of Ife, travelled for six and a half hours on bad road with his entourage to get to Imeko on that day. In his own words, ‘several times during the journey, I felt like turning back but the spirit of God kept urging me on. I was determined to get to this Jerusalem that I’d heard so much about. Now that I’m here, I feel fulfilled. If you ask me to come back here next week again, I will be glad to do so.’
We make bold to say here that the Pastor and Spiritual Head of the CCC, Reverend E.M.F. Oshoffa, by the powers conferred on him by God Almighty, can give the grace to whosoever he deems fit to carry out certain honorary functions at church events as the need arises. He is ably assisted by anointed men of God who are also custodians of the rules and tenets of our great church and would not do anything to jeopardise the spirituality of the Celestial Church. These unnecessary condemnations smack of hypocrisy. Let us stop being more Catholic than the Pope!
There is an urgent need to stem this dangerous tide of church members always rushing to the online media to publish negativity about the church. This is tantamount to defecating in the same bowl from which you eat your meals.
Let us be guided henceforth.
May the Lord Almighty continue to be a shining light on our path. Amen.
S.M.S.E Kayode Ajala M.P.I.C ( Jp)
Chairman, Committee for Publications, the Press and Publicity