Lolu AkinwunmiDear Bishop Oyedepo. I have listened carefully to your messages on churches’ “closure”. Even though I know you are a very bold speaker, I have been a bit worried about the strength of your language.
You may not remember me. We were first associated around 1989 or so when you came to Lagos regularly from Kaduna to host your Breakthrough Seminars. My wife and I were immensely blessed as you formally invited us to the services.
Plus we share the same birthday. We were also on the same flight around 1992 to Amsterdam. The flight was turbulent. When we landed in Amsterdam we greeted and you asked me how the flight was. I told you that seeing you seated behind me, I was sure the plane was safe. We both laughed over this. You proceeded to the US. I to the UK.
When I turned 50 my staff, knowing how very much I admire you met with you and asked that you please visit our office to conduct a service. You accepted. It was meant to be a surprise for me. Unfortunately you couldn’t make it because of a clash in events.
Sir, I honestly don’t share your concern about any assault against the church. Except of course there are facts I don’t know that you are privy to. These are some of my reasons:
1• This closure isn’t against churches alone. It also affects mosques.
2• It’s not restricted to Nigeria. It affects many countries.
3• Schools, restaurants, hotels, offices etc are also casualties of the decision.
To therefore say it’s been put in place in Nigeria to stop church growth is befuddling. Do they also want mosques to stop growing? We are also concerned about your language. The curses on government and even Christians who support the government in the lockdown. And yet the Lord commands us to obey authorities.
Historically the church has faced real and worse threats and yet it didn’t stop growing. See what happened to them in the book of Acts? And yet we are told the church multiplied under severe adversity. And I don’t see any targeted adversity here anyway.
Sir, Jesus doesn’t need our help to grow His church. Listen to him in Matthew 16.18, “… and I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. No man can build the church. Jesus owns the church. He has not given this responsibility to anyone. He is the Groom and we are His Bride. He doesn’t need anyone’s help to build His Church. He said, “I will build my church”. No force in heaven or on earth can stop Him from this decision.
Someone made the case and would want to know the Bishop’s response in other countries where his church has branches. Is he asking them to defy the lockdown instructions?
Dear Bishop, the Church isn’t closed by the way. It has just relocated to homes like we had in the early days. We now meet in smaller groups instead of the opportunity auditoriums like yours offer. But Believers still meet. Zoom helps. WhatsApp does. The pattern may have changed, but so many spiritual activities and fellowships are in progress. They may be smaller fellowships, but they are warmer. And the Holy Spirit is present and active.
Thank you dear Bishop.
God bless you sir.