Prophet Olatunji Peter, founder of God’s People Bible Church International established 10 years ago with branches in Lagos and Ondo States. In this interview with ESTHER BAKARE he spoke about then roles of women in the church among sundry issues affecting Christendom and the country at large.
Tell us how you accepted the call of God?
I couldn’t accept the call of God easily and God punished me seriously for non acceptance, I faced a lot of challenges, my business collapsed, all my endeavours were not moving on properly even my marriage, in fact I used to trek long distances because of poverty, this affected me for about 10 years all because I did not heed the call of God, there has been indirect calling since 1984 but I did not pay attention to it because I thought life is more enjoyable than being in Christ.
Tell us some of the benefits you are enjoying since you came into Christ?
By the time I came to Christ I was able to buy a parcel of land which I built the family house in Ondo State also here in Lagos I have acquired a land which we are building the church on, the land was given to me by one of my fathers in the Lord, the house I am currently staying was given to me freely without paying any rent. I am grateful to God today that to be in Christ is a glory. I remember during that time I was struggling with the call of God, I buried a daughter since then I never had any other child again though I have three before her. After her death, I heard a strange voice that it is just the beginning that another one is still coming, it was then I gave up my stubbornness. After that I went to a seminary and did a Diploma course in Theology.
What is the vision of the church?
The vision of the church is to call the sheep at the backyard to come into the fold and know that nothing we can achieve in this world without God. Jesus is the light of the world and we all need to come into that light.
But sir, there are some pastors that are called by their belly, what is the implication of this to Christendom?
The Bible says we should not judge any one in order for us not to be judged. In my church for instance we collect offering just once and I don’t tax members because I’m still a radio presenter and I’m still making money from that. Pastors that are taxing their members let’s leave them to the judgment of God, He is the only one that can decide their case.
What is your take on some Pastors’ wives who immediately their husbands are called they also join him in full time ministry?
According to the Bible, no woman is permitted to come to the altar, I used to say it at the Christian Association of Nigeria meetings that a woman is not supposed to climb the pulpit. For instance I am the only one called into the ministry my wife cannot come to the altar, it is not allowed, that is why our church is called God’s People Bible Church which means we believe and practice what is written in the Bible, those women that call themselves, Bishops, Reverend, Pastors or any title they give to themselves are above the Law of God, that is what they are indirectly saying because the Bible says thou shall not permit a woman to speak in the church but they have turned the word of God upside down that is why they are doing contrary to the word of God and God said in His word that He has given them a reprobate heart to do that which is contrary.
Are you actually saying God cannot call women into the Ministry?
It is not permitted because from Genesis to Revelation you cannot find a place where God called a woman to lead His people.
But what about women like Deborah who was a judge in Israel?
The case of Deborah is different, she was just privileged to lead the Israelites because there was no man to lead them to the battle field and Deborah volunteered herself and that is what gave her the privilege to be a prophetess of God. Women can be prophetess ordained by God but women that call themselves Mama GO are not doing the right thing some of them just go for a three months course and when they come out they will start calling themselves Mama GO because they have money, that is wrong and that is why the world has turned upside down because everybody is now living above the law of God, women wearing trousers, men plaiting their hair. Their case is like a father that has given his child a warning not to go to a particular place and as soon as the father turns his back, the child goes to that exact place, that is how I liken those women who call themselves church leaders or Mummy GO.
What is your view about churches being handed over to family members?
Well, my take on that is that church is not a property of anybody it is God’s property, I’ve already told my wife that whenever I’m passing away the church belongs to the people and not for you and our children, it is the church of God not for anybody, if that is the case then let’s call it church of man and not church of God, let’s think about it that way. I have also thought about this issue several times, there is a case of one church in Oshodi after the demise of the founder, the younger brother took over and he is over 90 years now, the members are asking him to retire but he is saying no that he will remain there till his death because the church was founded by his brother and he handed it over to him. I like to make an example of The Apostolic Church, whenever the leader is getting old, he retires and another leader will be selected, I’ve laid the foundation in my church also because whenever God ask me to go and relax I will hands off because the work of a General Overseer is not easy it is all about prayers all the time, it takes hard work, you don’t sleep anyhow.
Tell us the factors that can make a marriage stand?
What can make a marriage to be successful is to believe in each other, never allow suspicion or third party in your marriage, marriage is like taking steps, if you miss a step you might be disorganized for the rest of your life, marriage is a delicate thing that has rendered some people useless and insane, it is something that must be handled with care. My advice to couples is to have trust in each other, your marriage is your cross.
What is your advice to those who are yearning to become General Overseers at all cost?
Like I mentioned earlier, the work of a General Overseer is not an easy one, even if God calls you, it is not an easy task at all, if anyone is going into the Ministry for the sake of profit definitely he must look elsewhere either to bury something in his altar or something else that is not of God. For instance the day I wanted to do the dedication of my church, it was about to rain heavily but I looked up and called upon God that you are the one that called me into this ministry , I did not call myself and that very day, it rained all over the streets around us and no single drop of water in my church, some people were wondering if I used Juju but I said my God is more than able.
Why do we have so many social vices going on in the country despite the number of churches in existence?
It must be because the Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria have compromised a lot. They believe that if you don’t ride big cars and have plenty of money you are not a man of God, even the general public don’t believe that pastors who are not driving big cars and big mansions or cathedrals are true men of God, everybody is worshipping money now and looking for miracles up and down that will drive them to hell fire, if you pray for someone and say you are blessed in Jesus name, they won’t believe in your prayers, all they want is to hear revelations that you have seen concerning them or prophecies either fake or real they don’t care all they want is to see vision for them, some would even say, the pastor did not ask them to do anything such as using a particular soap to bath in the night, doing some rituals and stuffs like that, definitely it is such people that turn pastors to herbalists or to become liars, because some don’t believe in their God talk less of believing in themselves.
In those days the success of a man of God was judged by the number of souls he has won, but nowadays it is no more so?
The Bible says by their fruit we shall know them, things have turned upside down.
Why do you think men of God fall into scandals?
It is because they are not serving the true God if so, before anything can happen to a man of God, God would have revealed it to him.
But the Bible says take heed lest ye also fall into temptation?
This is because many of them don’t read or practice what is in the word of God, I heard recently that some have printed a new version of the Bible, they turned everything in the real Bible upside down to suit themselves and their sinful ways, they turned it to their own benefits. We need to go back to the basis, most of our religious leaders are so corrupt and this makes me weep everyday, honestly if not that God called me and punished me for not heeding His call early enough I won’t do this work, I won’t even go near the Ministry because of the atrocities being committed by Christian leaders especially church founders who themselves General Overseers and God did not call them because being a Radio presenter is okay for me, but I faced a lot of challenges for not answering the call of God. If you flip through the pages of newspapers you see a fake pastor being caught with human head for rituals, this makes me cry. That is why many of them go into politics to go and corrupt government.
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