?Most Nigerian pastors are worse than beggars?

Source:? Nigerian Compass, June 28, 2010

Prophet Ojo Akhigbe Agge, is the President and Founder, City Gate Ministry and City Gate Homes Foundation, Benin, a ministry involved in soul winning, charity and community development. In this interview with PATRICK OKOHUE, Ojo speaks on his mission in ministry, the greed of some men of God and why even some native doctors will enter heaven and some men of God will not.

We hear of so many Christian ministries nowadays, what is your own all about?

?It is all about evangelism and charity. We are so much into charity that we have an arm of the ministry called City Gate Homes Foundation. The Foundation is into a lot of jobs; we are into community development, health care, support for the aged, widows and children. In all these, we have made our name, we have done a lot of work and solely by the ministry without subvention from anybody.

?As a ministry that is still very young, how has it been able to sponsor all of these?

?Well, I want to believe that when God gives you an assignment what is expected of you is to be committed, to be ready. If you are ready to take up any assignment God gives to you, you will accomplish it. So, it doesn?t matter how long or how much time you have. The most important thing is commitment, when you are committed, even in a second, you will accomplish what God has given to you.

In Edo State we have sunk over eight boreholes, we even sank a bore hole for a Catholic Church. We also have about 30 aged persons that are not less than 70 years old in our support department. We support them monthly. We have also given scholarships. We have the data of those we have given scholarships. We have graded roads in some areas and have given 5000 books to some children of government schools.

Are you collaborating with other churches to see how they can help carry this vision, since you obviously cannot do it alone?

This is very important, but I am sure you are aware that there are a lot of Christian organizations. You are also aware that there are a lot of pastors who fly private jets today and drive the best of cars. You may also be aware that the association which is the body that governs them don?t even have a jet, the association which governs them don?t even have a befitting secretariat. You see churches with massive structures, but no such secretariat for the body that governs them.

We have over ten thousand churches in a body, a church is able to build a very massive structure, but the association put together don?t have a massive structure from where it operates. Most of these associations have rented structures where they operated from, but some of them are on a massive, 250 thousand by 100 thousand plot of land.

So you can see that religious leaders including myself are already biased. A lot of us are so selfish that if you bring a vision that can benefit the community, the other leader will be looking at why did it not come from him. Instead of him to complement that effort, he will go and start it on his own. It then becomes a divided interest, and that is the area the government need to look into. Religious leaders are not working together, they are working on their own. If anybody must go and see President Goodluck Jonathan today and it is discussed, one religious leader will find a way to see that he see him alone and then you will see him in the papers saying I was with the President yesterday. So, most religious leaders are doing their own. They are not doing Christ?s own, it is a very sensitive issue. For example I have been speaking with people that we should do this thing together, but they don?t believe in ?let us work together?. If they won?t get anything out of it immediately they won?t work with you.

What do you mean by getting something out of it?

I had a crusade where I brought eight Americans in April and I called a lot of religious leaders, all they were asking is why don?t these Americans bring money. They were expecting that the Americans will bring money to do the work that belongs to Nigeria. The work belongs to Nigeria because the souls that will be won are those of Nigerians, everything that will be done belongs to Nigeria. But they expected them to bring money, but because they realized that they did not bring money, a lot of them backed out.

So, a lot of pastors, bishops, prophets will not do anything where instant money will not come out from, where they will not benefit from. Without instant benefits they will not put their hands in it. If a foreigner is coming out to do a crusade, evangelism or even charity work, we don?t want to be part of it. A lot of us have resigned to be beggars, we have settled for beggarly positions. That is, if they must do anything for us we will stand as beggars. So, we are beggars because they have to give us money so that we will do the work. From there we are able to buy a jeep, we are able to buy a car, even without doing the work we are told to do.

So, a lot us pastors no matter the wealth that you see with us, we are beggars, because those monies that we are spending are not our money and are not given to us to spend on ourselves but for the community. We look for one lie to tell, they give us the money, then we take 85 or 95 percent of it and spend it for self and then five percent of it to take photographs of what we did and put it on video so that they are able to see that we are doing the job and bring more money. It is sensitive. A lot of men of God are not ready to work with somebody with good vision.

This seems to suggest that there is a high level of jealousy in ministry work, is it so?

Well, the Bible says that the day of judgement shall be worse than the day of Sodom and Gomorrah. It said woe betide that woman that will be putting to bed, or that baby that will be sucking the mothers breast.

On the day of judgement some native doctors will inherit the kingdom of God while bishops and other men of God with titles will perish. Why do I say this, a lot of churches today have hospitals and schools and you discover that it is these schools that are even more expensive than government schools.

Church hospitals are more expensive than government hospitals, and if somebody happens to be an emergency patient and gets to the hospital, the hospital will not look at that person with the eye of God, with Christ interest, but they will look at that person with worldly interest. That is, money first. And if the person is not able to provide it they send him/her away. If it happens that as the patient is going he meets a native doctor on the way and he decides to give the patient what he went to look for in a religious place and the trumpet of the end time sounded at that time and we are called to judgement, who will inherit the kingdom? It is that native doctor, instantly.
That was exactly what happened when Christ was crucified; a criminal, an armed robber, was so clever that he stole salvation and entered the kingdom of God.

So it is not just jealousy, a lot of these people with big titles, like pastors, bishops, prophets are not called. If they are called, the first thing they will show is love. Love knows no enemy, love knows no jealousy, love knows no envy, love does not know strife, love does not know hatred, love does not know religion, love does not know self.

As a man you go out there, meet a woman who is not of your family and you marry her, what will make you to live with her under the same roof is just the simple thing, love. If religious leaders have love and they are called they won?t say it is not my ministry, they will love the other ministry irrespective of the name. A lot of them have forgotten that the business they are in is Christ?s, it is not their business. No man can own a ministry, the ministry belongs to Christ, they are only there to display on the stage and disappear.

So, any man of God who has jealousy or envy in his mind is not called of God, any man of God who cannot love a Muslim, a pagan or even a Christian is not a man of God. Any man of God who cannot do anything for love is not a man of God.

Let me ask, how many men of God, including myself will willingly enter cell for a member, for whatever minor offence? If that man of God is so powerful and he is able to call the commissioner of police but is not able to reach him, the next thing will be ?well, just manage till tomorrow, I have not been ale to reach the Commissioner?. In those days women died for their husbands. My father?s wife who is over 80 years old now is still carrying an injury she sustained because of my father during the civil war. When they wanted to shoot my father during the civil war, she ran to the front and said kill me instead of my husband, so that my husband can take care of the children. How many men of God can do that? How many men of God will be ready to sacrifice the school fees of their children for the school fees of members? children if they were not given from outside.

Some men of God today give you N10,000, you should know that that money was given to them for that project and they only gave you a little out of it. They are not ready to sacrifice their personal money for anything. The only thing that can make men of God interested in your project is love. How many men of God have come behind the pulpit of the church to say God has revealed to me that there are three poor men, they are suffering and they have no food to eat, please come out and receive healing. What better healing does that man need? It is not healing of headache, not of stomach pain, but money.

The man of God will drive to the church, take the offering of the poorest man, drive back home while the man keeps walking on the street. The man of God will not come out to say ?this poor man, enter man car, let me drop you?. He will only blow siren and go, leaving the poor man trekking along the street.

Look there are a lot of people in the church who are sick, maybe with malaria or fever, but that is not their sickness, their sickness is money. If a seed of N50,000 is sown into their lives, they will receive instant healing. So, a lot of men of God are wealthy but they are not interested in their members? affairs, because there is no love.

You speak with so much passion, are you doing all these to gain government attention?

I am a prophet, I am called as a prophet, and in the days of old, before the death of Jesus Christ, it was prophets and kings that rule the nation. Even after the death of Jesus Christ, the duties of the prophet were not ruled out because Christ himself came as a prophet and because of what I see by vision, I am moved to speak for the community. A prophet cannot be self. In the history of the Bible, every prophet that tried to be self had a very bad end. Gehazi was to inherit that power from Elisha, after Elijah we had Elisha, after Elisha we were to have Gehazi, but Gehazi became self and he died.

So, we have many of these examples in the Bible, Prophet cannot be self, if you see a prophet turning out to becoming self, watch and see how he ends. A prophet must first of all speak for his people; that is the duty of a prophet. Prophets must work for the community and the people. A prophet is not called to be on the pulpit and be preaching and be making money, a prophet is called to move from door to door to speak to the people.

The prophet like myself is called to speak to President Goodluck Jonathan about the people and about the nation he governs, that is the calling of the prophet. A prophet is the mouth piece of God to speak to the king, the prophet is called not to be afraid, but to say the truth. Prophet is not called to say to the people ?thus says the lord, begin to bring seed?, that is not the word of the prophet. Prophet is a mediator between the people and the king.

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