Gbonigi: 'Why should a clergyman be moving around with armed escorts? They are glorifying themselves instead of God

2010-01-31
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper- Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi


GBONIGI: 'Why Should A Clergyman Be Moving Around With Armed Escorts? They Are Glorifying Themselves Instead Of God'
(Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, former Bishop of Akure Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion)

YOU will discover that this is rampant among churches owned by individuals who are seeing evangelism as a business venture. God frowns at this. How can somebody own a church and be running same as a profit-making organisation? That is evil. That is stealing in the name of the Lord.

"Any church leader who goes about with heavily armed bodyguards and a long convoy of siren-blowing vehicles is part of it. They are part of the world and part of the sins they are supposed to condemn. There is no difference between them and those who are so greedy in accumulating the things of the world. And because they are part of the creation of the culture of armed robbery and assassinations, they are protecting themselves from the evils. Why on earth should a clergyman be moving around with armed escorts? They are also glorifying themselves instead of glorifying God who they claimed, sent them. And that is vanity.

"Maybe it is as a result of the atmosphere of fear that now pervades the landscape with robbery, assassination and kidnapping everywhere.

"Why should a man truly called by God be afraid of anything? One of our Bishops in the Anglican Church was being threatened by a section of his congregation who simply did not like his face. He did not do anything bad against them, they just didn't like him. Some loyal members of the same church, fearing that the life of the Bishop was in danger approached the police to provide protection. So, the DPO sent four armed policemen to the Bishop's house but the man of God told the policemen politely to go away. He said there was a host of heavens guarding him and that with that, situation, he required no human protection. The DPO was initially adamant because of the reports of actual threats he had received, but the Bishop told him point-blank that he would not welcome the idea of placing his security in the hands of men instead of God. The guards were later removed. Because he put his trust in the Lord, he got divine protection and for many years in that same church, no evil befell him. As I am talking to you now, the Bishop is alive. He is over seventy years now because he retired from the Church of Nigeria at the mandatory 70 years.


 

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