Spiritual leaders that ignore the “political gymnastics” of the politicians in their countries may have a lot of “prayer and speaking in tongues” to do later.
That kind of spiritual alertness may emanate out of the necessity to curb the political calls of the politicians when those political calls begin to question and rattle the very position, title and placements of those spiritual leaders.
The current Financial Regulation Act (FRA) in Nigeria is a case in point.
The salient points of the FRA are two-fold: Nigerian spiritual leaders must retire from their Overseership after either leading their organizations for a period of 20 years or if they attain the age of 70 depending on which of the two occurs first.
Secondly, such spiritual leaders are not permitted to hand over the baton of leadership to family members.
Looking at this act stirs two basic responses: If you oppose the act, you will be accused of hating accountability among religious leaders.
And If you support it, you will be accused of encouraging the encroachment of government in spiritual leadership…Either way, however, the following message is clear:
1. The laity cannot imagine famous Nigerian pastors like Pastor Adeboye, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Ayo Orisejafor, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Rev. Sam Adeyemi, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, Rev. Chris Okotie etc. stepping down from their spiritual offices in their prime.
2. The laity has been encouraged to peep into what may not have been an issue to them before now.
3. The laity has been empowered by legislation to question some of the acts of the clergy like years of service and family succession without the accompanying fear of incurring the proverbial “wrath of God.”
4. The laity is set to observe if the clergy will comply with the demands of this legislation through “full obedience and compliance” or attempt to get around the legislation through some “comically constructed partial obedience.”
5. When political leadership clashes with spiritual leadership, one of the two must defer to the other for the sake of decency.
6. Christians and Pastors cannot continue to play the Ostrich on political issues any longer.
7. Despite the fact that the law applies to every form of Incorporated Trustees, church leaders are more affected.
What do you think?
Writer: Dr. Iyke Nwambie is a Minister and a Leadership consultant based in Miami, Florida.