In the not-so-distant past, a clergyman's statement which bordered on mealtime with God would not be greeted with a (public) display of scepticism, at least not in Nigeria. The religously inclined would be pleasantly surprised, many would be curious, tongues would probably wag, but people would not be so quick to debunk a claim of that nature around here, given the disposition of many Nigerians to hold on tightly to the utterances of religious leaders.
Well, it's 2019, we now have Google, we have books too, and people, especially millenials, reason much differently these days. They are not afraid to ask for proof, they are no longer so quick to regard a pastor's word as law, and if any story is found to have holes in it, it would be subjected to ridicule.
On Saturday March 2, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A. Adeboye who was celebrating his 77th birthday claimed that he drank tea with God. Pastor Adeboye is quoted to have made the statement during his birthday celebration last week. In his words:
“I was in Ilorin years ago, we were having breakfast, and we have a pot then for always making tea. And if I remember correctly, there are five cups then in that pot, my wife and I usually use take it turn by turn till the final cup….so that day, i took one, she took one, i took one, she took one and then i put my hand in the pot to take my third one which is the last cup in the pot...but it was empty, I looked at her, I couldn’t remember seeing her take the cup, so i wondered what happened to my tea and lo behold, i heard the voice of the Lord loud and clear, saying ‘son, when you prayed, you invited me to join you...ah...and i did’
…some of you don’t know why i call him daddy, it is cos we have a relationship that is difficult to describe…this is a special anniversary, my daddy is here to celebrate with us, prayers prayed tonight will be answered by fire.”
Apparently, this claim did not go down well with On-Air Personality Ifedayo Olarinde, popularly known as Daddy Freeze. The 42-year-old, who works with Cool FM 96.9, was quick to react, putting out a response on his Twitter account with the following words:
"I am glad you know this, because we don’t and we won’t!...You should have taken a selfie with him like some of your South African colleagues did."
Freeze, convener of the #freethesheeple movement, has been vocal in criticising the activities of Nigerian pastors, and his statements on the doctrine of tithing have put him in the line of fire on more than a few occasions. He recently responded to the controversy surrounding a South African pastor's "resurrection miracle" by uploading a tongue-in-cheek version of the #resurrectionchallenge on his Instagram page. His assertions and arguments may be unorthodox, and probably tilting towards the realm of the blasphemous, but it shows that people are ready to question anything and everything these days. There is more than enough access to knowledge now, and people should no longer be expected to accept all they hear without any sort of scrutiny. It's the age of the Doubting Thomases, and organised religion will be frequently interrogated, but people simply do not want to be gullible anymore.
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