Bishop Isaac Idahosa of God First Ministries (Illumination Assembly) talks about Super Compassion Sunday recently held and also the political state of the nation in his interview with Zebra News
You hosted ‘super compassion Sunday recently’, what’s the rationale behind it?
It is a love demonstration service where we had charity works and medical outreach. According to john 14 verse 12, Jesus said he, that believes in me greater works than this shall he do. Jesus came as the expression of the love of the Father and he said we should do likewise. There is nothing too big for us to do for one another in following the footsteps of Christ who loves us unconditionally that he gave his life for us. And we can make the word a better place by loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. So, it is about duplicating the love of God. God wants all men to come to His Knowledge but what will endear men of God is our show of compassion. If we have God we must radiate the light of God which darkness can never cover.
There have been criticisms of churches giving people fishes instead of teaching them how to fish?
Anyway, I don’t know about that. We have actually asked people to bring their proposals so that we can give them capitals so that they can establish their business. It is about them having vision of what they want to do; it is until a person has a vision of what to do that you can know what to do in terms of providing support for the vision.
Do you think the church is doing well enough to impact the society?
We are the salt of the earth not the light of the church; we are the light of the world not the light of the church. You may not know the impact of salt until you lose out of it. Imagine the society of the world without church
Churches are being more of money spinning centres…
You can see us giving back to the society. I don’t know what angle that is coming from. If voices don’t speak about you them you have not made a mark. You don’t attract eraser until you have made a mark. When you get to the top you become the topic, the church should expect that in as much that Jesus was criticized. But then you must ensure what they are saying is not true and if it is true then you change.
How about the argument that despite the proliferation of church yet evil on the increase…
We are in the last days and things are not getting any better. You see people that are graduates and qualified but without jobs and denied of opportunities, so they do all sorts of things to make ends meet. But if we can our brother’s keeper and have love for one another crime will decline. Imagine more churches doing what we are doing in giving back to the society; it will go a long way. It is not necessarily until you have so much before you can give; it is about the heart to let Jesus be known not by your words or preaching alone but by your actions
How do you see the turn of events lately in the country’s political scene?
The politics of Nigeria is not based on the ideology that we used to know but based on interest and opportunity. The defection you are seeing now are because people want to serve their own interest. what you are seeing is the demonstration of the law karma that happened in 2014 and 2015 and it is now happening again this time around. When it is favouring them, it is good and when it is not favouring them it is bad. I want a situation where people will have the doctrine of ideology and stand for the truth.
This present administration has been adjudged a failed one by some Nigerians. what is your view about its performances?
what is your own thought if I may ask? Failure is not final. No administration can meet all your needs it is only God that can meet all your needs. We won’t say they have done badly we won’t say that they have done best. You can’t give what you do not have but then they are trying to do their best. They say we are not patient, we are patient. We are industrious and we are not lazy. The government of change came with the doctrine of fighting corruption. strengthening the economy and security.
The boko haram issue we can say they are doing well in tackling it but the killing are appalling and I believe they can do better than they are doing in dealing with the killings and ensure that criminals do not have hideouts. We all have the role of ensuring that we do not run down our country. I was in Jamaica in 1994 and the first thing I saw outside the airport is that ‘we are not just Jamaica we are for Jamaica’. So, if you know you are in Nigeria you will fight the common cause. The command is that we are to pray for the leadership of Nigeria. There is rising need for us to pray for our leaders instead of making complaints because complaining will rather compound the issue on ground. It does not matter what country we find ourselves, God Has ordained us to be there as His ambassadors. Whether things are going on well or not we are praying without ceasing. If there is peace in Nigeria we caused it and if there is chaos in Nigeria we caused it. There is no authority that is not of God so we must align with those in authority, respect and pray for them, whether they are good or bad. None gets to the place of authority without the knowledge of God; it is God that gives power. Complaints will get nothing done, rather get things complicated. We must stand in the gap and pray for those around us, pray for those around us, far from us, those in authority and not in authority. As we stand in the gap, God covers the gap. We should thank God for situations whether good or bad so that we employ the host of heaven to avert the evils the enemies want to bring upon our nation. We can on our knees change situations; a prayerful nation is a successive nation. When we begin to cultivate the attitude of decisive prayer and become national and international intercessors, my God, thing can happen. I remember the days of John Knox, on his knees Scotland knew that God was and is. Things can change by the power of prayers.
Don’t you think there is conscious effort to victimise Nigerian Christians, particularly those in North and with the continuous hostage of Leah Sharibu?
It depends on the angle you see it, if it is because of the killings we have killings in Zamfara, Sokoto and other places where Muslims are even more populated so it cuts across. Leah will be out; I believe effort are being made for her release.
Some Christian leaders have allegedly asked their followers to vote only for Christian candidate, what is your thought on this?
You do not have to be a Christian to be a good person and you do not have to be a Muslim to be good. So, I advise that people vote in line with their conscience. There are Christians who don’t even fear God, so it is about voting for people who have the fear of God, have good track record and have genuine love for the people. In 1993, MKO Abiola was a Muslim and his running mate was also a Muslim and people including Christians voted for them. Once we began to do that the marginalisation and the suffering we have found ourselves in as it were will be reduced. So, we must be able to teach people to do the right thing and show love irrespective of religion or tribe. Christians voting for Christians alone does not make sense.
Do you have any word of advice for Nigerian Christians?
They should be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. They should be their brother’s keeper and love God. You cannot say you love God and you do not love your people and your community. When we love God, the love of God radiates from our lives to community. You are a Christian by deeds not by words. People should be able to feel your Christianity. Many answer Christians religiously; we are saved by grace to duplicate the goodness of God. Until others are saved through you, you live a waste life. The same syllables the Father gave to the son, same is transferred to us, according to Luke 4 verse 18 to 19. If only Christians call you a Christians, then how ‘Christianed’ are you? Trying to be like a Christian does not make you a Christian. The more lightened the church is the more lightened the world becomes. It is a privilege to know God. There is confusion in the world because there are more people in the church who are enemies of the church, if you are hidden, it means you are deposed. We are called, born again for good works. Christians should be more involved in kingdom service, soul winning giving and studying God’s work.
Is there any specific word for our political leaders?
They should stop leaving for prosperity but for posterity, as they will give account to God and man someday. They should be able to utilise their influence positively and think of what they want to be remembered for. They can stock all the money but one day they will die and leave the monies behind
God First Ministry (Illumination Assembly) just marked her 29th anniversary, what principle(s) do you hold that has/have kept you so far?
God First Ministry, started in Minna, Niger state 29 years ago,it wasn’t easy lot of challenges but we thank God for the faithfulness of God. And the theme of this year anniversary is FAITH FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE; GREATER WORKS CONVENTION 2018 and the invited guest were Eben, Chris Morgan, Samsong, Minister Ify, Nathew Abutu, Mega Praise among others. it was an out-pouring experience. Other branches of the ministry are also preparing for their convention which will come up soon. Hearing God and doing it. My name is Idahosa, which means hearing from God. So I hear and do simple. Whatever God tells me I do and leave out what He does not tell me to do.