The Minister in Charge of the C& S Unification, The Lord is Good, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, Pastor Festus Babatunde Taiwo, in this interview, talks about the liturgies and practices of the C&S Church and what needs to be changed in line with the scriptures. DARE OKANLAWON presents the excerpts
How did you become a born again Christian?
I was born a Muslim and my parents are Muslims as well. My Muslim name is Lateef. I went to a Quranic School popularly called “Ile Kewu” but the turnaround came when I was in Form 3. I was introduced to a Christianfellowship in my secondary school. From there, I was introduced to World Bible School’s correspondence course which I fell in love with. Then I was given a lot of bibles upon completing each course. When I was in Form 5, I started developing an interest in Christianity despite the staunch hatred we were taught (against the Christian religion) as Muslims. I came to Lagos when I finished my secondary school. I stayed with my elder sister but followed one of my elder brothers to his church: C&S Ayo Ni, at Km. 4 Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Surulere Sub-headquarters then. The day I entered the church, I saw it filled up with worshippers, all in a whitegarment; they wowed me. When the choir was singing, they sang one of the songs that we used to listen to in town, “Wa o, omo igbala wale o, wawole ayo, ki’le ayo to kun .” Back then, I had thought that melodious song was sung by angels not knowing that it was sung by human beings. So, when I heard that song with all the lyrics and instrumentation complete, I made up my mind to become a chorister. Then, the church used to hold an evening service by 5 pm. One pastor was ministering a touching message about heaven and I was weeping having realised how lost I was in sin. He made an altar call, and I found myself in the front; that was how I met the Lord. Since that day, I was filled with internal joy which I later knew to be ‘joy of salvation.’
Tell us about your ministry. How you started and the journey so far?
I eventually became a member of the choir in 1992, after a series of divine encounter with Christ that lasted for three years consecutively which facilitated my calling. Christ Himself ordained me with oil physically in my room at the Onipanu area of Lagos on one afternoon; the oil was physically running over my head and dropped on the glass table. I started ministering when I started the Divine Echo Ministries on October 12, 1992. We were into rural evangelism, church revivals and crusades. In 1999, I was ordained as a pastor after having completed my training full time in the seminary of Ayo Ni o, Surulere. In the year 2000, I started Hours of Grace with Jesus Outreach Ministry, which further gave me the strength to embark on radical evangelism. In the year 2010, I was released by Prophet G. O. Fakeye to go to the present place I am now.
What can you say about the C&S Church?
The C&S Church is a wonderful church that can’t be compared with any denomination. There hasn’t been a match or substitute for the C&S Church. I believe so much in the C&S. It is a church that Christ loves so much that the C&S Church is the only true Church of God. This is what I proved in my upcoming book. I intentionally wrote the book to prove to the whole world that the C&S Church is the only balanced church.
What are some of the most important ideas and practices that will enhance the growth of the C&S Church?
The C&S Church is already grown, but we need to work on leadership and management of the church to accommodate expansion. I have had over a thousand reasons to exit the C&S Church but some reasons have kept me in the church till today, and they are the practices and doctrines that are found in the scriptures. I mean the New Testament and not even the Old Testament. So, what we need to do is to locate ourselves in the scriptures, and teach our people who will teach others as Paul told Timothy.
All our liturgies and worshipping are located in the Bible, those not found should be removed and thrown away. Those that are man-made doctrines should be identified and we all agree that they are man-made and not God’s instructions. We then do away with them and as such, we won’t have problems with the elders. When the elders lied to us that some man-made doctrines were from God, we knew God didn’t say any of such. So, let our elders come out boldly and tell us that so and so doctrines are man-made or imported from other denominations to the C&S Church.
Those that are idolatry should be removed. The issues of ” emi mimo londari wa , tenikan ko le mo” (the Holy Spirit leads and no one can explain), should not come to play. The Holy Spirit in us reveals the mind of Christ to us. Once all the shameful liturgical practices are removed, then the C&S Church will be acceptable globally. The white people will be coming en mass.
We should make the church accommodating to anyone who is coming. There should be no restrictions. That is what makes the Pentecostalchurches different from ours and makes them acceptable.
What can be done to sanitise the prophetic ministry in the C&S Church?
There is a clear difference between talent and skill. If one is talented but not skilful, he will fumble despite the deposit of the talents. Likewise, a prophet who lacks training will fumble. There are two categories of prophets: modern prophets and primitive prophets.
Most of the prophets in the C&S Church are primitive in nature. Primitive prophets are those who do things in a crooked way. Before they can prophesy, they will have to beat drums, clap their hands and turn or roll to the point of nearly fainting before they enter into a trance and prophesy. They will have to call so many strange names and speak in tongues for so many minutes before they can prophesy. They will have to shout ‘Eli Jah… ‘ before they will prophesy. They are primitive and they remain primitive. When they are in the church, their spirit is activated only when revival songs are rendered, but as soon as the word or sermon or teaching comes in, they will either walk away or start sleeping or dozing off, they hate sermons. They are primitive.
Let every prophet and prophetess be trained. Let them have the Word of God. Let them have the same training as pastors; let them be soaked in the Word of God. They will become modern prophets. In their training, they will be taught the ethics of the prophet, the ethics of prophecy, as well as the prophet and his prophecy, among others.
Recently, I gave so many prophets scholarships into my seminary to come for free and take the prophetic studies. Only a few came. Those who came were sleeping in the class; they go to vigil a lot. Once they are trained, the prophetic ministry will be sanitised.
What is your advice to the C&S youth?
They should get closer to their bibles. They should not be a blind follower of any unbiblical practices. They should stop reproducing the errors of our fathers. They should get engaged in bible study. They should become the revolutionary tools in their parishes. We started a revolution in Surulere; the late Prophet (Dr.) Gabriel Olubunmi Fakeye supported us and sent all the prophets and prophetess and all the bands executives to a bible school. Today, we are proud of the church; the Word of God is about 65 per cent on that land and the youth are doing great there. Let the youth become innovators of impactful programmes, not feasting and eating and dancing about, not gathering themselves in an event centre and be dancing worldly dance. Let them gather together and reason out among themselves in the scriptures. Let them formulate modalities that will be a great legacy for the coming generation. We, the youth, should stop running after some few millionaires who do not impact their lives but only give them money to eat. I love one gathering for Seraph youths where training was held for them and startup funds were given. Let all the youth get themselves engaged in so many jobs; they should learn to create jobs instead of waiting for the government or the church to do it for them. Then, successful youth should help others to rise up.
How do we deepen the biblical disposition in the C&S Church?
Very simple. There is a countless number of C&S churches that don’t allow Bible study not to talk of Sunday School. Each parish should institute Bible study and Sunday School and make it compulsory to all the elders sitting in the altar, all church officials, all choir members, all leagues of prophets, and all band executives to attend.
Also, those who would be ministering on the pulpit must be those who have gone to bible schools formally. Enough of using untrained soldiers on our pulpits. Enough of making a mockery of our pulpits by featuring the storytellers. We need divine messages that will save souls; we need teachings that will pierce through to our thought life, we need prophecies that will be directly from God, not, “Se alaafia ni mo ba yin?” (I hope I met you in peace?). No. Enough of “e fa Ire igun mererin agbayemora ,”. Enough of all those gimmicks.
Culled from http://seraphstories.org/
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