A classic ‘wonders shall never end’!
I was not sure what to do. To laugh, or cry, at the way we are.
Ade Bendel (a noted, convicted, financial fraudster) concluded and has elected that the best way to seek restitution for his many crimes is to ‘serve God and the people of Nigeria’ after his time in jail for series of massive frauds against individuals and organizations by becoming a pastor! Or perhaps the report I read that he is now a pastor is fake news?
Since the seeking of restitution is an individual affair, and with forgiveness a largely divine and inter personal process between man and God, becoming a pastor cannot and should not then be a casual spur of the moment wishful thinking and decision that every criminal can make! I say this because pastoring then transcends the personal and the interpersonal the former represents.
It involves several other lives, mostly gullible minds. Whereas, being a pastor as we continue to see should now demand and must go beyond just having illusional ‘divine calls’.
What with the many rogue characters and criminals calling themselves men of God?
I think it is time that a sense of socially dictated community ethic becomes standard too for the pulpit.
Ade Bendel remains a criminal, a repented criminal. That he served time in jail and now free and forgiven if it ever works like that does not mean he is no longer a criminal. Even when God has forgiven his sins, is Ade Bendel saying God has also called him?
I think societal restrictions which demands and forbids criminals as Ade Bendel from setting up and registering a business because people like him lack character, restrictions that disqualifies people like him from being able to contest electoral offices having been deemed to lack integrity and unworthy of holding the trust of the people and so on, should also ordinarily disqualify him and his legion of criminals from being able to set up a church, where they are at liberty to manipulate the people, which is what they do best, freely and legally, but also dubiously collect earned and stolen wealth, and sadly without accountability to their congregation or to the state and without paying taxes!
What I see Ade Bendel saying is that, like a leopard, he cannot change his spots. If there were no restrictions, he would by now be contesting or aspiring to joining his colleagues in the three arms zone where most of them have found comfort and protection!
A system that frowns little at the lack in integrity, that sees little or no value in truth, that sees nothing wrong in being dubious, that allows its thieves make the laws structuring the functioning of its everyday living is just but a system going for the ruin. How can we then tell young people to not be like an Ade Bendel?
How can we tell them what he did was wrong and undesirable? He got to keep almost all the proceeds of his fraud business and with time he can even become an important member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), rubbing shoulders with presidents!
Just because our system is doomed?
Our values must be revived, while the values of the Christian faith in Nigeria should not be comfortable in the gutters where it currently sits.
The above was written by Steve Aborisade