A former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Bankole Solomon, has condemned what he described as the politicization of the church's annual Holy Ghost congress.
Pastor Bankole, a lawyer and the Ogun State Secretary of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), expressed the position on Facebook.
Speaking later to SaharaReporters by telephone, he said his position was aimed at President Goodluck Jonathan's appearance at the congress as a tool for political manipulation of members of the popular church, and Christians at large, but was not an attack on the church and its leadership.
He described Holy Ghost congress as having become “a supermarket where all kinds of people like charlatans and political opportunists come shopping turning God to Father Xmas to give them end-of-year bonus.”
Mr. Solomon said he was very unhappy at the rate at which his famed church voluntarily surrenders its sacred podium to corrupt politicians when pastors working hard in the church are being denied the same access to the podium.
President Goodluck Jonathan, he said, was there “turning our once sacred altar to political podium talking deceitfully & indirectly campaigning for 2015.”
He questioned the basis for that decision, given that Mr. Jonathan is not a pastor.
The lawyer, who said he resigned from the ministry of the RCCG in 2010 for personal reasons, predicted in his post that members of the church would harass and harangue him for coming out clearly to condemn the way the church has been turned to a den of thieves.
SaharaReporters can confirm that that is already happening. Mr. Bankole has been receiving threats, cursing and harassment from members across the world. Bankole however says he stands by his earlier position, but expressed surprise at the attacks.
Below is Pastor Bankole's posting about the issue yesterday on his Facebook Wall:
I know this post will attract a sharp condemnation because I worship in RCCG & I was once a pastor before I resign0ed voluntarily because of rights violations in the name of religion.
I resigned in December 2010.
But am still worshipping in there as an ordinary member.
So, whatever. I have here is without prejudice.
Holy ghost congress of our great church is now a political congress where all shades of corrupt leaders will mount our altar to fool Nigerians on what they will do.
Holy Ghost congress is now a supermarket where all kinds of people like charlatans & political opportunist come shopping turning God to father xmas to give dem end of d year bonus.
Jonathan was even there turning our once sacred altar to political podium talking deceitfully & indirectly campaigning for 2015.
My question is this? On what ground was president Jonathan allowed to speak to people. Is he a pastor? Because d gathering is purely spiritual gathering & event. I've been a pastor in Redeemed for d past 10 years & I've not got any opportunity to sit on that altar not to talk of holding microphone. If because Jonathan is a president & he is recognized, it means some are more equal than others.
Immediately, I left camp on Saturday morning, I looked at the camp very well because I know that would be d last time I will set my foot to that Eagle square called Redeemed camp.