Christian leaders in Nigeria have been urged to encourage and stop criticizing Christians in government.
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the call at the Breakfast meeting organised by a Christian media group, Christian Press Association Nigeria (CPAN) in Lagos Friday.
The event held at the Faith Revival Apostolic Church (FRAC), Egbeda, Lagos was titled ‘The Christian in government: Issues and perspectives.’
Adesina said Christians must stand out from the crowd wherever they find themselves. “The saying that if you cannot beat them join them cannot be Christianity. Christians are those who would say like the three Hebrew boys we will not defile ourselves with the portion of the King’s meat,” he said.
The government’s spokesperson also urged Christians in government to be good examples wherever. “Let your light shine so that people can see it that is what the Bible says. Working with the government should help you to affect a larger number of people for God,” he added.
Adesina regrets that many of the criticisms against the government have been coming from the church people and leaders, urging Christians to pray for leaders instead of peddling hate speeches. He also noted that the Buhari-led government has a lot of Christians in the cabinet.
“This government despite the hate speech and animosity against it has a large number of born again Christians,” Adesina noted, adding that, “Before the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barrister Ocholi died, we had more Christians in cabinet than Muslims. After he died the number became equal.
“I believe that to serve in government you must know who you believe, there is nothing that can happen to your testimony if you hold on to the God you believe. Unfortunately many of the comments I have heard against the government are from the church,” he lamented.
“A senior pastor in Abuja was telling me about an agenda against Christians in Nigeria. I said the Vice President is a Pastor, he is a believer and I can vouch for him anywhere. The pastor said, he doesn’t believe in Osinbajo anymore and I wonder who has made him a judge over Osinbajo or who can judge another man’s servant?
“I believe that Christians in government should not be discouraged just because they work with the government. The Christian in government who knows his God and continue to uphold his testimony should be encouraged and I believe he must be constantly prayed for and prayed with,” he said.
Adesina, a member of the Foursquare Church said he is delighted about the prayer support he gets from his denomination. “It gives me joy when I go to my local church in Lagos and hear that they are praying for me. So when a Christian has opportunity to serve in government, he should take it but when he gets it, he should remember he is an ambassador,” he said.
The Special Adviser also remembered the late Reverend Moses Iloh as one different church leader. “When the late Reverend Moses Iloh was here, we always talked on phone. The moment he was on phone, he would say ambassador, how are you doing? He was always giving me a good reminder I am an ambassador for the Lord. We should do everything as unto the Lord,” he added.
Adesina however enjoined Christians to always make Christianity a lifestyle and not a mere religion.
“Christianity is not an attitude you assume, but a lifestyle. How will it sound that a Christian is accused of misappropriation of public money? He asked.
Earlier at the event, President of the association, Bola Adewara told participants about the association.
“The organisation came into being after some of us saw the challenges facing the church and members of the body in general,” Adewara said.
The publisher of E-Life Magazine, Adewara added that, “One of the hobbies of most Christians is apportioning blames, pointing fingers rather than taking action. We tend to blame leadership always. We forget that leadership cannot function in a vacuum. There can’t be leadership where there is no followership.
“If Christians must make impact as the salt that we are supposed to be and as light that we claim to be, all hands must be on deck. There would be no finger pointing. The duty is for us all because the best condition for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing,” he said.
Also at the event were Chairman of the Pentecostal fellowship of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Bishop Sola Ore, General Overseer of the Faith Revival Apostolic Church, Apostle Paul Taiwo Adenuga, former Editor Online, The Nation newspaper and President, Journalists For Christ, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, Ms. Joke Kujenya and other dignitaries.