Bishop David Oyedepo, Eddie Iroh and his other traducers

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This was not the article for the week. I had wanted to run notes from the 52nd anniversary celebration of our nation, but had to change to what you are reading, in anger, about what citizens can do to each other.  In the families, companies (corporate world), government settings and even in religious circles, I have seen what brothers and sisters (relations), persons of same blood or races can do, the extent they can go to pull down a  successful and thriving relation.

I have seen wives go for the jugular of their husbands just to bag appointments in high places. I have witnessed brothers sell-out one another with the sole objective of gaining unsustainable advantage. I have seen best friends and business partners tear at one another apart just for a mess of pottage. I have asked why this is so and the answer I often get is that it is normal with the human personality. Is it really normal? Where this trend is the main character trait, progress is difficult to access.

This seems to be the main attitude in the black world; and the result is what we see in the peculiar kind of backwardness that plagues these areas. The Nigeria problem, I have told friends, has a deep root in wrong spirituality. The cut-throat competition, kill and go mentality, selfishness, deceit, hedonism, hardness of heart, stealing for tomorrow, mediocrity and absence of vision has its root in what wrong spiritual inclination can do.

Where you find idolatry, no progress can be found there. I was telling somebody few days ago that our troubles have grown worse because of ignorance. Every challenge has an already made answer, because no problem is new under the earth. Many have passed the path before, and were confronted by the same issues for which they found answers.  But for us here and the black world in general, every challenge looks novel, because we don’t have time for research, and those entrusted to take this responsibility do so, but put the outcomes under the table. In the end, we never get to know if anything was done.

The Roman Empire did not blossom until Christianity gained ground there, the same for Great Britain. The struggle to have Anglican Communion was not without reason for sustainable progress by the British nation. What about the industrial age?  How did it come? The Church spearheaded printing revolution, for instance, two-third of those who discovered America were ruffians. But when they got to America and touched the soil for the very first time, they did not call themselves names, what they did as they disembarked from the ship was to kneel down to thank God Almighty and to hand over the land to Him.

Before they made their constitution, it was generally accepted that they have the inscription, “In God We Trust”.  This article will not take the place of the Church and State, which I intend to do very soon. In that piece, I will, among other things, look at whether the Church is actually teaching in detail what they should be teaching. Today, however, I want to concentrate on the attacks on Bishop Oyedepo by Eddie Iroh in his column in “THISDAY Newspaper on Friday, November 2, 2012.

My interest on the issues raised by Eddie Iroh does not arise from any close relationship with Bishop Oyedepo; it is motivated by the fact that I am naturally allergic to any attempt aimed at unjustly pulling down any of our best ambassadors. Shining lights in our midst are few, and if I had my way, they should be adored, cherished, and protected at all costs. Is David Oyedepo one? By my assessment he is more than a national icon, he has grown to be a world star. He is not a politician neither has he held any public office, yet, from what God has given to him he has grown into a pillar that is positively shaping the destinies of millions of individuals across nations of the world.

This is a great feat by any standard. Mr Iroh, by picking on Oyedepo, has the right as a commentator on public affairs. Bishop Oyedepo, by working himself up the ladder of huge success and fame, has by that token become a public figure. Yet, in taking the right to free speech, it is important that we recognize that others too have their rights, both natural and legally guaranteed; among them the right to self-esteem and dignity.  You don’t just wake up and run a man or business concern down, just because you don’t like his face or whatever it is they are doing.  It is also part of the deal that a commentator understands clearly the issues at stake.

In this instance, Eddie Iroh began his treatise on Oyedepo by placing inverted comas open and close, on his appellation of Bishop. What this connotes to the ordinary reader is that he does see the man of God as qualified to be a Bishop, or that he is a fake one. Mr. Iroh relying on a write-up in the British Mail newspaper, indirectly labeled Oyedepo an extortionist, who was extorting huge sums of money from vulnerable Africans and Caribbeans in Britain on account that if they did give, God will give them back.

He displayed jealousy when he said there were pictures of Oyedepo “luxuriating” in London in his private jet and that his London Church makes returns of huge amount of money monthly. I was infuriated when Mr. Iroh said he could not understand what Christianity, which in his view, is a religion that made poor and taught people to live poor, was turning into.  According to Iroh, Jesus had nowhere to lay his head and rode on donkey, the dirtiest animal at the time. For Iroh, this is a prescription for poor living, the “true” Christian must live poor, drive rickety cars, own no houses, much less own planes.

It no longer makes sense, in that even planes can be owned on the basis of necessity. It does not even occur to the likes of Iroh that the world has grown complex and so has become the daily demands of evangelism. The above just confirms the danger Christianity faces today. It is exposed to real threats when peripheral Christians (nominal Christians) and downright cultists take up the gauntlet to dabble into critical aspects of this encompassing faith without having a good grasp of what the issues are. Let me start from the first, Christianity is not a religion. It is a culture. It is a lifestyle. It is a relationship and a mystery, which only those deep in it would discover and appreciate.

Bishop-hood, which has attracted so much attention in our nation, is not a title, in Christianity, it is just an office. Any congregation can decide to name its officials by it.  Secondly, and very importantly, Christianity is not a faith that promotes poverty; on the contrary, it is about beauty, fulfillment and glory. It is about God’s kind of success, which manifests in being the best in spirituality, health, fiancés, inventions, industry, power, family, intelligence, marriage and positive social relations. Christianity is about wholesomeness. It is not the plan of God that His true children lack anything or worship him by gnashing their teeth.  Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “It is the Lord that has power to give wealth”; Psalm 24:1 says the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.

I will not talk and worship God, if after realizing His mightiness He allowed me to wallow in want, scorn, deprivation, to be defenceless against the many satanic agents masquerading as humans, and other dislocations that go with it.  A true believer should be the head and not the tail. When Eddie Iroh alludes to poverty or austerity as symbol of Christianity, I am left to wonder what he is saying. Iroh was not representing the Bible correctly when he said Jesus had no place to stay; for proper education, he should read John 1:35, and see where He told disciples of John the Baptist, who wondered where such a great man could be staying, to come and see.  You don’t tell people to come and see a wretched building: Jesus stayed in big buildings when He had cause to do so. Jesus fed multitudes frequently – John 6:26, this is evidence of great abundance even to the present. Jesus moved in convoy – Mark 4:36 – He moved in a big beautiful ship, and smaller ones followed on all sides. Only the big and powerful move this way.

He had a Treasurer (Judas Iscariot), who must have kept stealing without the master disturbing Himself about that.  In John 19:23, at the Cross, Italian soldiers, the ruling world power at the time, struggled for His clothes. Do you struggle for rags or low quality clothes? Iroh should tell me! The truth is that early preachers gave emphasis to holiness, which is the most important goal: yet, this doesn’t remove the fact that there are other equally very important components in Christianity like well-being of the saints. Christianity, if Iroh must understand, is not against wealth (money inclusive), it is against the love of it.

You don’t make wealth or money a god for which you are ready to devote all time and attention to, or ready to lie, subvert, destroy or spill blood to have. Oyedepo and the Winners’ Chapel I know preaches holiness. It also teaches excellence as Christ’s Ambassadors on earth. If you ask me, Oyedepo via Winners Chapel is taking major responsibility and leadership in an area where government should be seen to be the undisputed leader.  Christianity, like I observed earlier, brings out God’s mystery in the way no religion does. One of the cardinal operating strategies in God’s Kingdom as depicted by the lives of Christian patriarchs like Abraham and David and revalidated by Christ is that if you must receive, you must first give.

You give yourself and your resources; then God responds. (The ground does not need man, it is man who needs the ground. Nothing you give the ground makes it fatter). Those who give in Churches are not stupid. Many of them are well-trained, can reason for ourselves and have gone far in the things of this world.  So, if they continue to give, it means there is something they gain. After all, the Bible has said to the earthly wise, the things of the spirit (Kingdom) are foolishness. Can Eddie Iroh explain why God must have His Son die before He can reclaim His children? Does it not look foolish? If a Nigerian led by the spirit can go outside to make money, legally, I think, it is in our place to encourage and commend him.

Developed nations are rich, yet many of our citizens stay long there only to return here looking wretched, with phony cigar puffing fingers and speaking English in terrible accent. This is not what we want. Oyedepo, for all I know, is building universities, creating jobs, offering scholarships, redirecting wrecked destinies and stabilizing spirits that were on the path to quick end.

Such a man deserves respect and honour and not vilification from mean persons. For Oyedepo, he must watch his back, for where there is great success; there the enemy lurks to wreak havoc. Once again, the likes of Oyedepo in our midst must be protected and encouraged, I insist.

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36 Comments

  1. Really, I have been wondering if there are no “righteous” journalist around who can at least, expose the lies from Edddy Irooh?
    Left unreplied, cultmen may think they had the Day.

  2. Okeke Stephen Esq on

    Nonsense writeup from you. The truth must be told, our supposedly clergy have got it all wrong by abandoning their primary assignment and be chasing worldly riches which you principal is not exempted.

  3. God bless you Ralph! Have this people taking time to interview members of Winner Chapel if they are blessed after sowing seeds? These men are satan’s agents and occult grand masters sent from the pit of hell to discredit God’s agents of transformation! Am a living testimony of the impact of Oyedepo’s ministry. These people are simply jealous of his exploits! How can somebody say that Christians should be poor? How are we going to build churches? Spread the gospel through the media? This man is actually saying that showing naked ladies on tv is better than preaching the gospel of Christ because it takes money to be on tv. Mr Eddie should go and read the Bible very well before he starts saying what he doesn’t understand! I want him to know that 60% of Jesus’ parables deals on finance. Keep soaring!

  4. I wonder hw much u were paid 4 dis rubbish. He is building university with donations 4rm d poor congregatn yet no space 4 their son’s n daughter’s in d sch simply bc d fees dey pay is very exhorbitant. Yes its gud 4 a man of God 2 live well bt does it include aquiring private jets? Even wen 90% of d congregatn in nigeria live below poverty level. Pls allow truth to strive once its told instead of fighthing it.

  5. Building University at what cost?hw many widows in his church can snd their children to dat university,Thanks to Edie iroh for his gut to tell us wot we knw.U incoporate a church wt d names of ur family members,i wonder what christendom is turning into,De whole pentecostal church are greedy,thats why every pastor want to answer a G.O.But God will judge all of us.

  6. After sellin off d quintesential conscienece magazin, the news, raph ekpu has turned in2 hatchet writin. 4 christ sake, how on earth can any sensible human being compare christ wit any mortal? Christ sojourn on earth was aptly chronicled, yet u hve d temerity 2 tell us dat christ lived an opulent life like d flamboyant pastors of our time? Ekpu, Ekpu, Ekpu, integrity, truthfulnes and objectivity should b d guidin principle of a public comentator of ur calibre. Writin articles 4 sale may gve u some ephemeral financial victory, but in d end, when d victims (d toilin mass) whose precarious existence are being exploited and pillaged by these fraudsters u r defendin wil re-discover themselves and cry 2 heaven, it wil dawn on u dat ur material victory is nthin but pyrrhic.

  7. I wonder how much Winners pay Mr. Ralph for this distortion of the Holy Bible. That u are privilaged to write on the national daily does not give u the right to take ur readers for fools. Mr. Ralph I knw the truth. I don’t hold anything against the man of God. But Mr. Ralph by this article has redused himself to a praisesinger, a fifth columnist

  8. Kingsley Enyinnaya on

    Eddie singling out of dr David oyedepo for bashing is illmotivated,he recieve a revelatyion of kingdom prosperity andf the principles has blessed and million of paupers into millionaires,Eddie sounds like someone hired from the occult world to discret God and his blessed servants,iam so grateful you have painstakingly set the record straight,i give God glory for your life

  9. Mr. Egbu, Thanks a lot for speaking the truth, God will continue increased you to stand and speak truth. may be poeple likes iddie Iroh should have rethink of how they comments on issue that is so critical like this. you has spoken very well in this you article. thanks.

  10. Am not suprised that people are persecuting my father(OYEDEPO). Criticism helps you to find fault while others are finding favour.

  11. Why wil a man of God own two jets while their are paupers in his congression? Raph u said he built university,yes we all knw dat,but truth there is dat Oyedepo is an enteprenuer because an average Nigeria cannot afford the fees in covenant university

  12. I am stunned by the effort and ink you devoted to defending the indefencible.It is as shameful as it is absurd that you you are defending modern day robbery and hoodwinking of poverty sticken masses who are told to expect their reward in heaven while the loot collected from them is used to buy private jets,roll royce,you name it.
    You are akin to the other journalist who has made it an industry defending Ibori.Haba,I beleieve you are a board member of Oyedepo enterprise.Eddie did a good job of informing Nigerians what is public knowledge in Britain.

  13. Gift Elekwachi on

    Well, the poor we will always have amongst us. Their is nothing any man can do personally to eliminate poverty in this world. beside if you are a member of the and you are complaining about the nonaffordable fees of the university tell us or meet him personally, but if you not a member and you are complaining it means you are personally very very poor and you are a thief because you want to reap where you has not plant. How many politicians in Nigeria has he written about their criminal acts, with proves, without being on the hideout in this world. The bishop is a true man of God and any man that want to busy himself to bring him down must be set for Gods disgrace and public embarrassment.

  14. Ralph egbu,u b original igbo man.hw much were u paid for this write up?u forgot Christ had d opportunity to live in mansion n even b crowned king but he put all dat aside,Paul d apostle was a very learned man who could have made it great but he said all does tins are dung,well he never feed on other sweat but worked as a tent maker to finance himsef somtym.Ralph God is watching us all

  15. Mr egbu,4 ur imformation,Christ naver made a single individual rich in his 3 and half yrs ministry.christ massage is bt the comin kingdom of God nt all this earlthy wealth been branded abt by all these preachers,wch is signbolic by the write horse rider of REVELATION6 wch stand 4 false teachins wch christiandom of 2day is base on

  16. Lord Jesus speaking in Mark 4; 11, “You have been given the secret of the kingdom of God. But the others who are on the outside it is all parable”. Before commenting on the christian faith and practices, it is absoluely necessary to consider the category to which you belong according this statement.

    Lord Jesus rode on a Donkey and people where spreading their clothes for the animal to walk on. This particular donkey received this royal treatment because the King of Kings was riding on it. Today Bishop Oyedepo among other men of God is the donkey that Lord Jesus is riding.

    Which is better, to show the poor how to come out from his poverty or to give him a few thousands of Naira to spend on his or her fantacies and go back to misrable live.

    Understandably the poor and rich who are putting their money in the churches are of sound mind and able to reason things out for themselves.

    VERY IMPORTANT, the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God and as Heaven is far away from the earth, so is the God’s way different from the ways of men.

  17. It is a shame that after this your Razzmatazz, you were unable to point to a single point discrediting Eddie Iroh’s write up. You are just a bread and butter journalist seeking for what to scavenge upon. We should leave judgment for God.

  18. This is trash journalism. And the editor will do us the reading masses a favouer by sacking this bread and butter journalist. For a start it is not the job of a journalist like this to be too opinionated bu his write up. We are not all Xtains, but we know what the missions schools did in Nigeria. They are completely free, and they did not set out to build universities, but set out to enlighten minds through education and at the same time evanglising. The Bible says that you cannot serve two masters. Any filthy rich man like Oyedepo, Orisatjefor and the likes are corrupt and cannot be said to be serving God. There is no moral ethics in business. The aim is to maximise profits and pay less tax. No matter the name given to tax evasion scheme, it is still fraud. Any sin is an abomination to God. On this note, Mr Ray Egbu you are not fit to be called a journalist. Your sack is imminent.

  19. there are three kinds of people on the surface of the earth. those who make the news, those who tell the news and those who oppose the newsmakers. africans, especially nigerians like the last two. whatever you might say about the bishop, he is a newsmaker, those of you who think its easy making men cough out hard earned money should go and start your own church.

  20. Dear Raph many thanks for your piece and your effort to educate the spiritually illiterate in our country. Dr Eddie Iroh has touched the anointed of God I hope he will retrace his step and apologies to Bishop David Oyedepo. This he must do and not vilify the servant of God.

  21. No need for all the noise.every right thinking person knows that christianity dies with the likes of mary slessor. Any noise maker today is just worshiping his belly.

  22. Concerned Christian on

    When Satan took Jesus to the Pinnacle and showed him the great Kingdoms of the world; the beauty, the pleasure, the riches, the attraction. What was Jesus’ response? Get thee behind me Satan! Because He knew about the distractions that untold wealth could bring even criticisms. He focused on the painful mission of saving me and you? Please let’s stay focused, nobody takes earthly riches to heaven. If it’s meant for the well being of all Christians, why should one man own an estate while others apparently labour for him. Even in the early church we were told that the apostles sold and brought their property at the feet of the apostles for the futherance of the gospel. Non of them boasted of being richer than the other or owning private property with collective contribution. Our greatest wealth as Christians is in the resurrection and eternal life not the riches of this earth. The book of Ecclesiates, alleged to have been written by one of the World’s richest men, Solomon, later acknowledged: “Vanity upon vanities, all is vanity” (Eccl.1:2). Was Solomon’s wealth not from God? But he later realized that Heaven and God wasn’t about accumulation of riches and wealth, but in everlasting union with his maker. Please pastors and preachers, create your wealth in the hearts and souls of your followers not in your “earthly palaces”.

  23. I wonder if those against the Bishop go to church at all.Do they pay offering?Are there no poor people still in their chuches(if they have chuches)? Nominal Christains like Eddie should not comment on what is above their intellectual capacity.People who pay tithes are not fools.They are well read and above all are NOT complaining. If you have a complaint go and sue or forever keep quiet. Shalom!

  24. Raph Egbu’s antics have potentials for suspicion. Egbu is scripturally ill-informed, hence, his literal interpretation and misrepresentation of the Scriptures. Egbu’s article debunks Eddie Iroh’s critical survey on Oyadepo whose ostentetious life-style as a harbinger of the Gospel seems a contrast to the path toed by Christ. No doubt, Oyedepo has been an employer of labour and a great contributor in the growth and development of Nigeria. But, Oyadepo like other prosperity gospel preachers in Nigeria are religious opportunists who maximise the poor economic climate of Nigeria for their own selfish gains. For Oyadepo and his likes to procure private jets on the grounds of necessity as Egbu highlighted is an incomprehensible sign of insensitivity on their part. A true apostle with a genuine understanding of the gospel identifies with and shares life with the needful and the poor. I strongly believe that any pastor who has never suffered illness or has not physically been incapacitated like his parishioners or flock cannot as readily understand or deeply express genuine compassion as Jesus did. If procuring a private jet is highly indispensable in pastoral ministry what about the Catholic Pontif who oversees over two billion faithfuls around the globe? As exigent as his unifying role is, the pope still patronises Alitalia, the flag carrier and national airline of Italy. Raph Egbu is far from being a journalist. He’s a political jobber who sings praises of his spin doctor. Perhaps, Raph Egbu is unaware that he’s indepted and answerable to history for directly or indirectly choreographing the unpleasant political dance in Abia State when he was a member of the executive council. How easily he treats with thoughtless inattention the fact that “the danger in fighting evil is that if care is not taken one becomes like that which he/she fights against….

  25. This writer is an agent of the devil. Who told him properity that was spoken of in the bible was earthly prosperity?, can u remember wat christ said about the rich in the book of mathew?,” that is easy for a camel to pass through the eyes of the needle than for a richman to enter the kingdom of God”. These so called pastors,bishop etc have decieved alot of souls in their quest for wealth. These men are the traders and merchants mentioned in revelation. Christainity is all about salvation of the soul, and the cross represents suffering, persecution,poverty because a real will be despised bcos of he ways which are not inconfirmity with word. Stop decieving urself and other because bishop oyedapo and his kinds are businessmen and not real christains. They serve and worship money therefore, they do not serve the God of isreal. Soon God will expose and deal with them for profitiering wit the salvation that jesus christ gave us freely.

  26. I think the right way to resolve this issue is to ask the members of this Church whether they have received tangible blessings from the seeds they have been sowing. No reasonable person will keep doing what he knows there’s no benefit or reward in it. The Bible said “as the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest shall not cease. If the members are harvesting what they have been sowing, I think no amount of names calling can stop them from doing even more.

  27. Dipo oladehinde on

    I think God is the only perfect Judge.there are so many things going on in the back stage which we hav no ideal about.every mans work wil be tested with fire.

  28. plz we people must know how we talk, 4 a church that has not call 4 a donation,launching gives offering only once and never force people to give yet d re richest church, plz friends its d LORD’s doing. bishop oyedepo is just GOD’s sent. friend’s u need to b in cannaland before u talk wt eva u need to. or read his books

  29. Gift Elekwachi on

    Oh! Poor minds and spiritual blinded people, are you sure you sure you know the lord Jesus as Sovereign… Why do you think that people like the bishop should be poor¿ the man that have help so many Nigeria to be stinkly rich via his teachings of real gospel principles the type that people like pastor Pastor David Ibioyomie, paul Enenche, me and several other business men who came to the ministry confused but now they are in wealth. Why won’t such people bring gifts in billions to him and now you are jealous. Do you know how this man of God laboured and this laboring to give Godly direction that had turned thousands into a success story in this nation today. Why do think people are following? Is because he has a divine key that can unlock their destinies in God

  30. Ralph, columnist like you are confused and don’t have direction in their write up. You feed the public with wrong information.
    Mr. Eddie Iroh write up vis-a-vis the write-up in the British Mail newspaper, indirectly labeled Oyedepo an extortionist, who was extorting huge sums of money from vulnerable Africans and Caribbeans in Britain on account that if they did give, God will give them back.
    The big question is the ”Bishop”character does not reflect a true Christian. A true Christian should share the pains of others. 90% of his members can’t send their children to the school he directly or indirectly extort from them on account that if they did give BIG OFFERING, God will give them back in hundred fold.
    “Columnist” like you give James lbori pass marks because he is a Nigeria, today he is jail were system works and write up in newspaper are based on issue.

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