247Gist: Pastor Enoch Adeboye vs Peter Tosh By Remi Oyeyemi

“If you know what life is worth, you will look for your rights here on Earth.”
– Peter Tosh
“Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.”
– Peter Tosh 

I reached for the tote of my musical collections,
trying to bolster the bounteous bounce of the breeze. The Peter Tosh
disc caught my attention. It had been a while since I had listened to
it. I extricated it from the tote and inserted it into my car’s disc
player. The first track that came on was titled Get Up, Stand Up that he
had co-wrote with the Great Bob Marley. The rhythm rode smoothly into
my happy spirit as the lyrics licentiously laced itself into my
consciousness. The combination of the rhythm and the lyrics penetrated
my thinking right from the first line.

As I continued to listen
to this evergreen and eternally relevant music track, my beautiful rusty
city of Ilesa came to my mind. Its struggles from the comfort of the
past to its present wrestling with modernity, and its desperate effort
to hold on to and protect its tradition and uniqueness crept into my
mind. The present state of anomie that is pervading my beautiful state
of the Living Spring, the Ipinle Omoluabi, my dear Osun State then
climbed onto the next pedestal of my mind. My mind did not stop there.
It further elevated into thinking about the disaster that my Yoruba
Nation, the Nation that Oodua bequeathed, has become.

The
satiating joy of the moment engendered by the coagulated rhythm and
lyrics of Peter Tosh was disrobed of its delirious drapes of delusion.
The agonies of a betrayed Yoruba Nation in search of its old glories
were unshakeable. The terrifying thoughts of a promising Yoruba Nation
ensconced in the thick cocoon of economic misery, religious enslavement
and stultified politically could not be subdued. The awful feeling that
such a brave Nation with brave and determined people is in comatose
should have been inconceivable. Yet its reality rips you into emotional
fragments as you reel and rile in paralyzing pangs.

As I
continued to listened to Peter Tosh and continued to wonder about the
Nation of Oodua’s legion of misfortunes engendered by the political
dealers that have hijacked its destiny in the last one and half decades,
it became difficult not to think of Nigeria. It was difficult not to
think of Nigeria because in my own opinion, Nigeria is the incubus that
has incubated the scores of succubus that have encumbered the Nation of
Oodua and other nations within its confines. My mind was trying to
evaluate the problem from the perspective of Peter Tosh in juxtaposition
with and to other players who have command on the minds of our peoples.
This is because he who controls the mind controls the man.

Looking
across the landscape, it is my contention that the people who are most
responsible for the misfortune of Nigeria and the bondage of my people,
apart from the politicians, are the representatives of the foreign
faiths and or religions in our land. So, to represent this class of
foreign religionists who are exploiters and enslavers of our peoples,
those who are subjugating the mass of our people through a dubious
gospel, I have chosen Pastor Adeboye as an example to make my case.

I
have chosen Pastor Adeboye not because I hate or dislike him but
because he is one of the most prominent Apostles of anguish, hardship
and wretchedness for our people. He is a living example of the legion of
heartless proselytizers reinforcing the miseries of our people. He is
an example of the genre of unfeeling and cold-hearted Prophets that
littered our landscape. In a Church filled with millions of poor and the
needy, daily agonizing and scavenging to survive and remain faithful,
Pastor Adeboye thought it acceptable to buy a Gulf Stream Jet valued at
$65m. Though, they always say that “Jesus is the Head of the Church,”
but the physical and administrative head (General Overseer) of the
Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

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Pastor
Adeboye represents the modern prophets who continuously milk our people
into misery while they live in reeking opulence. They preach to my
people to seek the kingdom of Heaven why they revel in the perquisites
of the kingdom of the world. They create and found schools with the
tithes of my people and again, make them pay through their noses to
attend such schools. They preside over schools that ought to be free for
their members at least but it is not free. Even, if they could not make
the school free, they could at least make it affordable for their tithe
paying members.

This explains the pertinence of Peter Tosh’s
philosophy. Peter Tosh ripped my heart with the following words as I
compared them with what Pastor Adeboye and his ilk stand for. After the
first chorus, the initial lines go thus:

“You preacher man don’t tell me
Heaven is under the Earth
Your are duppy
And you don’t know
What Life is really worth.

In
Jamaican parlance, a “duppy” is a “dupe.” To “dupe” means to “deceive,”
“delude,” or “trick.” As a verb, the word “dupe” has as its synonyms,
words like bamboozle, beguile, betray, catch, cheat, chicane,
circumvent, con, defraud, hoax, hoodwink, mislead, outwit, swindle,
victimize among several other despicable others. It is a dreary picture.
For a mind not encumbered by the deceit of the “preacher man”, this
situation is ominous. It is perilous. It is apocalyptic.

It is
high time that the “sheep” of the Christendom shed their “sheepishness.”
It is time they stop dripping with docility and wake up. It is time for
them to begin to ask questions. It is time for the brothers and sisters
in Christ to not only wake up but to Get up and Stand up to confront
the greedy leaders of Christendom in Nigeria. It is time to confront the
materialism of these “prophets” at the expense of the comfort of the
scavenging poor who constitute the “body of Christ.” If they are able to
hold these prophets accountable, such practice would spill in to the
politics of the polity and engender genuine liberation on all fronts for
the people, especially the poor.

The “sheep” of the Christendom
should not be amazed at the reinforcement of the behaviors of the
corrupt political class in our polity by their own shepherds. They
should not be surprised at the coziness of their General Overseers,
Founders, Prophets, Pastors, Reverends with the corrupt leaders of our
society because they are also corrupt. The General Overseers and their
henchmen encourage the looting of our commonwealth and collect their own
shares through egregious tithes. These leaders of foreign religions in
our society are the depository of blood monies appropriated from the
leeches who are their co-conspirators in the politics of our polity.
 
Given
the moral morass and the grinding poverty in our polity, Liberation
Theology should be the sing-song of these General Overseers, Pastors,
Founders, Reverends and their henchmen. It is time that the brothers and
sisters of Christendom begin to see theology from the perspective of
the poor and the oppressed. It is time to adopt the mission of Jesus
Christ to “create social unrest” against the General Overseers,
Reverends, Pastors, Founders and their henchmen.

According to
the Free Encyclopedia, “Some liberation theologians base their social
action upon the Bible scriptures describing the mission of Jesus Christ
as bringing a sword (social unrest) e.g., Isaiah 61:1, Matthew 10:34,
Luke 22:35 – 38 and not as bringing peace (Social order). This Biblical
interpretation is a call to action against poverty, and the sin
engendering it, to effect Jesus Christ’s mission of justice in this
world.”

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As Gustavo Gutierrez, one of the leading intellectual
lights of Liberation Theology once contended, “To know God is to do
Justice.”  Any church that incubates exploitation is evil and not of
God. Any Church that reinforces the suffering of its members while its
leaders live in opulence is evil and not of God. Any General Overseer
that rides a Gulf Stream Jet could not be of Christ when millions of his
followers are stagnated in need, want and poverty. Any Church that
found schools that are beyond the reach of its members is evil and not
of Jesus Christ.

It is time for the brothers and sisters in the
Christendom to realize that “Heaven is not under the Earth.” Heaven is
not in the sepulcher. Heaven is not in the grave, under the sand. No, it
is not. Heaven is here and now. If Pastor Adeboye and his ilk as well
as his henchmen believe what they are preaching, they would not be
buying jets worth several millions of dollars. They would not continue
to live on obscene opulence. They would not be charging out-of-reach
fees for the schools built from the membership tithes.

As I
conclude this piece, I leave my brothers and sisters in Christendom, as
well as my discerning readers with the full message of Peter Tosh in
that musical track as follows:
 
Get up, Stand up,
Stand up for your rights
Get up, Stand up
Don’t give up the fight.

You preacher man don’t tell me
Heaven is under the Earth
Your are duppy
And you don’t know
What Life is really worth.
It’s not all that glitter is gold
And half the story
Has never been told
So, now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our rights.”

Common
 Get up, stand up
Brothers,
Stand up for your rights
Common
Get up stand up
Sisters
Don’t give up the fight
I’m begging you

Get up stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up stand up
Don’t give up the fight

You know most people think
 A great cop will come from the skies
 And take away every little thing
And leave everyone dry
But if you know what life is worth
You will look for your rights here on Earth
And now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our rights

Common
Get up stand up
Don’t let them push you around
Stand up for your rights
Common brothers
Get up stand up
Be brave now
Don’t give up the fight

I say Get up stand up
Stand up for your rights
Don’t let them hold you down
Get up stand up
Don’t give up the fight

See them tired of the stale psychology
Only asking Jesus for his mercy
We know, we know deep and understand
That mighty Jah is alive now
You fool some people sometimes
But you can’t fool all the people all the time
And now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our rights

Common
Get up Stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up brothers
Get up stand up
I say don’t give up the fight

Don’t let them push you around
Get up stand up
Stand up for your rights
I say don’t give up the figh
t.
 

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have
been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum
danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”
– John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961

Please, follow me on Twitter @OyeyemiRemi

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