Below is an excerpt of an interview with Punch in which Retired General Evangelist, Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide, Prophet Samuel Abiara, spoke of what Nigerians must do to prophets of doom.
Many people believe that preachers have so much voice , yet they hardly speak against the government or the ills of the nation , why is it so ?
I don ’ t know why people want ministers of the gospel to always speak against the government and against the people . The Bible is our compass and does not put us in darkness . It says, ‘ We must respect the leaders ’ , we must not criticise our leaders anyhow. Those criticising the authorities , I don ’ t judge them, but it is not biblical to continue to criticise the government and the leaders . The Bible does not permit that . I don ’ t judge them but that is what the Bible says .
What does the Bible permit in this regard?
The Bible permits that we must pray for our leaders . Roman 13 : 1 – 5 says you must pray for the leaders . Whether the leaders are good or bad , God put them there , so we must pray for them so that God will grant them wisdom and understanding . That is what the Bible permits . The Bible does not permit us , particularly we the preachers of the gospel, to criticise or curse the government. We must continue to pray for peace , unity, leaders and the government.
The rate of poverty in Nigeria is getting worse but most preachers live large while the church members live in poverty. Don’ t you sometimes feel embarrassed by this situation?
Many people continue to criticise the men of God whom God is using today . I believe they don ’ t understand ; I can ’ t blame them because they do not understand . People are criticising the pastors , though I can ’ t blame them, because they do not know what they are doing
What do you think about pastors who give prophecies that don ’ t come to pass ?
The Bible says that you must be careful and that some prophets come to you in the form of sheep but they are not . The Bible also says that if the men of God prophesy and that prophecy does not come to pass , as Moses said in the Bible , you must not believe that prophet. That is what the Bible says . You can ’ t blame them and you can ’ t judge them because that is why we are teaching our members that they must not rely upon bad and doom vision. That is why we continue to tell the whole world that they should not listen to doom prophecies at all. This is so because the Bible says in Isaiah 40 that prophecies should profit the people . That is why Jesus said in the book of John 14 :27 , ‘ I leave you with my peace . ’ So , what is supposed to come out from the men of God ’ s mouth is to comfort the mission , the leaders and the people and to pray for them and not prophecies of doom such as ‘ Nigeria is going to sink ’ , ‘ All the leaders are going to die ’ . It should not be so .
If God reveals to men of God that something is going to happen in the nation , prophets , pastors , bishops , etc . should gather together and pray . That is why in CAC , when we see anything that wants to embarrass the nation and the leaders , we won’ t announce it . Instead of that , we gather to pray for peace and unity of the country . That is the reason why we are telling our colleagues to stop prophesying doom and that people must not listen to their doom prophecies. Any prophecy that does not ensure people ’ s comfort or that causes embarrassment, fear and panic , must not be accepted.