The popular broadcaster, Daddy Freeze had been on the cases of many top Nigerian pastors. He had for long made it a hobby to beam his mirror on every utterance these pastors make, either in public places or on their church pulpits.
In itself, this cannot be said to be wrong. The bible supports ‘searching out the scriptures’.
1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
And in Acts 17:11-12 the Bible says, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.”
The people were not compelled to believe the apostles. They believed the gospel after they had searched out and confirmed all they were told to be true.
The Bible is also replete with accounts of those who scorned the message of Truth, those who mocked and persecuted the message bearers, and those who genuinely could not accept the message and expressed their disbeliefs in their own ways. Even then, none of these sets of people can be written off. Christ Jesus loved (loves) all of them as He does those who already believed, and desires that the believers persist without let in love and grace to share His Word of Truth to them. The time of His coming is near, the great harvest time is at hand.
Truthfully, God’s message bearing (pastoring, etc) is not an easy calling. It is a path lined with spikes, suffering, forbearing, insults, and persecution. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. Jesus only promised to be with us even in those situations. That does not mean perpetual life of suffering. No. But largely, that is what living in Christ here in a world full of pervasion and hatred for righteousness has to offer.
The book of James 3:1-18 (ESV) warns “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!”
The passage above is very instructive.
Now, men of God are not super-humans. They are flesh and blood and are prone to react when scathed in any way, either in pain or in anger. Many cannot always stomach every form of attack on those they love or revere. It is natural.
The latest criticism of Freeze against Bishop Oyedepo’s earlier sermon was not his first. There had been issues of jet ownership and tithe taking which he disagreed with, among many. This recent attack, which in my humble opinion, was objectively critical, became the tipping point.
Pastor David Ibiyeomie could no longer watch Freeze defame Bishop Oyedepo who had impacted his life and ministry greatly. He unleashed a verbal canon fit to shred Freeze to pieces, bringing the nation of Somalia and the broadcast profession into the fray. Many believers are dampened and deflated by this outburst.
It is not a sin to be angry. To ire is human. But to utter those extensively shredding words? Wow!
The most painful to me was the loud agreement of his church members that greeted those curses. What then makes such extreme stances different from those extreme Islamists who cause anyone critical of Mohammed or quran to be brought before the executioner? Would Christ have done that? Did the Holy Spirit approve those curses? Were those curses justified in the moment? How did it edify the church of Christ? How did it eventually compliment Bishop Oyedepo?
Were they even based on facts?
Pastor Ibiyeomie to Daddy Freeze, “Insult me, I won’t comment but insult Oyedepo… that bastard, any day I hear you talk about him… Do they know his (Freeze’s) father? Does Daddy Freeze have a father? Who’s his father? …That half-caste who is born by a Somalian? The day I hear him insult Oyedepo, I’ll deal with him. Oyedepo may not talk but I can’t be alive and you’d insult my father. I can’t take it. I’ll tear you to pieces, bastard. People who have fathers don’t insult fathers. He’s insulting because he has no father. Does he (Freeze) look like a Nigerian? Somebody they gave birth to on the ship. I curse the day he was born, tell him. This should be the last time he’d talk about Oyedepo. A man who is not married; he has no wife. He can’t take care of his home but he’s coming to talk on TV.”
- Fact One: The people of Somalia are God’s own loved people too. The nation may mostly be populated by none Christians but God loves them no less. Many Christians of Somalia extraction can be found scattered all around the world.
- Fact Two: Daddy Freeze is not a bastard as alleged. His father is a Nigerian, and mum a Romanian. Both parents are well and alive.
- Fact Three: Broadcast journalism is a noble trade. Without it, the broadcast of messages on TV or elsewhere would not have been possible.
Worst things were said to Christ and He neither cursed nor killed anyone for those abuses. He would not have asked us to turn the other cheek when slapped. Any message that is devoid of Christ Love and Grace, is not the gospel.
But then, no man is immune from frailty. Be they bishops, evangelists, devil chasers, and the fervent believers. But when we fail or sin, we humble ourselves before God, make amends where applicable, and retrace our steps. THAT IS THE GOSPEL.
Psalm 141:3 says, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!’ The greatest of man is one wrongs and is humble and graceful enough to accept his wrong and apologizes inspite of any consequence.
Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
I have no doubt that Pastor Ibiyeomie is a true child of God. I have no doubt that he loves God. I am hopeful he will do the needful. Daddy Freeze deserves an unreserved apology