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Pastor Sam Adeyemi’s Tweets on Mental Health Issues Sparks Discussion on Faith & Health Solutions in Nigeria

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Pastor Sam AdeyemiYesterday morning, Nigerians on Twitter were having their regular Sunday-Style delight. If you’re on Twitter you’d know the routine by now: football, gender roles & cooking (they never get tired of that one!) and church attendance quotes. So yesterday was pretty much standard. And then… a tweet by popular Lagos Pastor, Sam Adeyemi started making the rounds.
Hash tag… Mental Health!

Sam Adeyemi is the pastor of DayStar ministries; and in an age where we hear all sorts of scandalous stories about Nigerian pastors, this particular pastor has a clean ‘rap sheet.’

The story is that, yesterday he had talked about mental health issues in church… so, he decided to share the Rhema with his followers, and of course the unreached, on Twitter.

You know the drill... First tweets at the bottom, so read upwards

You know the drill… First tweets at the bottom, so read upwards

It was going all well and dandy! People were glad that this preacher was using his pulpit to do something other than talk about women’s dressing and whether women should be in the kitchen, or women’s ability to pray for more than an hour.

Oh so refreshingly, different…

Then, boom!
Pastor Sam's Mental Health Issues

The Tweet that sparked the outrage.

Say what now?

Some Twitter users attempted to help the world understand what he meant… You know, break it down into layman’s speak for the rest of the world.

Pastor Sam Adeyemi admitted that he wasn’t a psychiatrist and wasn’t tweeting from a position of expertise on mental health issues – simply from his position as a spiritual leader.
Pastor Sam's Mental Health Tweets

He then goes on to prescribe a solution: sensitivity to “God’s word” – and as an addendum, he tweets that you should seek medical help. Because “Seeking medical help for physical or mental illness does not contradict God’s word or having faith for your healing”

Pastor Sam's Mental Health Tweets

Nigerians were NOT having any of it

One

Two

Three

Kids, calm down! There’s no need for mudslinging or flood invoking. Here’s some more explanation from Pastor Sam’s account on what he actually meant.

Pastor Sam's tweets

There was an attempt clarify on the type of sin Pastor Sam meant… Adamic versus Personal.
Pastor Sam Adeyemi's Mental Health Tweets

Oh boy!

You gotta love social media.  However on a very serious note, this tweet concludes it for us:

Religious leaders have a huge, dedicated and almost fanatic following in Nigeria. It is important that the messages put out on their platforms are disseminated properly and effectively – without any need for some form of misinterpretation and misconception.

Here at BellaNaija, we consistently try to provide information to dispel existing stereotypes – especially in the hopes of creating positive change and to influence people’s lives. Our BN Contributor and psychiatrist Dr. Ayomide Adebayo regularly provides issues on getting mental health, within the framework of the Nigerian mindset on the subject. In fact, his most recent article was about mental health and the spirituality of it therein! {Click here if you missed it}

We also have contributors like Dr. Monica Alabi, who takes on mental health issues in her articles.

We have also shared stories of real Nigerians who have struggled with issues of mental health – Award winning poet, Bassey Ikpi, and Blogger, SeyifunmiKnowing the stigma that exists in our society about mental health, it is incredibly brave of people who have come forward to talk about their lives on a public platform, with the hope of encouraging and helping others – to get help.

We have also reached out to Dr. Ayomide Adebayo in the past to help with some of our readers who have come forward to request help.

In light of this we are incredibly proud of people who use their influence to bring sustainable, positive change.

So guys, that’s the gist from Twitter over the weekend. Please share your thoughts on the matter.

41 Comments

  1. trixx

    October 31, 2016 at 10:31 am

    If the root of mental illness is sin then we would all be mad .. and that includes our modern day ‘pastors’

    • Tru

      October 31, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Thank you.

  2. Mr. Egghead

    October 31, 2016 at 10:38 am

    BN is always late to the party.
    If you can’t be bring gist ‘as e dey hot’, chefuo ya.

    Anyway, this is just another case of children trying to digest the meat of adults. This is why St. Paul ‘recommended milk for the public

    • Wanderlust _Trekeffect?

      October 31, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      ?????

  3. Anon

    October 31, 2016 at 10:44 am

    I find the person who wrote this article more irritating than the old pastor. After learning a couple of things from social media like most of us have, you’re now here sounding condescending and debasing the conversations Nigerians are willing to have for the first time. Who do you think you are? It rubs me off when people talk like this ugh

    • Fashionista

      October 31, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      You just took the words right out of my mouth, such condescending tone!!! He/she even said “Kids, calm down” – IMAGINE!!! Tani “kids”? Nonsense. As for pastor Adeyemi, i am somewhere in the middle.

  4. Chris.

    October 31, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Pastor Sam Adeyemi spoke the Truth. We cannot be “‘sensitive”” to “”diverse audiences”” all the time. Very often in the Bible, and today, God’s servants and messengers are called to/they had and have to say it like it is.

    His message is clear: the root cause is sin. The foundational solution, the necessary element that must be there as the foundation of the true, lasting, complete solution is salvation. Medicine is advocated and used in the Word of God. Isaiah the prophet prescribed for the king Hezekiah. That is a perfect example of the Pastor Sam Adeyemi situation if people will humble themselves before God and heed to it. The prophet Isaiah brought a Word from God which was not too palatable and was a form of judgment to the king, the king prayed to God, God was moved and sent the prophet back, the prophet prescribed the necessary treatment, and God healed the king. The Word, prayer, medicine and God’s healing power all combined.

    And most of all, first of all and finally, the message is NOT Pastor Sam Adeyemi’s message. It is not his original thought. It is not his copyright. He gave CLEARLY his source and quoted his source. Anyone who has issues with his tweet should be bold enough to go and tangle with the Sender and Source directly and leave the messenger .

  5. EbonyFre

    October 31, 2016 at 10:54 am

    The writer/”put together’er” of this article obviously wasn’t open minded and was subtly trying to force his/her own sentiments/perspective which is obviously against Sam Adeyemi’s tweets.

    Poverty, death, sickness all came about as a result of the fall of man. The fall of man happened because of sin. Therefore sickness (e.g mental illness) came about as a result of sin.
    He highlighted this.

    Mental illness can also come from depression, over thinking, et.c. So he says, counter this with the word of God. Believe what the word (and not your circumstances) says.

    However, if the mental illness has already taken place, while you pray, still seek medical help (Because God is the one that has given the professionals the wisdom to liberate).

    Nigerians sha. Any opportunity to attack and cyber bully. If only our youths can channel this passion to fight in the right direction

    • Cocolette

      October 31, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Oh, thank you, Ebony. Couldn’t have said it any better.

  6. I love my husband

    October 31, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I think bella naija has changed its writers, because this article is so poorly written, I feel like I’m reading one of those naijahotgist kind of blogs. Bella naija is really falling flat these days with quality, professionalism and content, you need to train your writers and hire editors.
    As for Rev Sam’s message, I don’t even know what the argunment is about, if you are student of the word, you would know that the root cause of mental health is sin, sin is a nature that we were all born with….don’t let me start preaching. Just like egghead said, this is strong meat and the ible has described strong meat for tjose who have developed themselves spiritually, so if ure a baby in Christ, you might not
    understand what Pastor Sam is saying, Pastor Sam is right, go and study to show yourself approved. Selah

  7. Nakoms

    October 31, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Sam Adeyemi is only explaining in Christian term universal and psychological truths

    If there is much dissonance between our core beliefs and our physical and mental environment there is a great possibility of mental psychosis. This dissonance, that is, not living up to our core moral code becomes “sin” in a practical sense. If I worship shango and live by its precepts and my environment substatiates and validates it’s dogma there is less likelihood of schsims or stress on my emotional and mental state.

    The high prevalence of mental health issues in our society is as a result of our various dogmas not having a real impact on society. You go to church read the bible and carry out and or experience a totally different paradigm in the real world.

  8. curious

    October 31, 2016 at 11:20 am

    On twitter people will want to read what they want to read, and interpret it as they see fit. Saratu was just trying to trend obviously by going for his throat, but those who understand what he was trying to say will understand. Simple.

  9. artklub

    October 31, 2016 at 11:20 am

    and he probably believes in the tooth fairy and santa claus, lol. what is with naijas staying stuck in magical superstitious thinking? no matter how tailored the suit and how smooth the phonetics, naijas stay infusing every damn thing with hyper religiosity and ignoramus-ness. i “rebuke” all your illogical magical thoughts, lol.

  10. A Real Nigerian

    October 31, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I can see that Nigerians with their linear, distorted rhetoric who will not hesitate to defend “men of God” are out in full force.
    This closet bigot was trying to do damage control by saying he meant “original sin”. Yeah right. No.
    We get it, the “christian idea” is that bad things happen to people because Eve ate the fruit blah blah blah. But you don’t go around bringing it up when it isn’t necessary at all.
    You don’t go around telling a mother who just lost a baby that the baby’s death was a result of “sin”.
    You don’t see someone with cancer and be like, “You have cancer because you sinned”.
    You don’t go telling a homeless man that he’s homeless because of “sin”.
    You just don’t say some things.
    And no, salvation never cured anyone of mental illness either.
    Insensitive is insensitive.

    • Naijatalk

      October 31, 2016 at 11:48 am

      That is why you are a baby. Sin doesn’t necessarily mean your sin I.e. The individual’s sin. I won’t even bother trying to explain further

    • A Real Nigerian

      October 31, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      And this is why you should get a reading comprehension class along with further understanding of christian terminology. I am talking about original sin which is implied to be inherent and part of everyone right from conception/birth. How is that so hard to understand? My point is because they claim everyone is born with original sin doesn’t mean you go about shoving it in their faces that every bad thing that happens to them is because of it. Except of course you’re a Jew.
      You make a lot of thoughtful posts on this comments section, so I am highly surprised by this response.

    • Mercie

      November 10, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      You don’t get it. When sin is used in this context, its not about ‘all have sinned’ but that in d beginning God made all things perfect but sin brought imperfection to the world. And its this sin that is the root cause of everything that’s not if God

  11. Zeeebby

    October 31, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I think people should take time out to listen to the full sermon…I think its online on the church website!

  12. Lulu

    October 31, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    The person that wrote this article is simply disgusting. Very crass and haphazard piece of stale pie. No valid point was made. Just a bunch of irrelevant sentences. BN is not a human being. Put the writer’s info at the foot of the article let us face him/her and school him/her.

    • dupsy

      October 31, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Lulu,

      Abeg softly softly, we all make mistakes let us show love to this writer as well. He or she might be a young intern who is trying to grow professionally like we all have one time in our lives. It is okay to put things in proper perspective but don’t go on a hate filled war path. Please let us show mercy and understanding,

    • Fashionista

      October 31, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Dupsy, please what are you saying?! which hate-filled path?!!! Lulu’s comment is spot on and there is NO hate there, just facts!!!

    • LemmeRant

      October 31, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      “BN is not a human being. Put the writer’s info at the foot of the article let us face him/her and school him/her.”

      Lol every writer is hiding under BN

  13. Bea

    October 31, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    God bless you for this comment.

    Bella Naija, your standards are slipping. This article is so crass and has no depth and the writer’s effort at sensational journalism has obviously backfired. I feel so embarrassed for you. Please don’t cut corners, employ the right people so that you don’t end up “doing yourself”.

  14. Olayemi

    October 31, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    He was referring to the blanket “Original Sin” not your own personal sin or your fault.

  15. dupsy

    October 31, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I don’t understand why people are attacking this man because what he is trying to pass across means a lot of sense. Mental health starts with your mind connecting to your physical circumstances this is why people lose it when they feel and see that things around them are not in sync with what it should be. You could be in serious debt, lose a loved one, be about to lose your job, etc. and feel the world is about to come to an end so this is how depression sets in. However based on what the pastor is saying, don’t allow your mind to believe it is all over train your mind to believe what God’s word says and fix it on that instead of what you are seeing in the physical which is destroying the peace of your mind. By God’s grace His Word will gradually begin to have an impact in restoring your situation to what it is supposed to be. I have been in these situations many times when the thoughts of wanting to give in is greater than the thoughts of things will get better. But I have discovered that as I fix my mind on His Word one way or another things get better. But at the same time if you are still feeling overwhelmed get counselling and medical help fast. So why are people attacking him? I think he meant good from what I read so far.

  16. Where are you, BN?

    October 31, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Honestly, BN comes across as very smug, superior, condescending, atheist, repellent, irritating and sub-standard in this article.

    More and more and more, as yet more and more time passes, one wonders if BN has any standards anymore. Commenters have complained so much and so often about various issues that BN seems to have chosen to be deaf to. Be it language, grammar, spellings, content, sensationalism, hyping up unnecessary personalities (including those with no particular discernible value to society just for sensationalism), unnecessary promotion of controversial issues and disreputable/questionable characters (e.g. Nate Parker the alleged rapist and his movie).

    BN seems to be embarrassingly thirsty for something and, I’m truly sorry to say, to be in a shameless hurry to get it.

    I trust God (especially as there doesn’t seem much point trusting BN) this fall will be permanently arrested and turned around.

    • shaday

      October 31, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      I totally agree with you. Gave up on BN after they posted one distasteful comment about somebody. No standard anymore.

    • LemmeRant

      October 31, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Its like they have something against Christianity. Always trying to shove homosexuality to our faces, promoting baby mamaism. Very quick to attack pastors and very eager to publicize the people who have something against men of God.(freeze, charlie boy etc.)

      Its like the moment they see a christian quoting the scriptures they get defensive and regard it as an attack on their beliefs.

      Anyways sha whatever rocks ya boat. I always avoid articles like this normally.

  17. tunmi

    October 31, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Nigerians and religiousness, you guys will definitely win gold for that one.

    Classifying mental illness as a sin hurts. It hurts the believers who are taking that step to get medical help. It hurts the conversation. Mental illness is a very real thing. Had it not been for that tweet, his words would have been fine.

    • dupsy

      October 31, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Sorry Tunmi,

      I think there is a misunderstanding here, I don’t go to this man’s church but I am basing my thoughts on the tweets I read here on this site. When he means ‘sin’ he is not talking about the consequences of bad actions like someone who has mental health is facing the consequence of his or her bad actions. What I feel he is talking about is the Adam sin that makes us as individuals to be under the curse of bondage and mental illness is one of such attributes but reading God’s Word and believing in what Christ has done as well as speaking His Word makes us to overcome any of the vices of the Adamic nature and consequences of sin one of which is negative mental health.

    • tunmi

      October 31, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Thank you for the different perspective. And thanks for not preaching at me as you explained.

      The pastor could have phrased his words better. His words “If you allow Satan and your circumstances to define who you are it will distort the balance in your mental state” and “the foundational solution to mental health is salvation” say something else. It aligns with that belief that mental illness is of one’s choosing, that it is because a person allowed evil into one’s life. It once again blames the victim for having a mental illness. It’s the same line of thinking that condemns, ostracizes, and mocks people who are mentally ill. It is a very harmful and dangerous statement.

  18. anonimo

    October 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I think people should try to listen to the whole sermon. I did. The pastor started out by pointing out the ignorance most Christians portray when it comes to mental illness, he alluded to the fact that mental illness is not every time ‘demon demon’ as a lot of Christians are wont to believe. Now he is a pastor, he might be aware of social issue and even progressive in his thinking but he is a pastor, the SIN he is referring to is the Christian concept of ORIGINAL SIN (I think this one most, if not all denominations agree on). That is we all are naturally sinful and need spiritual reconciliation with God. You may be a non-Christian and see this concept as balderdash, which is fine, that’s where good old religious tolerance comes in. You RESPECTFULLY disagree with all of us Jesus folks; but to say that he encouraged the demonization of those with mental health issues is not true. In fact I believe those who listened to the sermon and were hitherto ignorant will repent from their ways and seek to know more about this issue. SCIENCE IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH. ✌

  19. Gidi Snitch

    October 31, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Let’s start off by examining what Pastor Sam actually said, “The ROOT CAUSE of mental illness is sin, (Romans 6:23) and the FOUNDATIONAL SOLUTION to mental health is Salvation”.
    Now, let’s look at the scripture he quoted (which I am sure not many have even bothered to read and interpret themselves!) to see if what he said is actually correct.

    Romans 6:23 (NIV) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

    There are three significant terms in the initial phrase of the text that must be explored to gain complete understanding These are:

    1. Sin: Romans 5:12-14 (MSG) “You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.”

    Sin has troubled the world since the time when the ground was cursed (Genesis 3:17).

    2. Wages: In the original Greek text of the bible, the word which was translated to wages is “opsonion”. It is found 4 times in the New Testament. Twice it is used to describe a soldier’s pay (Luke 3:14; 1 Corinthians 9:7), once of the support Paul received from certain churches; support that should have come from Corinth, but didn’t (2 Corinthians 11:8) and, finally, in a figurative sense for the consequence of sin (Romans 6:23). It suggests the idea of that which one has earned; thus morally it must be paid if justice is to prevail, and illustrates the very high price tag attached to sin.

    The text under consideration has a narrow focus, namely the “wages” of sin earned by the human family AS THE RESULT OF SIN’S INTRODUCTION INTO EARTH’S ENVIRONMENT BY OUR ORIGINAL PARENTS, ADAM & EVE.

    3. Death: The word death is the greek word “Thanatos” which in the widest sense means, physical death as well as spiritual death comprising all the miseries arising from sin including (mental & other) illness, poverty, suffering, e.t.c.

    In Genesis 2:17, God tells Adam that in the day he eats of the forbidden fruit he will “surely die.” Adam’s physical death does not occur immediately; God must have had another type of death in mind; spiritual death, which was the root cause of the suffering and toil Adam, Eve and future generations were subjected to until Jesus came.

    So now, let us reexamine what Pastor Sam said, “The ROOT CAUSE of mental illness is sin, (Romans 6:23) and the FOUNDATIONAL SOLUTION to mental health is Salvation”.

    In summary, the sin committed by Adam and Eve is the root cause/ entry point of ALL forms of illness, poverty, suffering, e.t.c into the world and the only solution is salvation/ Jesus Christ?

    Romans 5:12-14 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men”

    So please, tell me, what exactly did he say that isn’t biblical?! Please people, READ YOUR BIBLE YOURSELF and 2 Timothy 2:15b, rightly divide the Word of truth!

  20. notcool

    October 31, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    ***long hiss***
    BN really fall hand on this o! There’s nothing wrong in what the man of God said. Stop trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill!

  21. NaijaPikin

    October 31, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I think the big issue is he wasn’t clear on whether he was referring to personal sin or original sin (adam and eve).

    The folks saying “no issue” read the tweets and assumed he was referring to original sin (adam and eve’s sins that brought on all world problems).

    The folks shouting “bloody murder” read the tweets and assumed he was referring to personal sin. which would mean individuals are the cause of their own problems. .
    A little clarity from him would have gone a long way in avoiding this issue. I guess we learn everyday

    • Gidi Snitch

      November 1, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      While you are not wrong in saying his words should have been clearer, if most of the people screaming bloody had actually taken time out to read the scripture he quoted to back up his point, then they would have understood what he was trying to say. On the other hand, no matter how he said it, there will always be one group or the other that has a problem with it. The solution to all this is for people to read and understand their bibles for themselves and not rely solely on others to interpret for them.

  22. o

    October 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    The tone of this article ehn…. I can’t deal. BN you’re gradually losing it…

    • Adeola

      October 31, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      They have lost it actually!!!!. Its now in the same class as LIB and the rest. Anything for traffic I guess. It must be tough to stay in business. If you like post this or don’t. The truth is usually hard to swallow……

  23. Weezy

    November 1, 2016 at 3:18 am

    I’m amazed at this writer’s ability to alienate both sides of the debate. I completely disagree with the pastor and think his statements about sin are nonsense. But this post is incredibly condescending (telling people to calm down??). If this was an attempt to be breezy, it failed. Own your opinion. If you’re against, be against – no need for cuteness.

  24. ebony

    November 1, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I am a Daystar member and pastor Sam preached about mental illness on Sunday. When he started, I was wondering what concerns mental illness with Sunday preaching but he connected it from a biblical angle. I am perplexed at the way people are just jumping to conclusion over one tweet without reading the other ones pastor Sam tweeted.

    As Christians we know that nothing happens in the physical without the spiritual. He quoted several scriptures about not been fearful, about having the peace of God, about not been anxious particularly in this recession time because we know anxiety can bring stress on the mind.
    He sighted the example where Jesus healed the man with the legion of demons and others. What pastor Sam was trying to do was demystify mental illness. We all know how “mad” people are viewed in our society. He advocated for them that they need help from all of us.

    He also said every mental case are not demonic-caused as It is might be a case of hormonal imbalances in the head (more often than not) and proper medical attention should be sought. To be honest, is sin not the root cause of sickness whether physical or mental. Exodus 23:25 says But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.
    Pastor Sam’s intentions was not to mislead anybody. He just wanted us as a society to help the mentally ill

  25. Rotegzy

    April 3, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Even the twitter Intelligentsia run the risk of blindly criticising people without hearing the person………this is a typical example. Why not do something, visit daystar Nigeria website and search for the message, listen without prejudice and comment later.

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