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Niyi Ademoroti: Where Does God’s Voice Stop & Where Does Your Pastor’s Own Begin?



It’s an event every first Friday of the month, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway clogged with cars, all roads leading to what has been christened the Redemption Camp. Less popular is the service every first Thursday – where the faithful gather before their pastor to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ – and all the interactive sessions where the faithful are given guidance by their pastor.

With the month of October specifically targeted to the youth, it’s only normal that guidance, in this case, includes marriage advice. Because, you know, are you even a youth if you’re not thinking about marriage? It had all of the usual: Pray to God for the right choicethe foundation of every family is Goda woman is supposed to be a builder in her marriagewomen should honor and respect their husbands – all of the usual.

A particular one, though, was new, and it seems to have rubbed people the wrong way: There should be no confusion in the house of God. You have to go to your Pastor first to consult for marriage before your parent, the church Twitter account, @rccghq, shared.

I think just as much as what was written, the way it was written passes a certain message across: that the common noun pastor has been capitalized, like the word God often is, shows just how we have deified pastors in the country.

To clarify, Folu Adeboye said that the directive is because “In the body of Christ there must not be any confusion.” She explained that there will be confusion when a man approaches his pastor and points out a girl God has “shown” him to be his wife, and it turns out “two or three” other men have said the same to the pastor.

Isn’t it a little curious that God is showing two or three men the same woman as their wife? Also, doesn’t that just put marriage on a first-come-first-serve basis? And if the pastor was truly anointed – as they say – and was discerning, wouldn’t he know who the real husband was of the “two or three”?

Our culture today involves a little too much worshipping those we call spiritual leaders, bending to their will and remembering they’re human only when they err. That’s when you hear things like Touch not my anointed and, He’s only human. That’s when we’re asked to wait for robust responses.

We’ve accorded so much power to these religious leaders that it’s almost a wonder Nigeria is so messed up. So many people consult pastors, imams, and shamans before making random decisions like traveling or buying a car. It’s like people have ceded all responsibility for their actions, surrendering it all to these people.

Too many people voted Goodluck Jonathan because he knelt on that very altar, and we all remember how that turned out. Muhammadu Buhari‘s vice president is from that very church, and no one needs a pastor or imam to tell them how terrible a mess our country currently is.

It’s necessary that we learn to draw the line between your pastor’s personal opinion and godly instruction. Is it God or your pastor speaking when she says: Get a job before marriage. When you fall out of cash she falls out of love. Because, while it’s a good thing for people to have financial stability before they get married, isn’t it a little (read: very) toxic to advise that men get jobs before their marriages, simply because their wives will leave them if they end up poor? Is that what you think God’s idea of marriage is? Is that God’s perception of women? Is that God’s instruction on the role of men in a marriage?

It’s fine if you decide to speak to your God about who to marry; but to make your pastors the first stop is basically giving them veto power over the choice. It implies that you believe they’re under some godly instruction to approve or deny your choice.  Because that is what seeing them before even your parents is: giving them the power to say no or yes. And, yes, they are pastors, but remember also that they’re human, just like you.

They’re just as human as they were that last time they messed up.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Niyi Ademoroti is the Features Editor at BellaNaija and an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Hobart and The Republic.


  1. Ebere

    October 5, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I love this write up. Kudos to you. We should really draw the line between what the bible really teaches and what someone thinks is right.

  2. Cocoa

    October 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Don’t forget that some people have ungodly parents. Not everyone can take marriage advice from their parents.

    Some people also have ungodly pastors. Become a member of a Church whose Pastor’s fruits align with the word of God. Because once you becom a are choosing to be under their leadership.

    It all comes down to the same thing. Be FIRST saved yourself and develop a PERSONAL relationship with God BEFORE looking for any partner.

    Seek first thje kingdom of God, seek the WISDOM of God (some people are saved but lack wisdom) , Seek KNOWLEDGE from the WORD of God.

    The word of God tells you what a husband and wife should look like.

    You can’t go wrong if you marry someone that wants to live their life ONLY according to the word of God and you also do the same. You can’t go wrong when your standard is CHRIST..

    It’s really not that complicated. Sigh.

  3. Anon

    October 6, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Madam face your front. The message is for some people. Not everybody. I couldn’t care less the message of an ifa priest to his followers. Its not for me!!! Live and allow others live abeg!!
    For your information my parents hold our Pastors in high esteem. My brother was struck with a strange illness that no doctor could diagnose.
    After several weeks we asked my parents if we could invite our pastors to pray with us. They gave their consent. And yes you better believe that all traces of the illness vanished after he prayed with the family. That is our story. We hold our parents in extremely high esteem, but they could do nothing to save their beloved son.
    Go to your parents and allow those who want to go to their pastors be. It is not your parents and it is not your pastor.
    Everybody be seeking relevance with religion!!!

    • baybee

      October 6, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Sister you need to calm down.. like you said, the message is not for everybody. So much hostility in your response.

    • anon

      October 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      @Anon I am sure your brother was healed by his faith and of those around him.
      The bible says, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

    • ANON

      October 7, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      There is nothing wrong with asking your pastor for guidance.
      However, you must hear from God first and train your ears.
      There is no point only trying to hear from God when it comes to marriage.
      Develop a relationship with God first allow him access of all areas of your life.
      Pastors may be speaking from their own experience and wisdom, which
      sometimes may not align with Gods, unconsciously and not in a bad way.

  4. Xo

    October 6, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Dear writer you forgot she was speaking to a certain audience… Her members… Those who look to her as a mummy.. When you understand the environment this works, and you have a bit of wisdom… you may have to rewrite your article..

    .Some of you don’t even recognize the voice of God.. You are that confused. . Even the Bible says wisdom is profitable to direct.. What is wrong is meeting your pastor first, when it is most probable that both you and your interest are members of same church… Especially when it’s most likely that other members may have confided in the Pastor of their interest in you? What’s wrong pls? Why should there be confusion?

    Why are we the generation that are quick to condemn without reason…


  5. Debbie Ade

    October 6, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    As Jesus said in the Bible, not everyone can receive this. Let’s not get things twisted, this message is not for everyone. It is for a targeted audience! It is only meant for those who can receive it.

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