Love of money increases the number of churches in Nigeria
Until recently, Evangelist Chuks Joseph Oshionwu, was the Regional Manager of the Nigerian Breweries Plc but now a cleric at the Amazing Grace Unlimited Ministry. In this interview with JACOB SEGUN OLATUNJI, he bares his mind on national issues, especially the growing insecurity in the land and disunity among various religious groups in the country. Excerpts:
May we know you sir?
My name is Evangelist Chuks Joseph Oshionwu, a former member of staff of the Nigerian Breweries where I worked for several years before I became an evangelist. I am 51 years, but I reduced my age by two years while in the company. I read Marketing at Auchi Polytechnic and later went for higher studies in Public Administration and Labour and Industrial Relations in UNIBEN and Delta State University respectively. I left for USA, where I became born again, to join my wife after leaving Nigerian Breweries. I spent 19 years and five months in the breweries. While in USA, I backslid several times, until God said enough is enough. To be a true born again Christian is not by might or by power, Jesus eventually took hold of me, and since then my life has not been the same again. But I must tell you this; three things will bring a man down: love of money, love of women and love of power. If a man lives above these three things, he will never fail and he will live long. I will explain these three things. Power was never my problem, the people who worked with me for 19 years and five months knew me.
Most of the money I made when I was in the Nigerian Breweries, I spent it helping people, assisting the widows and helping the poor. I even helped some rich men who pretended to be poor. So, money was not my problem but women. I am a bit handsome, I had a good job and I had a good exposure. The Nigerian Breweries gave me one of the best corporate cars in the world as my official car; they paid my bills, they took good care of me, they gave me fat salary, they gave me exposure. That in a way made me vulnerable to all kinds of women, but today, it is all over. Those things are gone; so, I am free from love of money, love of women and love of power. Not that I don’t want money, money is good; I prayed to God to give me money, to bless me, to make me a blessing to my generation, but I don’t want money that will make me to sin against God. I don’t want evil money that will take me to hell; I will rather take N10.00 from the throne of grace than to take $1 billion from the gate of hell. Money cannot give you happiness; it only enhances you to get happiness.
You plan to move round the country to preach peace among various religious and ethnic groups. Do you think this will bring solution to the activities of various militia groups in Nigeria, especially the Boko Haram sect in the North?
I will not want to go deep into that, but above all, it is prayer. The truth is that there is no unity in Nigeria, neither do you have among Christians. You hear some of them condemn the Catholic, Anglican Church will see nothing good in the Celestial Church and all of that stuff. We should try to have peace and harmony in the Christendom; it is when we have achieved this that we can form a common front against the enemies. To answer your question, solutions to the general insecurity in the country is prayer and the need for everybody or groups to embrace peace. There should be a platform for holding a national prayer for the country. Nigeria needs prayers; prayer is the solution to these problems. Even the Bible says that some problems are not solved except by fasting and prayers, because what is beyond man is not beyond God. What is Boko Haram before God? Are they not human beings? If they are Muslims, are they not under Allah? We only need to pray; both Christians, Muslims and traditional worshippers, and all these problems will come to an end.
Those hotels and joints that you used to visit to promote beer while in the Nigerian Breweries, if you go there to preach now, how would they see you?
We have many doubters here, but when they see me talk, when they see me pray, they will know that the difference is clear. They will know that they are listening to the voice of an anointed man of God. I know that many will be shocked, but that is what God has done in my life. All those wasted years are now parts of my experience to promote the goodness of the Lord to the world.
What do you see to the proliferation of churches in Nigeria?
If you remember what I said at the beginning of this interview that three things could bring a man down, especially a man of God. One of those things is love of money. You could attribute the trend to love of money and position among men of God, after all everybody wants to ride a bullet-proof jeep. Everybody wants to be the founder, General Overseer and so on, nobody wants to serve, that is the problem, and people want to build castles all over the world. Nobody wants to serve, everybody wants to own a treasury, everybody wants to be the master, so that all the money comes to him, that is why some churches call their congregation “customers”, and in some churches they bury all sort of things including live cows, pigeons and what have you in their churches in order to attract people. If you go to Benin, Lagos, Abuja, Jos or anywhere today, you will see up to 10 or 15 churches on the same streets bearing different names, yet crime is still on the increase in the country.
What do you have to say about the future of this country?
The future is very bright if only we put the country in the hands of God. For example, if you are Muslim, commit Nigeria into the hands of God, if you are a Christian or pagan do same and see what will happen, Jehovah is the ultimate, He is the Almighty. There is no developed country in the world today that has not gone through what Nigeria is undergoing right now. Do you know how many civil wars Americans fought? It will be well with Nigeria by the Grace of God. We are passing through these developmental phases for a purpose and we will surely get to the promise land.
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