You Cannot Preach To People And Forget About Their Moral Life, General Overseer, Restoration Life Assembly Church (1)



Dr. Udochi Majesty Odikanwa, is the Senior Pastor and General Overseer of Restoration Life Assembly, Wuye, Abuja, a father of six children, he hold a first degree in Sociology and a Masters in Education Psychology, both from the University of Abuja and currently pursuing my PhD in the same course of study. The man of God is also a member, American psychology Association. Added to that is a ThD in Theology. In this interview with NewHorizon after a church service, Dr. Odikanwa says many churches preach to their members and forget to talk about their moral life. Even as he added the decadence in the society is due to that lack of good mentors. He also bared his mind on some national issues.
As I came into this place I saw the massive project going on, how did the vision come about?
The church started in 2006 in my house but I would say it took-off official at the Women Development Centre on December 23, 2006. While seeking His face in prayers God said to me in a vision; “I will give you a temple, the design and where you will build for me and the location shall be in the city centre.” After that encounter, I called the elders of the church and some pastors and told them the vision. At that time there was no money on ground, as we had only N100,000 in the church account. And you know what it takes to buy a land of that magnitude in the city centre, but we moved by faith. When I told the agent that he was going to get a place for God in the city centre the guy laughed but he moved and finally got this place. It was a thick forest, nobody came into this this anyhow. In fact, the police told me that whenever they pursued armed robbers and they ran into this place they left them alone. According to them it was a den of criminals and all manner of criminal activities took place here. Even the Gbagyis had a shrine close by where they worshipped their deities. On our way to this place, we stopped at the junction and we were able to locate this place by the help of a GPRS with an FCDA staff that accompanied us. I prayed “Lord, this is the place, this is the Bethel’ and with one of the deacons I came with we decreed and left. We later met the owner of the land at Bolton White hotel and after negotiation, he agreed to give us the place for N27 million from an initial N30 million. When it was time for payment, we told him we had only N100,000, he laughed but agreed to be patient. And gradually, we were able to complete payment and we took possession of the land. When people see the development they wonder that despite the location of the church people still come here. Even when the former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi came to this place, it was the same thing. At the junction, people were wondering where his convoy was going, eventually he located this place, worshipped with us and left. This place came as a vision of what God told me. He said to me: “I will raise this church as a witness, as an eye opener for the saints and to the society; to tell them the raw message of the cross; about my return and the way of real morality in the house of God because morality has long escaped from so many Christian denominations. But I will use Restoration Life Assembly, I am giving you a mighty temple and it will be a pulpit for addressing the society and the whole world, even the political class. I will do it, unadulterated word will come out of this place and this is my reason for instituting this church, for the world to be cleansed through the word”. So it is a world changing church! It is a church that has come to open the eyes of people concerning the return of Jesus with morality, uprightness and everything ethical to the glory of God.
From what is happening in the society and the world over, it does appear craving for an excellent spirit is going out of fashion among Christians?
There are many Christians that have the notion that you have to worship God the way you are. In quote “the way you are”. Other people will equally tell you “worship God the way you are, He is a merciful father; though you continue to sin and confess, it does not matter because His mercies endures forever.” That theology is heresy, it is apostasy! You want to water down the standard of people serving God? It is wrong! You must tell people about the ‘old rugged cross'; tell them what the bible says about certain things. For instance the mode of dressing. The way you dress depicts the way you will be addressed. The Bible says ‘a woman dressed like an harlot’. How does an harlot dress? There is a way you will be dressed and you will be regarded like a harlot. And when you come into the house of God and you start speaking in tongues and some things begin to happen, unbelievers will get confused. All because some people have backed them up saying go ahead, no problem. But I still believe in modesty in Christianity. This is the backdrop that has made some people to live anyhow, live more dangerous than an unbeliever. What I am saying in essence is that people should go back to the word of God. More attention should be given to Sunday school. It is fast going out of fashion in many churches but it is very important. It is the cradle of socialization in church growth. Sunday school, bible study, commitment to church activities and commitment to a church that is after your morality because you cannot be preaching to the people and neglect their moral life. The disciples were called Christians because they behaved exactly like Christ. So I want people to go back to the study of the word of God; to the original way of the cross. When I say go back to the original way of the cross, I don’t mean you have to start dressing shabbily. Our morality must depict the bible, the person of Jesus, the way we talk, the way we do things, even the way we conduct our deliverances. Many pastors today are engaged in occultism, one fetish thing or the other which the judgement day will take care of. But we should not be part of such people. The way we do our things must be different from the way the world do their things.
Do we attribute all these to a lack of mentorship in the church?
Nobody wants to be mentored anymore. When I was preaching I said “if you don’t have a mentor, you will have tormentors”. You will behave the way you like, do anything you like whether it is wrong or not. In Christianity you have the shepherd and the sheep. Most shepherds jump from one place to the other without a mentor. That is another problem right now because when you get different doctrines, you become confused and you don’t know what to do. In 1 Corinthians 4: 12-15, Paul said, “you may have many instructors in Christ but I have begotten you in the Lord.” For instance, the deacon here is proud to say I have a father, I have a mentor, a spiritual mentor that I listen to. He can’t go astray. There are some certain things that he would want to do and when he remembers “my father may not happy about this or my father would not want me to do this” he would hold his peace. If we have good mentors, some of the moral decadence we see in the society will go down because when you listen to someone that tells you the word of God, it will be difficult for you to digress. We need to have mentors in the society, in the church even the pastors need to have mentors too. For instance, there is a pastor I ordained a long time ago in Suleja, Niger State. According to him, he has wondered about for a long time without achieving anything but today he has come back. I prayed for him. It is important that we have good role models. If some of these bombers had good mentors I tell you many of them won’t have been bombers. Many mentors are no longer mentors but tormentors because of their lifestyle and the wrong values they are inculcating in these people. All over the country, we must have people we look up to. This will help in curbing social menaces and spiritual prostitution in churches.
Part 2 of the interview will come your way soon.