TAKING APOSTLE SULEMAN JOHNSON BACK TO THE CLASS: A RESPONSE TO HIS ONLINE TEACHING ON COVID – 19 AND INDICTING THE POPE

By Innocent Sunu

Anubhaw Alok once said; “Ignorance is a poison that kills love, friendship and all the good feelings.” Not to see you die of this poison is the reason why I have chosen to bring back into the classroom once again.
άνθρωπος του Θεού(I hope you understand what it means anyway). I was very patient to go through your websites; (personal and that of the Ministry) not because you have done so much to receive accolades but to look at the mandate of Your Church or Ministry and it goes thus: “wipe out tears, restore people to their destinies by the revelation of the word, manifestation of power and reality of the Holy Spirit.” it continues “Put an end to affliction; I AM SENDING YOU WITH AN OMEGA ANOINTING…”. It will be wonderful to clearly employ your think tank to give you a simple and a definitive difference between a ministry and a Church. Sorry Sir, as I went through your mandate, I was highly optimistic to come across the scenario you had an encounter with Jesus which qualifies you the name APOSTLE. Let’s take a little etymological lesson, Pre-Christian use of apostolos[ ἀπόστολος] in the sense of messenger is rare. More common is the verb apostello,referring to the sending of a fleet or an embassy. Only in Herodotus (1.21; 5.38) is it used of a personal envoy. Josephus employs it once(Antiquities17.11.1) in the classical sense of an embassy. Epictetus (Discourse 3.22) speaks of the ideal Cynic teacher as one “sent by Zeus” to be a messenger of the gods and an “overseer” of human affairs.
The Septuagint uses apostello[απόστολw] or exapostello[ἐξαποστελῶ] some seven hundred times to translate the Hebrew salah [ Σαλά ] (“stretch out, ” “send”). More than the act of sending, this word includes the idea of the authorization of a messenger. The noun apostolos is found only in 1kings 14:6, where the commissioning and empowering of the prophet are clearly in mind. Hence, the Septuagint uses the apostello word-group to denote the authorization of an individual to fulfill a particular function, with emphasis on the one who sends, not on the one who is sent.
The noun apostolos appears seventy-nine times in the New Testament (ten in the Gospels; twenty-eight in Acts; thirty-eight in the Epistles; and three in Revelation). The vast majority of these occurrences are found in Luke-Acts (thirty-four) and in the Pauline epistles (thirty-four), and refer to those appointed by Christ for a special function in the church. Their unique place is based not only on having witnessed the resurrection, but also on having been commissioned and empowered by the Risen Lord to proclaim the gospel to all nations.

From the foregoing, let me make it very simple for you, the Greek apostolos [ajpovstolo”]) means an Envoy, ambassador, or messenger commissioned to carry out the instructions of the commissioning agent. Hence, it will be of utmost importance for you to understand that before one is commissioned as an Apostle he must have sat at the feet of the Master (Jesus) to learn and then certified by the master. Hence, an Apostle must have encountered the Lord. While Disciples are all of us who have being called Christian through the water of Baptism.
A lot of pastors like you called themselves APOSTLES without a proper knowledge of it. Jesus had a large number of disciples during his ministry, but not all of them were apostles. The Twelve were chosen out of a wider group both to be with Jesus as disciples and to be sent out to preach and teach as apostles. There are four lists of the Twelve in the New Testament, one in each of the three Synoptic Gospels ( Matt 10:1-4 ; Mark 3:13-19 ; Luke 6:12-16 ) and one in Acts ( 1:13 ). These lists are roughly the same, representing four variant forms of a single early oral tradition.
My dear Pastor read Mark3:14 and understand, it says; “And He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with Him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message.” They didn’t call themselves or sent themselves.
If you, as did some of your fellows claim equality with St. Paul then you have to learn more. St. Paul claimed to be an Apostle of Christ because he had an evidential and existential experience of the resurrected Christ (Acts 9: 1-9). St. Paul is often referred to as an Apostle, because he was directly commissioned by the resurrected Christ. Jesus told Ananias; “Go for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel. I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” (Acts 9: 15 – 16). Can you see how Paul gained admission into the college of Apostles?

There are varied ways of seeking relevance (in a world with so many issues to address) than trying to pull down the trouser of your father in the market square to prove to your fellow mad men that your madness is the greatest. If you had sold your respect for cheap wealth and power, ours’ is not for sale. We are taught to respect Imams, Pastors, African traditional worshippers and even Pagans. Because we do not have the power to judge anyone. Listen to respected men like Bishop T. D. Jakes who acknowledged the Church when he said the Coronavirus can make the church to hide but it cannot destroy the church which have existed for over 2000 years. He said false pastors use such a moment to deceive the people and misrepresent God.

Dear Pastor Suleman Johnson, what kills the little spirit that is trying to grow in people like you is undiluted ignorance and corrosive arrogance. As an African I expect you to have respect for elders. Wisdom is fertilized in the womb of knowledge and given birth through humility.
Let me school you about the Pope a bit. By the time you were struggling to open your ministry “Mall” in 2004 after serving as an assistant pastor in the Armor of God church in Lagos, this Pope (our Holy Father) was an Archbishop of Buenos Aires and a Cardinal. Pope Francis led the Argentine church during the December 2001 protest, that the administrations of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner considered him a political rival because he fought the social ills in his country.
From your accusation of the Pope as not being Innocent and sacrificing Italy, it shows clearly how impoverished you are with knowledge of world politics or may be blurred by your epicure. Let me school you further. People who can sacrifice human lives are very materialistic in nature. They can go to any length to gain wealth. You boast of becoming a Millionaire at the age of 19, owing to moving trucks of cocoa to the Northern part of Nigeria from your state. Your net worth as at March 26, 2020 is estimated to be $200million. You acquired your private jet in April 2019. Not to mention your gorgeous house with helipad, games village, large swimming pool, furnished with luxury paraphernalia of #800million for a house which is above #400million. This is not to mention your conglomerate. Is it clear to you who can sacrifice for material benefits? Or is amassing wealth part of your mandate? Know this, that your net worth does not amount the number of people he (Pope) shepherds.
As Doctorate degree holder in Human resource management, one will expect fleets of evidential and verifiable statements than street allusions. Then what is your difference with street hawking Pastors? The implication of your statement on the Pope as guilty presents a humongous challenge you have picked for yourself. The Catholic Church might look at you as lost son and still forgives you. Moreover, the Church can never low her majestic self to address bantam pastor like you. This loving nature of the Catholic Church is what has being giving unripe Pastors like you guts to defecate anywhere and go scot-free. This must stop. Respect must be given to whoever earns it. When served with a law suit for defamation of character, I hope that your lawyers are ready with the evidences that the Pope is an accomplice in aiding and abetting the scourge of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Were you not the Prophet who prophesied the burial date of El-Rufai? He has superseded the date and even won his second term election. The kind of prophets who spoke and it never came to be, can you remind me the kind of prophets they are?
Pope John Paul II was the contention of traducers like you. I suspect your likes to fan the malicious video of that girl who claimed to see him in hell fire. What was she doing there? Was she there for an excursion? People get visions of heaven she gets vision of hell fire. Of course God’s ways are not our’s. As today he has gained the reward of his hard work. I bet you pray through him and you will have more testimonies to give.
Now your obnoxious light is on Pope Francis. I have watched the videos which gave credence to your aspersions. Let us continue our lesson Sir. But before I proceed with the class, let me ask; do you have any little depth of Theology? Well you would have understood what is called religious tolerance. It is all about one’s religious relationship with others. With no disrespect, let me condescend to your level. Relationships in religion are in two fold. The First is called ECUMENISM – it is a religious relationship that promotes unity among Christians of different denominations (Lutherans and Anglicans). The second is called DIALOGUE – it is a religious relationship that promotes cooperation, constructive and positive rapport between people of different religious traditions, at both individual and institutional levels (Christianity and Islam or Christianity and Hinduism). I hope you understand.
Ok. Let’s proceed. Understanding the aforementioned very well is what will make you remove your shoes while entering the Mosque, that is respect for Islamic religious belief, which you were a member.
Let me teach you something you are very ignorant about. You must be symptomatic of what psychologists call self projection. Your greatest mistake is thinking that the method you employ in running your business ministry is the same way the Catholic Church operates, sir sorry to deflate your ego. It is not. The Catholic Church is a systematic organism. Decisions are not taken abruptly by a single person. I hope you are following the lesson. Unlike your ‘ministry’ that you just wake up and buy jet, build a mall for your wife and buy fleet of cars for yourself. No one questions you because it is your personal business. My dear Pastor, the Catholic Church is not like that.
The Catholic Church is the most organized Church in the world and the biggest world charitable organization in the world. You see, the fact that we don’t blow our trumpets does not mean we don’t adhere to the great commission.
My dear Pastor, I believe you are of the Sola Scriptura gene, was it not Jesus who prayed in John 17:21 -22, thus; ‘…that they may all be one. As You, father, are in Me and I am in You, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me…so that they may be one as we are one”? Was it the prayer of the Pope? Have you stopped believing in Jesus and His words? I thought you are also a prophet? Or you no longer believe in the prophetic nature of Christ? Come to think of it, what are you scared of? If we all become one, Is it not a plus? Are you afraid of losing your relevance? Won’t people bow before you and call you Daddy again and pour you with gifts after promising them healing and material prosperity? (I don’t want to delve into how you use psychology to play with the intelligence of even the uneducated elites and smidgen minds) Will it be painful for such a glory to elude you? Let me advice you. Learn to earn genuine respect, it last forever, but respect maneuvered comes to nothing when the truth is revealed.

You should be knowledgeable with history, that the Catholic Church had withstand serious faultfinders who were even Authorities in their disciplines and at the end left scars of humility on them as she teaches them what they are ignorant of. For as Confucius would say; ‘real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance’.

I respect you so much, yet you are forcing me to gauge you as a road-side Theologian, battling with the understanding of Alpha, beta etc in Greek. That is why I must thank the Holy mother Church who did not even waste energy in looking at your statements or pay heed to it, lest she waste the energy she is using to pray against this scourge of Covid – 19 and comforting the people of God in these trying moments.
I hope you are conversant with the documents I mentioned above. Please if you are not. You have to apologize to your members and resume Theological studies. I can recommend some for you.
My advice to you is to make necessary apology, focus on consoling your people, pray for the sick, protect your family and make sure you stay safe and wash your hands against Coronavirus and issues you know nothing about. By so doing your Parents will be proud of you wherever they are, especially our respected Daddy Imoudu Sule, Lizzy your beloved wife will so cherish you and your beloved children will know you are their hero.
May I allow you to now go on break for our lesson for now is over. Ignorance when tried to kill in humility becomes knowledge. Needless to say why Wayne Dyer will say, ‘the highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about’ I hope you have added to your reservoir of knowledge and kill your ignorance in humility. God bless.

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