If gold rusts, what will iron do?” — that Parson’s quip, in Geoffery Chaucer’s “Prologue to Canterbury Tales”, was the swiftest rebuke that came to mind, on David Ibiyeomie’s un-Christ-like tirade-from-the-pulpit, against controversial broadcaster, Daddy Freeze.
Indeed, if gold rusts! And those curses, traducement and abuses, were they really from a so-called man of God — vomiting trash, from the pulpit, at his poor, captive congregants?
Or from some irate virago, letting off spleen on another market woman, who had gyped her of a mouth-watering bargain?
Or even, from a prized garage thug, muscles rippling and eye reddening, determined to show rival park bullies who really controlled their drug-crazed territory, where they muscle easy money from poor folks?
If gold rusts! And to think some of Ibiyeomie’s poor congregants even said “Amen!” to their pastor’s crude vituperations!
All through his sacred mission on earth, about the only time Jesus the Christ got angry was when he chanced on money doublers and allied hustlers, making hay at the temple. “My father’s house of worship,” he railed, as he drove out those seedy characters, “has become a den of thieves!”
Even in the build-up to his passion, after Judas Iscariot had betrayed him, and a disciple let go his sword, cropping off an assailant’s ear in justifiable rage, what the Christ counselled was calm and restitution, even in the face of provocation. He followed that up by restoring the ear lobe, in the famed last miracle of the Christ.
So, does Ibiyeomie represent the same Christ, as he railed without class and dignity from the pulpit the other day? Indeed, were Jesus to look down, he would blurt in divine shock: my father’s house of worship has become a den of braggarts! The joke is on Ibiyeomie, on his scandalous loss of self-control.
But away from the pulpit, to the democratic republic we all share, saint or sinner, rich or poor, sacred or profane. Ibiyeomie’s shocking behaviour was an utter disgrace.
No matter his problem with Daddy Freeze, for a pastor, in a televised sermon — was it really that, though? — to rail at, and threaten and traduce another citizen, barking to jail the other, destroy him, drag him through the courts as if Nigerian courts are in his bragging pockets, insult his parents, vomit racial slurs because the fella is of a mixed race, and practically strip him of his Nigerian citizenship, lying that his victim was born on a ship in Somalia — all this is holy rascality pushed too far!
And to think Ibiyeomie was at best a third party to a scriptural interpretation dispute, over marriage! Winners Chapel Bishop, David Oyedepo, had claimed the secret to successful marriages was the absolute submission of the wife. Daddy Freeze had countered: no sir, dear Bishop. It’s far less absolute as you put it, for the scriptures you quote stipulate some concomitant behaviour from the man, to earn his woman’s submission.
Now, how can that riposte, even if nettling, become the subject of holy verbal brawl, unleashed by an irate son, in the service — or maybe holy servitude — of his celebrated spiritual father, which has become an embarrassment to everyone?
Let the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) caution its members. Let the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Ibiyeomie’s immediate trade group, also pull the ears of its members.
That you’re a pastor with a captive audience, and cheap funds to fund live television or Internet streaming, does not give you an excuse to levy terror on another citizen, simply because you have scriptural disputes. Enough of holy rascality!