The last is yet to be heard about the predicaments of the sacked renowned provincial Pastor, Ituah Ighodalo of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Christ's Church Parish in Gbagada, Lagos. He was recently expelled by the General Overseer Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye on account of ‘‘adultery’’ perpetuated by him, which was said to be in contrary to the church doctrine and ultimately biblical provisions.
Such act expressly contravened what was contained in the Holy Bible Matthew 19:3-9: ‘‘The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Hath ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh? What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, why did Moses then give writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’’
This drastic decision which the leadership of the Redeemed said would help to sanitize the church and will also serve as deterrent to others has been described by many stakeholders in Christendom as harsh, cruel and victimizing on someone who had contributed positively to the growth of the church of God. They also decried the celebration, attention and prominence that the church has been giving to other people who do worst things than what Ighodalo did.
The unpleasant development has however thrown a lot of Christian believers into strong confusion on which doctrine to subscribe to, following different interpretations made by men of God over this contentious issue. Besides a notable Pentecostal pastors like Pastor Chris Okotie had re-married after many years in divorce, and heaven did not fall.
In another dramatic twist, founder of Latter Rain Assembly, Dr. Tunde Bakare has joined the critics who opposed to the recent sack of Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of the Christ Church Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God for remarrying 10 years after
divorcing the wife of his youth. Dr Bakare was once part of the Redeemed family but left after sharp disagreement between him and the church leadership.
Bakare while delivering sermon decried the controversial sacking of Pastor Ighodalo by Pastor Adeboye. Speaking essentially in parables, the pastor said the church’s action was not in consonance with the Holy Scriptures.
According to Bakare who was born a Muslim, this same church that sacked a pastor for remarrying would honour other individuals with more than one wife, offering them prime positions in the church. His words: “As a young Christian, a man married a total stranger and when it was time for him to come home, his wife refused to follow him.
“The man came down, gathered people to intercede for him for 10 years while gathering the flocks for his God and after 10 years, he decided to re-marry and all of a sudden, the church said they found it somewhere in the Bible that he cannot remarry, whereas those with three wives are given front seats in the church.”
Such was the level of the degeneration of the church generally to the extent that those who belong to occultic organisations, he argued, would be given very important personality (VIP) treatment in the church at the expense of imparting strict religious doctrines. Bakare averred that very many churches have actually embraced sorcery in order to perform fake miracles.
One will recall that the Lagos based clergyman, Bakare predicted in 1999 that the former President Olusegun Obasanjo would be killed but the predictions never came to pass, a pronouncement which led to his apprehension by men of the Nigerian SSS.
A source revealed that the embattled Pastor Ighodalo was said to have announced to his congregation that he was quitting the church even as he disclosed to the church the circumstances that led to his failure of his former marriage. He disclosed that his former mistress, Lucy-Ann Summer refused to join him in Nigeria and after much persuasion failed, she later left. Disclosing that the expectations from the marriage were not met by the woman, and that she met someone else that met those expectations.
Consequently, Ibidunni Ajayi, then a Youth Corps member came to his life. The courtship lasted over four years according to a source, even though he proposed to Ibidunni after 18 months of friendship. Ibidunni and Itua became married on 26 February 2007 and it was followed by the traditional wedding three days later in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Pastor Ituah Ighodalo despite his present travails had robust pedigree, an Accountant and writer; Editor-in-Chief of TIMELESS Newspaper owned Christ Church. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. He is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, and the Managing Partner of Ighodalo and Associates (a Firm of Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants.