Reviewing HUMANITY with Taiye Arimoro
By: Taiye Arimoro
Good evening. The author Pastor Deji Yesufu; Mr Edmund Obilo, who will also be reviewing the book; and all the guests present – I greet you all in the name of the Lord.
Let me first express my gratitude to my brother, Pastor Deji Yesufu, for inviting me to give a short spiritual review of this new educational and inspirational book titled HUMANITY. I must confess, though, I wasn’t the one originally penned to do this. Our senior friend and Pastor, Dr Ani Ekpo, of the Christ’s Reformed Baptist Church, Rumoadara, Port Harcourt, who by the way is on this call, was meant to do this but graciously recommended me to represent him. And so I am equally grateful to Dr. Ani for entrusting me to represent him on this occasion.
I congratulate Pastor Deji Yesufu for the authorship of this book. We thank God for the grace, the skill, and wisdom God has given to you to write. Like him or dislike him, Pastor Deji has become one of the most powerful voices on the social media space today, defending the practice of true Christian faith within the Nigeria space. His clear and unapologetic bias towards the reformed theology, his insistence always on the right Christian orthodoxy, has made him the toast of many believers in this country and, of course loathed by many others
Without a doubt for many, Deji Yesufu is nothing but a troublemaker, an interloper, whose delight is messing up other peoples ministry work. You doubt this? Then go to page 322 in the book and get to read about his one-man protest against Apostle Johnson Suleiman. On the said day, my brother, at the University of Ibadan campus, held a placard that read “Listen to Suleiman and go to hell” and “Threesome is not biblical”. I tell you, only a Deji Yesufu could pull such strings. He got arrested for that daring act, detained at the police station but thank God, within minutes, God raised an army that day of Christian faithfuls who marched to the station for his rescue and got him released. This speaks to the boldness and courage of this man. He is a very passionate man, and you get to see all of his passion expressed in his writing.
If he’s not pointing us to or warning us of the dangers and errors of false bible teachers, he is challenging our conscience to doing the right thing as citizens, challenging us towards nation-building. And I must add that his love and pursuit for history and his passion for the defence of biblical truth are some of the virtues among many others that have endeared me to him over the years. I’ve been told I have just 10 minutes, so permit me please to use the rest of the time to touch on an aspect of the book HUMANITY.
The book HUMANITY is a compilation of 101 very interesting and, may I add, very bold and intriguing articles written by the author. Chapter 6 of the book consists of articles on Nigeria, a Christian perspective on nation building and how to manage our Interpersonal relationships within the context of a very diverse nation as ours. “Gburugburu, my trip to Enugu” is one of those excellent articles in the chapter that brings to the fore the impact of our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, and our inability to foster relationships that can improve our co-existence and progress as a people. The reality is, we spend our entire life interfacing with fellow humans. And how we interact in these interpersonal relationships determines the quality of life we enjoy as a people and nation. One obvious fact you get reading this book is that our diversity as a nation is so beautiful and truly a blessing from God. Unfortunately, when this diversity is not managed well, when it is not well appreciated by the people, it becomes abused, perverted and becomes the source of all the relational challenges we battle with in this country.
The paradox, however, is that it is our interpersonal relating that creates most of the difficulties we have in life, and these challenges also are at the root of the difficulties we face as a nation. Today, in this country, we all come across difficult situations in which we are unsure how to relate. A good example is the recently concluded presidential elections that have further divided us. So, managing these relational difficulties becomes a must if we must progress as a nation.
In the scriptures, Jesus made it His priority to teach us how to relate in every type of relationship. He made it clear that if we are to live in peaceful harmony with one another, it requires us to first look into the state of our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tells us that the moral conduct of life, its actions, and proceedings are all determined by the condition of the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 also states that the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Unfortunately, while we always look to dressing our outward behaviours, at the root of all relational difficulties is the state of the heart.
And so, at the core of all our relational challenges is this sin issue of the heart. The state of our heart and our heart attitude towards other people must change and not just outward behaviour. Only Gods can help fix the deceitful, wicked, and depraved state of man’s heart. So, how do we deal with this big elephant of a problem challenging our co-existence and progress as a nation? How do we pursue and promote equality, justice, and progress in a diverse society as ours? We turn to God. Only he can deal with the sin issue of the heart and enable us to live and relate with His perfect love.
Jesus did not speak on this high standard of relationships in the bible to have us condemned as failures – ever trying but always failing. The love of God sent Christ into the world. He brought the love of the Heavenly Father with Him. He demonstrated it toward us in that while we were enemies and sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit. So that all who believe can receive this love of God poured into their hearts and soul and spirit, so they can love even as he loves. This, I believe, is the key, the solution to all our relational issues, and then we can relate out of a heart that is pure and saved by the Lord. Then, we will be able to tap into the blessings of our diversity for the progress of the nation.
Let me conclude this short address by commending the author for this initiative again. Writing a book as this is no mean task, and it is not for the faint-hearted. This book obviously is a must-read for everyone, and I heartily recommend it to you. And so big Congratulations to you Pastor Deji on a successful book launch and I pray that the Lord will grant you many more years of fruitful writing that will bring much godly impact on our nation and her people.
Thank you, and God bless you all.
Taiye Arimoro is the pastor of Crown Reformed Assembly situated at 23, Acme Rd., Ikeja, Lagos.