​THE NOISE MAKERS | SOCIAL MEDIA WAR


The heat out there was much, I had spent twenty something years of my life here and one thing I just wouldn’t get used to is the heat. Some years back I had seen some westerners tour Nigeria and confess they love the weather as it would make them dress anyhow they want, or if I would say they would be able to wear skimpy and sexy outfits in such weather. Well, I just saw it as the case of staying in your land and thinking another land is better while the people in the land are envies your own land. I know of many persons here who would love to dress like the Americans in the snow… To them, it’s a great fashion. A man once told me “I love harmattan, it makes me dress like Americans in the snow and I love their fashion”. It’s an issue of perception where another man’s meat would be another man’s poison. Excuse me, no meat is a poison just that one had wrong perception of something and another had the right perception of that same thing. Our perceptions obviously affect how we live, the words we use and how we relate to people.

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As I walked past CFC Plus, Limca Rd, I stared through the glass walls and imagined what the feeling would be inside that amazing place. At that instance it was an amazing place because it would serve a purpose! I contemplated going into the fast food to feel cold before going home which is located few blocks away from the building. Of course, you are aware that it is always the norm to get home and not see electricity flowing, even if it was, our lights had gone bad and hopes to get it fixed were shattered by reports that it would take months to get fixed. It has been almost 6 months now.

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Right inside the building, I was listening to “Rabababa eh” by COZA’s The Gratitude, a song that has been on my device and have always got me high as though I was drunk. I would be dabbing unnecessarily not considering who is looking as long as the song is stuck into my ear and you would possibly hear me pray in other tongues. I was humming to the tune of this amazing song when a hand tapped me by the shoulder. Turning to see who it was, it was Ben.

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Ben is a tall guy who loves to be on shirts and scandals. He had an oval shaped face, pointed nose and very dark skin. He would always look unwelcoming when he isn’t smiling and when he is smiling it doesn’t take time for him to come over it. He was obviously an introvert who would be in a crowd and you don’t know what he sounds like because he wouldn’t utter a word especially when his opinion isn’t sought for. That was something we had in common. I remember being in Port Harcourt to visit a friend and attend to certain meetings, I didn’t have plans of sleeping over but because of the rain and other things that delayed me I was left with no choice than to stay back. I would have preferred lodging in a hotel for the night but I didn’t have enough cash and I couldn’t tell if I forgot my debit card or my debit card forgot me. I couldn’t also pass the night in my friend’s apartment because it’s a ‘she’ and her room also had many ‘shes’ for the night. She took me to her friend’s apartment. They were two guys in the room and I would be spending the night with them in that room. Being an introvert, I was busy observing them as I wouldn’t utter word till morning. I spend 12hours with them but they only heard me twice when they asked me a question that needed my response and when I thanked them for allowing me stay in their room. Ben would do such too, his would be worse.

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We had sit to talk, not that we planned meeting in that space but we met and there were lots of things to talk about. It started with him complimenting me on the good ministry works I had engaged myself with. All of the things we said I can’t remember any except one! Why could I forget? I really wanted to be on my own that afternoon but I couldn’t ask him to stay away. I wasn’t paying attention to all of the things he was saying until he started talking about certain young ministers. With such topic, he had gotten all of my attention.

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“George you see” he had said “I love Pastor Godswill”

“Sure” I added “you should love him”

“I love him because he is not one of those people who make noise. I think he understands ministry better.”

“How?”

“You don’t see him write a lot on facebook, he is always serious and dresses corporate. He seems focused in his Church activities than on Facebook, I consider anyone who writes a lot on facebook as someone who isn’t serious” I know he was trying to find words to explain what he meant by ‘noise making’ and I already got it. He wasn’t the first person that had told me that and going by their own definition I would be in the class of noise makers because sometimes I post more than fifteen times on facebook in a day, I post humorous things at times, I make very little comments on politics and I take ‘selfies’ a lot and post them on facebook too!

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That wasn’t the second time I was hearing someone describe certain people as quiet people and certain others as noise makers. To Ben, I smiled, looked straight to his eyes and responded

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“You may actually have a wrong perception of what noise is. You may also have not understood that ministry is not administration. People have diverse personalities and it’s something they cannot do without, it is part of who they are and you do not define ministry based on ones administrative pattern”

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Okay, now the long story was narrated because I wanted to make a public comment on this. Noise is an unpleasant sound that has no harmony, organization or meaning. Noise is senseless or confused shouting and could even be irritating to certain degree. Many times we assume people are making noise because they are being too vocal about something and another person is not. I have come across preachers of the gospel who accuse another preacher for making too much noise on Facebook because the said preacher don’t spare anytime without sharing his or her convictions and because the preacher isn’t running things the way they do. I have seen people say we make noise on facebook because we take the internet ministry very serious just as we also take the physical running of the Church serious. I listened to Pope Francis say something like “Facebook is the 8th continent in the world and we must not neglect the impact we would make if we seize that space”

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Some years back when I served in a certain ministry, I was summoned by some leaders and they said I was making noise on facebook and that I must have to quit. I understood they were uncomfortable because I was teaching things I was never expected to teach, things that were beyond the messages many have heard on the pulpit and things they assumed were too extreme to be believed by an evangelical Christian. I was given an option of either quitting Facebook or handing over my position of service; I didn’t waste time to prefer handing over my position of service. Why would I do that? Because I believed that there are so many souls on Facebook who depends on us, they may never know it but we are the answers to their lives biggest confusions. Considering what has happened in the past, how people had testified of experiencing Jesus through following my teachings on Faceook and all of that, I wouldn’t agree any less to give up the position and still stay on the internet than stay in a place where I will be dictated out of doing God’s will.

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Many times people don’t understand what loyalty in ministry means, they think it means blind followership or agreeing to things that are not right at the expense of the gospel. Loyalty in Christianity means following Jesus and following Jesus alone! This implies that we follow our Pastors because they follow Christ and not because we like their person. Paul said “imitate me as I imitate Christ”. I had to say this because people often think you must heed to everything you are told to do when they are obviously against the teachings of the gospel. In cases as this, you need to identify the right place to belong.

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Back to the theme, many people have not realized the importance of the social media in reaching out to people, they regard many of us who has taken it serious as noise makers and some colleagues in the internet field regard others who don’t do exactly what they do as noise makers. I am a young single teacher of the gospel who also talk on relationships, marriages, lifestyles and other things in the context of God’s word and many times some folks criticize me not because I teach the wrong thing but because they believe I am not qualified to talk about marriage and relationships since I am not married, they believe those of us who talk about these things are noise makers and I seem to have a problem with that view. Why? Some of them who criticize us have preached so many things they were yet to experience, some have taught on how to manage millions but have never made their first million, some have taught on how to walk in the miraculous but have never worked tangible miracles. The Bible didn’t say we must be in something before we preach them; we preach them because they are the truth, our experiences may help in showing people example but our experiences isn’t the message, the message is contained in the Bible. I teach on marriage because my married audience needs to hear God’s word concerning their marriage just like some believer’s also teach people kingdom principles on managing their finances. The fusses against ministers on Facebook who do different things are fueled by jealousy, envy and hate. Jesus was never married but He taught on marriage, Paul was never married but He taught on marriage because God’s word is complete and contains directions for every moment and every situation. You may argue if I should address married audience but you may also argue if the testimonies we have recorded are stage managed dramas.

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The gospel is meant to be preached to the ends of the earth and people who have added the internet to the platforms where they reach out to people with the message of Jesus are doing so because they understand that we must seize every minute, every hour and everywhere to talk about Jesus. And in doing that, we must understand that some plants, some waters and some dress the garden. We need to change the perception with which we see things. We cannot be doing the same thing and that we approach things differently doesn’t mean those who do it different are idiots.

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We must also understand that we are still humans living on earth and what interests you may not interest another person even though we have common goals. I personally love to post my teachings alongside pictures, I also like sharing my beautiful pictures with the world and use the attention in getting people to read my writings but another person may never want to share his pictures. It is like a preacher who preaches Jesus with some sense of humour and another preacher who preaches Jesus with elements of pathos. We are all different human beings with diverse temperaments and we cannot deny it! We will not do or see things the same way! Some Pastors love to talk about football, some love to talk about politics, some love to crack jokes sometimes and some find others way to have fun even on the social media. While we will not allow secondary things take over the primary things, we must understand that men of God are MEN who have dedicated themselves to the service of God! 

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Just as a voice cried in the wilderness in the time past and people regarded it as noise, just as they prayed in the upper room and people regarded it as noise, there were people who paid attention and their lives never remained the same. While you are hearing noise on facebook, some other persons are reading things that would change their lives forever.

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Dear Pastor/Preacher,

You may be branded as a ‘Facebook Pastor’, be bold about it! Turn it to your second cathedral! Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was criticized heavily when he started broadcasting God’s word and miracles and he stood his ground without being distracted. Today, those who criticized him are learning from him. Our ultimate goal on the internet isn’t to use it in marketing ourselves but to market Jesus. Jesus is beautiful and that is why we must let Him take the center stage. Don’t let people’s criticism convince you into giving up on doing what you should do. I listened to Reinhard Bonnke narrate how he disregarded the internet, he had engaged in several crusades, he had seen people in their thousands come to Jesus through his ministration but he had his reservations about the social media. He explained how a young pastor, Steve Furtick took his device and opened a Facebook Account for him and he told us how that changed what he thought about Facebook and how it has been another platform where millions of people has been affected positively by the prayers and nuggets he drops on his timeline. They think it is noise? Keep making that noise!

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There are so many news of death, pictures of immorality, loads of false teachings and various unanswered questions on the social media. People are increasing their presence on the social media; false teachings, immorality and bad news aren’t far from their reach because those things are multiplying everyday! What role should we play? Do we run away from the Social Media? Do we leave the millions of souls there at the mercies of lies? Haven’t you heard of people raped after being invited through Facebook? Haven’t you seen people lose their lives following their facebook encounters? We must stand up and raise the banner of Jesus Christ on the internet! We are trying but we have not done enough, the Church isn’t on the defensive side, we are on the offensive side! We are the ones marching on to victories and the gates of hell even on the internet cannot prevail against the Church.

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We must paint the social media with pictures that speaks of who we are, while they multiply pictures of immorality, we multiply pictures of friendship, love and decency that comes from Jesus! While they present fashions that speak of immorality, we present fashions that speak of what God has done inside of us! While it seems people can’t get true friendship and love anymore, we tell them that Jesus makes all the difference! While they tell stories of broken relationships, sour marriage and shattered lives we tell stories of marriages that Jesus fixed, relationships that were full of joy and lives that Jesus supplied to the dead. While they tell stories of cursed generation, we tell stories of blessed generations! This is truly what it means by not conforming to the world standards! When false prophets arise, making merchandise of the gospel, we keep sponsoring the true gospel… Jesus must be preached.

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Are there really noise makers on the social media? We shouldn’t be keen to fishing out noise makers, it is not our business! Focus on what you are on the social media to do and do them, if you are on the social media to preach Jesus, why not preach your Jesus and stop looking for people who are making noise. It is time we understand what we are wrestling against! Our fight is not against fellow believers, against humans or people who don’t do things the way we do, our fight is against knowledge that exalts themselves against the true knowledge of Jesus. When we leave our assignments and start looking for who isn’t doing theirs, we have missed it. There are still many people on Facebook who have not identified with Jesus, look for them and reach out to them.

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So, I said to Ben “do you still think they are noise makers?”

“No” he responded “I think it is time I seize that opportunity too”

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God bless you.

-George O.N-

House of Vasileia

#GracefulGeorge

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