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Celestial cleric defends Portable, Pasuma church invitation

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A pastor of a Celestial Church of Christ branch in Lagos has ignited controversy by inviting Fuji singer Pasuma and street-hop artist Portable to perform at a praise night event. 

Facing criticism and questions from church authorities, the pastor, Aderemi Dabiri, has defended his decision, claiming it is an effective strategy to attract new converts from marginalized communities.

In a video statement, Dabiri explains that he has a long history of using secular musicians in his outreach efforts, resulting in substantial church growth. He argues that conventional evangelism methods are ineffective with certain groups and a more unconventional approach is necessary.

“We cannot go where they sell palm wine or alcoholic drinks and ask them to accept Jesus Christ,” Dabiri says. “If I don’t apply wisdom, they will hit a bottle on my head. That was why I thought of a way to bring them into the church.”

He further explains that he chose Pasuma and Portable specifically because of their influence among young people and social groups often overlooked by traditional religious approaches. Dabiri emphasizes that the goal is to attract these individuals and offer them an opportunity for spiritual change.

While acknowledging the concerns raised by the church’s task force regarding the controversy, Dabiri remains firm in his decision. 

He plans to proceed with the event while implementing some restrictions on the artists’ performances to ensure they align with the church’s values.

“We will tell Portable not to dye his hair and he should not sing vulgar songs but to sing gospel music. We will also caution him not to dress inappropriately or climb the speakers,” Dabiri says.

To ensure order and security, Dabiri reveals that close to 30 military personnel will be present at the event. 

He also appeals to the Celestial Church leadership to support his innovative approach to evangelism, expressing confidence that it will ultimately benefit the church.

“I want to make the Celestial Church proud,” Dabiri concludes.

 

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