Are They Right Or Wrong About Celestial Church’s Eclipse Of The Sun?

May 20, 2017 / Alonge Michael / On The Spot / 2 Comments »

I saw a post shared on Facebook today saying that Celestial Church of Christ has been celebrating our very common song, “Ojo Agbara na ti osan doru” on the wrong date.  It is on the facebook of a parish in Ibadan. Are they right or wrong about their submission? Please read this and let’s hear your opinion concerning this. Thanks.

“On the 20th day of May 1947, an eclipse of the sun occurred, which, to the world, was merely another eclipse in a long line of eclipses which occurs periodically but to which no particular significance is attached.

For those in South America and Africa who, for a few minutes that day, saw day become night, very few would have been able to divine the spiritual import of what they witnessed.

It was by no means the first eclipse of its kind and even though many would have been intrigued by it, they would have had no reason to think it had any transformative impact spiritually.

On this 20th day of May 2017, we commemorate this celestial phenomenon which served as the genesis of the Celestial Church of Christ.

Why, 70 years on, does this eclipse, long forgotten by the world, remain firmly etched in our memories in the Celestial Church?

It remains a focal point for us because in a little corner of Benin Republic, while going about the business of obtaining black ebony wood in the forest, SBJ Oshoffa was spiritually transformed during the eclipse. What passed merely as a visual spectacle for many became for one man the catalyst for the founding of the Celestial Church of Christ. What seemed insignificant to the world, we hold dear and celebrate for its hallowed significance in the spiritual transformation of our founder and in the founding of our church.

Observant readers of this post would be quick to note that the church’s 1980 constitution records that this incident took place on the 23rd of May 1947. The Pastor-Founder himself on many occasions repeated the 23rd as the date of the incident. Indeed in one interview, he even said, in a slip of tongue, that it occurred on the 24th of May 1947.

We can humbly reveal that the date of the incident was not the 23rd of May 1947. This became known to us not by some special revelation but by merely looking through historical accounts. For an incident that happened 70 years ago, which isn’t that long ago historically speaking, it wasn’t hard to find sources confirming the date of the eclipse as 20th rather than 23rd. Indeed the date of every eclipse dating back thousands of years has been accurately determined; so, too, every eclipse that is yet to occur.

It is unclear why the date was inaccurately recorded in the church’s constitution, but one likely reason was a typographical error on the part of those who transcribed the account given by the Pastor-Founder in January 1969. It was his account of 1969 that formed part of the second schedule of the church’s 1980 constitution. If it was a typographical error, the inaccurate date of 23rd May evidently became kosher over time, so much so, that even the Pastor-Founder regurgitated it, a plausible consequence of over-reliance on the written account, even if he had the date right in 1969 when he related the incident. Anyone who has ever kept a diary would not at all find this implausible. Your recollection of certain events can get overridden and become almost entirely dependent on what you have in your diary even if that diarised account contains inaccuracies.

Another likely reason for the inaccurate date in the constitution _ and this was probably the more likely reason _ was that the Pastor-Founder simply got the date wrong in his January 1969 account. If this was the case, one can hardly make a big fuss about such an error. The Pastor-Founder would not necessarily have been mindful of the date of the incident. His point of reference was the eclipse which occurred on the day and not what date in the month of May that day happened to fall in the Gregorian calendar. No doubt he remembered the month but, being marooned in the forest with nothing to keep track of dates, one can be forgiven for not knowing or remembering accurately what the date of any particular day was. It is therefore likely that when he came to narrate the incident, he wrongly supposed the date of the eclipse was 23rd rather than 20th.

What is of utmost significance was that through God’s special grace and revelation which he bore witness to that day, he became a new being. That is not to say that the date is immaterial. On the contrary, it has as much significance, otherwise future celebrations would be out of alignment with the actual event, and this is evident in this year’s celebration, which commences on the 21st of May and the main service scheduled to take place on the 23rd, when in fact the main service ought to be taking place today 20th. The onus is on us to ensure that future commemorations of this event align with when the event first occurred. It is up to us as guardians of that which has been bestowed to us to see it fit that where inadvertent errors have slipped in, we correct them.

It is perhaps of little consequence in the grand scheme of things which require attention within the church right now, but it would be proper for the correct date of this event to be noted and for the appropriate authorities to ensure that the correct date forms part of the amendments to the church’s constitution if and when that new constitution comes to be finalised.

For a more detailed account of the incident of 20 May 1947 and the weeks thereafter, please see the church’s constitution. For an exposition of the incidents that occurred on the day, see a piece titled ‘The Wilderness Transformation’ in this month’s edition of CCC Oke Ayo Zion Cathedral’s bulletin.”

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2 responses to “Are They Right Or Wrong About Celestial Church’s Eclipse Of The Sun?”

  1. Bro. BADEMOSI Adedipo says:

    The SON OF JEHOVAH in PH. says:
    May 21, 2017 at 3:14 am
    Halleluyah Brethren! I sincerely appreciate the Brethren and parish that wrote this piece of witty letter eye opening to CCC members W/W..We need wisdom in this church , I will not say WE lack wisdom. Of the Truth there was Eclipse of the Sun in 1947 of which most of US where not born then but we got to know this because it has to do with our church. Eclipse took place before 1947 and after till now also but know attention was/is paid to it.but ,if we are to follow that of 1947,it was 20th of may and not 23rd/24th but be that as it maybe, Papa Oshoffa of blessed memories knew what happened to him in the wilderness and that is the mystery of God to him then.but because it wasn’t a predetermined programming of him Papa and from what I could deduce from what he Papa was saying then perhaps misinterpreted was the day he Papa heard the VOICE LULI in the wilderness after the day that the Eclipse took place which was 23rd may 1947 which happens to be a FRIDAY.. This was a discourse i had also like a seminar on Goodfriday of this year the 14th of April at CCC Redemption Parish Oke-Ado 2,Ibadan Oyo State. A lot of celestians are getting 20th & 23rd of may 1947 and September 29th 1947 wrongly in this church and it has to be corrected now before its too late..Kodus to the Brethren in CCC Oke Ayo Parish Ibadan whom God has given the Grace in this month of GRACE to writing this out ,JEHOVAH Almighty will continue to strengthen you in JESUS Mighty Name ..God bless CCC and those that SEEKS HER PEACE & UNITY Amen…

  2. The SON OF JEHOVAH in PH. says:

    Halleluyah Brethren! I sincerely appreciate the Brethren and parish that wrote this piece of witty letter eye opening to CCC members W/W..We need wisdom in this church , I will not say WE lack wisdom. Of the Truth there was Eclipse of the Sun in 1947 of which most of US where not born then but we got to know this because it has to do with our church. Eclipse took place before 1947 and after till now also but know attention was/is paid to it.but ,if we are to follow that of 1947,it was 20th of may and not 23rd/24th but be that as it maybe, Papa Oshoffa of blessed memories knew what happened to him in the wilderness and that is the mystery of God to him then.but because it wasn’t a predetermined programming of him Papa and from what I could deduce from what he Papa was saying then perhaps misinterpreted was the day he Papa heard the VOICE LULI in the wilderness after the day that the Eclipse took place which was 23rd may 1947 which happens to be a FRIDAY.. This was a discourse i had also like a seminar on Goodfriday of this year the 14th of April at CCC Redemption Parish Oke-Ado 2,Ibadan Oyo State. A lot of celestians are getting 20th & 23rd of may 1947 and September 29th 1947 wrongly in this church and it has to be corrected now before its too late..Kodus to the Brethren in CCC Oke Ayo Parish Ibadan whom God has given the Grace in this month of GRACE to writing this out ,JEHOVAH Almighty will continue to strengthen you in JESUS Mighty Name ..God bless CCC and those that SEEKS HER PEACE & UNITY Amen…

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