Unlike the doctrines of most Churches especially the Protestant Churches which commenced as a result of protest or disagreement on some aspects of Christian belief, the Cherubim & Seraphim doctrines and beliefs have taken the evolution route. That is because; the C & S emerged as a ‘Society’ or ‘Band’ before becoming a ‘Church’.
The emergence of C & S is a product of a series of spiritual revivals taking place during the early 20th century when the Founder, Moses Orimolade Tunolase was born in a peculiar way, lived the life of a monk almost in solitary circumstances and died without earthly possessions. The idea of starting and running a church was alien to his thoughts as he started his itinerary ministry converting and baptising converts into Christianity, but making referrals to different Churches and denominations whilst concentrating on deliverance, healing and preaching the gospel. This approach to ministry resulted in observers dubbing him the nickname of ‘Baba Aladura’, meaning, ‘Praying Father’ or the Father who finds joy in praying for people.
It was not until 1925 when an inspired young woman called Christiana Abiodun Akinsowon came into his life that his ministry took a new turn. Their joint ministry in preaching the gospel, praying for deliverance and healing coupled with visions and prophecy and consequently gathering massive adherents that the founding and registering as a church came subsequently. Therefore, the doctrines and beliefs have evolved experientially as directed by the Holy Spirit rather than by human design on the ground of disagreement and differentiation from those of any other Church. Through decades of active and vibrant ministry, the following can be summarized as doctrines and beliefs of the C&S Church:
All aspects of our doctrines and beliefs are Biblically grounded. The alternative to Bible reference is prophecy and spiritual revelation. Examples of such revelations are the pronouncement of ‘Cherubim and Seraphim’ as the name of the Society. Firstly, ‘Seraphim’ was written in the clouds and interpreted by an experienced priest. Later, ‘Cherubim’ was added because as the vision revealed, ‘Cherubim & Seraphim are twin band of angels surrounding the throne of God in heaven. Another is the naming of the Patriot Saint of the Church as Archangel Michael. Both visions and revelations were the result of prayers and fasting by members during the formative period of the Church.
Because our church name is ‘Cherubim & Seraphim’ does not imply that we worship angels as some critics assume. Far from it, angels are created by God only a little higher than humans. They are messengers attending to the directives of God either for good or bad news and ventures. Other Christian denominations do name their Parishes, for instance, as ‘Saint Michael & All Angels’. That does not imply either that worshippers in such Parishes do in fact worship angels.
We believe like most other Christians that there are invisible powers that impact on our lives. The belief has nothing to do with ‘ancestors worship’ as it is commonly assumed by some Christians, but higher powers over and above human powers created by God. Some of the beings were created with negative supernatural powers and as Christians, we fight against for deliverance. As Paul asserted in Ephesians 6:12, ‘we wrestle not against flesh kand blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ Paul also mentions more of them in his other letters. As negative angels are described in the Bible, so also are positive angels that bring good tidings like Gabriel at the annunciation. Both good and bad powers are created by God. He told Isaiah, ‘I form the light, and created darkness, I make peace, and create evil. I the Lord do all these things’ (45:7). ‘I have created the waster to destroy’ (54:16). Our God the Creator is unquestionable and that is why His name is described as ‘Almighty.’
We believe in both the Old and the New Testaments as true account of God’s Words to help humanity in breaking down barriers between us and the love of God; and to build bridges across the gulf which the Satan has developed between God and humanity. We believe that the New Testament is the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecy and the improvement on its theology.
We believe in the Godhead, the Father, Son & Holy Spirit (one in three and three in one) as affirmed in the Scripture (Deut 6:4) ‘Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is one Lord.’ One of the titles of God is Lord. Other passages in the Bible to support the Trinity are (John 10:30; Matt 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
As all Christians agree that Jesus is Lord also, he is Lord indeed, not apart from the Father, but as part of the Godhead because God will not share His glory with anyone (Isa 42:8) God is omnipotent and is capable of manifesting Himself in different forms, not least as Father or Son or the Holy Spirit. Even beyond that God appeared for example, to Jacob as a man when He wrestled with him overnight and changed his name from Jacob to Israel before blessing him (Gen.32:30).
We believe in the three Creeds composed by Church Councils during the first centuries. We recite the Apostles’ Creed in our Sunday liturgy and the Nicene Creed whenever we celebrate the Holy Communion. The Athanasian Creed is rarely used although we have no objection to its contents except for the negative expression of damnation for those who fail to adhere to its assertions. Such negativity seems to ignore the power of atonement in the blood of Christ.
We believe in and practice the two sacraments in the life of Jesus, namely: Baptism and |Holy Communion. All other rituals like anointing with the oil, sprinkling of water, Holy Matrimony and funerals are all important Sacraments which we observe.
We believe in the baptism of believers (minimum age of twelve years, at which age, Jesus was engaged in meaningful dialogue with learned authorities in the Temple) by total immersion in water thrice in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.(being the Trinitarian tradition), (Matt 28:19). We do not baptise infants but we do practice the ritual of ‘Christening’ using three elements of water, salt and honey (with a little of each being put in the mouth of the babe with pronouncements and blessings at each time) and we believe that this ritual is as valid for salvation as water baptism.
We believe in celebrating the Holy Communion at important occasions like at baptism and ordination; and at special other occasions as each congregation deems fit, (Matt 26: 26 -29). Some congregations do regularise the celebration like celebrating on a monthly basis. In the celebrations, we believe that the bread and wine that we share are transformed into the body and blood of Christ. Therefore, we take the celebration seriously and regard it as sacred.
We believe that the spirit of God works wonders through the medium of water. Psalm 29:3 teaches us that ‘The voice of the Lord is upon the waters, the God of glory thundereth, the Lord is upon many waters.’ We believe that the spirit of the Lord which descended healing power into the pool of Bethsaida, the pool of Siloam and the River Jordan can also descend into our bottles of water when we pray and present them for consecration.
This concept is fundamental to our doctrine and beliefs. It is the corner stone of our faith in God. Hebrew 11:1 describes faith as ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ This is a matter of faith. Academic theology teaches the analysis of Scripture but does not teach on matters relating to faith! In Luke 17:5, ‘the apostles said unto the Lord, ‘increase our faith. And the Lord said ‘if ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea, and it should obey you.’ With this in mind, therefore, we believe that transubstantiation or the change of the substance of elements we present for consecration can work wonders. With this mindset, we take the Holy Communion seriously and believe that the elements we use are being transformed to receive power for sanctification of our bodies and souls. Similarly, we believe that our consecrated water is essentially transformed into spiritual medication for different purposes of deliverance, healing, breakthrough and upliftment. Also, we use anointed oil for healing, ordination, consecration and sanctification; (James 5:14; Isaiah 61:1; 1 Sam 16:12-13; Luke 10; Mark 6:12-13; Leviticus 8; 2 King 9:6; Exodus 40: 9; Isaiah 10:27 ). As we use them, we believe that ordinariness is taken away from the water and Oil (Olive oil) and is replaced with power for the efficacy of prayer requests.
We believe that all members who are spiritually gifted have a part to play in our Prayer House as James urges believers to ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only…,’ (James 1:22 -25). Wonderfully, most adherents embrace the enthusiasm and learn through Sunday Schools and external Bible sessions to uplift their knowledge of Scripture and to exercise their God-given gifts and work for the propagation of the Gospel of Christ. Many such gifted members are subsequently invited for ordination to appropriate grades in our hierarchy.
We believe that salvation of individuals rests with God and that neither faith nor work can justify any believer at the time of judgement, (Acts 15:11; Romans 3: 24; Romans 9:16; Ephesians 2:5). The Epistle of James chapter 2 outlines the pros and cons of justification. If dependent on faith alone, then there will be undue complacency. If on the other hand, the dependency is on works, then there is the danger of hypocrisy as in the story Jesus narrated about the Pharisee and the Publican in Luke 18:10-14. Apart from the reliance on faith with works, the mercy of God is paramount as He said to Moses: ‘I will show mercy unto whom I will show mercy.’ (Ex 33:19).
We believe that God has specific purpose for all His creations, individuals and races. Examples of this in the Old Testament include the conception, birth and life of Esau and Jacob as narrated in Genesis Chapters 27 – 35. Also, the story of Joseph is a glaring illustration of the purpose of God. It can also be said that the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus were being predetermined by divine will.
Romans 8: 28-30 specifically tells us about those ‘who are called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified.’ Talking about his predetermined death, Jesus said to his disciples ‘The Son of man goeth as it is written of him, but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed.’ (Matt.26:24).
We believe like other ‘white robed churches’ that there are invisible powers that impact on our lives. The belief has nothing to do with ancestors as is commonly assumed by other Christians, but higher powers over and above human powers created by God. Some of them can be good and some bad. We believe that the good ones are angels of God and the bad ones, angels of Satan.
When supernatural powers are mentioned, some Christians become nervous as they do not believe in their existence. As Prayer Warriors, therefore, we learn to fight against the angels of Satan which are capable of inflicting evil on men. In the New Testament, Paul affirms these powers as ‘principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.’ (Eph 6:12). Against these, the vigilant Prayer Warriors must fight, and with fortitude, report victory in the name of Christ.
Unknown to us, God in His wrath can also inflict evil on men through His great army in the form of ‘locust, cankerworm, caterpillar and the palmerworm’ (Joel 2:25). With this kind of mindset, we believe that men can suffer from the wickedness of Satan and his angels, as well as from the anger of God in punishment for our wrong doings.
We strongly believe in the love, mercy and kindness of God, who forgives His people through the redemptive and atoning blood of Jesus Christ on confessions of sins.