Is the Nigerian church a cancer on the Nigerian body? Instead of the Nigerian church being a beacon of light shining brightly in the thick darkness of the corruption and wickedness that is destroying the country, and a force for moral good in a society that has fallen prey to every immoral evil possible, instead of being an example for piety and good works, many parts of the Nigerian Church have become a byword for reckless extravagance, decadent living and the flaunting of wealth by corrupt pastors, general overseers and the numerous other lofty titles those who lord it over GOD’s people are busy giving themselves.
These pastors say loudly to justify their excesses: ‘My GOD is not a GOD of the poor’. And to that I simply ask: ‘which GOD are they talking about’? Jesus said ‘the poor will always be among you. GOD says, ‘I am the defender of the widow, the fatherless, and when the poor man cries out to His maker, I will hear and defend him’.
Please do not misunderstand & twist my words – I am not saying GOD does not bless His children & neither am I saying poverty makes one closer to GOD. However, the purpose of GOD blessing His children, is so those blessed can bless others. It is so we can clothe the naked, feed the hungry, take care of the widows & orphans, look after the poor – in short, the church as characterised by the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles, was a place where the rich and indeed everyone in the congregation, freely shared their wealth & gave generously of all they has, so that the poor in the church were taken care of.
Please notice, the Apostles did not buy Donkeys, Camels, build large houses for themselves or take ANY of the gifts given by the church members, to enrich themselves in anyway. When Barnabas sold a plot of land, and placed the money as a gift at Apostle Peter’s feet, Peter did not rush out to buy a Chariot for his wife, or a Donkey for himself. He did not claim he needed Chariot SUV model 4.0 to help spread and propagate the gospel! Peter immediately turned the money over to the church. The money and gifts given were NOT handled by the apostles either. Instead, 7 god-fearing men were chosen as deacons to take care of the administration of the funds which were then used to feed and clothe poor widows and orphans & other destitute members of the church.
It is interesting that instead of handling and administering the monies and gifts, the Apostles wisely chose to give themselves over to the teaching and preaching of the Word of GOD to build-up the Body of believers. They knew that looking after the body of Christ, the believers(what is actually the Church) was the true calling GOD had appointed them to. This was the charge left to them by Jesus Christ. Neither the Apostles, nor the deacons saw these monies and gifts as a source of wealth to enrich themselves in anyway. They knew the money was GOD’s money and treated it with the diligence and moral uprightness required.
However this is not the case we see in Nigeria today. Instead of this example, what we have in many parts of the Nigerian Church, should make those who truly love Jesus Christ weep. Pastors are wealthy beyond imagining. Their wealth is often built solely on the tithes and offerings of their congregations or the sales of books/videos/7 steps to wealth etc forced down the throats of the congregation. General Overseers are scrambling to out-do each other in the purchase of private jets. Some actually boast of having 4 jets. Others claim their church members love them so much, they have purchased them a private jet as a birthday gift! Others talk about foreign donations of stretch limousines given as gifts to their wives! This in a country where over 60% of the population live on less than $2 daily! These pastors have members in their congregation who cannot afford to eat 3 times daily, who struggle to pay their rent, whose children are kicked out of school for the non-payment of school fees etc. What is the response of these churches & the so-called men of God running them? Do they sell their possessions to help? Or sell these gifts to give help lift these ones out of poverty? Did the one who received a private Jet as a birthday gift, thank his congregation and then immediately sell the gift to help the destitute? Nope – instead of this, congregations are harangued for more tithes and greater offerings. These offerings and tithes are then spent recklessly on building programmes for bigger and flashier edifices, on bigger and flashier cars and jets for the pastor/overseer, on private schools and universities (which the members of the congregation who donated the money that established the schools) cannot then afford to send their own children to.
To anyone who has any understanding, this is a clear-cut disgrace. This unabashed love for mammon and absolute worship at his altar, and the solidifying of mammon’s temple, should leave us all wondering if mammon is not the prevalent spirit in these ministries. If that is the case, let us please note that mammon is an agent of the devil. The bible says ‘the LOVE of mammon is the root of all evil. The devil is called ‘the god of this world’. So again I ask, which god is actually being worshipped by many of these pastors, GO’s, daddies etc?
These churches that they have established & lead are far removed from the example of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles, and the Churches set up by Paul, Peter, John and the other Apostles in the Gentile territories they visited & preached the gospel of Christ in.
To anyone who leaps to defend their church, pastor, general overseer, etc – I ask one simple thing; Who is the true Head & overseer of the church? To whom does the Church belong? His name is Jesus Christ. The Church at large belongs to Him alone. The foundation of the Church is His death, blood, resurrection & sacrifice, so ANY so-called church that is set-up & run contrary to His principles, teachings, doctrines, and the example of His lifestyle, is CLEARLY wrong.
I’ll ask the defenders of the corruption & wrong teaching – is your loyalty to Jesus Christ or to your pastor? Were you saved by your pastor or by Jesus Christ? If the Bible (the word and teaching of Jesus Christ), points out clearly that your pastor, church, doctrine, and what you believe are wrong, will you repent, bow the knee, accept Jesus Christ’s authority and follow Him, or will you continue to shrilly defend the corrupt lifestyle and reckless extravagance of your pastor & so-called man of God?
And before ANYONE uses that lame and totally silly defence of ‘touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm’, PLEASE first go and read 1st Chronicles 16:22 which explains the true meaning of this verse. Read what the verse actually means, the context it is used in, who are actually the anointed and prophet(s) referred to, and then please learn to stop quoting it blindly and wrongly. No part of the scriptures were written so that a verse can be twisted & used out of context by corrupt pastors, charlatans and con-men to quell any dissent as they set-out to defraud and rob the people of GOD and the house of GOD.
It is up to us to read our bibles for ourselves, and pattern our lives after the Godly examples set out in the scriptures. Nobody will have any excuse for the blind & slavish following of any man or woman simply because they are tagged ‘pastors’. We are called to follow Jesus Christ. His life and example is laid-out clearly in the Bible.
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