Today, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached in nearly every continent of the world, becoming even more popular than Coca-Cola – that herby-looking, sweet drink. But unlike Coca-Cola which has a predictable taste all over the world, the original gospel of Jesus has been diluted, refined and even deliberately corrupted and, in most cases, for the benefit of the peddlers, our pastors.
–The sweet whispers of capitalism has crept into the church, luring pastors to preach the gospel for sheer fame and monetary returns. Prosperity messages, seed sowing messages and tithing messages have replaced the original gospel of Jesus, which is to show men that they can be saved if they deeply believe in him and forsake their old ways. The proliferation of churches in the nook and cranny of cities might not be unconnected to the impact of capitalism on the gospel of Christ.
Our pastors no longer tell us the truth as it is in the bible, instead they tell us their own truths, truths that promotes their capitalist agenda. One of the truths our pastors have refused to tell us is that tithe was never mandated by Jesus Christ, that tithe was never mentioned as a criteria to make heaven, that the idea of tithing was alien to the New Testament. There was no single account of either Jesus or his disciples paying tithe. Hear what Jesus told the Pharisees concerning payment of tithes:
"But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Matt. 23:23
Another truth our pastors have refused to tell us was that Jesus never compelled or cajoled anyone to give anything. When Jesus needed to pay his tax, he didn't compel his disciples to donate money – he was sensitive to their plight. Instead, he told Peter, who was an excellent fisherman, to go and catch a fish, a fish which, perhaps, escaped from the vault of Central Bank. It was in the mouth of this fish the needed money was found.
Again, when Jesus wanted to feed the multitude He didn't go about looking for the rich in the large gathering to sell off their estate, so that He could carry out the task. Surprisingly, a lad in the large gathering voluntarily gave his five barley loaves and two fishes to the disciples of Jesus. It was these food that Jesus multiplied to feed the multitude. At the end of the day, everyone was happy because there was left over, because nobody's pocket was at risk.
In addition, our pastors have made us believe that we can ONLY give to God by giving to them. This is one of the deceitful ideologies through which several big, money-mining churches were planted all over the world. Jesus Christ didn't say people should shower him with material resources if they wanted God to notice or bless them. Contrarily, Jesus Christ told his disciples that whatever they did to their neighbours was done unto God. If a man clothes his neighbour, he had covered God's nakedness. If a man feeds his neighbour, the same had fed God. There is greater reward in blessing an unknown stranger than blessing a pastor. Jesus declared thus:
"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." Matt. 25:45
Finally, our pastors haven't told us that Jesus was not a materialist. Our pastors haven't told us that Jesus instructed his followers not to love the world and the things of the world. Today, private jets have become the peak of anointing, a means through which people can know pastors who are truly called by God. Interesting. Recently, one of the most respected men of God in Nigeria and in the world, while defending the ownership of a private jet, remarked thus: "you don't expect me to preach the gospel all over the world on a bicycle"
Jesus Christ told his followers categorically: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matt. 6: 19-21.
The materialistic posture of the church in the present day world is very disturbing; our pastors really need to start telling us the truth; they need to start following the personal examples of Jesus Christ.
Ademule David is a student of human society; he writes from Lagos. You can follow him on twitter @ademule_david
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