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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
Its disheartening to hear of the atrocities committed in the name of God. More so when the most vulnerable and poor are fleeced of the little they have ( most times they are shamelessly relieved of almost all their livelihood). This is done to fund an opulent lifestyle for a supposed snake oil sales man a.ka man of God. Street Journal reports that…
It has become an agreed fact that the only other business bigger than running a church in Nigeria is politics. No thanks to the intoxicating effects religion has on Nigerians which have gone a long way to prove that Karl Marx was not mistaken when he defined religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of the soulless conditions. It is the opium of the masses.”
Unfortunately for the country, despite the increase in the number of religious centres, there has been a directly proportional increase in the rate of crimes and vices being perpetrated in the country; religious centres inclusive.
In some parts of Nigeria, five minutes walk from anywhere will lead one to a church. Investigations have however shown that not all the churches are genuine; some are no more than business centres and money-making ventures. To many Nigerians now, the surest ways of making big money lie in politics and religion.
Gone are the days when churches signposts had just a cross, the name of the church and the time and order of services. Signposts of churches have assumed more colourful dimensions and the trend nowadays is for the signpost to bear conspicuous pictures of the pastor in charge of the church and sometimes that of his wife beside him.
Street Journal has found out that most of the fake Pastors have become demi-gods to their congregations. While the Pastor is highly revered and referred to as “Papa”, regardless of his age, the wife is the “Mama” of the church. It won’t be wrong to state that some Christians no longer look up to Jesus Christ but to their pastors. Meanwhile, the days that Pastors were accessible to everyone are fast fading away. Some men of God no longer trust God with their security as they go about with stern looking bodyguards, they move around in convoys of vehicles, including escort and pilot vehicles. Some even fly in private jets, the presence of needy members in the congregation notwithstanding. It is even so bad in some cases that some Pastors no longer wipe sweat off their brows by themselves; there are people on ground whose job it is to do it for them.
Being a Pastor has become synonymous with looking good and Pastors have expensive designer wears stocked in their wardrobes, apart from wearing the best clothes, they ride in the best vehicles and live in the best apartments. The same cannot however be said of the members of the congregation. Findings have shown that many fake Pastors have founded churches mainly for commercial purposes and this is made possible by the fact that there are barely any regulations for setting up a church. Almost every Pastor has a similar story to tell, ask any Pastor what brought him into ministry and he will tell you “I heard a call”.
I still think the office of pastor is a sacred one. An office in which one becomes a servant, an under shepherd to Jesus Christ to look after and serve the church (his beloved bride) with all diligence and truthfulness.
I can imagine how many people are almost tazered to death for trying to ebb closer to these pastors. Most of these so called pastors have indeed received their reward. They have had their best life now. Sadly there is nothing left for them but grim and utter eternal torment in the hottest part of hell in the next life.