It was never my intention to write about this, but with the increasing spate of lawlessness and impunity being perpetrated by our religious business men, I thought it pertinent to pen down some thoughts.
Recently, I came across a write-up where a popular pastor was quoted as saying, “when you give offerings in church, the money goes to wait for you in heaven”. In respect to this, I do have a word or two to say in order to throw light on this issue.
First, I want to state that everyone is entitled to his opinion, and as such, I try not to meddle in issues that do not concern me. But what irks me is when someone tries to play with my intelligence in the process of advancing his personal and selfish ambition. The concept of sending money to heaven is senseless and baseless. What currency is heaven using? If the money is being kept in heaven for the givers, how then can the pastors access it and use it to sponsor their flamboyant lifestyle? If the money is being kept in heaven’s bank like he claimed, how then was he able to withdraw the funds for himself? Or did God make him a signatory to heaven’s account? For how long will this deception continue in the body of Christ? For how long will people allow this con-men and fraudsters defraud them of their hard-earned money? The scriptures make us understand that he who gives to the poor lends to the Lord. So the concept of bringing your offering ONLY to the church is a fraudulent system instituted by the clergy to manipulate and divert members’ resources into their own personal account. I will encourage you to give to your pastor if you want to, but that should not in any way stop you from giving to the poor and less privileged ones around you, because the bible emphatically states that he that gives to the poor lends to the Lord. It has therefore never ceased to baffle me where these self-styled men of God got the concept of giving your offering only in church. Also, I have heard pastors preach about “tapping into the grace of God” upon their lives by “sowing dangerous seeds” which makes me wonder if the grace of God is for sale to the highest bidder. Casting our minds back to the book of Acts, we see where Simon the sorcerer demanded for the power of God he witnessed in the life of Peter. He went ahead to offer them money in exchange for the “grace of God upon their lives”, to which Peter replied,”thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8:20). I wish our “great men of God” would emulate these Apostles. I would want our pastors to borrow a leaf from the Apostles of old. How many of our pastors can rebuke a man in this manner? Remember that Simon was a great magician who attended to the spiritual needs of those in Samaria, which implies that he was financially rich, and would have paid the Apostles whatever it was they demanded for. But they were unmoved by this tempting offer and rebuked him instead. I think it’s high time our pastors started using whatever gifts God has blessed them with to be a blessing. They should stop commercializing the gospel in quest of material and selfish aggrandizement. If they want to take offering, they should do it knowing that God is watching them and will give them a just recompense for their works. They should know that they are not on the pulpit to fleece the flock and make money, but they are there to make life easier for the flock, to feed and protect the flock, not enriching themselves at the expense of the flock. They should stop demanding for special seeds and offerings from impoverished flock who can hardly afford a meal a day. They should stop manipulating hapless members to give their “widow’s mite” to them. They should realize that anyone who is making a fortune out of other people’s misfortune is setting himself up for total destruction. Our pastors should be told that life is not about accumulating wealth and riches, or building a religious empire. Life is about making a lasting impact on the members of the church who look up to them for guidance, inspiration, and comfort.
In conclusion, I want to admonish the reader to beware of the antics of these pseudo pastors. Don’t allow any man make money off your gullibility or ignorance. A word, they say, is enough for the wise!