REV ADE ADEBAYO
The spate and depth of covetousness, fraudulent schemes, and desperately wicked patterns of extorting the church by many pastors is alarming and scary. When I started out in the ministry, it was pure passion to see souls saved and liberated from the stranglehold of sin and death. Long hours of prayers were the norm and study of the word. I read my bible till I damaged my eyes literally. I remember climbing trees (not looking for God), going to ‘uncompleted’ buildings where there were scorpions, snakes etc, just to pray. It has never been about being rich through the gospel. It’s about lives and more lives! Such commitment is rare to find in young people these days as their attention is now more on BRANDING and CHURCH MARKETING. Little wonder their messages can’t go beyond some powerless motivational talks gleaned from secular authors. LP
No one would read about the ministry of Christ and be concerned about using the platform as a means to making it in this life. His was about a sacrificial lifestyle to the point of giving his life as a ransom for us all. Today, it seems compassion for souls has been sacrificed on the altar of mammon. Young men and women now see the ministry as a ‘get rich quick scheme’. People now invest millions of naira in the ‘church business’ expecting huge returns in few months and years. There are church financing organizations who give heavy loans for the work of ministry to be paid back with interests. It seems God has become very lucrative. This is the reason why there are lots of programs in church that have no bearing with the gospel. The race is not to win souls or to mature the saints but to pay back their debt. There must always be new fund raising agendas for new projects. They must bring comedians to make church lively so that everyone would feel at home. The apostles were persecuted by those who did not believe their message but today we find several unbelievers donating heavily to churches because there’s nothing in the message that offends their unbelief. We’ve heard of cases of people stealing to donate to church. The question is, what exactly was in the message that motivated someone to steal to fund church? The sugar coated preaching of prosperity without diligence as long as you can ‘sow’ bountifully is breeding lots of criminals in the society.
Several church leaders are full of covetousness. I do not think that the ‘let your life be void of covetousness’ creed of bible excludes the clergy, pastors, ministers, bishops and the likes. I believe this kind of wrong notion is the basis for the pulpit greed and deplorable depth of covetousness prevalent in our churches today as largely perpetrated by the ‘men of God.’ Miracles and the things of God are now for sale under the guise of seed-faith, seed-sowing, or covenant offerings (whatever this means!). It is extremely difficult to get anything from the Lord now, especially when going through the clergy, because nothing seems to go for free or without charge here. It is obvious that the size of one’s seed, or the quality of one’s offering must be commensurate with the size of a desired miracle.
Seed for good health – $500
Seed for better health – $1500
Seed for abundant health – $3000
You may order all for maximum health.
There are pastors you cannot see without paying consultancy fees for counseling, healing, and prayers. I was just thinking how much Christ would have made from the woman with the issue of blood who had spent all her livelihood already. That’s exactly why the poor never gets access to these men. It’s shameful and a gross misrepresentation of the gospel of Christ. Peter particularly warns the church leaders at I Pet 5:2; “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” The man of God must never allow money be his driving force and motivation. Paul says it’s the love of money that causes some to err from the faith. I Tim 6:10; “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Two effects of this kind of church model are…
I. Genuine supporters of the gospel have become more skeptical since they don’t know who’s who. The word ‘pastor’ now sounds more like an ex-convict. I think it’s better to allow God’s word lead. We are still under mandate to give to support the gospel. The reason the truth is hardly heard is because it’s hardly supported. People prefer to give to deceivers who promise them a return on their investments.
II. Lots of young people now have false standards in ministry. It’s now so hard to follow the Lord’s leading to preach the gospel and bless lives without thinking of the cost of ‘start-up.’ The Apostles were sent out in this manner…
Matt 10:7-10; “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.”
They were never to think of how to start, rather they were to go preach and trust to have provision for their needs as people receive their message. The gospel needs financial support but we must shun unhealthy and fraudulent schemes. Sometimes those who are blessed are very stingy and worldly in their mindsets that they never give but they will give an account to the Lord. You should remain faithful so you can say like Paul…
Act 20:33; I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
You must not embrace this legacy of GREED and COVETOUSNESS, FRAUD, AND INSINCERITY.