Their Pentecostal counterpart paints a shameful picture. The ‘super man of God’ warns his congregation to ensure that they surrenders all their kingdom investments to the church office before leaving for the village festivals or else their God will be nowhere to be found with them in the remote places.
by Obinna Akukwe
The practice of city pastors commandeering all the tithes and offerings to themselves while pauperizing their village counterparts is one of the reasons every pastor is running to the city to establish a church. Tithes and offerings are biblical injunctions which a religious faithful or lover of God uses to show appreciation to the creator for gifts of life, health, abundance, protection etc. It is also God’s way of taking care of the levites, pastors, priests He called into the ministry so that they can concentrate on the work assigned them. God commanded the Israelites to pay tithes and offerings in leviticus 27 vs 30 – 32 stating that “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD…” While tithes has a stated minimum of ten percent, offerings is of freewill nature, but Christians are enjoined to give according as God blesses and at times sacrificially.
Abraham was the first recorded person in the Bible to pay tithe. He paid tithe to Melchizedek, Priest of the Most High God and King of Salem some hundreds of years before God officially gave the injunction on tithing to Moses (Gen 14 vs 17-20). Therefore, tithes preceded the Law of Moses. Jesus Christ, while supporting tithing, chided the Pharisees for concentrating more on tithes while neglecting other religious injunctions. According to Jesus Christ in Matthew 23 vs 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone”.
Therefore, Jesus supported both tithes and keeping all other laws of God and the priesthood of Jesus was in the order of Melchizedek while his Kingship was in the order of Judah, the root of David.
. pollution of the church with all sorts of unscriptural practices and doctrines, even in the Pentecostal fold have caused a lot of pastors whose primary assignment was in the villages and remote parts of the regions to abandon it for the city. Part of what is chasing pastors out of the villages in search of pastoral pastures in the cities is the polluted theory of tithes and offerings. In this era of mega churches, flashy churches, digital churches and rich churches, a lot of born again Christians have been brainwashed to look down on pastors whom God called and stationed in the villages to occupy and control the territorial sanctity of these remote places from rampaging negative forces. According to the manipulated city born again member, these village pastors are not looking trendy, sharp, rich, gracious and elegant in dressings, mobility, feeding and opulence and therefore, they cannot be representing the God of prosperity. They are therefore seen as people who have lost out in their callings and their poverty stricken personality are signs of God’s abandonment.
The city pastors have given their congregation impression that all their tithes and offerings must be surrendered to their air conditioned churches so that their lives will be air conditioned by God and that there is nothing their impoverished village counterparts have to offer. This impression caused a lot of city church members to look at the pastors in their villages with disdain and where they manage to offer any sort of minute help, the over grateful village pastor must continue to pay back with lots of night vigils for the benefactor. To avoid this sort of embarrassment, and be able to give their family members and wards decent education to the highest levels, a lot of village pastors have abandoned where God posted them and disappeared into the city to form one church, ministry, or prayer group for purposes of poverty alleviation
Consequently, as the village pastors are disappearing to the cities, the villages are gradually being over run again by forces chased away many years ago and the villages have become sorts of traps for many digital church members who must solicit the protection of their city pastors and his God before they visit their roots. The villages are being overrun by witches, wizards, marine spirits, ogbanje , abiku, mammy water, occult and shrine powers and the resultant effects are senseless militancy, rape, incest, murder, robbery, kidnappings and gruesome wickedness. This is so because those spiritually appointed to act as watchmen have all scampered to the city for survival. The hero pastors in the city have convinced his congregants that once all the tithes and offerings are not surrendered to his edifice, God will never accept the sacrifice. The congregation goes with the impression that God is found only in the city churches.
These people forget that God called people to do different things. Melchizedek who received tithe from patriarch Abraham, was both a King and a priest and Abraham is not a part of his congregation. The churches in the villages are as important as ones in the cities and one is not superior to the other. That is why these born again city church members turn to pagans when they visit their villages because the Christian counter force to stand against idolatrous practices is lacking. When their relatives die, they must bring all the he-goat, fowl, hot drinks and all paganistic ceremonies that must accompany the burials because they have made the village churches so weak that they cannot take over the burial, weddings or any other celebrations decently. Therefore, they are firebrand in the cities and unwilling idolaters in their hamlets because they neglected the institutions that would have exhibited light of God in the villages.
Secondly, they must provide the pictures of their loved ones in far away places for special prayers, and sprinkling of religious oil, water, mantle, communion on them for protection from witches and wizards they permitted to reclaim the villages.
During festive seasons that must take them to their far villages, they must sow special seeds for the hero pastor to extend his commission’s protection to them as they travel to the darkness controlled villages and must surrender to another round of cleansing prayers for deliverance from the misfortune they might have contacted from their respective clan and hamlets immediately they return. Why not empower their village pastors with part of their tithes, offerings, seeds etc. It is the village pastors that help to control the spiritual scavengers in the villages and forms part of the corporate protection the city congregant enjoys.
Churches like Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Apostolic Church etc. do not glorify city based priests. The parish priest of St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ifite-Ogwari town in Anambra State cannot be intimidated by the presence of the parish priest of Holy Trinity Church Catholic , Maitama. While the Abuja priest may have excess cash, courtesy of super-rich politicians and their business allies, the village priest is not lacking in any essential need. The members of these churches support their pastors in the cities as well as in the villages through donations to projects, harvests, thanksgiving, bazaar etc.
Brainwashed church members should know that the village ministers they failed to empower are the reasons many villages are retrogressing as citadels of evil practices and what they failed to do will soon haunt the church. Everybody’s pastoral callings are very important, therefore, the city church member should prayerfully ask God how to assist the churches, pastors, evangelists, preachers and teachers in their villages and hasten to do as God directs, despite the protestations of the city pastor. The pauperization of village pastors is a time bomb, the work of God there should be supported with our tithes, offerings and seed so that darkness does not overrun these places entirely.