Caveat: Before you read on, let me state that I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus and the gospel.
Cynically, some questions can be asked: Why take offering(s) from the congregation to build universities that the same congregation cannot afford to put their kids through?
What I do not believe in is the worshiping of pastors as though they are gods. Nigerians are religious people- that may be a good thing, but perhaps we may just have taken religion to an extreme. Why else would we worship a pastor? We kiss the floor they step on and bow to their whims and/or caprices. Sadly and disheartening, too many ‘heralded’ men of God are not as humble as should be rather they carry themselves with airs of supremacy and by extension make the congregation treat them in the same regard.
In reality, they are simply vessels of the gospel just like anyone of us can be. The anointing the pastor speaks of; the one with which he performs miracles did he get it from his mother’s soup? No, he got it from God and so when the pastor yells anointing, don’t marvel at the work of his hands rather marvel at the God who makes it possible.
A majority believe that their prayers will not be answered unless a pastor lays hands on them, that they will not have kids till that special pastor intercedes on their behalf, that they will not walk down the aisle till the man of God professes love into their lives. In so many ways, people allow their faith to be held to ransom.
Yet in a despised way, maybe some pastors have knowingly let the trend continue. Maybe they enjoy the veneration but it must be said that the church, regardless of what name is on the signpost or front entrance, is an extension of God’s ministry and not any man’s tool or machinery for fame and/or fortune.
In the words of 2face Idibia, ‘No be me Holy pass’, I simply understand and believe that there should be a difference between the man of God and the God himself. We are all wonderfully and fearfully made, so do not ascribe divinity to whom you shouldn’t. The chant goes ‘Jesus is Lord’ and not ‘pastor is Lord’.
Cynically, some questions can be asked: Why take offering(s) from the congregation to build universities that the same congregation cannot afford to put their kids through? When high-ranking government officials show up in church, why not tell them the truth where it hurts? Why not preach about the perils of theft and bad governance instead of ramble on about the merits of cheerful giving? Why not say ‘Your Excellency, things have to get better’ instead of saying ‘We’re honoured to have you in our midst!’ Why not? Doesn’t the bible says speak the truth at all times?
And what if we took our country as seriously as we take some of our pastors? The way you admonish that ‘brother or sister’ that missed a day of church, admonish corruption. Shout ‘enough is enough’ with the same ferocity with which you would shout ‘amen’ to a prayer. Hound bad government officials as though they have demons that need binding (frankly, some of them really do). Hopefully these will work some wonders for Nigeria and maybe the country may get her much-needed miracle through our collective efforts then we can all shout a mighty Halleluyah.