The Nigerian Church Is Losing It's Purpose By Ayobami Oyalowo

Mrs. Oritsejafor's limo
By Ayobami Oyalowo

There has been a lot of tittle-tattle lately as well as so many discordant tunes on the propriety or otherwise of jets and gifts to pastors and men of God. The debates have been loud and raucous with so many people speaking from a position of little or no information. A lot of emotive vibes and outrage, for or against the perceived or real manipulations by men who supposedly have been given charge over the souls of millions, has become public fodder. Everyone appears to be venting their spleen wherever you turn.

Hosea 4:7-9
New King James Version (NKJV)
7
“The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.
8
They eat up the sin of My people;
They set their heart on their iniquity.
9
And it shall be: like people, like priest.
So I will punish them for their ways,
And reward them for their deeds.

But what exactly should we do or say? Supporters of ostentatious and obviously manipulative men of the cloak are quick to put the critics in check by quoting “touch not mine anointed” lines ostensibly to show that men of “God” are above reproach and as such “lesser” men have no right whatsoever to criticize or condemn perceived wrong doings of these high men of “God.” But is this the case? Are these men truly above reproach? Is it biblical for the “under shepherd” to feed fat on the flock while the flock groans and hopes for a better day? All these we shall examine in this piece. Let me appeal that this treatise may exceed the usual length allowed for articles on this blog as it comes laden with supporting Bible passages, but I assure you, it will be worth your while. Take a sip of water and follow me patiently.

And plead with your boss at work to learn from it as well if he frowns at you. Who knows, your boss may have unwittingly contributed to purchasing a Limo, Hummer or Private Jet for his Pastor lately.

Christianity was first brought to the shores of Nigeria by the European missionaries in the early 1800s. When they came, they built hospitals and schools. In fact, many Nigerians aged late thirties and above, were products of missionary schools, which were either free or came with negligible or paltry school fees. The early missionaries and churches in Nigeria were predicated on love and social services to their immediate communities. Many people in the age range I quoted above got quality education and even health care, courtesy of missionaries and churches.

But fast forward to the present day. Church members are coerced to part with money they barely have, with either a promise of God blessing them in return or with stern warnings of perpetual poverty or even threatened with the danger of hell if they refuse to give “cheerfully”. God’s blessing in church today is now for sale and even your offering must be spoken to, so that it can bring forth plenty harvest.

(remember our local priests “babalawo” have a culture of asking clients to rub their bodies with monies and ask for whatever they wish for).

As a matter of fact, a particular church I know, a few years ago had a special offering called ‘dominion jet offering’, where adherents were made to donate towards the “ministry’s” jet only for the jet to be converted for the use of the self styled Bishop later. *My lips are sealed*

In the course of my research, I discovered that a teacher’s son in a secondary school of one of these various prosperity promising centers, who lives in the church enclave, could not afford to send his son to the school, as a teacher and also amember of the church. His son was rather sent to school in a nearby town.
The modern Nigerian church tasks it’s members to donate towards various projects such as universities and elitist secondary schools, but curiously, the poorer members of such prosperity centers can neither send their wards or kids to such schools, neither do the churches have a program to cater for the poor amongst their flock.

Unlike the early missionaries who accommodated both the rich and poor in their schools, it is no longer business as usual for the poor. You either sow and get rich so that your children can also benefit from the schools built by the church you attend or find a lesser alternative, while hoping for a better day! The Church has become a class conscious body.

The passage in Act 4:34-35 which Reads: “(34) Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, (35) and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” has been totally ignored. In Nigeria’s contrivances of prosperity churches, it is survival of the fittest, elimination of the “poor” or unfit. How wonderful, won’t you say? No longer are we our brother’s keeper. Like 50 Cent, we have resolved in churches to get rich or die trying.

We have been told that prosperity is a sign of God’s favor to his own people, but after reading and studying the lives of great men of God– men who brought great revivals in their time– I had to ask if Jonathan Edwards, a man who preached and thousands wept to the altar in one day, yet he wasn’t rich, or Smith Wiggleswort, a plumber whom God used to heal many sick and raised a lot of dead men, yet wasn’t stupendously rich, were missing a trick. Tozer, John Wesley etc were great men of God, who neither built castles nor owned the choicest properties in their time, but they made such differences in the body of Christ so much so that till this day, their works still speak for them. Unlike our spirito-christian magicians, these men lived simple lives, but turned many around towards righteous and holy living. Their time was termed the period of the great revival in history.

Severally we have been reprimanded to “touch not mine anointed” but is this the correct application of this scripture? In which context was this phrase used? It is found in Psalm 105:15 and was repeated in 1Chronicles 16:22. That passage was written to praise the works of God when he took out Israel out of Egypt and saved them from harm, even though they were few. It was never about a pastor or a leader, it was written to praise God in taking care of a called out people. Anointed vessels are men who allow God to do his bidding through them.

Note that those people who must do his bidding must be “called out” and what is the “church”? It simply means “the called out ones”. Therefore that Passage can also mean “touch not the church”. Do NOT be deceived, it was never written to protect or immune “penterascality” or ‘pastopreneurs’ from criticism. It was written as a mark or seal of God’s protection upon his chosen ones.

The concept of giving and speaking to your money to work for you is another strange doctrine that has been introduced to make unsuspecting and unlearned Christians to part with their money without question.

Several times they have called this subtle extortion mechanism: ‘seed’, claiming the passage of seed time and harvest in Genesis 8:22. But God was not using seed figuratively. It was a definite and correct use. In fact he said; the summer, winter etc shall not cease. You don’t pay for God’s blessings. Obed edom was blessed in 2 Samuel 6:10-12 not because he paid God aspecial seed but because the presence of God dwelt within him and his household.

Unlike the short-cut pay and receive theology of our modern day pastors, God’s blessings dwell securely in his presence. It is better to live holy and have God on your side, than give plenty, while continuing in sin.

There is nothing wrong in showering your pastors with gifts, but let’s look at some biblical examples of men that God used mightily. Were they louts, who busied themselves with soliciting gifts or were they men who had reasonable sources of income? Amos was a great prophet but hear him in Amos 7:14-15:

14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and agatherer of sycomore fruit:

15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, ‘Go, prophesy unto my people Israel’.

And let’s look at Paul, one of the greatest apostles who ever lived. Acts 18:1-3:

18 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
He was a tent maker. He HAD A JOB. He was no lout neither was he a beggar or a manipulator. His hands provided for his needs.

I wish to bring a few scriptures to light in Philippians 3:18-19 18

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
and 2 Timothy 3:1-2 3:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
It is very clear that we are approaching the last days and like Jesus said, “shall I find faith on earth”? It a question we all should ponder on. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of your Christian faith? Is it to serve God or marmon? Is amassing worldly cash and acquiring worldly goods the reason Christ died on the cross? Do not get me wrong, being prosperous in not a sin, but it is written in 2Timothy 2:4:

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
And in Colosians 2:9, we read:

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily.

If God is genuinely sought, he will be found. Having the presence of God dwelling in you is a guarantee of his fulness. The rate at which wrong doctrines are taught and imbibed is alarming and this is a pointer to alarming biblical illiteracy levels among Christians. As God said, ‘like people like priests’.
1Peter 4:17 17:

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”.

What is the gospel of God? I doubt if it means amassing wealth or accumulating worldly goods. Pastors must be careful in fleecing the flock as it is written that The souls of those in their care will be required of them.

Our peculiar situation shows clearly that there are fundamental flaws in the teachings of the church as written in our opening scripture. Hosea, as quoted above, suggests that as the priests (pastors, bishops, archbishops, General overseers etc) are increasing, so is iniquity and sin on the rise. Looking at Nigeria today, we have a church in almost every corner, yet the crime and immorality rates are rising exponentially.

It is time for the men of GOD to face their true calling which is preaching the gospel. But if they persist in milking the flock, God said he will use even stones, to achieve his aims, if men refuse to do his bidding.

Study the scriptures and be diligent. Do not let a man created in ‘like-passions’ pull a wool over your eyes in the name of God.
A lie can travel very fast in time, but in one swift moment, the truth will pursue, overtake and annihilate it. There is too much hot air emanating from our pulpits, but where is the fire of revival?

I can be engaged on twitter @Ayourb
 

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The only verse they use in

The only verse they use in the Old Testament is the tithe and every other verse in the Old Testament is all things are passed away

Rubbbishhhh

What Rubbish Spiritual Issues!

Do you know what is Spiritual? So Sick and Ignorant!

Thank you, your comment and

Thank you, your comment and insult proves who is blind and how well you can "see". Continue the insult and name calling. God bless you as you do.

PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES: A BUSINESS OF NUMBERS

If I can get 15 million brainwashed and delusion Nigerians contribute twenty Naira each to me on just one Sunday in a year, I will not have to work for the rest of my life. What the overseers and pastors are doing is called ARITHMETICS of money. I rather go watch a comedian perform than go to worship in any of those churches

what itinerary. r u saying

what itinerary. r u saying there are no commercial planes out there? i am a christian and my heart bleeds to see that one's action might bring disrepute to Christ's name. After-all it was for such reason that Apostle Paul worked in order not to be a burden on the church.

REPENT

REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND

My dear brother, i assume you

My dear brother, i assume you are a man. Instead of joining Islam why not find a church that preaches Christ's values and also read the bible. I personally blame the church in Nigeria for the decadence in the nation. Oh how i long for a word that will nourish my soul and teach me to be Christlike in all i do. Dear GOD save our souls.

Those men of God are thieves

Those men of God are thieves and sahara reporters has a duty to expose them

Ayobami, you are one of those

Ayobami, you are one of those blinded. i feel sorry for your stupidity.

church

my bro don't say all nigerian pastors are thieves-that will be an over reaction. I share your feeling and concern over the same issue but let's still be reasonable. Nigeria is corrupt but does it mean every nigerian is corrupt? In every age God has always reserve for himself prophets who would stand for the truth though they be few. we still have good preachers-pray that God will open your eyes to see them

hello

Your reply shows clearly that something's wrong with you. Even if he were wrong, couldn't you apply courtesy and correct the wrong in the spirit of meekness or you are one of those extorting unsuspecting members in the name of the Lord, feeding fat from the widow's mite and the pauper's pence. Believe it or not, this is naked truth! may God help the church in Nigeria, many things are wrong and are going wrong. I cry from the depths of my heart: "O God, send us fiery prophets to preach to preachers!"

Grammatic Error - The Nigerian Church Is Losing It's Purpose

First - I make mistakes myself when it comes to English Grammar, so, I am not perfect and not in any way an attempt to ridicule anybody.

Second - the caption is wrong - the use of the word "It's" is wrong in the title - "It's" is a short form of "It is" or " It has". The right word should have been the possessive form of it - its.

So, the caption should have read - The Nigerian Church is losing its purpose and not what it currently reads.

Please readers should

Please readers should distinguish between christianity, individual pastors and religious denominations. Someone commented that he has not attended church service for years apparently because some pastors were mis-behaving. This borders on ignorance. Do one attend service to worship the pastor or look at the pastor's face. If one appreciates that Christ is the role model as a christian, one can't be confused when some self-glorifying pastors try to mis-guide the flock. As for me, Christ is the reason for attending service.

Church leaders do NOT

Church leaders do NOT represent GOD here on earth anymore than the people do! It’s a lie from the pit of hell; a Gnostic Nicolaitian doctrine (Rev 2:6)! 'Nicolaitian' simply means 'Conqueror of the laity' (laity meaning lay or common man). Gnosticism taught that some people were closer to GOD & should thus 'hear' the 'hidden knowledge or Gnosis' for the rest of us. These occupied church leadership and dominated the rest of the laity/people. CHRIST died for all, He ALONE is The Head and the rest of us are 'The Body'. The arm is not more important than the leg, neither is the nose of greater relevance than the mouth. Your Church Leaders DO NOT represent GOD on earth ANYMORE THAN YOU/I DO! This is simply man-worship, Idolatry! Indeed, they have 'conquered' the minds of the people! For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought INTO CAPTIVITY! If this isn't financial captivity, what is it? Go read your Bible o, before they take your wife and tell you 'It's the will of God'!

Please contact me on twitter.

Please contact me on twitter. We need to talk. God bless you

@Chiwamkpam Ayamkpam - Grow some brain!

I have always held this belief that most of you CRITICS, and especially, of THE JONATHAN'S PRESIDENCY ARE EVIL AND HAVE DEVILISH MINDSETS. Hence you can never see anything good about his REBUILDING efforts, after the likes of SHAGARI, BUHARI, IBB AND ABACHA (IN THAT SEQUENCE, AND ALL MUSLIMS, BTW) had DESTROYED THE HOUSE CALLED NIGERIA FOR 2 DECADES (80S & 90S). You want a house DESTROYED over 2 DECADES TO BE FIXED IN 1 YEAR?

A simple exercise for you. Take a hammer against your TV set and smash it. And then compare how long it will take you to repair the same TV, vis-a-vis how long it took to destroy it. That will give you some clue about how to FIX PROBLEMS. It is harder to rebuild than to destroy, you would learn. If it took 2 DECADES (20 YEARS) TO DESTROY, WHY DO YOU EXPECT IT REBUILT IN 1 YEAR? And what are you CONTRIBUTING?

I HOPE YOU DO NOT REPLY ME. AND DON'T EVEN BOTHER, AS I JUST WANTED YOU TO LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AND REFLECT ON WHAT YOU SEE!

@Chiwamkpam Ayamkpam - ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

(Contd)
May be you left the church 20 YEARS TOO EARLY AND HAVE LEARNT SOME NEW DOCTRINES, "COLLECTIVE CONDEMNATION". But remember that NOT EVERYBODY THAT ATTENDS CHURCH IS GUILTY AND THUS DESERVES TO DIE BY BOKO HARAM'S BOMBS! Spare some thoughts for the INNOCENT ONES!

I have always held this belief that most of you CRITICS OF THE JONATHAN'S PRESIDENCY ARE EVIL AND HAVE DEVILISH MINDSETS. Hence you can never see anything good about his rebuilding efforts, after the likes of SHAGARI, BUHARI, IBB AND ABACHA (IN THAT SEQUENCE, AND ALL MUSLIMS, BTW) had DESTROYED THE HOUSE CALLED NIGERIA FOR 2 DECADES (80S & 90S).

I HOPE YOU DO NOT REPLY ME. AND DON'T EVEN BOTHER, AS I JUST WANTED YOU TO LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AND REFLECT ON WHAT YOU SEE!

Help the church keep it moral values.

The Nigerian churches are run as business and it is impoverishing many Nigerians who devote their time to fellowship and make contributions to the churches they attend while the pastors are flying their jets and their posh lifestyles at the detrimental of the helpless follower ravishing in different personal problems that actually brought them there.These churches are making many Nigerians useless especially the young and able Nigerian graduates whom out of frustration find themselves in places like this where they don't make decisions of their own without the pastor making his suggestion a decision for them,and the worst is that this victims don,t see it as a problem to them and the entire society.I think the government need to find a way to make the church business less lucrative to uphold it moral values

@Chiwamkpam Ayamkpam - ARE YOU A B.H CONVERT?

And did you ACTUALLY SAY "Churches in Nigeria are a disgrace. Boko Haram should carry on with their obliteration."?

And did YOU also SAY "Maybe Boko Haram should be encouraged to continue the decimation of these scam houses called Churches".

And YOU SAID "This is a shame!!!". Indeed, I agree with you that THIS IS A SHAME!!!. It is a shame, AND IT IS VERY SAD that a person ((wo)man) of 'supposed' or 'presumed' knowledge and education like you would make such LUDICROUS and HIDEOUS comments, and call for the massacre or DECIMATION of INNOCENT PEOPLE WORSHIPING IN CHURCHES. You seem to have condemned EVERYBODY, including the INNOCENTS and those that purchase Jets for PURELY MINISTERIAL PURPOSES. You have consigned EVERYBODY TO BE DESTROYED AND BOMBED BY BOKO HARAM!

@Chiwamkpam Ayamkpam - I was mistaken about you! (2)

And YOU TOO LIE! (As my Caribbean brothers/sisters would say).

You LIED when you said "I planned on converting to Islam 5 YEARS AGO, I will go ahead with my plan". What held you back since MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO, WHEN YOU QUIT CHRISTIANITY? YOUR WORDS, "20 years ago, I realized that Churches in Nigeria were scam houses. In addition, I found out that Churches routinely encouraged its members to steal the nation's resources for use as donations to the Pastors. That made me cut off all ties with Nigerian Churches. Aside from saving my hard-earned money from not attending any, severing ties completely from Nigerian Churches has been a blessing in and of itself.".

SO SINCE CUTTING OFF TIES, WHAT STOPPED YOU FROM CONVERTING TO ISLAM 5 YEARS AGO? AND WHAT IS THE MOTIVE FOR DOING SO NOW? YOU REMIND ME OF ONE MUSLIM, FAROUK LAWAN, WHO WAS CAUGHT ON CAMERA BUT STILL CONTINUED TO LIE!

@Chiwamkpam Ayamkpam - I was mistaken about you!

RE: "Islam is the religion of non-thieves and non-materialists". Is this REALLY true? I FORGOT THAT FAROUK LAWAN, IBB, ATIKU, UMARU DIKKO, UBA AHMED, TINUBU, ADEDIBU, ABACHA, BUHARI, & CO ARE ALL CHRISTIANS.

I also forgot, and please remind me that THE NORTHERN ISLAMIC STATES ARE MORE PROSPEROUS THAN THE CHRISTIAN SOUTH. Remind me also, that POVERTY IS MORE PREVALENT IN THE CHRISTIAN SOUTH THAN THE ISLAMIC NORTH. That THERE IS MORE DESTITUTION IN THE SOUTH THAN IN THE NORTH. That THERE ARE MORE BEGGARS AND DESTITUTE IN THE SOUTH COMPARED TO THE NORTH. Or MORE ALMAJIRIS!

I really wonder how you came about your lurid and grossly twisted, and sweeping conclusions. You fooled me, for giving you too much credit! I know better now!

Well said. You said nothing

Well said. You said nothing but the truth. May God deliver the church from all this in Jesus name

God never says we should not

God never says we should not comment on the evils perpetrated by anyone either pastors, Imams or their followers. Nathan the Prophet in the bible days, corrected an anointed David, a king and a priest. He brought David to repentance. If our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, had behaved like these so called men of God of nowadays, I doubt if he will be able to face the cross and procure salvation for mankind. No man is above corrections, all of you that hide behind the gullibility of the masses, to fleece unsuspecting worshipers have God to contend with in the day of judgement.
No wonder your messages are nothing but noise making in the ears of the most high. Many of you ought to still be a student of the bible, but because of the cares of riches suddenly become GOs, super GOs, etc. It is better you are rebuked here now, than your nakedness to be revealed at the end of the age.

You will be disappointed to

You will be disappointed to discover that you're just going to where you will be ask to steal anything in the name of allah, any way it shows from your write up that you are a northerner, I am very sure you're a muslim, very sure that you are boko haram member.

You said you've not attended

You said you've not attended Nigerian Church in the last 20 years, does that suggest you've being attending Church outside Nigeria? Will you share your view about Church elsewhere and in practical terms how You have been encourage to steal for the Church.

@Ayobami Oyalowo: Dude get the heck out of here

Ayobami Oyalowo: I can be engaged on twitter @Ayourb

Nobody wants to engage you on twitter regarding this donkey doodoo crap. Get the fuck out of here.

Yes!

You are nothing but a thief and a scammer, if you could not see the truth in this write up. Go get a life ... Men of god indeed. Keep on fleecing the masses,, the day of reckoning is at hand when all man will be judged. Shame on all of you anti-Christ!

.... But what if?

This is a very clean and honest write-up, but as usual the blinded and ignorant followers of these Lovers of themselves will come out here to expose their ignorance because they are still in bondage.

These so called pastors and General overseers are nothing but ANTI-CHRIST, they all have the mark of the beast clearly written on their forehead. It is no secret that the devil is fully in control of this nation, and that is why these politicians and the pastors/GOs work hand in hand to actualise satan's mission on this country Nigeria. Hence the so called churches can not speak against the ills of the nation.

Devil is in control of this nation and he is doing it through the so called churches using their pastors/GOs as foremen.

precisely, why I have avoided Church for 20yrs now - 1

This is a shame!!! Any serious-minded Church-goer who does not abhor the thief called Oritsejafor is equally a disgrace. 20 years ago, I realized that Churches in Nigeria were scam houses. In addition, I found out that Churches routinely encouraged its members to steal the nation's resources for use as donations to the Pastors. That made me cut off all ties with Nigerian Churches. Aside from saving my hard-earned money from not attending any, severing ties completely from Nigerian Churches has been a blessing in and of itself. For example, because I stopped attending Nigerian Churches, I have not participated in stealing of the nation's resources or benefited directly or directly from it. We all know and agree that the actions of Church leaders like Oritsejafor and his wife is directly responsible for the death of millions of Nigerians. In essence, Nigerian Churches and Oritsejafor are directly responsible for the death of millions of Nigerian citizens.

precisely, why I have avoided Church for 20yrs now - 2

He and his family should be held to account for these deaths! If you donate Churches in Nigeria, your money is being displayed in the photo above. If you donate to Churches in Nigeria and any of your family members have died due to poverty or lack of medicines, Oritsejafor, in cahoots with the government of Obasanjo and Jonathan (all thieving Christians from the South, not the North) are directly responsible for it. Isn't it a shame that Christian leaders in Nigeria are thieves who loot and exploit the religion for material things such as this - a car that Nigeria does not even have roads for it to be driven on. Maybe Boko Haram should be encouraged to continue the decimation of these scam houses called Churches, since they are not good for anything anymore.