|Pastor Chris Oyakhilome; Ayo Oritsejafor; Enoch Adeboye; David Oyedepo and Mike Okonkwo|
By Honourable Saka
It is an established fact that Jesus did not own any material thing throughout the years he spent on earth. It was said that even the donkey he rode to Jerusalem was for somebody. Men of God must learn to live like Christ; not to compete with ordinary mortals for the riches of the earth. Today, wealthy Nigerian pastors spend over $225million on private jets. Over 130 new private jets have been acquired since 2007 at an average cost of $60milion per private jet. Many young ones are therefore seeing the pastors calling to be a very lucrative business. Perhaps, this explains the reason why there are currently so many false prophets around.
In the Holy Bible (Matthew 6:19-20, Luke 12:33), Jesus said: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Is this not what the Bible teaches? Do our modern men of God really remember this biblical advice?
I feel so ashamed to see pastors riding in limousines, range rovers, owning a fleet of flashy cars and private jets while the congregants always stand in the scorching sun waiting for the government to provide them with bus. I feel worried to see pastors spending as much as $200 million on private jets that flies only once in a year on a holiday trip, while majority of their congregants who cannot even afford a one-square-meal a day, continue to pray day and night for a miracle, so that they will be able to send their children to school.
According to Mathew 19:21, Jesus said: If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Therefore why don't Christians, especially the men of God, sell their possessions and give the money to the poor like Jesus said? Why are they rather buying private jets, mansions and living all sort of flamboyant lifestyle?
Proverbs 14:20 that “The poor are disliked even by their neighbours, but the rich have many friends”.
Mfonobong Nsehe, a Nigerian blogger who blogs for Forbes business magazine, says pastors own businesses from hotels to fast-food chains.
“Preaching is big business. It’s almost as profitable as the oil business,” he said.
The joint wealth of five pastors was at least $300m (£200m). These pastors are flamboyant. You see them with private jets and expensive cars”
Consequently, many of the youth are forcing themselves into becoming men of God at all cost. They see the church business to be lucrative. Thus, they establish churches not as instruments for the transformation of lives in society but as a means to acquire wealth and luxury without any hard work. No wonder about 90% of today’s sermons are all about prosperity and the quest to become rich. Nobody preaches salvation any longer and there is no more love - a clear indication that the end time is here.