Recently, I listened to a highly respected Nigerian Bishop say to his congregation: “Big faith equals wealth $millions$.” Are you kidding me? Is that how Bill Gates, late Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Nigerian cement tycoonAlikoDangote, oil and telecomm baron MikeAdenuga,FolorunshoAlakija, and others made their billions?
This mid-July 2014 weekend, Kenya’s flamboyant Pastor, Allan Kiuna of Jubilee Christian Church and one of the richest pastors in the Kenya told his church members that if they transfer half of their money to his account, that their money will double in a few days. This sounds to me like “money doubler.” Hundreds succumbed to the trickery.
It is another example of how Prosperity gospel is destroying Africa in an age of innovation and technological revolution. While nations are tapping into the next frontier of technology innovation and advancement, most Africans are looking up to their herbalists, pastors, and off-course to heaven not for ideas but for God to rain $millions$ on them. They refused to understand that “manna” stopped failing from heaven after the Israelites crossed River Jordan and settled in the Land of Canaan. God commanded them to go to work and be innovative and productive.
A couple of years ago, a South African Pastor asked his congregation to go to the field and eat grass in order to be healed. Hundreds flooded the filthy field on the church premises and began to eat grass like animal. After such animalistic behavior many became sick and few of them died.
Recently, we read that Bishop David Oyedepo, founder and CEO of Winner’s Chapel and Africa’s richest pastor net worth reached 40 billion naira — with a couple of jets. He’s clearly #1 prosperity preacher in the continent. By the way, biblical prosperity is more than money and financial blessing. Biblical prosperity has six components which most of today’s prosperity preachers don’t teach or don’t know. And money is the least of those.
Pastor Chris Okotie, the singer/musician turned superstar pastor and politician, from time to time, will show-off his fleet of exotic cars and conduct beauty pageant in his church and select the winner to be his new wife.
Miracle working wonder pastor and prophet, T.B. Joshua heals all manners of sicknesses yet disease, sickness and death pervade the Nigerian and African society. He makes prophecies and predictions about plane crashes and other disasters that occur in other nations, but will not prophesy about the atrocities and tragedies that occur daily in his country.
Pastor Kumuyi, head of Deeper Life Bible Church bans his poor parishioners from the use of iPads and Android gadgets but uses those same gadgets for his preaching, teaching, and writing.
Hundreds of these kinds of pervasions are rampant in Africa and yet African Christians flood these churches looking for magical wand to deal with life issues and spiritual matters.
Christianity is no longer an intellectual exercise in an age of prosperity gospel. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan L. Walton, the Pusey Minister of Harvard’s Memorial Church, and professor at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, writes, “Religion (faith) is an intellectual as well as spiritual exercise. The Memorial Church, he says, is a place to educate minds and expand hearts – action that defines faith, belief that encourages discussion, and joyousness that allows for the occasional bout of existential angst.”
Today, the church and gospel truth is perverted by false teachers. The Lord Himself warned about this time and age, The Apostles Peter, Paul, John and Jude’s epistle warned about false teachers and prophets. In Oliver Discourse, Jesus warned that false teachers and false prophets would rise up to lead many astray and to destruction. He said to them, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name. And will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).
The apostle Paul dedicated the entire epistle of Timothy to teach against false prophets, false doctrines and godlessness in the last days. He warns Timothy, his son in the ministry, to flee from such things. He writes, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul warns, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” The Apostle Paul charges Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2:15).
As teachers and preachers of the Word of God, we are reminded to do our best to study and show ourselves approved to God; a workman who does not need to be ashamed but who correctly handles the Word of Truth.
But what we have nowadays in most houses of worship is another gospel, a false gospel, a perverted gospel and a religious syncretism. “The gospel teaching that subtly implies and often overtly states that God wants you to be rich is a false gospel,” writes Pastor Jim Bakker, a former prosperity preacher and proponent of “God wants you rich theology,” who dwindled his parishioners millions of dollars and later while serving term in prison, he diligently read and studied the Scripture and God opened his understanding. That teaching he says, does not lineup with the tenets of the Holy Scriptures. It is another gospel – another Jesus, in fact, a gospel of Satan and message of hell fire – a prosperity-tinged Pentecostalism.”
In his best-selling book, “Crisis in the Village,” Dr. Robert M. Franklin, former president of Morehouse College, a theologian and public intellectual, writes “The Church has lost her moral mission, call and commitment.”
What we have today is “Modern-day designer Church,” a Church that is totally misconstrued, misguided and misinformed; where spiritual witchcraft and biblical ignorance are in abundance. What we have today is a Church that is bewitched, a Church that is preaching and teaching another gospel; another Jesus and a message of “get rich and get healed theology,” a perverted Church were the so-called men of God are preaching eisegesis rather than proper exegesis , what tickles the ears of their parishioners rather than sound doctrine, a church where ill-trained pastors and bishops are using pragmatic psychological philosophies for attaining success and for solving spiritual issues rather than sound exposition of God’s Word, a church where con men are using the Word of God and gullible Christians for lucre and for profit.
What we have today as prosperity message is a muddled and schismatic gospel, Satan’s gospel, a 419 scheme, a toxic and deadly scam designed for the sick, poor, lazy, gullible and biblical illiterate.
The danger of prosperity and materialistic message is immense and it’s killing Africa.
Dr. C. K. Ekeke, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine, is a theologian, author, and consultant. He is founder and president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.
VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public policy networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira, on May 6, 2014.
and friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.”I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
A few minutes ago, today May 11, 2014, on #CNN@FareedZakaria, the continuation of fanciful misanalyses and non-factual views about the root causes and “explanation” for the unrelenting mayhem unleashed by the violent Islamic sect #BokoHaram in#Nigeria were repeated by the award-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof @NickKristof and Eliza Griswold, author of the new book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam.
Kristof especially, wrongly, argues that Boko Haram and similar groups are driven by economic disparity in Nigeria. not true in fact and logic.
Griswold says with a certain antiseptic disdain that Boko Haram is a “mess.” Simply a mess? After killing at least 2,000 Nigerians within 5 years.
Griswold adds it is more a struggle between moderate and extreme Muslims…. Seriously? I disagree.
First, I know that targeting and slaughtering and bombing, primarily, christians and demanding they leave the mainly Islamic northern region of Nigeria and visiting “unholy” fire and thunder on others they consider “Children of a lesser God” is mechanized, religio-political bigotry. It is not economic; it is not moderates versus extremists.