Friday, 8 February 2013

Akan Imoh: Jesus Christ For Sale. Any Amount Will Do

Jesus Christ For Sale. Any Amount Will Do

I am very sure my Christian brothers and sisters will have my head on a platter of gold for even daring to write this article. My Pastor will heave a deep sigh when he reads this piece and might even go as far as placing me on a counseling class, just to make sure I’ve not joined the back-sliding wagon. But, I must say at this juncture that I am a born again christian. I believe that Jesus is the Saviour, the Baptizer, the Healer and Soon Coming King. I am a strong member of the body of Christ, hence it pisses me off when I see how we have turned this saviour into a commodity sold on the Black Market.
It is painful, that the name of the Lord, which is supposed to be a strong tower is now being peddled around as ‘slogans’ and ‘pay-offs’ for marketing and advertising strategies. I’m not only referring to those multi-million dollar rich pastors, that use prayers and messages from the pulpits as public relation tools to woo top politicians. No, even the less rich pastors, and the pastors-to-be are becoming efficient in this business.
I will never forget an experience I had in church one day; as the pastor was preaching, my mind couldn’t stop roaming. I kept thinking of how I would get to my house as there was no single naira on me. I had dropped my last N100 in the offering box, when it began to look like I was the only one in the church who did not pay. The pastor was very convincing, he made it look like I was a thief for not dropping my last kobo. He shouted,cajoled,threatened,and even begged, he did everything possible to convince us to pay. He even started recounting stories of people who gave to the Lord, and were blessed beyond measure.
As if that wasn’t enough, it was time for prophetic blessings. This was when I saw, for real, the buying and selling process of our Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet, after charging up the atmosphere, said he wanted to pray for some people. I immediately sat upright, hoping my case would be called out. I was shocked beyond reason, when the Man of God called out people who could give N50,000 to the Lord. Poverty is a disease. In my malnourished state of mind, I thought no one would come out to pay such amount. Little did I know that the name of Jesus is a marketing tool. People trooped out with their cheque books, ready to splash.
The man of God called again, this time reducing it to N30,000 and N20,000 respectively. By my side, I could hear a couple arguing. The wife felt they should go out, but the husband wanted to wait a while. His argument was that the Prophet would still reduce his bid. Just then, the Prophet asked for people who could pay N10,000 and N5,000. At this stage, the couple joined them. The man of God continued till he got to N200. Aahhh!!! It was indeed a funny experience.
I was at another church service and was shocked beyond reason. The Man of God requested that his members pay money to touch his shoe. I kept wondering: are blessings now for sale?
It is not rare to see pastors creatively devise new ways of extorting money from their church members. The number of offerings in a Sunday Service is increasingly alarming. Some churches hold up to four services on a Sunday and collect offering for each of the services. They promise to heal the sick, raise the dead, make the lame walk and do marvelous things, but at a cost. From seed offering, to harvest offering, to first fruit, to vows and pledges, to praise offering, to funny ones like deliverance offering, feet washing offering, opportunity offering and so much more.
Many of them have branded the name of Jesus on olive oil and bottle water, now selling them to their congregation at unbelievably expensive prices. Jesus has become a selling point for most men of God. If a Man of God can leverage well on it, he can become a multi-milloniare in no time. Jesus Christ has been so monetized, it has become an insult.
My experience as a Christian has opened my eyes to many things. You see people at bus-stops preaching the message of Jesus, and also soliciting funds. You hear things like ‘nothing is too small for the man of God’, ‘please support the ministry’. Most of the buses going to the east have dedicated preachers attached to them. Men of God are springing up everywhere, some are not even waiting to be called by God again, they make the calls themselves.
Must we keep selling Jesus Christ, must we devalue that name with the evils of money? Yes, I know the bible supports the fact that we should not deny the man of God his due, but we shouldn’t sacrifice sense for that. It is wrong to charge for miracles, it is wrong to monetize the name of Jesus.
The name of Jesus is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved. There is no gate fee, no ticket, no charge, no rent…
Be +ve.
By: Akan X-Imoh
Let’s talk on twitter @ovasabii

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