Nigerian pastors are some of the richest people in Africa and one of the richest pastors in the world. In the recent list of the world richest pastors by Forbes, Nigerian pastors have not only been found on the list but at the top of the list featuring the likes of Bishop David Oyedepo and Pastor Enoch Adeboye at the 5th and 6th position. Also, e-daily’s list of 6 richest pastors in Africa was dominated by five Nigerian pastors with just 1 from another country.
The latest trends and church scandals have shown that pastors are less interested in their duty of guiding their congregations to the holy ways of the religion. They are more concerned with amassing wealth and worldly riches. The so-called religious leaders now preoccupy themselves with devising ways of extorting their disciples of their wealth showing less concern for the moral and spiritual well-being of these congregations.
Now lets take a look at why pastors all in the name of money have decided to abandon their religious duties to actively take part in other worldly activities which are ordinarily against the principles of the religion.
1. Affluent Lifestyle
Records including the ones above have shown that luxury is the number one watchword of most Nigerian pastors nowadays. Pastors now compete on the ladder of wealth within and outside the religion circle. Some respectable businessmen could not even compete with these people. Imagine a country where a single pastor owns four private jets and its president only pilots around on a single official private jet, a property of the government.
2. Political Motivations
Nigerian pastors have been found to continually show more interest in the nation’s political affairs than the religious affairs of the country.This is clearly indicated by how rampantly they condemn and redeem the government of their choice with their comments on newspaper articles, radio and Tv channels. Some like Chris Okotie even go as far as running for some of the government positions under the pretence of saying its God’s calling. Is it truly God’s calling or a matter of personal gender to have their own cut of the government loot.
3. Increasing Number Of Churches
At every corner of a neighbourhood in Nigeria, you will find churches.They are growing at a faster rate than schools.Is this due to increased godliness in people? the answer is mostly “No”. These churches are mostly erected by an individual(a pastor) or a group for profit making. The job of the pastor or pastors is to find a way to amass large congregation of worshippers that will generate income for him and the group through tithes, first fruit, offerings and some other debated falsehood. The fear of God and spiritual responsibility are the least reasons why most of these churches are laid.
4. False Prophecies
This is Nigeria and one of the most popular trends is pastors giving false revelations. This is particularly common at the dawn of a new year or during election time when there is change in government. At this times,several pastors come out to claim to have seen visions they never saw. Luckily, few of their revelations come true but most of it are lies concocted to increase their congregation, condemn an outgoing government and to favor incoming power.
5. Lack Of Transparency
Tithing has been a major issue of controversy between pastors and strong clergymen critics like daddy freeze. Whether tithing is religiously lawful or not is a debate that has never reached a conclusion. But the thing is, right or wrong, if pastors could be transparent in their way of spending the hard earned money of their congregation, it would be more justifying and there will be little or no personal lavish spending as everybody would be watching.
Apart from Nigerian celebrities, pastors are the next people whose lives are filled with scandals. From Pastor Adeboye’s couples who met on social media to Apostle Suleiman’s alleged lover story, 2017 in, particular, has been filled with scandals on popular pastors. These scandals which majorly featured extramarital affairs by pastors shows that they are making so much money off the church members that they can spend it on sex escapades outside their marriage. See what the world is turning to,these are people who are meant to caution others on such bad deeds.Perhaps,money truly is the root of all evil.
7. Worship Turned Business
In their love of money and their bid to make plenty of it, pastors have turned churches into a place of escape where people go when they are bored. Churches have been turned into event centers and worship is now a money-making venture. They have cut down the gospel to highlight other fun parts. There is more of lights, drama, and dancing than worship, prayer, and study. These are all attempts to attract more people to the church. You know, the larger the congregation, the more the tithes and offerings, hence the more money to waste on ungodly activities.