Christianity: Religion or Business Enterprise?

It would be unwise to claim that all Christian Churches are money raising ventures – very unwise. However, there are so many of them operating under the guise of Christianity and with ulterior motives that put Christianity as a religion in a shameful position. Unless Christians can hold firm to the teachings of the Bible and not fall prey to these false prophets, then ‘true’ Christianity might go into extinction.

Over the years, Christianity seems to have evolved. I am not sure if it has always been this way and I was just too young back then to notice or it if it has actually changed drastically. In this age of technology, the realm of Christianity has grown vast and the word of God can be found on the tele, radio, newspaper, online – with most of it being administered via social media. I have seen the same scriptures being interpreted differently by different churches so much that at times, I have had to stop and do some reflections. Who is telling lies and who is speaking the truth? And who really is twisting the verses to suit their own personal needs?

IMG_3393There are so many churches out there some with such ridiculous names and strange activities going on yet they have huge followings. Every one of them believes they are preaching the Truth. The rate at which churches are mushrooming is very alarming. I keep asking myself; why do Christians feel the need to start their own churches instead of growing in the already existing ones? Apart from evangelising, what is it about starting your own church that makes people do it? And it hit me; money.

It would be very unwise of me to claim that all churches are money raising ventures. Not all of them are. My issue is that there are too many of them out there whose main focus is robbing people off of their money in the name of God. There are too many of such churches and every single day, a new one is born. And in what seems to be their naivety or blinded faith, Christians are tagging along and putting their lives and life savings at risk.

Every time I turn on my tele or go to social media, there is some prophet or pastor being praised for his or her miracle performing ways.  Unfortunately, the manner in which most of these sermons are given in some of these churches has taken attention away from God leaving the very Pastors to be revered and worshipped by their followers in the place of God. Miracles are now performed not as a means of illustrating God’s almightiness, but they are presented as a PR package for the pastors behind them; they showcase how powerful this pastor is and what you will gain if you start following him and ‘sow your seeds’ with him.

Sow a Seed!!!!!

I have heard this phrase so many times my ears have started to itch at the mere mention of it. This is the phrase that is taking the rounds in Churches of today. It is no longer important to teach people how to live their lives according to God’s commandments or how to maintain a righteous path in life. However, it’s become common to simply tell people, sow a seed and all your desires shall be manifested in the name of God. This seed they talk about isn’t referring to the Word of God or living a Godly life so as to attain everlasting life, it is referring to how much money you ought to give if you want God to look upon your life with favour.

It has become the fashion for some pastors to devote a third of their ministries every Sunday talking about sowing a seed. This idea of sowing a seed which is equivalent to ‘give me your money and only then shall you receive blessings from God’ seems to be held in such higher esteem than anything else written in the Bible. The manner in which some of these pastors have interpreted the Bible verses dealing with this topic is quite remarkable! Consider some of the verses about sowing a seed in the name of God:

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Acts 20:35

Galatians 6:7-8

Proverbs 11: 24-25

Ecclesiastes 11:6

Luke 8: 1-15

When I got older, I became a little unsatisfied with some of the beliefs and the hypocrisy that the church I grew up in was teaching and practising, thus, I went on a voyage of discovery. I tried different churches every Sunday…suffice to say, it was an experience that opened my eyes in more ways than one. Firstly, I was very impressed by the number of young men that seemed to be actively involved in pastoring in churches. I thought to myself… ‘and yet they call us the lost generation, Er?’ But one of friends who is a pastor in that church was quick to burst my bubble when he said, “Do you have any idea how much money Churches make these days? And it’s all tax free, that’s why I want to start my own soon! You get to spread the word of God and at the same time make some money. God is amazing!”

It finally began to make sense to me why almost every guy I knew growing up that had failed to make it in life was either a pastor or had established their own church. Chances are that some of them have genuine interest in Christianity, but the financial aspect of it makes their motives very questionable. During my church ‘tours’, I did observe that it was mostly these very young pastors (youths) that seemed very devoted to preaching about sowing the seed than anything else during their sermons. Somehow, they always managed to fuse in these three little words into every sermon they delivered. The manner in which these verses where shoved down our ears made me feel guilty to attend church services if I didn’t have any money on me that Sunday. I could not let go of the idea that I would never receive God’s blessings if I don’t put a lot of money in those baskets/buckets. And slowly, I began to grow further away from God because I felt I couldn’t afford him. If I felt like that even when I am someone who comes from an average family, what about those people that come from very poor families?

There is nothing wrong with the Bible verses encouraging us to be more giving and to give from the heart. It is a situation where even a cent would mean A Lot if the heart that was giving was sincere. Think of the woman from Mark 12:41-44  do you think this widow’s offering would be encouraged in some churches these days? We live in a time where the rich receive special treatment even in churches because they are the ones that ‘give more and contribute to the growth of the church.’ These rich folks are the ones that sit on the front rows in church while the old ladies hard of hearing and sight sit in the back because they are too shabby to be displayed in the front.

A church is a place that was initially meant to be a place of equality but is now a place exhibiting all forms of segregation packed with very judgemental people that look only on the outside and never the soul of their brothers and sisters. It is a place where people get to realise how different their social status really is because only the rich are mostly heralded and given opportunities to grow and participate in church activities while the poor and uneducated ones remain in the background. But ‘again’ I will reiterate, not all churches are like this.

I find the judgmental attitude of some Christians very daunting. If someone walks into your church dressed in funny clothes, shabby, or they are looking like they just stepped into the building mistaking it for a brothel, instead of throwing them judgemental looks or avoiding them like a plague, how about taking it as a God given opportunity to witness to them? A church is a place for sinners; we are all natural born sinners seeking deliverance from God. Just because your sins are dressed up in clean and fancy designer clothes does not make you better than the rest. Sit down.

When some pastors start their churches or their pastoral work, you will constantly hear them preaching about how difficult it is for rich men to enter the kingdom of God. However, two years later, these very people will be rolling in fancy cars and wearing extremely expensive suits, taking long vacations to worldwide destinations, buying Islands, yachts, and acquiring real estate faster than actual business moguls themselves. The question is; where is all that money coming from? They will quickly tell you that they have been blessed thanks to their work in God’s name. The truth is yes, their lives have tremendously improved since they started their preaching work. The only problem is that they got to where they are today because you gave them…and you kept giving and giving them your ‘seeds’. How is it that you have been sowing for so many years yet you cannot even afford to buy yourself a Vitz or take your kids to a proper school while the Pastor has 15 cars packed in his garage with a Yacht he only uses once a year?

Does he really need all those material things he keeps acquiring for himself all in the name of God? He’s sent his kids to fancy schools abroad and yet when you go to him complaining about the financial problems you’ve been facing he tells you; “Sow a seed my brother and it shall be well with you.” How is it that you are telling him you are broke, and he is telling you to give him money if you want a miracle? Does that even make sense? This is the same crap that happens with government institutions; you have been robbed left right and centre and you run to them for help and they tell you, “Madam, you need to pay for a police report if you want us to work on your case.” The hell??

Sometimes I have been tempted to believe that we can’t solely hold fake pastors or prophets responsible for the evil acts they do. Christians are to a very large extent to blame for the perpetration of such behaviour. It’s a fact we live in very difficult times hard to deal with; diseases, poverty, droughts, wars, ISIS, natural disasters and so on. We are in desperate need of miracles and we will believe anything we are told if it means rising above our challenges. But that shouldn’t be the case. Even blind faith is a sin in itself and the Bible cautions us about fake prophets preaching the Word in His name. It is not wrong to question the acts or motives of pastors. Remember, they are not gods but men born of Adam and prone to sin as well. They are not immune and neither are they perfect. The problem is that you have put some of them on such pedestals that you can no longer see them as human. They have become synonymous with God himself. Today am reminding you that they are not!

Why should you feel comfortable taking off your clothes so that the pastor can bless you with his ‘holy body’ in order for you to have a happy marriage or find yourself a good spouse? Do you think God would ask something like that from you? Someone tells you to eat grass to demonstrate your faith and you ahead and do so! You is selling you ‘holy pants’ and you buy them…smh. Are you nuts?? No pastor should touch your body everywhere as a means of blessing you or cleansing you of your sins because that’s not how the Holy Spirit works. God isn’t that lazy, he can operate from anywhere in the world and he doesn’t need to feel your boobs or vagina to help you have a child. Someone tells you that they had a vision of you being their wife and that you should leave your boyfriend because he is not your soulmate and you believe them without questioning anything?? If God appeared to people to tell them about their soul mates then most of us wouldn’t have been born I tell you. The world’s population would be less than half what it is today.

Do not be anxious to receive a miracle in your life that you will believe anything that seems out of the ordinary happening around you is the work of God. Remember, the devil has his powers too. You see people pretending to walk on air, they are turning water into fuel, claiming to heal mysterious diseases and you are more than ready to fall at their feet. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Those are not the kind of miracles humans need.

We need cures for Cancer, we need heavy rains in Zambia, we need great leaders with achievable visions, we need hospitals, and we need the wars to cease…we need so much more. You floating on air or turning water into fuel has no bearing on my life. Why would you ask God to manifest his power in you by floating on air seriously??? Couldn’t you have prayed for something else, seriously? And you think God somewhere went like, “wow, this fella is one of my pips…let me manifest myself in him…Shooop! There you go…fly my dear son…fly.” Yeah right. Sit down.

As long as Christians keep giving questionable pastors and prophets the platform to grow, Christianity will lose its foundation and eventually cease to exist. Why should money be the most recurring theme in churches? Isn’t there anything else to talk about? Yes, churches cannot do away with money but let not that be the thing that defines your church. Do not make the poor and underprivileged feel inadequate simply because you have a growing need to see your church walls shinning in gold and silver, or        you need to send your family to fancy schools. That is not Christianity, it’s called stealing. If God is only blessing the head of the flock in abundance while the flock wrestles in poverty and anguish, then clearly, something is wrong with such a God. Pastors are Leaders, and leaders do their work through other people. If you want to grade a leader, check the people that serve under him. If he is the only one repeating benefits, then clearly, something is wrong with his leadership style.

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