Pulpit Pimpology Has Spread Internationally to Nigeria

June 27, 2011  |  

“I am a billionaire and there is nothing anybody can do about it.”

When I initially read this pretentious quote, I initially thought that this boast was being uttered from the likes of a real estate magnate, an extremely wealthy capitalist or a Wall Street mogul. In actuality, it was a statement made recently by Nigerian pastor Paul Adefarasin.

Pastor Adefarasin, the founder and lead pastor of the House on the Rock Church located in Lagos, went on to articulate that “the preacher of a billionaire can only be a billionaire because a monkey cannot give birth to a goat and a goat cannot follow a baboon.” After laughing at Pastor Adefarasin’s clever usage of animal symbolism, I began to think seriously about the context of his comments and the gravity of how pulpit pimps have fooled the masses not only here in the States but also abroad in other nations.

Over the years, I believe that there has been a progressive deterioration and secularization of Christianity, which has ultimately and tragically led to a significant reduction in its purity and power. Many televangelists have fooled a plethora of individuals with their get-rich-quick and manipulative gimmicks such as miracle spring water, one-of-a-kind anointing oil, miracle cloths and seeds, prosperity schemes, etc. Taking the above-mentioned information into consideration, it is really not a surprise that Pastor Adefarasin believes that “a pastor of billionaires must be a billionaire.”

Upon examining Nigeria’s five wealthiest preachers, one can assume that Pastor Adefarasin is not alone as it relates to the theology of self-centered acquisition of luxuries and wealth. Of course, proponents of the prosperity doctrine believe that the Gospel is the way to live “the good life” and tout riches as a sign of spiritual maturity. Of course, critics of this movement think that it is simply perverse and sacrilegious. Who is right? And, has it gone too far when the possession of luxury cars, private jets, multiple homes and opulent clothing is somehow viewed as living abundantly? In my humble opinion, I would resoundingly state, “Yes.”

I wholeheartedly believe that messengers of God and members of their congregation should be able to honestly acquire wealth and to strive toward being debt-free. And, indeed, I concur with the notion of being financially able to be a blessing to others. But, I disagree with those who would think that God would not have a problem with seeking riches in lieu of obedience and an intimate relationship with Him. And, I would not concur with the thought that the prosperity gospel is “the way” to prove that God exists and that faith pays off. The thought of serving two masters, money and God, does not follow sound doctrine. There is simply no way of putting a spin on this “strange theology.”

In a country that has been beset with postelection violence surrounding Goodluck Jonathan, flooding, corruption, significant poverty and religious riots that have left women and children dead, it is disheartening to know that there are pulpit pimps in Nigeria who engage in deception and exploitation under the guise of religion.

It is imperative that the Body of Christ improve its ability to differentiate between holy and unholy and sheep and wolves. Until then, whether in the United States, Nigeria or elsewhere, these pimps will continue to sport their “Maybachs and diamonds,” take “business” trips on private jets and evade their responsibility of relieving poverty and feeding the hungry.

True prosperity, as John Wesley once expressed about the use of money, is “living simple and giving so much to others during your life that when you die, you would have successfully given it all away.”

Anthony Jerrod is a bestselling author, speaker, and public policy expert.

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