A German-made, shiny Mercedes cruises by and the driver, who would pass for an oil tycoon (expensive clothes, gold chain around his neck, gold watch on his wrist…) disembarks.
My friends intimates that the man is a pastor who lives in an expensive mansion in a posh suburb of town.
This scenario has become commonplace in most parts of the world. Pastors, who are supposedly keepers of the moral torch, have become petty beacons of conspicuous consumption whose mission is to drum into the skulls of their parishioners; the capitalist pursuit of wealth accumulation above all else.
Many of these “men of God” are known to bully their gullible “sheep” into tithing more in order for them to purportedly receive more blessings (euphemism for material riches). However, the subtext in that sermon is simply:”Give more to my church for me to satiate my voracious, kingly lifestyle”.
I was made to believe that the bedrock of religion is humility; to serve others without as much as expecting anything in return and to lead an exemplary life of steadfast integrity; but no; today pastors own expensive jets and multiple mansions in different cities and have bank accounts bursting at the seams. And strangely, being good sophists that they are, can always explain all that wealth accumulation enterprise to the giving congregation with that convenient verse plucked from the “holy book of scriptures”. How nice!
Their tangible assets are employed in spurring on their members to attend church with atrophying regularity and to donate more to the “house of God” (what the hell does that even mean about a simple building whose only distinction from others is a spire?).
It is sickening when the poor, misled and abused people who live in ghettoes in a poor neighbourhood part with their last dollar to give to some guy who lives several kilometres away from them in some leafy suburb.
I had an interesting interaction with one lady who frequents one of these franchise churches and had the liberty of asking her what happens to the money collected in church. Her response was that the money is deposited in a bank account which is solely administered by the pastor who lives in a fine suburb in another town hundreds of kilometres away and if their local branch needs some money they will request the pastor to assist them with such.
It is not right when people (pastors) use the dirty tricks rooted in christianism to con others out of their money by coercing them to buy “blessings”, “eternal salvation” (what?), “going to heaven”…
People are being abused with the force of occult mystery (things one is unable to cipher or see) and the promise of salvation from the crucible of hell.
Even if I was one of “sheep” would I want to “live forever in heaven next to Jesus”? Hell no! Who wants to live forever anyway?
Religion has become corrupt and commercialised and pastors are reaping the rewards by peddling all manner of religious paraphernalia:anointed water, pens, t-shirts, leaflets, handkerchiefs, oil and…
Who then would fault me for holding religion in sheer disdain?