The Jesus Industry

Research says there are 700 million evangelical churches around the world growing rapidly. This means looking at your hood, close to 3 or 4 churches with blasting music and Friday keshas within 1 km perimeter from your house! In the name of the father, the Disciples of Christ are not just here to spread the word. Let me talk about salvation and church, it’s definitely interesting times to be alive. I am not referring to old age churches, but there is this new euphoria of serving God where the church is sanctified as a family business. A husband and wife formation where the father is a bishop, the wife is a spiritual leader and the son the pianists. This is interestingly not right, the new age churches, let me add “evangelical ministries” are peddlers, I will call them “influence peddlers” who give certain corrupt politicians spiritual legality.

Well, some atheists say the church is an Opium of the poor, they are right to some extent. I don’t support them either but we christians are allowing ourselves to be tagged by our action, by our appreciation of who gets to develop the church. The church has for some time now been on the edge of losing morals if that is not the case already. In this challenging economy, Christians are desperate for miracles hence pushing our tithe with the expectation that God will reward us with instant solutions to our trouble. Charismatics churches, on the other hand, seems to thrive even in tough economic times, with the vast of the population looking for jobs, financial breakthrough, and other special prayers, these are needs that the churches are faced with every day, the idea of business is to try an meet this needs. So they tailor specific products to lure consumers, before long we find ourselves looking for anointing oils, books, empowerment necklaces or rings, etc.   Before you know it, the Bishop is driving a V8, opened a junior preparatory school, has an apartment and is collecting rent.

They get filthy rich that they become arrogant in responses to media on explaining the churches source of wealth. They use God’s name to devour the poor of their hard-earned wealth in the name of  “Panda Mbegu” and this is after tithing! In my own opinion, an institution must have the structures and a formalized way of doing things, I serve in a church whose institution is rigid, the money collected goes through a channel and the pastor has a salary. I recently attended one church where the pastor’s wage is calculated every Sunday evening and the church gets to know of it. The treasurer goes, “Shalom brethren, last Sunday we collected 12000 as tithes, offertory, and mbegu! Our father was given 8000 and the rest was set aside for development”, the church clapped. To my host that’s accountability but I quickly recollect myself to understand that the treasurer, who is the pastor’s brother passed over the remaining balance to his Sister-in-law, who as the pastor’s wife and doubles up as the development chairperson.

Don’t blame this on their crafts, the rains started to beat us the day we refused to carry our Bibles to church, we wait on the pastor to read it for us. We concentrate on good worship and praise song rather than the word to the extent that a church without a keyboard in never recognized as one. We value beats as they relate to the social environment we visit frequently a day to or the night before the church day. We are okay with listening to preaching from one verse even if it’s taken out of context, we have no time to follow up with bible clubs and groups to get a full understanding, yes we are busy chasing the miracles of life. Technology has done its best but left unguarded, why say so, digitizing the Bible has resulted in many versions some which the national council of churches, I bet is not aware. Some versions are misquoted and could have additional chapters or books never heard of. To modern Christians and pastors, they are not afraid of using these gadgets in Church; they light up screens, project teachings and underneath the slides pass a constant reminder “Donations Accepted”

In a nutshell, take this home….Many upcoming evangelical churches are in business, they are like Ponzi schemes, they only sell hope and they are good at it. This is because many givers believe the possible rewards far outweigh their financial contributions.

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