PASTORAL JETS AND THE PROSPERITY MESSAGE

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

The time to take an analytical and sober look has come. Sentiment must not be allowed to replace reality and emotion must not be a substitute for the truth. -Gani Fawehinmi

There has been a lot of brouhaha and hullabaloo in the polity for some time caused by the prosperity message and the acquisition of private jets by some clerics in the country. The time has come to take a practical and objective look at the issues raised.

Unfortunately today a lot of people believe Jesus Christ was poor and pastors are supposed to be poor. Nothing can be farther from the truth than these assertions. Jesus Christ never lacked a day in his entire life on planet earth. The essence of Christianity is to follow in the footsteps of Christ. One of the virtues that Christ espoused was humility and I strongly believe it necessitated the circumstances surrounding his birth. Jesus was born in the manger not because the parents could not afford to take him to the hospital but because there was no space.

Remember what happened to Judas Iscariot who infamously betrayed Jesus; Judas was the treasurer and as a matter of fact Judas had access to a lot of money that’s why his dubious ways was not discovered early. Jesus made it clear there will always be poor people amongst us but him no way. He clearly distanced himself from poverty: hence it is funny to see why people want to put a poverty tag on him.(Mark 14:7)

Are there quacks in the church? YES there are because it’s the same people out there that go into the church. Angels don’t leave their homes to go to the church to worship. People like you and I visit the church to worship God. If you are a sincere the first thing you,ll admit is your imperfection. No one is perfect and it’s the same set of imperfect people that visit the church. The pastor on the pulpit no doubt is expected to raise the bar and act as a role model but this is seldom the case because there are quacks in every profession. If there is an Original there will be an imitation or a substandard product out there. Do we throw away the baby with the bath water? Your guess is as good as mine.

There are countless scriptures in support of prosperity in the holy book. I will not go into that now. There are two categories of people in the ongoing debate about divine prosperity, the Ignorant folks and the sentimental folks. Even Atheist have joined the debate as to the things of God. It is a funny scenario we have in Nigeria today. Some of the comments only show the level of gross ignorance at play in our society today. The bible makes it pretty clear the things of the spirit can only be spiritually discerned but unfortunately people who don’t know the bible are the ones trying to enlighten us in this debate.

What is wrong in a minister acquiring a private jet for the furtherance of the gospel? Some of the arguments are funny to say the least: one of the criticism is premised on the level of poverty in the churches or to put it succinctly the members are poor. While I won’t deny some shepherds are fleecing their sheeps but the last time I checked their legs were not chained to the chairs in the church. There are so many cases as where so many came into the church poor but listened to sound biblical principles of financial prosperity and today they are prosperous.
Another school of thought believes Jesus never used a jet but rode on a camel and utilized a boat. Please don’t make me laugh, was there a jet 2,000 years ago? Was there even okada? If there was a Jet Jesus would have bought one because he had partners in the ministry as well. Jesus Christ was limited in his days, one of the reasons the Holy Ghost came to fill all men and be everywhere at the same time.

A greater percentage of the so called poor members came into the church poor but suddenly the pastor has a duty to ensure all the members are rich before he can preach the gospel. Do you really think everyone will be rich? A number of factors are needed to be prosperous; that is not the intent of this piece. Have you forgotten it’s the same people out there with bad characters and attitudes who go into the church. You must believe everyone in the church is upright.

There are also suggestions in some quarters that missionary institutions should be affordable for all the members to attend. It’s a funny scenario again because the best schools in the world today are arguably the most expensive. Look at the Catholic institution for example with about 7,000 schools in the United States alone. You really think they are free? Please do a little research to know the fees charged. You may like to go to the hospitals and other institutions of the Catholic Church. Please let me know how affordable they are or perhaps free. Please do not get it twisted, I love the catholic institution and I am confident that the catholic church will not be where it is today in terms of influence but for the institutions amongst them centers of learning all over the world. Sentiment has beclouded our judgement: we want good schools but we want free schools.

I am not in support of borrowing money to acquire a private jet for the furtherance of the gospel. If the church doesn’t need a Jet, the planes are there for utilization. But I am aware of the itineraries of some of our father’s in the faith today and I don’t think any airline is reliable to offer those services.The impact of the church is been downplayed in this drama: One of the largest consignment Liberia got from Nigeria during her crisis came from Winners Chapel international. Also I’ll love you to make an inquiry of what Winners Chapel gave to support the victims of the blast at ikeja cantonment. I am not oblivious that other churches made generous contributions but I cannot give you facts or figures. There are so many scholarship schemes and lovely projects by the church today but the devil has blinded people to all.

I know of men of God who don’t receive salaries but God is blessing his own because they are impacting lives. This is a discussion for another day. It has also been said in some quarters that the pope and the queen of England hires planes for their duties. With all due respect, some of the men of God in Nigeria today travel than the pope and the queen of England.

Why is it okay for Dangote, Donald trump and Jimoh Ibrahim to own private Jets? Why is it okay for unscrupulous elements like some politicians, atheist, footballers and… to acquire private Jets? Oh Ok I guess because they used their ‘personal funds’ and not that of the church. Do we begin to compare these men with servants of the most high God? God forbid!

There are men of God who have pitted their tents with the ignorant folks out there: A good understanding of the creator tells you God respects your ignorance. A man could have faith for healing but not for financial prosperity. God respects and loves everyone all the same. Please let all continue to abide in the same calling and not take on what they don’t understand.

I have not scratched the surface on this debate courtesy of my very busy schedule especially of late, but I am hopeful that commonsense will prevail in the land. Judgement will spring up from the house of God to weed the evil ones; it will not emanate from Atheist and those who don’t know anything about the bible.