THE VOICES OF THE FINANCIALLY ABUSED MUST NOT GO UNHEARD
Deliver yourself from slavery. Break loose from deception. Set yourself free from damage and abuse. The financial extortion of millions of Christians is what led to the over-emphasis on tithes and offering which is currently being challenged by some believers who are against deception in the Church.
Some abusive pastors and church leaders have taken this matter of financial extortion to the next level. They use every avenue to harvest money from poor members. Every opportunity to tax people and to take money from them is not missed. During Sunday services, offerings are given up to five times. The emphasis on offering is so much that you would think that is all you went to the church to do.
Apart from this, the doctrinal error of seeds is used to exploit people. Now, people give all sorts of financial seeds to try to move God. They think that at the sound of money in the offering plate, God will be convinced to act as an assassin. In fact, the reason many give money to God is to convince him to kill their enemies. Do you think this has anything to do with Christianity and with Christ? Yet, this is the most popular form of Christianity that is being practiced by my people in Nigeria and Africa and around the world. It is completely shameful.
Recently, someone told me how they are asked to give the eleventh-hour seed in their church which means that they have to give all of their November salary to the church. Apart from this, they also practice the Alpha and Omega seed, which means parting away with all of their January and December salaries as well. That is already three months’ salary in a year given to the church. This is financial extortion right there. That is an abuse. That is robbery.
If you are giving money to anyone in order to induce God, you have been robbed. You have been abused. The Church was set up to take care of you, to take care of your needs, to see to your welfare, to enjoy the comfort and fellowship of others. The Church was not set up to extort you or damage you. It is painful that all these extortions going on by churches in Africa does not spare the widows and the weak, in fact, most times, it is targeted at the most vulnerable of people.
A widow said that shortly after her husband died, she was left with so much financial burden to bear including the huge debts that the man left behind. At the time, she had only four hundred thousand Naira with her. Her Pastor kept saying to her that ‘if what you have is not enough for what you want to do, then it is a seed, sow it’. She obeyed. She gave all the money to the church. She sank deeper into debts. She could not pay for anything. The Church did not come to her rescue and left her all alone to burn in the sun of debts. This is wickedness.
Such a Pastor ought to have been arrested long ago. That is the abuse that is going on. These things ought not to be tolerated in a sane society. I wonder if there is no one in the entire country, not one group of people that can fight for justice and the right of these weak and oppressed church members. Perhaps, you can use your gifts, your profession, or your talents to fight for the course and rights of people who have been maltreated in this form. We should not allow this to continue. We should get justice for our people who have been abused and damaged by religion.
Students have been robbed of their school fees by pastors in the name of sowing seeds. These things seem unbelievable, but are very true. Members are extorted because of their pastor’s birthdays. It is now customary to buy a new car for a pastor every year to celebrate his birthday. Some buy lands, some by jets. While it is good to honor your pastor, you should not be forced or extorted to bring money. You are being damaged and abused.
The greater percentage of Nigerian churches today are guilty of abusing their members financially. They are guilty of robbery and extortions. They are guilty of defrauding widows and the poor. They are guilty of taking from those that they ought to give to. They are guilty of harassing the weak and stepping on those who can’t help themselves. Yet they take glory in these things. They take glory in their vanity. They glory in the abuse and shame that they cause.
God has heard the cry of the oppressed. It is for such people that I wrote this article and furthermore a book. Their voice must not go unheard. We must rise up for the weak among us who are being extorted and defrauded in the name of God. Extortionists must not be allowed behind our pulpits. We must not condone them in our society. It is time to show them the way out of town.
To be continued Tomorrow, don’t miss it.
Excerpts from the Book “Damaged By religion, Path To Healing”. #DSABOOKS
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.