The Preacher Men Who Prey

Different parts of the world seem to understand and experience religion differently. In Western parts, it appears to be more about whole well-being, inner peace, self-esteem, being an asset to the larger society and being driven by purpose. But you see, in these parts, the major religious sects seem to be a lot more about grabbing what you can from God. Now. Because…. Hello! You deserve it! You are a regular Sunday, as well as mid-week (BONUS points) service attendee, even if you hurl insults at the raving mad Okada guy (and his ancestors) who seems to have no value for his life or yours as a matter of fact. You go to The Redeemed Camp every Monday; even Satan himself couldn’t stop you of he came up and stood in front of your gate. You pray more than the average Muslim every day, even though the rest of the day you’re gossiping about Brother Mike’s Friday night escapades with women in the service industry. But all that does not matter! We do what we think we need to do, to get what we want from God.

You see that is the problem. Why? Because of what is preached in these parts; prosperity. It is the main driving force of a multitude of the worshippers in Nigeria. Blame it on our socio-economy? Yes, that’s fair enough. But the point is that the average Nigerian today would do nearly anything to be wealthy… to drive fast cars, and spend lavishly, and basically act out all what he sees in Davido’s music videos. So can you blame a man or woman for this I-Gats-Make-Am attitude and this unshakable hope, when it is mostly preached to him or her?

This message is preached by people who are in a position to take advantage (and in many cases, do) of the vulnerability of millions of Nigerians who cannot and will not stop striving for a better life; by people who fill them with volumes of hope when the good intentions are not there; by people who encourage you to be a “cheerful giver” and promise a “bountiful flow of blessings from Above”, just so your tithes and offerings can fund lavish lifestyles. FOR HOW LONG WILL WE BE BLINDED BY RELIGION (NOT FAITH) IN THIS COUNTRY? Religious men and women mask themselves as people who truly care for us, care for our needs, are there to help us, but underneath it all, a lot of them are not sincere.

According to Mfonobong Nsehe, a blogger for Forbes business magazine, “Preaching is big business [in Nigeria]. It’s almost as profitable as the oil business.” Desperate, needy, result-seeking people constantly flock from near and far to churches, and camps, and conventions, to sleep on floors and sometimes go without food for a couple of days just to seek the faces of these ‘powerful men’. And what do they get? “We have Nigerians who are desperate, looking for solutions to their problems. They go to church for salvation, redemption and healing and pastors sometimes take advantage of them,” Mr Nsehe commented. In no way, am I suggesting that every pastor, bishop, or reverend or is ingenuine or out to benefit themselves; there are truly some respectable ones out there. BUT we need to beware. Even the Bible talks about “many coming in His [Jesus’] name.” Many leaders in churches are out to exploit – materially, and even physically in certain cases – those who truly do not know where else to turn. For a lot, satisfying their own desires is the main agenda (some even set up mini prison camps in the name of education). I believe the first step is opening our eyes to this reality and being wiser about the people we look up to and trust in. This does not mean distrusting them or criticising their every action; rather it means understanding that not every man who calls on the name of God is honest. Yes, they are there to help and guide people in the right direction, but we need to be less deceivable and more focused on the main reasons why we go there in the first place.
As my father says (at every opportunity he possibly can, to anyone who cares to engage him in a debate), “Church is a booming industry in this country”, and with our insatiable desire to be prosperous as a nation, I’m afraid of the effects this may have on millions of people. What do you think about this?
Am I the only one who feels this way about religious exploitation in Nigeria? Is there no way we can stop this?

There has to be a way to exercise faith with the right balance of consideration and restraint.

Photo credit: yourblackworld.net

36 Comments on The Preacher Men Who Prey
  • Sam Sizzle November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Let the insults from blind greedy religious hypocrites begin….

  • qaudron November 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I want to have a rant this morning and please allow me. Ditto to this article and i am sure there are a few people who will hare your views. I am going to generalise and please allow me, 9ja (including those in diaspora) see church as merely a building and social place anbd also a routine that must be done in order to achieve all we our hearts desires on earth. We have totally missed the point where church is the heart and body of christ, the focus is not on our prosperity, healing or child bearing, but on salvation, faith and prasing the lord. All other things as the bible says will be added on to you. have we wondered that the more churches spring up, the more marraiges are breaking, our young girls are getting into daylight prostitution at an ealry age, our young men have no discipline anymore and the get rich or die trying syndrome has enveloped our society. Do i blame the pastors, reverends, bishops, i dont think so. i blame us spritually lazy people who dont go to the source of our faith the Bible and rely on the word that comes out of a man like ourselves for our peace and happiness. We are a people suffering from poverty of the spirit and until we go back to the source and kneel at the feet of the man who died to make our lives worth living then we will continue to miss the point and be exploited by the so called “fake pastors”.

    • Purpleicious Babe November 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      A WELL Deserved ROUND OF APPLAUSE for your comment quardron….

      you said it the way I would say it….(beams). But wait, lol@ poverty spirit….. is there anything as such? i.e. poverty is a spirit?i thot it came with the situation of the country caused by humans. Does that mean riches is a spirit too? just curious.

      My thots are, how about people developing a relationship with God and reading their BIBLE to understand/see the treasures therein…. too lazy or too gullible? All I can say is, praying for riches, wealth etc is a selfish way of seeking God. God has blessed us with brains/talents/infact having a brain is being rich, some people dont have brains. I will say ask him to assist you to seek and find the hidden treasures or solution to the problems.. better to pray for direction and put in the efforts needed.

      I am not against going to men of God for prayers, am more of use your FAITH and never give up at the first hurdle or instance. Besides, there is a belief that sowing into a man of GOD will bring blessings upon people. I dont know oo butI believe in giving to the poor and the needy/charity. I also do not mind giving to the church as it needed to fund the upkeep. God did say bring tithes to my storehouse and see that I will not bless (book of Malachi 3:9). Now, this scripture has been misused and missexplained. God said blessings that your room will not be to contain it. I think we should ask ourselves what blessings God was referring to, is it material or is it physical/mental? I know am blessed, being able to do things without the aid of others is blessings so i dont know if it only material things we interpret as blessings? what about contentment, what about gratitude, what about the ability to put your mind to things and accomplish them are they not blessings?, having a great family support is a blessing, Protection nko, daily access to basic things such as clean food, water and clothes, healthy lives etc are they not blessings?

      well maybe it me sha am obviously living in cuckoo land. Need less to say, I feel for “humanity” and I keep thinking to myself JESUS would not do an inch even half of what some religious leaders are currently doing…. He said we should be aware of FEROCIOUS WOLVES who appear in sheep clothing (paraphrase)Matt 7: 15. He was KING, and lived like a poor dude(he had to reach to the average man/lead by exampes). He also mentioned how the widowers, poor people are him.. how many of us care about our neighbours basic amenities, eating, drinking? even the so called pastors?

      I pray I continue to do my little part.

      Growing up, My mum didnt go to church much, infact she is catholic (she pops into pentecoastal every now and then) but I have seen better examples of godliness from her than people that go to CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY/PENTECOSTAL and are deacons/pastors etc.

      God will judge by the works of our hands not the amount of time we go to church and bless pastors… its our hearts that matters the most.

      Having said that, I do advocate going to Church and being REAL(as it suppose to be a hospital for the needy, sick, oppressed etc). NOT PLAYING CHURCH or playing God…. not cool. xxx

      Overall, the post makes sense. I think prosperity, money, cars, houses, clothes, shoes, bags etc are OVERRATED in the very least (after all, the moth/thieves will steal them and you will find that it VANITY UPON Vanity). Prayer points like that, i am mute when its been said, cos I really dont need cars, a good environmentally car will do if possible. . People are dying of hunger each day, my heart goes out. Plus, they are alot of environmental issues more cars/pollution damaging the environment o jare (I studied green business as part of my degree).

      http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

      • Purpleicious Babe November 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

        ahhh (gasps)..BN that is ridiculous my comment is like a post on this topic… wow am scared of me..lol…

        but then again am random…

        but seriously that is a long comment… YIKES…

        http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

      • AA November 15, 2012 at 12:38 am

        You are so right. Why does blessings have to mean wealth? Why can’t it mean peace of mind, good health,God’s grace, etc? Why does everything boil down to money in this God forsaken country? Am sure that is not what the bible meant but we shallow minded naijas will read it as such

    • Purpleicious Babe November 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      pls post this comment not that LONG ONE..ABEG.. it scary..xxx

      A WELL Deserved ROUND OF APPLAUSE for your comment quardron….

      you said it the way I would say it….(beams). But wait, lol@ poverty spirit….. is there anything as such? i.e. poverty is a spirit?i thot it came with the situation of the country caused by humans. Does that mean riches is a spirit too? just curious.

      My thots are, how about people developing a relationship with God and reading their BIBLE to understand/see the treasures therein…. too lazy or too gullible? All I can say is, praying for riches, wealth etc is a selfish way of seeking God. God has blessed us with brains/talents/infact having a brain is being rich, some people dont have brains. I will say ask him to assist you to seek and find the hidden treasures or solution to the problems.. better to pray for direction and put in the efforts needed.

      I am not against going to men of God for prayers, am more of use your FAITH and never give up at the first hurdle or instance. Besides, there is a belief that sowing into a man of GOD will bring blessings upon people. I dont know oo butI believe in giving to the poor and the needy/charity. I also do not mind giving to the church as it needed to fund the upkeep. God did say bring tithes to my storehouse and see that I will not bless (book of Malachi 3:9). Now, this scripture has been misused and missexplained. God said blessings that your room will not be to contain it. I think we should ask ourselves what blessings God was referring to, is it material or is it physical/mental? I know am blessed, being able to do things without the aid of others is blessings so i dont know if it only material things we interpret as blessings? what about contentment, what about gratitude, what about the ability to put your mind to things and accomplish them are they not blessings?, having a great family support is a blessing, Protection nko, daily access to basic things such as clean food, water and clothes, healthy lives etc are they not blessings?

      http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Anita… November 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    This article is fantastic.It totally highlights all my personal feelings on religion as practiced in Naija…..Karl Marx was refering to d citizens of this country when he said “religion is the opium of the pple”….

  • chinco November 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Love love love this article!!! My thoughts exactly (in one too many words, lol). They say sex sells but I believe hope sells more (in this part of the world). Most of us are guilty of what has been mentioned in one way or the other, let’s all try to stay focused on God

  • Miss T November 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Ok I agree with most part of this article especially regarding most of these preachers who preach prosperity but people arent brain washed to attend these worship centers. They go of their own free will and should know when to run if the wrong message is always preached. Regarding the schools being mini prison, well I beg to disagree on this(my own opinino sha) though I dont know the situation of things in these schools in naija right now but a few years ago,I attended one of these schools and you will be suprised that some people are actually transformed to better people charcter wise and even spiritualy. Coming from a federal institution,I though it was prison as well but considering that it was the days when Nigerians spent several years in fed unis some of us had to endure and in no time got used to the way of life and to be honest I dint see it as a prison though I hated a few rules that were imposed. The bottom line here is that people who attend churches that only preach about prosperity should know better and leave.To be honest,I find it funny when people say they used public funds for offering and tithe. What were they thinking? You steal to give to the church or to God? Abeg ………
    People if you want to give your pastor gifts thats different but allowing someone brain wash you? NO ….WAKE UP

  • Miss T November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Lol at you go to redeem camp monday and spend the rest of the week gossiping……

  • deedee November 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    God bless BN for posting this article, i have a lot to say. First of all i agree with quadron.Alot of Nigerians Have been preys to all this kind of preachers, the ones that want to and the ones who are truely innocen. My mum consults all her pastors even before she sneezes, coughs or does anything. She falls ill often and i know all my siblings know it was because she is overweight but her pastors tell her it is an attack so instead of addressing the issue she sends money to them to pray. They call her and tell her they have some bad dreams bout bad tins to come that they need to pray and she sends them more money. My siblings and i are tired of talking so we have left her. I am to get married in January but her pastor thinks my man is not the one(what is the meaning f that crap) so shes giving me trouble. When i had issues in any relationship i entered(with supposed born agains) my friend took me to a prophet who wanted to sleep with me. My sis lost her hubby when she was bout to remarry the pastor assigned to her for marriage counselling wanted some. See the list is long. Seems many of them are just out to exploit members. If they preach love and holiness we wont have half the problems we have in the Nigerian society(hate,corruption,killings) because a lot of Nigerians go to church at least thrice a week so if only they ll hear the truth that God is our goal, and that the blessings we recieve are a bonus.

  • nita November 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I love this article…I am wiser now no Preacher can decieve me anymore.

  • Dem November 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    WELL DONE BEZ!! I agree totally with your sentiments!! xx

  • Mana November 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    “Preaching is big business [in Nigeria]. It’s almost as profitable as the oil business.”
    I think preaching is truely a big business.

    http://www.finest-in-internet.com/

  • AWEsome November 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The bible says looking onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. The problem is NOT the churches or pastors. We are our problems, most Nigerians look at their pastors as the author and finisher of their faiths. Its not supposed to be! A man of God once said that the problem with men of God is that they are also humans, they face temptations like we do. God does not get tempted!! that is why we need to trust him, not our pastors no matter how holy and close to God they seem. So many Christians today do not know anything about God by themselves. It is what pastor so so so said we know. Recently i started reading the New testament(especially Paul’s letters) and i kept saying wow wow wow!!, for real? we can avoid all these vipers in sheep’s clothing if we try to discover God for ourselves, Nobody can deceive you.

  • Anne November 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    firstly, this article reflects the TRUTH.
    secondly, we need to read our Bible by our selves rather than depending on someone not saying it is bad but “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

  • Lilz November 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    anybody can take me up on this but this is the most ignorant piece I’ve read on BN. #FULLSTOP

    • iCROSSmyHeart November 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      How is it ignorant? The article reflects the state of religion in Nigeria today. Christians, or most Christians shove down their truths on anyone who cares to listen. The most judgmental group of people I have encountered in my life are RELIGIOUS NIGERIANS, specifically Christians, particularly PENTECOSTALS.

      I have concluded that most CHRISTIAN PASTORS IN NIGERIA ARE ATHEISTS. WHY? Because they want to assume God’s position. They judge. They tell you this and that and do so with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY. If you believe in God, you will surrender ALL powers to God. But if you assume the position of God, then you are emphasizing that He does not exist. Of course, this is my position.

  • a ipade November 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Reading through all the comments( na wa ooooo) . Things are happening in this country,church is a booming industry indeed with all sorts going on in there with no one to query activities there.
    Its a choice if you choose not to be wise, the bible is there for us all to read so for people to turn their pastors to their gods is their choice.

  • missy November 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Extremisim isnt only about burning and killing people. It is Myopia. It exists in every religion. It manifests either as Lilz’s comment or as Boko Haram.

  • Aibee November 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I totally agree with this Article. People rush to church for miracles and not for the love of God. Practically every message you hear in church these days is now painted over with prosperity, progress and advancement. The simple gospel of Christ died for sinners, to redeem us fro m our sin and to reconcile us back to God has now become Christ died so that you can have ALL things here on earth. Some pastors have even taken the position of God and stand on the altar to issue decrees. The other day one Pastor said any Worker in the church who commits fornication or adultery since the day he resumed in that Parish/Zone will lose his/her firstborn to death. As in, ehn.

    We need to find God, he is not far from us oh. Simple.

  • Diva November 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    @ SAM SIZZLE…Why so pained? is your dad or mum a pastor??? oh or let me guess…You’re an aspiring pastor…bwuhahaha

  • Diva November 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Its just so sad how people take advantage of others, especially in the house of God. Nobody is judging these men of God but most people commenting are stating the obvious. We are all church goers and we know what we see. Some churches call for offerings to be made more than once- milking an already hungry congregation of their last kobo. Some people give to the church and go hungry- their kids trek and strave. These pastors ride in range rovers and fly private jets. The bible says Judgment will begin with the churches. Its so bad that some pastors go online and copy sermons from pastors in other countries and preach word for word- WITHOUT SHAME. God help us all. Those who know their God will do exploits oh….NOT BE EXPLOITED.

  • Diva November 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Starve*

  • Chattyzee November 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm
  • Kunmi Omisore November 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you so much. For all your comments. :)

  • Teris November 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    these “preacher men” are selling a very in-demand product.
    it’s called “hope”. in this hopeless wilderness called Nigeria.
    …where, half the time, you can’t believe the -ish that comes out of mouths of those we call leaders…
    this same naija where even parents are now more than willing to cut corners when it comes to their kids’ education and buy their way into (med)school. where anything goes if you have enuf gra-gra to insist.

    frankly, beyond highlighting the fact that “a fool and his money are easily parted”, i hear no solutions? shud we beg the “bad” preacher men to stop? shud we make a shortlist of the “good” preacher men? shud the govt. set up a panel to licence preachers who conform to some arbitrary code? shud we turn to marxism or something and outlaw religion? (hey, there’s a thot!)

    waking up at 4a.m. and driving past some slums in Gidi is just disheartening. and the fragile balance of peace we commute in everyday is running on hope. until a grassroot solution evolves, this sort of article and that of Femke van Zeijl will just be the thing for an enthusiastic “LIKE”.

  • Teris November 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    now, about that article on facials…

  • Motunrayo November 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I completely agree with this article. I am a pastor’s daughter and so have lived my life in the “Nigerian” church system. I have seen first hand the kinds of nonsense that happens in churches and trust me, it is not pretty. It took rebelling and finding God myself for me to actually become a true christian. I now attend a church that preaches basically the things I believe Christ came to earth for, holiness, love and making heaven, and I have never been more fulfilled in my life.

    There is a need for cultural changes for us to get anywhere in Nigeria. For example, I recently got engaged to a wonderful man, and my mother took it upon herself to go to another man of God to pray and find out if he’s the right one. Are you kidding me? I gave her a piece of my mind, let her know that all she was doing is substituting a babalawo for a pastor, imagine o, and she’s a pastor’s wife for that matter. After all in their days, they went to meet these seers to find out about such cases too, all we have done is continue in our ways but now it has a facade of holiness. It was after I said these things that she thought about it and realized that I was right.

    We should learn to speak to God ourselves and not let one pastor or the other rule our lives. God is not elusive to those who seek Him, if you’re a true Christian then He will speak to you.

    • liily November 15, 2012 at 2:13 am

      GBAM!!! GBAM!!!! GBAM!!!!!!! Chei….you just spoke my mind. In fact I need to HUG you. Our church system in Nigeria baffles me even here in America the Nigerian churches are worst. I go to a Bible believing Christian University and I have to tell you it is one of the BEST things that has ever happened to me because they thought us everything about the Bible. How to interpret the Bible using historical and literary context. The teachings were so deep that it made me do more research on the Bible. The truth is that majority of the Nigerian pastor “TWIST” the Word of God to fulfill their selfish desires. And I hate when they try to relate something and it doesn’t correspond to what the Bible says. The thing is that if we should align ourselves to God and be obedient and submissive to Him trust me He will reveal things to you. the Bible says He has given us the Holy Spirit so that Holy Spirit will direct and lead us. Also God has given everyone different gifts of the spirit. The reason why we these “so-called pastors” deceive themselves and people is that people are not willing to be submissive and obedient to our Maker and rely solely on Him.
      Another reason is that people “worship” these pastors and believes everything that they say(Please NOTE: I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe pastors BUT not ALL OF THEM Also NOTE: One should be able to know when they are speaking the truth and the ONLY way you can know is when you read and research your Bible Vigorously, when you are spiritually alert (this requires your heart being in total submission to God and that’s when the Holy Spirit feeds you and reveal things to you. NOTE: THAT YOU GO TO CHURCH EVERYDAY, OR YOUR PARENTS ARE PASTORS ETC DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU ARE SPIRITUAL.) and having discernment spirit(which is so crucial). Finally, the reason is that people are too LAZY to read their Bible. Let’s be honest when was the last time you read your Bible on your own (i’m not talking about reading your Bible when you go to church oh!). I mean when did you research things in the Bible to see if what is being said is true (now don’t get me wrong the BIBLE IS TRUE). Most people (especially in Nigeria) follow the christian faith “blindly”. Yes! I said “blindly”. the reason I said this is because we are thought from when we are born that the Bible says this and that and the meaning to the bible verse is this and that. And we fail to actually reason and search the scriptures if it is true. majority of the time our parents and pastors are wrong. For instances the Bible says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 . This I find the most interpreted verse from pastors and even non-pastors. This Bible verse is often used to cheer people it up. This Bible verse should cheer you up but not necessarily in the way people usually say. It is usually used to say “don’t worry, everything will be fine.” What this Bible verse really means is, “don’t worry, everything will be the way God wants it to be.” Unfortunately, what God wants isn’t always going to be something that is necessarily fine in your opinion.
      Cheers,
      Lilly.

  • Mma November 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm
  • Lapeju November 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    They don’t even preach about The Second Coming Of Christ or “The End Time” anymore….All they do now is organize all manners of Jamboree(Jeans carnival praise nite, suya with the king etc) I fear for these ‘shepherds and d blinded sheep running to them. Lord have mercy!

  • NNENNE November 15, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Nice article and I am with you all the way! How do explain the fact that Nigeria has the most church going people and Moslem extremists, yet, one of the most corrupt country in the world?

  • new bride November 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

    ‘Seek ye frist the kingdom of God and everything else shall be added unto you’

    That is the scripture I strive to live by. I strongly encourage everyone to do the same.

    there’s nothing you want in this life that God cannot provide, get to know Him, develop a relationship with Him and everything you want and need in life will be yours.

    May God help us all!

  • iamfascinating November 19, 2012 at 4:47 am
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