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Monday, December 19, 2011

Of Spiritual Charlatans and Salvation - Stani

I came across this video today and got to thinking about how easy it is to deceive people in the name of religion. It got me thinking about who really will go to heaven, and even, is there a heaven? If there is a heaven, are these the kind of people who have being assured of a place, people like this pastor Oyedepo who, according to this video, is obviously a child molester and abuser? I mean I am not calling him a child molester or abuser, the video is.

There is something absolutely distasteful about how these so-called men of God take others and their feelings for granted. Here is a man who should know better, attacking a child in full view of thousands of people, yet the idiots are clapping and screaming praise the Lord. I have read the Bible over and over, and I still cannot find an example where Jesus got physical with anybody possessed of a demon or demons. Jesus never condemned anyone, yet here is this ‘man of God’ condemning somebody to ‘hellfire’ simply because he is too dense and illiterate to understand what the girl is saying.

People will always find something or someone to believe in. You just have to be charismatic enough to sway people and they will flock to you like bees to honey. This is just a first part in the whole ‘fleecing of the people’ process. Once some abracadabra miracle is thrown in, the sky is the limit for the pastor. There have always being allegations of how these ‘miracles’ are perpetrated. Someone, usually very close to the pastor and in his pay, always comes out to get ‘healing.’ For the people, it does not matter really that they are being hood-winked, they simply love it, for if they are being deceived in God’s name, surely He would welcome them into heaven with open arms?

A friend once came to me, when I still attended the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He told me that the pastor’s car got stolen and so the whole congregation has being ‘challenged’ indeed, mandated to contribute fifty Euros towards buying a new car for the pastor. I felt extremely disappointed when I heard this. So I asked him why I should donate this amount of money, does the pastor not have insurance? Why should I contribute a hard earned fifty Euros towards buying a new flashy car for the pastor, what if I gave this money to some charitable organization instead? My friend did not have an answer for me, he hemmed and hawed and the conversation ended there. By the way, my friend is a pastor now as well in the same church.

Becoming a pastor is now a career choice for some, with or without a calling. A frat brother of mine once told me, ‘ Omo, we for go join this pastor bandwagon O! Those boys, them they rake in money like no man’s business, come London make you see the kind cars them they drive.’ I replied that I did not have the calling and really did not want to deceive anybody in God’s name as I would be heaping condemnation on myself. His response was chilling. ‘Omo, leave that thing, the money too easy and we gat to pick from them people o!’ He is also some sort of pastor or elder in one of these churches now and it seems the pickings are really quite good.

I am not saying people should not be pastors, what I am sad about is the fact that they use their pastor or priestly cloaks to commit evil deeds and sometimes they get away with it. Priests in the Catholic Church spent years raping little boys and girls, sometimes peoples’ wives and when the allegations came out there seems to be no desire on the part of the Church to own up to the evil within or the cover-ups that accompanied those misdeeds. It is almost as if they are living in a planet different from ours and yes, more revelations are coming to light everyday. It is baffling, really, how grown men condescend to taking the innocence of so many and yet they stand on their altars of iniquity day in day out, pontificating about God’s love.

Some hide their predilections behind the cloak. They hoodwink others into believing that satisfying their (pastors’) weaknesses amounts to an open passport to heaven. So while some battle with their sexuality, others brazenly take matters in their own hands and satisfy their urges. I got nothing against anybody’s sexuality, it is a whatever-floats-your-boat world so anything goes. What makes me mad, however, is people wanting to eat their cake and have it. Take as an example, the Catholic Church stipulates that, as a priest, one should be celibate. People go into this knowing this rule, they also know what urges drive them and how hard it is to fight them, yet they go in and become priests. Well, we all know about the various scandals through the years. I believe there will be more revelations.

If those who preach ‘salvation’ and ‘heaven’ are themselves wreaking hell on earth, what hope then for us all? Some of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind have being perpetrated in the name of religion. Some other pastors allegedly live false lives while leading others to believe all is well in their homes. The amazing thing is that people still find it in their hearts to believe, sometimes believing with all their worldly possessions. No matter what allegations are made, people continue to believe blindly, almost as if they have come this far and only the end matters. The sad thing, however, is that in a lot of cases, the end involves penury for those who give and give and give. The pastors, on the other hand, smile all the way to the bank, with their collections of private jets and luxury cars.

So what then is this salvation? What is it all about? Is it about our souls and the need to go to heaven? Why must we be mean to one another to get there? Why allow charlatans to deceive us of our hard earned cash in order to be assured a place in heaven? Must we have the ear of a pastor before we can approach God? Why can’t we approach God on our own, after all, the pastors are human just like us and they make the same mistakes we make, so why do we place them on so high a pedestal that we end up trying to justify their evil ways when they show their true colors? Why allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that killing others will get us into heaven and into the arms of a number of virgins?  Questions, questions and more questions, no answers in sight.

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