I Have a Problem With ‘Church Folks’ 2

Church members worshiping.Image: Startup AFRICA In the first post, I talk about church leaders whose actions are questionable at best and downright manipulative at worst. Catch up in I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ‘CHURCH FOLKS’. In this one, I continue by listing the types of church members I have a problem with. Equally guilty are church members, followers, congregation or brethren; depending on how you want to see them. As with the church leaders, I also have a list.        1.     THE EVERY-THING-MY-PASTOR-SAYS-IS-TRUE CHURCH MEMBER: I know pastors are supposed to be truthful and speak revelation and rhema but many times, pastors are not right. Sometimes, it may be as a result of an interpretation based on personality or present circumstance. It is our duty to then allow the Holy Spirit to help us test everything we hear and thus, believe in. But no! Some church members do not agree with this! Whatevertheir blessed pastor/priest/prophet says is true, fact and the undoubted word of god! This is because many church members do not read the Bible themselves. If they did, they would easily see the flaws in some of the messages being delivered from podiums today. Reading the Bible alone is no guarantee that one would get good interpretations; that is where the Holy Spirit comes in. In place of the Holy Spirit, many people put their trust in their pastors. In many instances, it is not even the physical pastor; it may be a devotional, a gospel podcast or a message DVD. That is why a person would buy a sweat drenched handkerchief for blessings, or believe that an ‘anointing oil’ will keep demons away, or a ‘mantle’ will bring good luck, or that when your pastor tells you to take off your pants so he can rub your arse, you do so. That is why a pastor would slap a person allegedly possessed by demons and his church members would say ‘God told him to do so’. That is why a pastor would say a couple of bull crap and his members will believe that his sex scandal was not real. That is why a pastor will match make people who are not compatible and they will stay in a horrible marriage because ‘God said so’. Do some of these people even ask if God was consulted in any of these matters? If God even spoke at all?! But then again, why would they ask when they cannot, of their own accord, detect the voice of God in the storm, the raging winds, the tornado or the calm? In most of these cases, the pastor becomes a god to them; they just wouldn’t admit it. Enough time spent here. Time to move on to the next group.           2.     THE IT-IS-MY-JOB-TO-PROTECT-MY-PASTOR-FROM-ANY-AND-EVERY-CRITIQUE CHURCH MEMBER: I will like to tackle this group by saying that there is nothing wrong in defending your pastor. There is one catch though. So I will rephrase that statement. There is nothing wrong in defending your pastor, as long as you do not become mean! Recently, a pastor of one of the top churches in Abuja came under heavy criticism for receiving a gift of a luxurious 2015 Porsche. Many Nigerians were furious and trust me, I will be the first to say it wasn’t their business and some of the reasons for the angst were just petty. What I couldn’t stand was the number of his followers who made it a point of duty to be mean, deliberately insulting and super eager to put down anyone who so much as said anything about their darling pastor. I know a couple of his church members and the vitriol they spewed on my timeline was enough to make me ask if these were believers or a bunch of e-thugs! I was shocked at the language, at the pure venom and the bitterness that so called ‘Christians’ were pouring out. I was ashamed! Did these people think of what others would think of their ‘god’ after all the drama was done? In another instance, another pastor came under criticism for divorcing his wife who accused him of abuse. Church members were quick to relegate the wife to a place of disfavor while extolling their king to higher heights. The fierce way they defended their leader was enough to make me wonder. And with all the pedophilia drama rocking the Catholic Church, one would think that many priests would be held in less esteem but no! The word of the priest is law! And I have been to some Catholic churches and the way they welcome the priest to deliver mass is nothing short of worship. What is surprising though is that this defense strategy is only applied when church leaders are the ones been critiqued. When the insult is directed at Jesus Christ Himself or the faith which they profess, these people are usually mute. Now I am not advocating for a fight whenever the name of Jesus is dragged through the mud but if you listen to Christian apologetics like Ken Ham, Ravi Zacharias and even pastors like the Lindseys, you will see how to stand up for the faith you profess without being belittling, crude and deliberately mean. But then again, we aren’t talking about Jesus here; we are talking about dear darling church leaders.        3.   THE MY-CHURCH-IS-BETTER-THAN-YOURS CHURCH MEMBER: Aren’t you just tired of the condescending ways people talk about other church doctrines? The Catholic Church turn up their noses at everyone that is not Catholic. So do the Methodists, Adventists, Presbyterians, Protestants and Pentecostals. Even among each of these groups are divisions as wide as the Pacific Ocean. People who attend Oyedepo’s church think they are right and people who attend Chris’s church think they are better. Even in the Catholic Church, the charismatics disagree with lots of the catholic doctrine.  And every day, it is one fight or the other. I think many Christians forget the simple statement that

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