At the look of things, most of these pastors have more urgent things to do than preaching the word of God. Christianity in Africa today seems to be the most flourishing business in the continent. It is easy to start, no taxes in most cases and the availability of a ready client base (believers) makes it easier. Today, the primary aim of most men of God is gathering the highest number of followers, not necessarily to preach heaven and the second coming of Christ but prosperity and wealth.
WHAT MAKES AFRICAN PASTORS BUSINESSMEN?
The most common aspect that proves that African pastors are businessmen is that fact that they produce and sell “anointed products” to their followers. Some of these products are anointed water, salt, oil, bracelets, stickers, handkerchiefs and other weird things. Most of these pastors write prayer and deliverance books and sell. Others levy counselling fees for Christians who come to seek advice or counselling.
The lavish and extravagant lifestyle some of these pastors live is a clear proof that they are more of businessmen that men of God. Some of these men of God are worth 150 million dollars. Others own private jets, luxurious cars, live in mansions and wear only designer suits and shoes. They send their children to the best schools in the world. Where does this wealth come from? Mostly from Christians’ contributions and the numerous seeds that are sown in these churches. Funny enough, their church members live very poor and miserable lives.
They sell faith. African pastors are experts in selling faith. They incite Christians to sow “seeds” in order to receive blessings. They mostly take advantage of the desperation of Africans by telling them exactly what to hear. They prophesy marriage to the single men and women, new jobs for jobless youths, visas for those who apply for them, health for the sick and riches for the poor. Christians become motivated by these promises because the hope to see a change in their situations. As a result, they do all they can to sow their seeds, which are always in the form of money.
African pastors preach only the prosperity gospel. It is well known that to be able to make heaven, we all have to carry our crosses and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. The cross is considered as a symbol of the challenges Christians face daily. Instead of emphasizing on this aspect, preachers tell Christians that suffering does not exist in heaven so there is no need to suffer on earth. Instead, African shout amen every time a pastor shouts “money is your portion in Jesus’ name”. The question is where is the money going to come from, when instead of investing the little they have in a business, the give it to their pastors in form of seeds hoping to multiply them faster “spiritually”.
Most African Christians are miracle chasers. They flock behind the prophets who are able to perform these miracles. The source of their power is not a problem for their followers. This is the reason why deliverance services are usually packed full with Christians hoping to see a miracle or have one performed on them. As a result, they are ready to pay any amount of money just to see this happen.
ARE THERE STILL REAL PASTOR’S SERVANT OF GOD IN AFRICA?
Despite the fact that Africa is littered with fake pastors who make their followers eat grass, drink petrol, come to church without under wears, others use their Christians like floor mats and chairs, there are still a few who preach the gospel of Christ.
They do not preach the gospel of prosperity but that of holiness and encourage their Christians to walk through the path that Jesus laid out for the world to follow. They teach by example, by living a simple and modest life. The real men of God do not capitalize on seeds and donations to the church. They are more interested in leading their Christians to heaven.
The desperation and laziness of Africans are the main driving forces behind the success of these pastors turned business men. Africans need to wake up and understand that shouting “amen” and “I receive” does not make their lives better in anyway. They need to work hard for it to happen and be able to see the fake prophets and preachers predicted in the bible.
AFRIC Editorial Article.