What’s wrong with an overflowing Church? A mega-church? A Church packed with people dying to get in, queuing up for hours before the service starts just to get the best seat in the house? What’s wrong with prosperity pastors who are famous, wealthy and in demand? What’s wrong with prosperity pastors who author bestsellers in seasons and out and who own/earn royalties from their books, sells audio-tapes of their books, auctions movie rights to their books, and are paid ten of thousands of dollars for speaking about their books?
What’s wrong with pastors who have an entourage following them wherever they go and their members need to make an appointment days in advance with their secretary just to see them for a short while? What’s wrong with pastors whose fans hail from different parts of the world, all waiting eagerly to seek their advice, their counsel, their wisdom and their endorsement? What’s wrong with pastors who preach to tens of thousands and can’t stop their listeners from giving to them their money, time and attention because they all believe that they are the one true emissary of Christ and trust them completely with how they would spend the money given to them – no questions asked? For don’t they give out of love in what is affectionately called love gifts?
What’s wrong with pastors who look the part, play the part and act the part on stage with all the trappings of a modern day Joshua who proclaims that the day of the Lord is here and roar with confidence, faith and hope? What’s wrong with pastors who own mansions not only in heaven, but on earth, and go for weekly spa and personal grooming just so that they could look presentable in front of their beloved congregation and on broadcasting networks syndicated all over the world?
What’s wrong with pastors whose congregation believe they are the key to all their theological quagmire, doubts, puzzles, doldrums, problems and agitations because they preach a God who loves unconditionally, forgives unreservedly, gives unceasingly and blesses over and above what they can ever imagine? What’s wrong with such leaders who live in unimaginable material comfort after experiencing a blessed breakthrough and now believe that prosperity is their birth right from God? And what’s wrong with pastors who travel either in a private jet own by their Church for their exclusive usage or flies business or first class because for them God’s elect don’t do economy?
What's wrong with pastors who are feared by their staff, who have the final word in everything from Church maintenance to budget allocation, and whose vision once articulated in pastoral meeting is fully endorsed by the Church without a single objection or a moment’s delay - dare they? What’s wrong with a Church led by such a visionary of God so claimed and believed by thousands as the leader who will show them the path to true and enduring transformation and sustaining prosperity regardless of background, context and station in life? What’s wrong with pastors who reveal divine revelations once in a while and their congregation treats them like edicts from God himself to be believed in whole - unquestioned?
Alas, what’s wrong with me asking what’s wrong with them? Am I nursing envy, stoking the fire of jealousy, and licking my own wounds of discontentment, inadequacies and disillusionment? Is it just me here? Or is there something more than me?
For how wrong can such a pastor be with his glib tongue, renown credentials, unmistakable stage presence, past records of worldwide evangelism and testimonies of signs and wonders following him wherever he goes? Shouldn’t God be proud of all his successes secured and the souls he had saved in His name and the membership he had gained in his Church? Shouldn’t God look down from Heaven and say that he is well pleased with such an accomplished son/daughter whose faith and works have not only astonished the world at large, but have even surprised those residing blissfully in the realm of the supernatural?
Surely, a leader of such earth-shattering influence has to be veritably anointed for such works and is wholly deserving of such fame, wealth, comfort, adulation, emulation, devotion, attention and unquestioned trust right? Surely, he is blessed by the divine hand and is thus living a smooth-sailing life of faith, hope and love that the majority can only hope to achieve in their lifetime, right? In other words, he or she has indeed created a utopian paradise on earth for himself or herself by spreading the word of God to all the four corners of the world.
Wouldn’t a life like this be what Jesus was talking about in that greater works than this shall he/she perform because the son has gone to be with the Father? What is therefore not to like, admire, emulate and desire when it comes to craving for such successes or unqualified anointing for oneself? And if actions speak louder than words, shouldn’t the deeds of such a man or woman be the Jericho chant that brings down the house? What can go wrong with such a leader whose every move is hotly anticipated and whose every word on stage or in print is clung on to with bated breath, mindless devotion and unquestioned authority?
Alas, the issue is not whether such a man (or woman) actually exists in our world. I am sure he exists and is presently thriving with his congregation feeding off from his hand of divine revelation and knowledge.
But the issue is this:-
“Should such a person exist, will he one day turn his attention to the one thing that is standing in his way towards believing in and achieving his own infallibility, and that one thing is the One whose name he has been invoking on stage, behind the pulpit, in the media and in print in order to arrive at where he is today?”
In other words, will a man (or woman) of such immense fame, riches and stardom kick away the proverbial ladder he once used to climb to the top since he has already arrived at the top and has no need for the ladder anymore?
God forbid that such a man (or woman) who once lived in complete dependence on God should now strive to compete with God in the secret chambers of his heart, and yet demonstrates projected humility as an outward expression in order to keep up with appearances or to milk the crowd at a time when he is inwardly nurturing a pride not unfamiliar to a particular angel who once fell because he had claimed equality with God. And the only problem with such a leader is that he may one day believe that he is no less than the God he once worshipped – if not greater. Cheerz.
PS:…mm…old habits die hard and old tale recycled ad infinitum. Haven’t we seen it all? What is ever new under the sun? The fall of men follows ever so closely at the heels of their meteoric rise. Just as Abe Lincoln has said it: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”