Saturday, January 08, 2011

Mo' Cheddar

“There is no god like the throat: it demands sacrifices daily.” – The Tortoise

In our dear country, we are inundated everyday with messages from our pastors. These “men of God” declare that we must give, and give cheerfully “unto the Lord”. They teach their congregations that the more they give, the more blessings they shall receive from their “Father in heaven”. They then proceed to hold themselves out as living examples of the rewards of life in service to God.

And believe me, the life is very fucking good, what with the mansions, posh cars, and (more recently) private jets. Life couldn’t be sweeter for these men, and the sheep keep lining up to get fleeced. In a nation where the bulk of the national wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few government officials, where corruption is rife, and where the vast majority live in penury, one would think that it behoves church leaders to rail against the inherent immorality involved in stealing from the public to donate the money to God. Surely God is no fence, delighting in the receiving of stolen goods and, surely, God will strike down any who dares to offer Him a slice of criminal activity? Does God demand to “wet His beak”?

There was no equivocation in Exodus 20: 15, where God declares “Thou shalt not steal.” It is then difficult to imagine that a God who declared, expressly, that stealing is a grave offence to Him, condones the high elevation of corrupt men in His churches. Where are the messages from the pastors notifying those men who sit in the front rows of their churches that God will not accept donations sourced from theft? Where are the messages telling them that God does not support the theft of the will of voters via rigging? I dare one pastor to announce that any Senator seated in his church should kindly show himself the door, as God does not approve of men who steal from the public by awarding themselves ever larger salaries while their constituents go hungry and lack basic amenities. Will that ever happen? Fuck no. Where will the next private jet come from, if such a message is passed across? Or the next $4,000 suit, come to that?

Therefore, we must ask the question: if the God of the Bible does not support theft, and Nigerian pastors do, then which God, exactly, are they serving? In the midst of my musings on the subject, came news that Christ Embassy, one of the largest churches in Nigeria, actually charged people N1,000 to get into the premises for its Christmas services. And that, my friends, is the last fucking straw.

For too long most Nigerian churches, especially those of the Pentecostal bent, have marketed (no, that’s not a typo) themselves as venues of entertainment. The most common complaint about orthodox churches is that they are “boring”, hence the need for pastors possessing charisma and stage presence. For indeed, the pulpit is prop, a fixture, required only for the actor to have a place wherein to fix his other prop: his Bible, while he mesmerises his audience (yourselves) to part with their cash. And you lot are so completely in thrall, that when the pastor prays that God shall increase you as you increase the church, you thunder “Amen!” without pausing to consider that you’re praying that thieves shall continue to steal so they too may “increase” the church.

So, you guys keep on praying while around you your country goes to hell in a hand basket. After all, God will take care of everything for you as long as you remember to tithe, and sow seeds, pay your gate fees, and whatever the fuck else Pastor, sorry “Daddy” says you should do. “Daddy” does need that new Rolls Royce, doesn’t he? Imagine if he showed up to a pastors’ convention and he was the only one who didn’t have one? The shame! The humiliation! The embarrassment!

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...