For most of us, money is not easy to come by. Except you’re a Nigerian politician or a fraudster, every dime you make requires some effort. The hustle is hard and real especially in an economy like ours. That’s why money is popularly called ‘hard-earned’. And that’s why I’m concerned about how you spend that small coin you’ve toiled for. You can only spend that dough on something that should benefit you or the society at large.
In the previous article, I spoke about the unprofitability of investing your time, resources, and efforts in the celebrity pastors. Those churches are gigantic business empires with nothing to benefit you with. All they have for you is false hope and sweet-talking to encourage you to keep dropping more and more. As a nation, the rise of these pastors to global prominence has not benefitted us in any way. They’ve boasted of possessing supernatural powers but they’re yet to solve any of our problems or contributed anything of note to the society. Apart from organizing programs that cause traffic logjam on the major roads and even psychologically abusing the poor masses, there’s nothing to show for this immense investment by the Nigerian masses. I advised that people stop this wasteful venture and I promised to highlight other ways in which you can profitably invest. That’s a recap of the last article. Now we can continue.
These churches are a double whammy on you as a citizen. The kinky romance between religion and politics makes it that the politicians who embezzle public funds are some of the sponsors of these churches. At the last RCCG convention, a long list of eminent Nigerian politicians were in attendance, from Speaker of a House of Assembly, to the Vice-President of the country. And three years ago when the new RCCG 3 km × 3 km auditorium project was being launched, Daddy G.O. asked that those who wanted to donate ₦10m (approx. $50,000) and above should see his secretary. What sort of person donates such a gigantic amount to a church project? A regular citizen? No way! That has to be a mega rich politician. And the G.O. was to have them in a good number. That was why he requested that they saw his secretary specially. Here’s the double whammy: a politician robs you by embezzling funds that are supposed to improve your life, he drops part of the money in church, and you, whom have been robbed, also drop the little you have left in church. You can do better with your money!
“Here’s the double whammy: a politician robs you by embezzling funds that are supposed to improve your life, he drops part of the money in church, and you, whom have been robbed, also drop the little you have left in church. You can do better with your money!”
The following are six things you can spend your money for instead of spending it in church. I’ve arranged them in the order of importance. You can start from number one and as your level of financial buoyancy increases, you move to number two, and number three, etc. And I’m sure that except you’re Dangote or a Nigerian senator, by the time you get to number six, you won’t have anything left to drop in a mega church. To prevent the article from being too long, I’ve broken the write-up into two parts. This one is Part I and here, I will explore the first three things. The remaining three things will be discussed in Part II.
1 Kings 17:12-13 New Life Version (NLV)
12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread. I only have enough flour in the jar to fill a hand, and a little oil in the jar. See, I am gathering a few sticks so I may go in and make it ready for me and my son. Then we will eat it and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Have no fear. Go and do as you have said. But make me a little loaf of bread from it first, and bring it out to me. Then you may make one for yourself and for your son.’”
This scripture is the basis for these pastors asking you to take care of them and God’s business first before taking care of yourself. And there’s a supposed promise attached to it. That’s why you see people who haven’t taken care of their basic necessities going ahead to give the little they have in church — someone that’s about to be evicted from his rented apartment still keeping up with the church project vow and another one servicing debts still paying tithes. They’re just trying to put God first, aren’t they? I’ve been in church services where a congregant had only the transport fare that would take him back home in his pocket and he still ended up dropping it in the offering basket after being cajoled by the pastor. I’ve heard statements like ‘Even if you don’t have anything in your pocket right now, you can pledge in faith and God will honor that pledge.’ These fraudsters called pastors won’t stop to do anything just to milk you dry and dead.
You’ve been brainwashed that once you make money, you should set aside a part for God first. Wrong! You should be your own God. Don’t let anyone bamboozle you. My friend, if you work for your money, you can enjoy your money. Eat good food. Buy good clothes. Give yourself a nice treat once in a while. If you can afford a car, buy it. If you have a car, use it: don’t drop it for a pastor. Why should you contribute to the buying of a car for a pastor when you yourself haven’t owned a car? That nonsense can only happen in church! I’m sure your God won’t be angry with you if you spend some money on yourself.
2. Your Family and Friends
The above scripture encouraged the poor woman to put the man of God first before her son. Wrong! Spend your money on your family. If you still have parents, spend money on them. I know people whose parents are living in a mud house with a thatched roof in the village but they pay pledges towards the building of an ultramodern church auditorium in the city. You’re a modern day slave! I even learnt that some people who don’t know their parents’ birthdays, talk less of celebrating them, contributed towards the celebration of their pastor’s birthday in Dubai. You see ya life outside? Wickedness is what I call dropping tithes of ₦15,000 every month while your parents wallow in abject poverty. If you’re married, take care of your wife. Let her enjoy your money. Some of you are slaves to your pastor and your pastor’s wife: make your wife your own Mummy in the Lord! Simple. Spend your money on your children.
Let your siblings enjoy your money. Someone who was third of four children was the first one to get a good job. The three siblings who were graduates already hadn’t gotten a job. So he wanted to drop his first salary in church as a seed towards God opening doors for his siblings. Whatever that nonsense means. I advised him to give the money to one of his siblings instead. The salary was about ₦100,000 ($500). If he didn’t know what to do with it, I’m sure one of the siblings would be very happy to start a small business with that amount of money. The siblings didn’t need a pledge to God: they needed money. Simple. In case you don’t know what to do with that money and you want to go and drop it in church, remember that your friends and family can use that money for something tangible.
3. The Needy
The principle of social equity says you should stop dropping money in church. You’re a wicked person if you drop money in church. Simple! If you have any humanity left in you, you shouldn’t be dropping any money in church. You should give that money to the needy and the less privileged.
Giving in church is an act of worship to God? Let me concede that to you. I will indulge you by agreeing that you should worship God financially but I will show you a better worship. That money you plan to give in church? Package it and drop it in an orphanage. I’m sure God won’t be angry with you if you do that. Hypocrisy is what I call abandoning the needy people around you while dropping money in church. Inhumanity is what I call dropping a ₦10,000 building offering in church while closing your ears to a poor student’s cry for only ₦5,000 for school fees. Animalistic tendency is what I call dropping a thanksgiving offering to thank God that you’re alive when sick folks on the hospital beds can’t pay their hospital bills.
Social equity says if you have surplus money to spare, you should give to those that don’t have as much as you do, not the church. The church is never in need. How can you abandon your hungry neighbour and take your money to your pastor that wears a shimmering suit inside a luxurious air-conditioned auditorium? You have the needy people around you that you can bless for yourself. Calculate how much you’ve given in church (tithes, offerings, and levies) in the last one year and imagine giving all of that to the needy folks around you. How awesome it would’ve been! Now imagine if everybody else did the same thing! What a society we would’ve had! If everybody followed my advice, there would be very few or no poor persons around. Night vigils and prayer points would reduce and the mega churches would perhaps close down. Of course, they won’t want that, would they?
I do not drop money in church. I give my ‘tithes and offerings’ to the needy people around me (an example is what’s in the pictures above). I’ve not said this to boast. I just said it as an example.
“If everybody followed my advice, there would be very few or no poor persons around. Night vigils and prayer points would reduce and the mega churches would perhaps close down. Of course, they won’t want that, would they?”
Briefly, let’s look at why people find it easier to drop money in church but extremely difficult to give to the needy.
Why Do People Find it Easy to Drop Money in Church But Difficult to Give to the Needy?
Mr. Adebola earns a salary of ₦150,000. He drops ₦15,000 as tithes every month. Then he drops ₦500, or ₦1,000 in the offering envelope at every church service. He still fulfills pledges and vows and pays the monthly levy in his unit in the church. He has also offered to be one of the partners for the ministry perhaps by footing the bills for some other projects. That’s beside the prophet’s offering he gives the pastor and the occasional special thanksgiving offerings. So per month, he spends around ₦30,000 in church. And he does all that joyfully. No hassles.
Then he comes across Bimpe who needs ₦5,000 to pay her school fees or else she will be expelled. He also comes across Tayo that needs ₦15,000 to save his mother’s life in the hospital. Perhaps they are Mr. Adebola’s junior officers at work, or his neighbours or he just stumbles on them randomly. They’re not ushers or choristers in his church: he doesn’t even know if they’re Christians. But he easily turns them down. He doesn’t consider it imporatnt to help these people. Why does he find it very easy to drop all those monies in church but difficult to help Bimpe and Tayo? The answer is simple: people are morally bankrupt. They live by self-deception, deception by others or simple ignorance. That answer can be broken down to the following.
- They believe it’s better to give to God than to give to humans. But they don’t know that nobody gives to God really. If you drop money in church, you’ve only given to humans. Or did you see God receiving the money from you? Money is physical: God is nonphysical. Physical things are for physical entities like humans: God should be satisfied with nonphysical things and nonphysical things don’t include money.
- They believe giving to God has more rewards than giving to man. Well, if they were more developed philosophically, they would’ve known that the joy that results from helping a fellow physical human out of a problem is more than what can ever result from giving to nonphysical entities. The joy of fulfillment of being a useful member of the human family is indescribable. Only if they knew!
- In reality, God doesn’t provide for anybody’s needs. Someone may think that God has provided for his needs by sending a helper to him. Wrong! The so-called helper simply decided to be humane and help you financially. If he had chosen to drop the money in church instead, he wouldn’t have become a helper to you. If everybody chose to drop all their money in church, no helpers would exist on earth any more. If you prayed to God to raise helpers for you from now till eternity, nothing would happen. That prayer of yours gets answered because some people haven’t dropped all their money in church and thus, they still have something left to help you with. Think about that for a minute!
- Some Christians feel there’s nothing special in helping out the needy. After all, Muslims and other religious people give alms too. So they feel what sets them apart from the rest of the world is this special Kingdom of Christ that is unique to them. Their ‘Father’s House’ should be above nothing else, shouldn’t it? They have a special Lord called Jesus, who commanded them to build his kingdom and that calling is what puts them above the rest of the world. Well, I don’t need to comment on that. You should know how funny that sounds already. If you put a certain imaginary kingdom above the welfare of your fellow humans, you’re not different from Boko Haram that puts a certain kingdom above the welfare of fellow Nigerians. You would rather watch your fellow humans die of hunger and sickness than let your Lord’s Kingdom fail: the Boko Haram members would rather watch Nigerians die in bomb blasts than see their kingdom of the Islamic State fail in Nigeria.
- A pastor once said this: ‘Any money given to God in church always has blessings but giving to the needy may have negative consequences. Some people’s lives may not be a fertile ground and if you sow into their lives, your seed may decay. In fact, you can invite a spiritual attack into your life if you give to some people. You don’t know how they became poor, do you? Some beggars can even sap your destiny away as you’re giving them money. So you need to be spiritually sensitive to discern who to help and who not to help. I pray for you that another person’s problem won’t become yours in Jesus’ name!‘ Now, can you detect how nonsensical that sounds again? Anyway, for many years, Bill Gates has given donations totaling millions of dollars to poor people in Africa and the last time I checked, he’s yet to attract any negative energies! Enough said.
- People believe that if you don’t pay tithes, devourers will enter your life and giving to the needy around you won’t prevent devourers. By devourers, they mean frequent car problems, children’s sickness, hitting debts, etc. Well, Bill Gates doesn’t pay tithes and he doesn’t know what ‘devourer’ means. If your car is giving you frequent problems, it’s because the car or your mechanic needs to be changed. It has nothing to do with tithes. Haven’t you noticed that it’s only poor people like you that get threatened with the ‘devourer’ talk? There’s nothing like devourer, my friend. Give to the needy people around you.
“Haven’t you noticed that it’s only poor people like you that get threatened with the ‘devourer’ talk? There’s nothing like devourer, my friend. Give to the needy people around you.”
Let me stop here for now. Watch out for the remaining three things in part 2 of this write-up. I’m sure you have rebuttals to the things I’ve said here. Wait till part 2 where I will address some of your rebuttals.
To proceed to Part 2, click here.