.’.She says they expected both congregants and local pastors at her former church to give a “tithe” of 10% of their monthly income to finance the church and its leadership in Nigeria. And that was besides what was called “first fruit” – their entire pay packet of the first month of the year‘.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
THe abysmal lack of knowledge of God and his grace as portrayed by some only shows the church of God still has a long way to preach the gospel. Here is a pitiable story:Evarline Okello breaks down in tears as she tells me she is hundreds of dollars in debt, after paying a pastor to pray for her.
She lives in a tiny shack in Kibera, a vast slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and can no longer provide for her four children.
Ms Okello hasn’t earned anything for months, she tells me as we talk on the telephone. So when she heard about a pastor whose prayers could make life better, she wanted to see him. He asked her for $115 (£96; 15,000 Kenyan shillings).This is known as a “seed offering”: a financial contribution to a religious leader, with a specific outcome in mind.Ms Okello borrowed the money from a friend, who took out a loan on her behalf. She had been told this pastor’s prayers were so powerful that she would see a return on her money within a week.But the miracle never came. In fact things got even worse, [/b]she says. The loan her friend took out has ballooned due to unpaid interest. She now owes more than $300, and has no idea how she’ll pay it back. Her friend has stopped talking to her, and she still has no job.”Things have become so difficult I have lost all hope,” she says..cost-of-living crisis. Food prices rose by almost 16% in the 12 months before September 2022This has increased their desire for supernatural solutions, she says, and [i]many are now willing to pay for a miracl[/i]e, even if they have to borrow the money.
“People are being told that God doesn’t want them to remain poor. So they plant a seed,” she tells me.
The Prosperity Gospel has its roots in America, where it gained momentum in the early 20th Century……
…That’s what happened to 26-year-old Dennis Opili. Feeling disheartened after over three years of looking for work, he asked a friend for help.
“He advised me that there is a church where you go and they pray for you. You give a certain offering, then they pray for you, then you can secure a job,” Mr Opili says.
When his savings ran out, he borrowed about $120 from cash apps and from friends.
“I believed in what the pastor told me, that I’ll be able to secure a job. So I didn’t have any problems with borrowing, because I thought eventually I’ll be able to pay off the money.”
But when no job appeared, Mr Opili suspected that they had tricked him.
…Luckily he has now found piecemeal work, which has enabled him to pay back part of the money, both to the loan companies and his friends.
“I still very much believe in God,” he says. “All I have to do is just be a little more careful.”
Sarah says she saw people paying for “seed money” with their credit cards in church services.
“I remember one time at the church a lady said: ‘I have been paying my tithe, and it seems like I still don’t have enough money at the end of the month.'”
The pastor’s response, Sarah says, was to tell people that giving was more important than paying their rent. And she says anyone who questioned why miracles were not happening was told: “You didn’t pray enough, you didn’t sow seed enough. You didn’t have enough faith.”
But it can also appeal to those living in poverty, he says.”A church that says: ‘We know that you’re suffering, and we have a practical, attainable solution for you,’ [/b]will be more attractive than one that preaches some elusive, systemic change.”
I wouldn’t say that church is bad. The church is good. It is the pastors who are doing wrong. They are the ones who are asking for money.”