Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Parade of Illusions

(Picture) Is this a horse or a mountainside?

"The laws of God are not malicious, they are subtle."
- Albert Einstein

I am wary of any human being who appears to have an answer to every question and my wariness morphs instantly into outright suspicion if this person asserts this seeming omniscience from the pulpit. Imagine it, a man who it appears has a response for every issue – whether philosophical, metaphysical, geological, biological, or archaeological. Imagine it for a moment – one man, answering with emphatic certainty, all the time, an infinite number of questions.

Of course, there is a place for supposition and hypothesis, there is a place for the Pauline expression “I speak as a man” but that is not what I am talking about. The person I refer to here is the one who consistently insists that he is right on every issue and is always quick to weight his utterances with the congregated might of Divine Authority, saying “Thus saith the Lord” or “The Lord told me to . . .”. It is this same man who leans his opinions heavily on his listeners, and with tacit threats of heaven’s displeasure if they as much as think that he is not right or worse still, if they attempt to voice the inconsistencies in the Pastor’s dialectics.

Whether he is a bishop, evangelist, prophet or pastor, I am wary of any man who never says “I don’t know”

I have always wondered why the Church jumps into issues and make proclamations about subjects that they don’t have sufficient information about or that they don’t even have a scriptural reference for. Of course you can voice your opinion but to insists that the proclamation has the certification of Heaven, is a whole different matter altogether. Imagine the embarrassment and the damage done when eventually your “divine proclamation” is proved to be wrong.

When Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a Heliocentric worldview (that the sun is at the center of the solar system) his idea was severely criticized and anyone who espoused them was arrested by the Church, who insisted on a Geocentric model (that the earth is at the center of the solar system).

What is most striking about the Church’s position was that it was not based on a scriptural reference but rather, what they “felt” was correct. According to them, man was the pinnacle of creation, and if man was on earth, then, earth must be at the center. If that was the Church’s “personal” opinion, that is fine, but to go around proclaiming that “God told you so” or that the opinion has a “divine approval” to the point where you persecute those who hold a heliocentric view is reprehensible to say the least.

Galileo Galilei was put under house arrest by the Church because he said that the earth is not stationary but moves. He was branded a heretic because according to the Church “the earth does not move” and this again was not based on any cogent scriptural reference either but they gave the impression that they had God’s signature on it and proceeded to persecute all those who took a contrary view.

I have never understood this “boldness” in some people. In the words of the thief on the cross “Are you not afraid of God?”

Why are people so quick to preface every utterance they make with “The Lord says…” when you know the Lord told you nothing? How can you say "Thus saith the Lord” when in truth you are only voicing your opinion. There are many pastors who will answer for the damage they have done to people’s lives because they used the authority of the pulpit to voice their opinions while appending God’s name to it.

In trying to defend why Christian’s should be rich, I heard a minister say that Christ’s robe was expensive, and that was the reason the soldiers did not want to share it but rather cast lots for it. Where did he get this “revelation” from? We were told expressly that the soldiers cast lots for the garment in fulfilment of prophecy, period.

Someone gave an account of how a minister said Christ must have been rich because he had a treasurer and that he must have invested the gold, frankincense and myrrh he was given as a child.

Where, for goodness sake, is this in scriptures?!

A pastor preaches such distortions in church and the congregation, intoxicated myrmidons of ignorance, jump up and down, giving one another hi-fives and screaming word! word! word! or “ride on pastor” or “preach it” or one of the many catch-phrases or jingles that has become the stock in trade of the modern christian.

God save us all – we have no idea how far from the truth we have strayed.

I am in no way implying that Jesus was poor. I am all for prosperity – I want to be rich too and I want everyone to as well, but must we distort the scriptures to say what it was not intended to say. How is having a treasurer evidence that a man is rich? Every social group or student association has a treasurer – some even have financial secretaries – does that mean that they are Fortune 500 companies?

Some have also preached that if Jesus was poor he would not have had so many followers. How then do you explain the followership of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi or Jaycee, of Light Her Lamp blog? Are these three wonderful people millionaires? Is it not the greatness of their personalities and ideas that pulls everyone to them?

Again, I say, I am not implying that Jesus was poor. My point is the tortuous interpretation of scriptures that ministers indulge in to support their claims and all the while attaching God’s Name to it.

Someone please show me (maybe I missed it), where it says in scriptures that Jesus invested the gifts he was given as a child by the Wise Men. A pastor preaches this in church and he goes unchallenged and instead the gullible congregation urges him on?

Again, God save us all, because we have no idea how far from the truth we have strayed.

It is bad enough that the pastor says this at all but what is absolutely baffling is when they say that their utterances are by divine authority and that God told them so. Am I missing something? The word of God is our reference text. You can voice your opinion or hypothesis if you want to; you can say like Paul “Not the Lord, but I, say this”. But, when pastors take the Seal of Heaven and imprints it on their opinions, then the Church in one collective voice must ask a question that echoes the ovation given to Herod:

The voice of a man, or the voice of god?”

But the church is silent – instead we jump around, screaming for more of such “rhema”

But, am I surprised? What is to be expected from Christians that do not study? With full stomachs and empty minds – with cheap tastes and short memories, such Christians venerate their pastors rather than God. A “restlessness” may tug at the hearts of such christians perhaps, – some “instinct” may warn them that these “revelations” do not line up with God’s word but these christians are in a “hurry” to believe the pastor – they forget in their haste that “the best of men at their very best are still men”, - they forget that they are supposed to be Berean christians, - they forget the injunction

“Let God be true and every man a liar”.

They are more interested in being in the pastor’s good graces than to raise an objection or at the very least, study the matter for themselves. They go to church buildings, Sunday after Sunday to partake in a parade of illusions.

Why can’t a pastor say “I don’t have an answer to this question but give me some time to study and pray about it and I will get back to you”?

It is partly because he feels obliged to always have all the answers – his congregation demands it – the congregation has put him in the place of God in their lives and the pastor must “deliver” at every service – he must “perform” for them every Sunday while they applaud him. The pastor must play his part well or else he will lose his members to another pastor three streets away who knows how to “perform”. It is an eager crowd and they must be satisfied even if the pastor has to make stuff up. At the end of the day, you have a pastor who is not true and a congregation that is false – pastor and congregation, both, astonishing the Angels!

The laws of God are not malicious, they are subtle, Albert Einstein once said.

My friend, that subtlety demands that we study God’s word in detail. Yes, we can put forward our opinion on a scriptural issue but let us endeavour to say like Paul said when he did, “I speak as a man”.

Let us not be too quick to ascribe DIVINE AUTHORITY to our own opinions. History has shown that it damages the credibility of the Church in the long run.

Shalom aleichem!


  1. Reminds me of that scripture that says, "woe unto him that says "thus saith the Lord" when they Lord hath not spoken" - I cant remember where it is.

    I remember I was still very young in the faith when I heard a message from one of my mentors who said, he has always learned to use the phrase, "I perceive in my spirit" than "thus saith the Lord". He quickly clarified that he's not saying he doesn't hear God clearly or he's unsure of God's voice but he was rather afraid of people's dissection of his proclamation.

    I think there is wisdom in such and since I've been an ardent follower of that wisdom. What do you think Eyitemi?

    Great post...

    - LDP

  2. phew! made it to the end lol yeah the church is now like a circus, the pastor the ring master and the puppet or animals...the word of God, twisted to get the loudest roar from the crowd. I am no theologian but i have heard stuff that made me raise my brows, especially for growing xtians like me, we need God to help us discern and of course we have to study study study the word so as not to be deceived. i think PRIDE is d main wahala.............

  3. wow, this post was too long shaaa but hey i managed to read it to the very end, lol !

    this is the more reason why we need to study His word and seek His wisdom in times like this , people come up with some funny messages these days on the pulpit and if we are not careful we would believe every word they pastors preach.

    i pray that God will enlighten the eyes of our understanding, give us wisdom and grace to search out the truth in His word.

    Great post eyitemi
    God bless u for sharing the truth

  4. Nice one. The bible teaches us to make sure that whatever we read or hear we shoud take it back and confirm it in Him, in His word.

    We have no excuse to be taken for a ride or wrapped up in 'foreign messages' for it is our responsibility to take it back to God and say, God did you really mean this or is it what you mean when you wrote so and so in your word.

    If we all did that, frequently a lot of the false preaching will be singled and rooted out of the church.

    Holy Spirit help us we really need wisdom and discernment.

    Keep writing
    God bless:-)