And yet they are doing it, unrepentantly. Just as a father who threatens not to pay school fees for a form one girl unless she goes to bed with him, the fathers and mothers of faith are using their position to take advantage of their flock. And because she wants to have an education, the vulnerable girl gives in; and because the worshipper is desperate to end his or her misery they are gullible. And the pastor knows that.
Thomas was not de-flocked from among the 12 disciples for doubting Jesus. He was being cautious, for even Jesus had Himself warned them that many would come in His name. The times we are living in brethren, call for the faith of Thomas – a questioning faith, and this is because when pastors stand in the podium and quote from the Bible with sweat soaking their clothes, you cannot tell who is for the earthly and who is for the heavenly Kingdom. The “generation of vipers” talked about in Matthew chapter 12:34 is here with us.
You need to have faith. But you need to question because blind faith will be no defence on judgement day. Why is it that early Christian leaders lived and died poor while becoming a pastor is the easiest road to wealth today? Why do you have to buy healing, anointing and blessings? Why do you have to “give to God” so he can make you rich? Do you think God created all the wealth in the world for the highest bidder?
Matthew chapter 10:1 says: “And when he had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” The disciples were not given the power so they could make money but to heal people free of charge. That is the truth. They cannot heal or cast out demons in exchange of money, unless of course they too bought that power from somewhere. The things pastors do to eradicate suffering from the world are supposed to be free, because that power is given to them free.
And those who are healed, those who receive miracles can only give after the miracle, not for it. Remember Jesus asking the leper: “Were not ten of you cured? And only you came back…” That is how it should be between pastors and the faithful. They should do what God empowered them to do whether or not those cured come back to give thanks (or donations).
Recently, I heard a preacher on TV begging for donations: “Wewe nakuona hapo nyumbani hebu nitumie kakitu hata kama mia mbili tu kwa hiyo namba unaona hapo” (Hey you there at home send me something even if Sh200 to the number on your screen), he said, promising a miracle if he received kitu kidogo. It is evil for pastors to take advantage of God’s children to enrich themselves.
And they always feature testimonies to prove their “miracle” really works. Did Jesus need to prove His miracles were for real? Did He need to display beneficiaries of the bread and fish miracle to testify that He is the real deal? Unlike the Church fathers in the Bible who “left mother and father and land” for His sake, many of our pastors have left nothing. Actually, they are so rich they compete with the thieving politicians. And they quote the Bible to justify their greed, saying a man of God must have his reward. That is true, but it is given freely, and not demanded in exchange for a miracle: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give,” Jesus told His disciples as narrated in Matthew chapter 10:8.
Brethren! I have not asked you to stop tithing or giving for the course of the Gospel. I only ask that you should be careful lest you give your children’s bread to “the dogs”.
Secondly, you need to question why pastors fall over each other to offer prayers at political rallies yet none shows up when the internally displaced people (IDPs) walk from Gilgil to Nairobi demanding for resettlement. Are pastors not supposed to be a thorn in the foot of a politician and a consoler of the afflicted? Do they get paid to attend political rallies?
Finally ask yourself why, so unlike Jesus, your pastors are so keen on adding titles to their names – Reverend, Doctor, Bishop X. Is it so you may fear them the more and stop questioning their actions? Ask Catholic and most traditional church priests how many years they spend in Biblical studies and theology school yet many die before they attain a doctorate. Ask any university lecturer how long it took them to get a doctorate! Some of these pastors who have not seen the inside of a university lecture room or even a secondary school classroom call themselves doctors. These fake doctorates, which only add personal pride, cannot be for the promotion of the Gospel brethren. Think about it!