Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor – President of Christian Association of Nigeria and presiding pastor of Word of Life Bible Church based in Warri – recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of founding his ministry. During the celebration Pastor Oritsejafor was presented with a gift: a private jet. As you can imagine, the Nigerian blogosphere has known no peace since the news broke.
Naturally one cannot play dump to the irony of pastors – who are ministers to God’s word – now cruising in private aeroplanes. The proponents see no contradiction that in a country that ranks among the poorest in the world, sacked by unbeatable poverty, characterised by an intimidating unemployment rate and branded as a failed state, yet those who should be the public conscience openly flaunt their affluence. This is obviously a deification of arrogance and the height of insensitivity that the custodians of public morality should brazenly turn religion into a mercantile venture.
What is bad is bad, period! Pastors should face their exclusive preserve which is the promotion of the extra-mundane common good of their flocks. Pastors should lead by example, heaven is awarded by being “poor in spirit”. This inane craze for material acquisitions is contrary to the spirit of the gospel. The last time I checked, that passage of the holy writ has not changed “he had nowhere to lay his head”. The founder of Christianity was so poor that he was born in a manger (not a castle) and his burial tomb was borrowed! Besides, he triumphantly trotted into Jerusalem in a BORROWED colt.
Obviously this madness of materialism is not confined to pastors of the pentecostal hue alone. The clergy in orthodox branch of Christianity are slowly falling to this sickness. Countless second collections, Rev Fathers now glow in their jeeps! Abeg!
But as usual, many of us will rather play the ostrich, bury our heads in the sand and pretend that all is well. We dare not demand same from the politicians if our religious leaders are in the same club. Let him who come to equity do so with clean hands!
At the rate things are going, I may soon start my own ministry. Who no like better thing?