In the past, churches were considered a safe haven. A place where people might find peace. A place where love dwelled — a place to find hope. A place where you are accepted, cleansed and forgiven. A place where you seek and find God.
However, in this time and age, when some of us hear the word ‘church’, if we are not laughing in a jest, we are sneering in disdain, because some churches have become a place of abuse. A place of mockery. A place of ridicule. A place where hatred resides. A place of judgement. A place of increased and heightened fear. A place of exploitation and extortion. A place where people are made to feel inferior, supressed and degraded.
Some churches have become a place where pastors, overseers or the shepherd of that church have become the new god, worshipped and obeyed even when his declarations and requests defy rationale to common sense.
Some churches have become a place of sheer abuse, demeaning and mockery of human intelligence and this has got to stop!
In recent days, I have heard various stories concerning practises in churches and questionable behaviour of some Christians that have left me in state of complete disarray, annoyance, and in all cases, left me in a place of pain and of sorrow.
It is heart-breaking that the place that is supposed to bring you hope, is now rendering you in a state of utter confusion.
It is sad to hear that the place where you are supposed to be built up, is the same place where you are being pulled down.
A place where families are meant to be together in love, happiness and joy has become the very reason a lot of families are broken and left dysfunctional based on dogmatic doctrines, teachings and in fact lies and deceit told by some men and women of God.
Simply, some churches have become a place of manipulation, abuse, misuse of power, bullying, stigmatising and ridicule.
It has become apparent that some so-called pastors, apostles, prophets, men and women of God’s agenda is to device ways to betterment themselves, to increase their value, their worth, and wealth. The desire for wealth and power seems to have consumed some people to the point that they will choose “church” as a way to gather that wealth and enact that power to progress their aims and achieve the goals that feed their ego.
Now some of the ridiculous stories I came across recently:
In a video, a pastor publicly to “deliver” a member of his congregation, was observed kissing, caressing and touching her intimate areas right in front of other church members and children.
It is unthinkable that some “men of God” would dare to suggest sleeping with a woman in order to resolve her life problems. Capitalising on her vulnerability and possible desperation for help.
Another story presented a complete outright disrespect, by implanting in people’s mind an idea of having a “spiritual wife or husband” when nowhere in the bible such an idea exist. Implying that his or her livelihood would not become better until this so-called spiritual husband or wife is eradicated and so locking people in a life of mental imprisonment and of constant fear and anxiety. How does one become free from what does not exist? It is ridiculous, it is outrageous, and it is absurd!
What I find disturbing, is the number of people who frequent these churches, who listen day in and day out to these pastors, who have refused to put and keep their thinking caps on. Thereby, allowing for these uneducated and in some case educated fools, to dissuade, cajole, and deny them the right to use their thinking faculty and apply common sense.
Dear sir, dear ma, beloved wife, beloved husband, dear parent, dear child, how can you call your mother, your father, your daughter, your son, your brother, your sister, your wife, your husband, a witch or a wizard, just because a “man or woman of God” said so?
What authority has any other man or woman to label your parent, your partner, your children, friends, and neighbour a witch or a wizard, if you have not allowed it?
I ask you a question, what is your conviction? Did his or her behaviour denote that of a witch or a wizard? Furthermore, let’s ask, who are witches and who are the wizards? What constitutes a witch? Did you know “manipulation”, “control” is a form of witchcraft? If your pastor is manipulating you or controlling you, then you have been bewitched. He is the witch. He is the wizard.
It is a well-known fact that fear is a form of control. If I can make you fear something then I can control you by it. This method of control I believe is used by some many men and women of God today. You can be told by a pastor that your partner is a witch and the only way to solve the problem is by showering prayer of fire on him or her all day and all night.
What a wasteful use of time to be screaming fire! Fire!! Fire!!! A prayer point to solve a problem that only exist in your head.
When we live in constant fear, by no doubt will the fear not consume us?
I apologise, but no, you are not praying, it is fear that is controlling you, no you are not being led by the Holy Spirit. According to the Bible, God did not ‘give you the spirit of fear, but that of power, of love and of a sound mind.’
Where is that power? Where is the love since you’d rather seclude yourself from everyone who didn’t look or sound like you?
Are you of sound mind? Or of a twisted ego?
How can you be of sound mind? How can you be powerful when 24/7 all you know is to cast out demons non stop all because you believe constantly that the devil is after your life?
If the devil existed outside of yourself, you have to ask yourself the question, are you the only one on Earth? So why is it in your presence that the devil dwells daily, minute by minute?
Where is your God in all of this? Is he not all powerful? All knowing? And ever present? If God be for you and he neither sleeps nor slumber, my dear reader, why so much lack of joy and continual anxiety over what the devil is doing or not doing?
Focused attention on the devil, leads to fear. Focused attention on God and all his goodness leads to peace, love and joy.
One other story I was told involved a husband in the name of being the spiritual head, abused his wife “spiritually” by claiming she would die if she does not do this or do that, and misusing the Bible to keep her in what I call spiritual bondage. No dear husband, I will not die if I do not wash my private part with that so-called holy water. No, God will not strike me down if I miss one Sunday service. I would not be cast to hell, just because today I didn’t say my prayer.
Dear reader, please do not forget but remember the times before the man or woman of God came into your life. The times when things might not be as great but your husband or wife was not considered the problem. The times when you speak highly of your parent because they have always done their best for you though it may not always be in a way you wanted it. The times when your friend will go miles to defend your interest even though you do have your differences. Your neighbours may have some attitudes you find irritating or offensive but you did not think they were possessed by demons until you have been told by a man or woman of God.
You may ask, how about those dreams I have about mum flying around on a broom and being chased in a dream by a masquerade after an argument with work colleague? All well and good, no one can dispute your spiritual experience but, must we now forget to live a productive life and shift our focus to casting fire on demons day and night and watch life pass us by?
The real battle we are fighting most times is ourselves. Fight the real battle which is YOU!
Another thing I have noticed recently is the rising number of young African men and women going after big titles. Bishop Richard, Apostle Kingsley and GO Ogunsanya. I think I can get away with calling myself Archbishop Abi as long as I have got the charisma to match it.
Position and title have become a thing in churches. But dear reader, do not disdain your partner for not “matching up” to be given a title to elevate your own ego among friends.
Religious title means nothing and add no value to your life. It should not be used as a mean to disrespect your partner.
If one spouse continue to nag the other continually and disrespect him or her along the way based on him or her not “matching up” spiritually, one is not only digging a massive hole in his or her mind to be filled with depression and hatred but also setting a footprint for abuse when he or she finally catches up.
It is an absolute nonsense that you will dear say to me, that If I don’t go to church, or if I don’t pray in a particular way, or if I even dear leave your church pastor, that I would die? Which book of the bible states this? Which chapter, which verse? I want the written text, in plain black and white, not your supposed “Rhema”, revelation word, which we can argue is no more than your inference of the Bible, based on your warped psychology and personal frailties.
Dear people, can we not read? Why remain ignorant? Why are some of us so lazy? Why can’t we take charge of our own lives, instead of allowing untrained, unlearned individuals to rules our lives any way they like just because we would rather dine at the table of ignorance?
This madness has got to stop!
Some churches are destroying lives through the unscriptural messages that people’s minds are being brainwashed with.
Individuals are questioning their sanity because of church doctrines and religious practices. People’s self-esteem is being stripped away from them.
Some have become insane, delusional, unable to separate reality from non-reality. I am talking here of people, whose mental health are affected. People are depressed. Some have diagnosed and undiagnosed psychosis. Some are living in constant fear and anxieties. Some are isolated. Some left lonely and sad. Some others contemplating suicide, some have attempted it, and only God knows who else actually died as a result of all this nonsense and inhumane behaviour happening in some churches today.
I am not against religion. I am not against Christianity. I am not against churches. But I stand against abuse of any kind and it just so happen it is now more rampant in churches. Men and women of God who use the Bible in a manipulative and exploitative manners, and as a result lives of individuals are ruined, destroying homes and family for the sake of the pastor’s personal gain.
Yes, I stand against abuse. I stand against exploitations of people’s pain, grieve, hurt and even more importantly, their trust in an institution that is supposed to serve them, offer support and hope.
To think some Christians have become ‘narcissistic’. They are high and mighty. They are the super-humans while the rest of us, less human because “WE” do not know God the way they do? They are the closest to God. They are closer to God than Abraham. Didn’t God call Abraham friend? Well, these people are God’s BFF, while the rest of us will be lucky to be acknowledged as a mere acquaintance.
I am asking and imploring everyone to take a minute and consider, really ask themselves ‘in what exactly does my faith lie?’ What exactly do you believe and why? Are you liberated or subjugated? Are you enliven or oppressed?
If you are living your life in fear and fear is the reason why you do what you do, fear of hell, fear of what others might say, fear that God might strike you dead, fear that if you don’t do this, that will not happen or that it would. Fear that the devil is out to get you.
If you are living in fear, you are not free! You need to set yourself free. Renew your mind by cleansing it from the unscriptural garbage you have been fed and taking on new and fresh knowledge that can help eradicate the seeds that have already been planted. Go back to the basics of reading. Basics of being curious. Fundamentals of learning. Learn and relearn like a child. Uproot those unbecoming seeds that have been planted in you.
I dare you to, please ask and answer one question, if God truly loves you, then what pleasure will God derive from having you live in fear? How is God glorified in your bondage?
Ask again, ‘If God truly loves me, and God is love, what pleasure will God derive from my suffering and bondage to fear? How is God glorified through this? What glory does God get from my bondage?’
Think about it.