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A Fallacious Christian Doctrine – By Tochukwu Ezukanma

By Tochukwu Ezukanma | Lagos, Nigeria | October 8, 2018 –

I am a preacher without a pulpit. As such, I hardly have the opportunity to preach in a church. On the very few occasions that I was opportune to preach to a congregation, I did not preach prosperity because Prosperity Doctrine is self-serving convolution of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a perversion of the word of God necessitated by the need to make Christianity relevant to a grasping and wealth-obsessed society. For the most part, Prosperity Doctrine is falsehood.

The object of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ was not to make us rich but to reconcile us unto God. It is this reconciliation and its attendant salvation and righteousness that are the desiderata for the blessings, which includes good health, happiness, prosperity, etc, of a Christian. It was a point Jesus succinctly made in Matthew 6: 33, “Seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things (wealth, mansion, fancy cars, good health, etc) shall be added unto you”. It is a statement remarkably similar to God’s earlier instruction to Joshua, in Joshua 1: 8, “The (word of God) shall not depart from thy mouth; but thou shall mediate there in day and night, that thou may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success”.

The prosperousness and good success of a Christian are corollaries of Christianity, thing that naturally follow true Christians because they have sought and found the kingdom of God and all its righteousness. Just as smoke inevitably accompanies fire; the blessings of God unavoidably follow a true Christian. So, to seek prosperity without having first sought and found the kingdom of God and all its righteousness or observed to do according to all that is written in the Word of God is comparable to seeking smoke without fire, which is Abracadabra.

Before the moral and ethical collapse of the Nigerian society, Prosperity Doctrine would have outraged Nigerian Christians; they would have considered it inconceivably sacrilegious. Then, pastors exhorted their flock to be law abiding, content, trustworthy, compassionate, etc. They preached chastity, humility, patience and love for others, which will in the end earn a Christian eternal life. In line with the stipulations of the Bible, they denounced avarice, cupidity, lechery and all forms of worldly excesses.

The moral and ethical collapse of the Nigerian society resulted from that woeful amalgam of military rule and oil boom. With military intervention in politics, Nigeria lost her innocence. The brutality and bloodletting that attended military intrusion in politics brutalized the national psyche and encouraged a culture of violence. Secondly, soldiers are trained to kill or be killed. Consequently, without knowing it, they live today as though they are dying tomorrow. Those with very little regards for human lives and the future must invariably be hedonistic and financially reckless. Their riotous self-indulgence and financial wastefulness fuelled by the then burgeoning oil wealth heightened materialism, corruption and moral squalor in the Nigerian society.

Their deeds denigrated hard work, honesty and commitment to duty; and glamorized greedy; extolled might is right and reaping where you have not sown; and established wealth and material possession as the only real indexes of achievement and/or success. And, as religion (which is distinguishable from the Truth) is susceptible to the social environment, this emergent warp societal mores, with time, deeply influenced Christian doctrine in Nigeria.

To pander to their own insatiable greed and make Christianity pertinent to a country wholly engrossed in her conscienceless voracity and unbridled materialism, the pastors contrived Prosperity Doctrine. With Prosperity Doctrine, the pastors ignore the central themes of Christianity and dwell on wealth acquisition (money, cars, mansions, etc). They teach the “principle of wealth”, which to them is giving – giving to the church and the pastors. They preach that wealth accrues as harvest from sowing (your money) into the church and lives of pastors. God will bless you only in accordance to what you have giving to Him – through His representatives – the pastors. They preach that Abraham was ready to give God all he had, his only son, Isaac, and consequently God blessed him. So, if you give the pastors (the vicars of God) all – all the money – you have God will bless you as He blessed Abraham.

Such a doctrine is fallacious: it perverts the Gospel of Jesus Christ and circumvents the essence of Christianity, such as, repentance, forgiveness and love. Not surprisingly, many Nigerian Christians profess Christ but do not strive to be Christ-like, which explains a major problem of Nigerian Christianity: Nigerian Christians, by their words and deeds, are not distinguishable from unbelievers. Despite their profession of being born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, their utterances and behaviors betray no discernible difference from those of heathens. Just like the generality of Nigerians, they are lawless, wicked, dishonest, greedy, arrogant and snobbish. In their desperation to acquire wealth, they, like unbelievers, lie, steal, kill and dally with satanic forces.

So, when I preach, I preach against that Whiten Sepulcher – falsehood cloaked as the Word of God – Prosperity Doctrine. I preach that the life of a Christian should be exemplary. He should be, as the Bible stipulated, the light of the world, the salt of the earth. I preach against greed, wickedness, lawlessness, impatience, dishonesty, arrogance, and disdain for the poor and adoration of the rich, etc. I preach honesty, love for others, patience, obedience to the law, respect for all, irrespective of their station in life, etc.

Just as those believers were called Christians in Antioch because their words and deed betrayed their creed, the words and deeds of Nigerian Christians should demonstrate the teachings of Jesus Christ. A Christian should pride himself less on being born again and  filled with the Holy Spirit and demonstrated flair for quoting the Bible, but more on exemplifying the teachings of Jesus Christ, as encapsulated in the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. This is because “an ounce of example is worth more than a ton of precepts”.

Tochukwu Ezukanma writes from Lagos, Nigeria

maciln@yahoo.com

0803 529 2908

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Posted by on Oct 8 2018. Filed under Articles, Columnists, NNP Columnists, Religion, Tochukwu Ezukanma. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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