Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal 'Sons'

I read with interest the recent tirade of Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Okogie against the late Benson Idahosa and his Pentecostal brethren. Okogie did not mince words in his blunt appraisal of the late archbishop, equating his charismatic ‘prosperity-preaching' to plain deception of the gullible and susceptible in the name of Christianity. "Idahosa used to say ‘if your Jesus is poor, my Jesus is rich.' People like Idahosa don't think about suffering but how to live the best. They used the gospel to deceive the people, and we have people following him," he said during the commissioning of newly trained Catholic Evangelisers of the Antioch School of Evangelisation at Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac Town, Lagos (See Sunday Champion - 19th July 2009).

The accusations are strong - misinterpretation of the Bible and subsequent deception of the masses with erroneous doctrine, preached more for the intention of personal gain and fame, with little consideration for the people's physical and spiritual welfare. And this is in reference to the man collectively considered the mentor of the Pentecostal ‘giants' today – the likes of Adeboye, Oyedepo, Oritsejafor, Okonkwo, Okotie and Adefarasin inclusive.

In keeping with Okogie's outburst, I received a response to one of my recent write-ups from a disgruntled fellow who candidly bemoaned the state Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria has fallen to. "I spent 10 years running from Christ Embassy to Latter Rain to Redeemed, only to discover that the self professed men-of-God are nothing but religious bandits", Mr. Okeke wrote. "Their job is to milk the gullible hungry Nigerians by laying hands, evoking false hope and selling "claim it" miracles. With the other hand, they take money from 419ers, corrupt government officials and overnight millionaires. They certify and glorify these criminals by association, membership and selling them special seats around the altar. In the name of expanding the gospel or planting churches (as it is popularly called), they send out ill prepared jobless men as pastors to every nook and cranny of Nigeria to fool and deceive people. They have perfected the means of quoting the Bible to suit their extortionate purposes, as if Nigerians are too retarded to read and understand the simple language of the Bible. Most of these pastors strictly depend on the contributions of their over-burdened members to live out their luxurious and extravagant lifestyles. Their wives automatically become assistant pastors, bishops or ‘Mama G.O'. God asked us to bring our tithes and offerings to His house in order for meat to be available in His house, not for the pastors to dress up in Gucci and ride in Hummers displaying their wives ill gotten jewelleries with bodyguards and police officers."

Although strongly opinionated, the points made display distressing proximity to reality. Many ministers of God in Nigeria seem to have drifted from their divine duty and distorted their actual assignment – being the hands and feet of Jesus to the lost and broken hearted. Kingdom business has been reduced to worldly commerce; the pulpit of peace has turned to a podium of dissension. I recall that Idahosa himself was the instigator of various crusades in Tafewa Balewa Square, Lagos, where thousands of Nigerians unanimously prayed for the destruction of Pastor T.B. Joshua and dissolution of his ‘Synagogue of Satan.' The prayers appear to have had an opposite effect with the increasing repute and worldwide demand for Joshua and his ministry.

However, it would be foolish to underestimate the power of religion as a potential catalyst of positive change in Nigeria. I mean, our pastors are almost akin to English footballers in terms of acclaim and esteem. They wield such stupendous authority in the socio-economic sphere that one was recently voted Nigeria's ‘Greatest living legend' notwithstanding the fact that he regularly socializes with an ex-president embroiled in allegations of corruption and a governor enmeshed in accusations of diabolic practices. Nigeria can lay claim to the world's largest church auditorium, the biggest gathering of Christians in a single event and the designation of the ‘most religious nation', yet we are among the most mismanaged, corrupt and poverty-stricken people on earth. Can this be considered a mere irony, or indicative of our pastor's abuse of privilege and promise? Can such change come when clerics continue to drift from their divine cause and course for the sake of temporal treasures and pleasures?

Nonetheless, judgement is not a function allotted to us mortals during our brief stay here. The Bible has made unequivocally clear the universal assignment Jesus specified to His servants, and the accounting they will all stand to give thereof. He said in Matthew 25:45: "Whatsoever you do [or fail to do] to the least of my brothers - that you do unto me." In other words, Jesus was simply saying: ‘I have no farm where I expect you to work for me, or an office where I expect you to help me in checking files. My farm and office are your fellow brothers. Whatever help you render to the least of them, whatever problem you help someone else to solve, that you render unto Me.'

It is time the Pentecostal Church realised that the verification of a fruitful ministry stands not in the number of people who attend your crusades, the number of branches your church has or the worldly belongings you possess – but rather the problems you have solved, the needs you have met and the lives you have improved. We are called to live a life of investment, not expenditure. All the resources within and around must be passionately channelled towards these charitable purposes.

Just consider how many despondent students could receive quality education if church-tithes were used for scholarship schemes? Consider how many beggars could be taken off the street if church offerings were translated to capital for job creation? Consider how much joy could be restored to the hopeless and homeless if church members were taught to spend more on others and less on themselves, and their pastors led by such example? If frustrated youths were encouraged instead of used and misled – imagine the reduction in street crime, prostitution and cultist activities on campuses? If Christians chose to show love beyond tribe and faith, imagine the diminution in religious and ethnic tension.  If blind condemnation was replaced by constructive criticism, imagine the lessons that would be learned instead of pointless battles fought. This, coupled with spiritual guidance, godly principles and practical compassion, has the potential of producing change in the Nigerian atmosphere and attitude.

Our pastors need to imbibe the principles of the late Mother Teresa who gave her entire life, wealth and worth to the poor in India. She poignantly said, "When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her.  It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.  We have refused to be instruments of love in the hands of God to give the poor a piece of bread, to offer them a dress with which to ward off the cold.  It has happened because we did not recognize Christ when, once more, he appeared under the guise of pain, identified with a man numb from the cold, dying of hunger, when he came in a lonely human being, in a lost child in search of a home." A stark contrast to the Pentecostal message, "If you are not a giver today, you shall be a beggar tomorrow."

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Truly - we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.



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Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
LoveNigeria posted on 07-21-2009, 06:17:10 AM
Okogie has a valid point. As a pentecostal christian I am sad to admit that Pentecostals have an air of arrogance about them that they know and understand God more than everybody else. A rude awakening await us all!!

The imminent judgment that will sweep through the wicked leadership of Nigeria will sweep away many pastors with them, especially pentecostal pastors. To whom much is given, much is expected. There are very few if any Jeremiah like pastors in Nigeria. We have too many pastors in bed with the wicked enemies of Nigerians.

It is extremely appalling to see governors and other politicians come in to church to do thanksgiving after a brazenly rigged election. Although no one should be rejected in church, Nigeria politicians should be made to seat in the back row and not given VIP seats around the altar. That alone would have sent a strong message.

Pastors who should be breathing fire and brimstone on these politicians actually give these people a platform to address the congregation and add further insult upon injury. God must be fuming in heaven, but He's a patient God. However His wrath can be very intense!
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
Danmeka posted on 07-21-2009, 07:20:21 AM
LoveNigeria, you are spot on.
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
VOR posted on 07-21-2009, 07:44:54 AM
QUOTE:
It is time the Pentecostal Church realised that the verification of a fruitful ministry stands not in the number of people who attend your crusades, the number of branches your church has or the worldly belongings you possess – but rather the problems you have solved, the needs you have met and the lives you have improved. We are called to live a life of investment, not expenditure. All the resources within and around must be passionately channelled towards these charitable purposes.


Just consider how many despondent students could receive quality education if church-tithes were used for scholarship schemes? Consider how many beggars could be taken off the street if church offerings were translated to capital for job creation? Consider how much joy could be restored to the hopeless and homeless if church members were taught to spend more on others and less on themselves, and their pastors led by such example? If frustrated youths were encouraged instead of used and misled – imagine the reduction in street crime, prostitution and cultist activities on campuses? If Christians chose to show love beyond tribe and faith, imagine the diminution in religious and ethnic tension. If blind condemnation was replaced by constructive criticism, imagine the lessons that would be learned instead of pointless battles fought. This, coupled with spiritual guidance, godly principles and practical compassion, has the potential of producing change in the Nigerian atmosphere and attitude.


GBAM! If only our people will learn.
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
Pedro posted on 07-21-2009, 08:25:45 AM
THE chicken has come home to roost with this event.I dof my heart for this revelation and for calling a spade a spade .its has been for long that this deception called pentecostal christainity has been bandied around.Their so called brand of pentecostal christainity which they bandy around as an elixir of all earthly problems.Is it not in this country that people ,so called men of God prophesied to Obasanjo that they saw him as The Joseph of the israelites who will triumph over third tenure fracas and come back again for the third time as Nigeria's president along Lagos –Ibadan expressway.A man of God that has church that contains 50,000 people in Ota was quoted as saying that the people who accuse him of wealth do not know that this period rightly is the period of the great wealth transfer ,He has four private jets for his evangelical strivings.More recently Rev King of CPA in Ajao estate ,Mafoluku set ablaze a group of four girls in his church for cases he said bordered on prostituition.ONE OF THE GIRLS COULD NOT MAKE IT ,SHE DIED.The rev was given a 100 year jail sentence and is now cooling off in Kuje Prison in Abuja.From where they kept him in Ikoyi prison he and his moustache wearing members planned a jail break for their Rev,When it was noticed the prisom warders moved him to Abuja.The Lord's Chosen Man at Ijesha bus stop earlier this year fell out with his protege' pastor ,Nnamdi Ofoegbu who accused the man of God of having obtained close to #370 million under various pretences>he said yes,he took the money from the man but the man in question used the money to sow seed in his hand,Mouka.Late last year ,another man of God along Awolowo road ikeja,Lagos said he was Jesus Christ,as if that was not enough,he told the Sun newspapers that on his death,he will rise again from the dead.Various people cautioned the man when the article broke but his church members attacked back on his behalf.The man even wedded himself and was married for three times ,the last of which he wedded himself in his church>As God would have it ,this man collapsed in his church and died this year in May.his church members kept him finely dressed in his house and waited for him to rise up from the death on the third day.By the third day he has badly decomposed and was hurriedly taken to Sango Ota in Ogun state where they bought a piece of land and buried him.A man of gOD was reported to have acquired a private jet worth about #4billion naira from his church.He had the private jet registered in His name E....A.when this day did a story on the jet and subsequent uproar against it ,he said no it was five member-pastors of his church who are bankers that bought the jet,it was said that they took loan facility of $30 million from the member-pastor-banks which the most popular amongst them has Z ... as its initials and the other has Inter.... as the first word.both member-pastor -bankers also have a telecoms and radio stations which goes by the name of visafone and inspiration fm.so the spinning goes that they arranged the private jet as part of a charter business but have arranged with the handlers of the jet to give their G.O a free ,private ride when the need arises to any part of the world.one may ask,if this is true how come that a jet owned by five members of a church ended up being registered with the initials of the G.O.All over nigeria,people are reprobating and approbating from commoners ,artisans and anybody so drawn by their prosperity dousing crusades .in South Africa last year,there was this man of God From Edo called pastor Chr... of something embassy who was accused by South Africans of paying one of their nationals to stage a fake miracle healing act for him in south Africa.the government of the country has branded the man a persona non grata even though he has a satelitte tv station there.kARL Marx,a very important thinker said that religion is the opium of the masses and no where does this hold thru more especially in Nigeria.They have even migrated to Ghana.i was online last week in MSN and saw one advert which says that'pentecostal christians are the highest growing body of christians experiencing growth in GHana at that particaular time.The malfeasance being spread by this group
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
Pedro posted on 07-21-2009, 08:26:43 AM
people was what made the apostle Paul to address St.Timothy in Ist TImothy 4:1-5 "the spirit says clearly that some people will abandon the faith in later times ,they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons .such teachings are spread by deceitful liars whose consciences are dead as if burnt with a hot iron". In many other parts of the bible it was also foretold about the coming of the great deceiver who has come to plunder and to destroy,to reap where they didn’t sow and we are witnessing it these days, are we at our wits end ,only time will tell,But how this deceit has caught on with even people who should know is what bespectacles me,they even have access to presidents of countries now>Governors are their next door neighbours who they can call up any moment for prayer meeting and inconsequential mind carousing revelation.The Aladura churches of old and the so called white garment churches have done no wrong when compared to the exploits of the modern day facists with designer suits and shining BMW's amisdt their parked challenger and gulf stream jets .To be continued ........................
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
RoyalPalm posted on 07-21-2009, 08:45:37 AM
Pedro, .......Deep & Dangerous
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
HolyPagan posted on 07-21-2009, 09:11:28 AM
QUOTE:
Pedro, .......Deep & Dangerous


I agree.....Not for the reasons you might think though.
The paragraph on the first post, is almost 18inches deep.
I agree its dangerous too, since, had I read that whole thing in one breath, I would be dead..

I need the time punctuation allows, to draw breath, you see.
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
Akuluouno posted on 07-21-2009, 09:54:09 AM
Villagers,

Join me in cooling down Otunba Sarkin Jumaa, Ogbuefi Pedro We the sincere and helpless identify with and feel for all you have written. I once wanted to pour venom on the one who bought an aircraft especially when I saw him cozying up with a known political criminal, but a wise villager called me to order
Like one of the wise members of the Sanhedrin spoke when the Jews wanted to finish off the early xtians, let us leave these men of god and their shenanigans. The God I worship is slow to anger and a volcano when he is fed up He is also a man of war.
I will just sit at the biblical Beer as stated in the Holy Book of Numbers, from where I will gradually be sipping and singing unto the Lord
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
Obugbe posted on 07-21-2009, 10:39:31 AM
Pedro:

Why the mention of the Aladura's of old? They were real apostles of Christ, who came to shine light into the darkness that was Nigeria then. The Aladuras were prayer warriors who had the grace to penetrate into the inner workings of darkness. Never preached prosperity christianity. They helped to improve the moral fabric of Nigerians of those days who were immersed in all evil works by continuously asking them to 'Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Now these educated pentecostals have come to deceive the unwary. They've come to enrich themselves by employing the Word made flesh to be a business empire. In the end days, God shall judge them and many shall be thrown into hell fire. Indeed, they have come to reap where they do not sow. Where are their teaching hospitals, primary schools and etc all over Nigeria? They rather build universities for extracting high tuition, and prophesy for the rich and those in power! Fraudsters and unrepentant devil worshippers masquerading as Pastors of light.

God dey.
Re: Okogie Blasts Benson Idahosa And His Pentecostal `Sons`
Oluwato posted on 07-21-2009, 11:08:08 AM
It is not news that some Christians lie, cheat, embezzle, deceive and betray. it is also not news that such Christians come under God's judgment and would be severely chastised unless they repent and restitute. it is also evil to assume and proclaim that Christians should be poor and ministers of God, paupers.

I haven't read the Okogie account but the author of this article needs more information. He is contradicting himself:

>>>Our pastors need to imbibe the principles of the late Mother Teresa who gave her entire life, wealth and worth to the poor in India. She poignantly said, "When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. We have refused to be instruments of love in the hands of God to give the poor a piece of bread, to offer them a dress with which to ward off the cold. It has happened because we did not recognize Christ when, once more, he appeared under the guise of pain, identified with a man numb from the cold, dying of hunger, when he came in a lonely human being, in a lost child in search of a home.” A stark contrast to the Pentecostal message, “If you are not a giver today, you shall be a beggar tomorrow.”<<<

The issue is giving and both are promoting giving aren't they? Just difference in recipients! If one does not have, how can one give? God gives us bread to eat and seed to sow - 2 Corinthians 9:10 and He guides us by His wisdom through His revealed word, what we should classify as seed and bread. I expect every Pentecostal minister listed up there to have a program for the poor. I can vouch for Rev Kris Okotie, I was a member of the Benevolence department when I was in Household and we cared for the poor regularly, we had the GRACE program every December... it is inappropriate and insulting to tell a minister how to spend his hard earned money, does he tell you how to spend yours? It's an evil spirit inspired mentality to expect ministers of God to barely have enough ... everyone is commanded to give and everyone is commanded to work, let's have a proper balance and stray away from speaking evil of ministers of God!
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