The Nigerian churches are not left out in the scam ravaging the society today. The church, which is supposed to be a pointer to a safer society by teaching honesty is also involved in the dishonest schemes which are rampant in the country. It is no longer news that the pastors have also joined the Nigerian politicians in the top list of scammers.
Apart from the home, church is a place to be taught good morals so as to have a better society. It is therefore a shame to be scammed by the institution relied on to effect changes in a corrupt society such as ours. Nigerians through their religious beliefs have been made to suffer by their religious leaders. Many have been brainwashed, duped, raped, etc. due to the fact that they believed the religious place is a place of rescue from their problems.
How Churches Started in Nigeria
Prior to this modern day, the early churches in Nigeria were built by the missionaries who came to the country in the colonial periods. The people had belief and worship their traditional gods before the advent of Christianity. The missionaries did the society better than harm by building them hospitals, schools along with the churches which is a place of worship for their followers. The Catholic mission and Anglican churches were the first churches before the foundation of Pentecostal churches were laid.
The church was institutionalized to be the gathering of the converts from the traditional religion and was a source of relief to the society as help were rendered to the needy, those suffering from diseases and spiritual attacks were healed while good morals (based on the teachings of Jesus Christ) were taught. Most of the Nigerian churches have therefore deviated from the purpose for which the churches were founded.
Nigerian Churches as Scam
These days in Nigeria, churches are founded on daily basis. There are many General overseers than CEOs. Churches are being planted in every nook and cranny; all in the name of spreading the gospel.
Truthfully, the core mission of Christianity is to spread the gospel (witnessing) but it has been abused by the so called founders of churches. Poverty and unemployment which is our main societal problem also the cause of scam.
The ‘chief scammers’ i.e. politicians who devised dishonest schemes to get into position then use funds meant for the masses are the root cause of poverty and unemployment in the land.
Nigerians thereby devised means to get out of this – one of the fraudulent ways is to use tactics to scam people through their business venture (church). These people are the ones tarnishing the image of churches in Nigeria as there are the ‘’called ones’’. The masses who in turn need a way out of their several problems have followed their ‘’sharp-sharp’’ means and therefore have been scammed.
Men who needed quick miracle had fallen victim while ladies who needed breakthrough in their finances, marriage and so on have been cornered while some have been victims of rape. Offerings, tithes, and pledges have been forcefully taken to enrich the lives of their so called ‘anointed ones’ while their members suffer.
Many churches were built by sacrificing people and using their body parts as foundation to bring more worshippers thereby leading to a boom in their ministry and pockets. The rate of crime perpetrated in these churches are even higher than in other public places. It is now a case of the more the churches the higher the evil perpetrated in the society.
This made me conduct a poll on this topic. I asked some people to know if they really see Nigerian churches as a scam. These are their reactions:
The church isn’t a scam. If anyone is scammed by the church, it’s because the fellow lacks knowledge, not knowing what the original church looks like.
It’s just like the case of a person in business whose customer purchases goods with a counterfeit naira note. The business owner is scammed because there is an original naira note somewhere.
This is to show that there are churches planted for personal gains while there are churches in Nigeria that still gather together to worship God in truth. They worship, give their offerings, pay tithe, etc. which many others have abused these days.Mr. Femi Fash
Churches are not scam. Religion is the real scam. We just have churches that don’t teach the doctrine of Christ and we have more Christian that would rather listen to their pastor than study their bible themselves. Church is not a scam; it is just like saying education is a scam whereas it is not.Spencer
Saying churches are scam is debatable. Not all churches are real now. God called some General Overseers, some called themselves. Those ones that called themselves do this to feel their empty stomach. This is the end time.Mr. Tobi
Churches has become sources of employment for the unemployed and sources of wealth for the fetish therefore, church is a scam of the highest order preying on emotional spiritualism.Asekere Dammy
Churches are really big scam. Pastors are buying private jets while their members are there waiting for theirs to drop from heaven.Vanessa
Truth be told, the percentage of churches planted as business offices and pastors who are scammers are higher than the ones founded on the basis of Christianity. The bad system in Nigeria has led us to be top on the world’s crime list. Instead of having a legitimate business, people have hidden under the ‘good moral belief’ of Christianity to perpetrate crimes/evil using churches as their offices. People have been brainwashed while some were charmed by these individuals who anoint themselves.
How then can people be stopped from being victims of pastors?
It is very easy to fall victim in times like this. It is even recorded in the Holy Bible that ‘’false prophets would arise in the end time’’. If you are the type that want to get-rich quick and miracle-hunting individual, then you are susceptible to scammers.
The Nigerian system is failing in all areas; great efforts must be done to correct people from being scammed. A proper reorientation of our values has to be done. Honesty and hard work must be put in place and if that can be really done is a big question.
Christians should also focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ (doctrine) rather than following the rules laid down by their pastors or general overseers. The Holy Bible is a guide and solution to those who seek a way out of their problems. In this regard, someone will not tell you to buy a bottle of water for your healing at ten thousand naira when you know what the bible says about your condition.
It is well known that religion contributes to our problem in Nigeria. A great effort can only be done to correct this scam of the ‘belief system’. Do well to share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section. Thanks for taking your time to read this piece.