Sunday, November 18, 2012

A 'Man of God' Should Not Own a Private Jet

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By Nkem Akinsoto

I do not like controversies on religion, faith or belief, but sometimes the brand of Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria breaks my heart. This sentence was my comment on one of the first posts, Sykik's Religion that talked about this issue. I don't mean we shouldn't blog or talk about it, just that we shouldn't quarrel with each other which I see some commenters on some blogs doing.

Of course it becomes more pertinent if one has the ears of one of these pastors, that would be excellent so the discussion can be more directed. I said essentially the same when I first saw the video above on Adura Ojo's Let's talk about it. I was not too surprised by the perspectives in the video, they were as split as I expected.

In reply to my wish that a so-called man of God will speak on what he believes, Prism reminded me that Pastor Tunde Bakare has. He actually condemned it, but some may accuse him of poverty or jealousy since he doesn't have one. I want to hear from those who have bought these jets or who accepted the gifts - talk about chop and clean mouth.

In case my stand is not clear from the title, I think that a so-called man of God owning a private jet in the Nigerian context is fraudulent and heartless. Fraudulent because a lot of them essentially dupe their members with selective passages from the bible and hoodwink them with fake miracles. Fraudulent because the mega-millions that prop up these churches are tithed and donated by criminals and/ or thieving politicians.

Heartless because even the genuine churches have millions of people who live in abject poverty either in their church or next door to them, and yet they close their eyes, building massive churches and buying or accepting gifts of private jets from the money-miss-roads in their congregations.

I want to see a massive hospital built by a church either as a charity or even as a business. And don't tell me they're not the government, the very first schools and hospitals our parents and grandparents used were not built by any government, but by churches.

Even if you discount the work of the olden days missionaries, those of us outside Nigeria will testify to charity hospitals and care centers set up by either churches or secular non-governmentals. How many of such are there in Nigeria? Instead the schools the churches manage charge fees beyond the reach of the middle class, not to talk of the indigent.

Eya of wives townhall connection wrote a beautiful post on 25 good things your Nigerian church can do for you. Some of them are below,

- Provide snacks for Children Sunday School classes. This will help you save a little cash. Buying snacks by the church gate for kids before taking them to their classes? Shouldn't the offerings these kids give be used to make their classes more fun? I used to frown at Birthday celebrations that take place in Children classes, but not any more. If not for these celebrations, there will be no form of entertainment for kids apart from singing, clapping and dancing.

- Stop telling little Kids who haven't started earning any income that not bringing offering is a sin. The parent's Tithe and offering covers them too.

- Stop making members feel like God is some kind of magician who calculates the amount you give him and instantly makes you rich when you give big amounts. God is no magician, he works in mysterious ways.

- Tell the congregation that God is interested first in you as a person. I am yet to see where God says that if you need a big car, you have to SOW your property or a huge amount of cash to get it. Tell the people that he is not a God of " The more you give the more you get"

- Teach members that loud singing and clapping by 5am, Use of microphones early in the morning and late at night in residential areas can be classified under noise pollution.

- Teach the congregation that Christians who are not members of your local church are also recognized by the creator.

- Use part of monies invested in big Businesses for charity.

- Provide for the needy from the purse without necessarily raising an offering every time help is to be rendered.

- Build and buy musical instruments from accumulated Tithes and offerings without tasking members .

- Build orphanages for the poor.

You can read the rest of the things on her blog.

It amazes me that private jets are even the big sin, these churches steal from the children in their midst. To all church goers and church workers reading this, please discuss with your pastors on how you can start doing these things. And if your pastor asks for your opinion about buying his own private jet, tell him NO!


  1. GBAM! Tell it like it is...
    Oh Myne, I am so touched, that you could do this. You have no idea what you just did for me. The truth can be bitter sometimes. I wish that some of those MOG can just say something or do something about those in their congregations whose only possession is "the widows mite."

  2. It's hypocritical that Jesus preached poverty and charity, but Church Ministers are buying (or accepting) private jets. Also, the wealth of the Catholic church is obscene for an organisation that preaches charity. How many mosquito nets could be brought and sent to Africa, if the pope sold him big gold throne and staff. The church has done much worse things than this, but it's pretty bad.

    Interesting post.

  3. Thank you Myne!!! I agree with you. The Nigerian brand of Christianity seems to be at odds with the express written words of God.When there are no roads, no hospitals, no daycares, no schools, a pastor will claim God gave him a private jet? I don't think so. Even Paul said I forsook all things to preach the Gospel. I know how to abound and be abased. Do Nigerian pastors know how to be abased at all? All I hear is abound. A so-called Pastor built a university on the back of his members and their children cannot even afford that school? That is a shame. A huge shame.

  4. gbam......i hope all church goers and workers read this.

  5. you are right.pastors are now using the churches for business,extorting money from their members and enriching themselves.They buy jets,build schools their members cant afford the fees,they twist the bible to suit them. people pls open your eyes.

  6. You know, I've thought about this a little since I first heard about it (just a little. not too much lol) and realized that I'm probably the only person on the other side of the issue.

    Fact: the pastors did not kill anybody to buy the jet, did they?
    The people whose supposed offerings are being used to finance it, did anybody force them to pay the offering?
    They are being hoodwinked with false interpretations of bible passages, shebi dem too sabi read? Ehen they should read the bible and find out what the bible really says

    The way I see it, it is the pastor's money and it's up to him to do what he wants to do with his money, the fact that he is a pastor should not stipulate what he can and can not buy. Needless to say some of these private-jet-owning pastors have programs in place to support the needy in the society and actually do contribute to the society in one way or the other and in the case that they don't then that one concern them. Simple and short. In the end, it's each man versus his God.

    My aggravation is from those who will use the private-jet thing as an excuse to stop giving offering or paying tithe saying "Afterall na to buy jet-fuel way una go use am". Let's do our own bit as is demanded in the Bible and not occupy ourselves with what happens to the money after it has been given as offering.

    1. You know i love you but i am gonna disagree with you on this. What businesses are these pastors doing to afford three or four private jets each costs more than $45million. Why do they need all these jets you can only be in one at a time. Even if they were gifts after the first one they should have politely declined the rest and asked for the financial equivalent to be put to good use build hospitals, schools etc lead by example. The recent pastor who was just gifted a private jet how will he maintain it hangar fees, crew payment, fuel etc i highly doubt if his pastoral salary can maintain it. The problem is most of these pentecostal churches these days are more focused on prosperity gospel pastoral worship than spiritual whole being of their flock. People need to stop worshipping their pastors and come back to worshipping God.

    2. Pendo,
      You took the words out of my mouth! Gbam.....

  7. GOD BLESS YOU myne!! I've been looking at this matter, looking to see if there's any way to justify it but there's no justification. Some people think that people are just jealous of these pastors that own private jets, and that's the most useless thing I've ever heard. Do we even want to start adding how much the maintenance of a private jet would cost. Wait should we even start calculating how much it'd cost to rent a jet hangar. Like are you freaking kidding me. These churches build schools and universities in the country and only rich people can afford to attend it. Nobody is saying a pastor shouldn't be wealthy but wtf do you need a private jet for isn't that just an unnecessary "worldly" thing. What? You are in a haste to go perform a miracle. Like I don't understand. And the most annoying part is that their church members have been so brainwashed. Like you'd see someone who can't afford even one meal in a day telling you it's okay that their pastor owns a private jet, "God has blessed him, he is a good man, he deserves it" and all manner of nonsense. And you're there like "illiteracy is a bad thing" tueh!!!

  8. yaaaayyyy. I get a mention on your blog……yipee.

    Let me drop my comment before someone calls me "agbaya".

    I see this jet gift as temptation. I believe it will take the Pastor far away from the plight of the congregation and also the community. Where is the place of contentment in all this? Preaching the word of God does not need the Pastor owning a private jet; the church can own one and allow the Pastor fly whenever he needs it.

    When the Pastor dies, will his children not inherit his property, what if they sell it? It becomes part of their inheritance, their personal property.

    Assuming a school was built in the community with the money for the Jet, while the parking, running and other associated maintenance cost used to pay teachers salaries and also provide free books and free education for the children in the community. I want to believe the children will become “born again” fast- fast and heaven will rejoice.

  9. I don't like the jet thing .... but my question is why do people expect so much from the church?

  10. Eya's list makes so much sense. The church can still do a lot more than it is doing. We need to accept for change to begin.

  11. hmmm I really do not like saying anything about what people say about pastors because we really do not know which pastor is doing right in the eyes of God

    let's forget the jets for a bit, I believe churches should do more, Christians should do more in their communities and churches should do even more. my church does and encourages us to, and even tries to find means by which we can participate.. (good example)

    another thing, if pastors are falling should we gather and keep spreading stories about them or pray that God delivers and helps them? if your spirit is not right with a church then leave that particular church.... find somewhere else to worship.

    the thing is we do not know which of these pastors are really stealing and the ones that have a heart of God..

    and yes, I expect non Christians to condemn, mock, etc, but as Christians I think we should be careful ...

  12. Some Nigerians are about the most hypocritical people on earth.

    When the BlackBerry smartphone first came to Nigeria, some church members decided to get one for their Pastor and people started running their mouths. I guess today if someone gets a BlackBerry for his/her Pastor, I'm sure its no big deal?

    How many of you here send money to orphanges or have decided to sponsor a kid to school? That 3000 you use for BIS can feed a family for one week. Have you ever decided to sacrifice your BIS for one month?

    You guys should stop being hypocritical and stop blaming the church for the failings of the government.

  13. May I also add, there are churches doing great CSR work, aunty myne have you ever published any? No I guess. No one will celebrate the Good things churches are doing but are very quick to critize Pastors that have private jets. Are the Pastors the cause of the poverty in the land? Unless you will coerced into giving to buy a Private jet, you really have no business critizing those who did it willingly, the last time I checked, its not your money.

  14. Fake miracles?
    May God have mercy on you.


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