By Remi Oyeyemi…
It is only a matter of time before the chicken comes home to roost for the agents of religious deceit. Those who cocooned themselves in the garb of evangelism, pretending to win souls when in fact they are winning naira, dollars and pound sterling for their pockets and families. It is only a matter of time before their true colours are seen by the discerning. By their fruits we shall and will know them.
They are ruthless and vicious entrepreneurs masking as men and women of piety. They are mean, cruel, cold and hungry wolves prowling the nooks and crannies of our society preying on the weak, the poor, the vulnerable and the unwary. Pretending to be men and women of God Almighty, their lack of compassion, odious deceit, greed, exploitation and lack of kindness rival that of the devil. To discern and decipher any modicum of godliness in them is a yeoman’s titanic task.
Yes, granted that most Christian and Muslim leaders, yes most, because we must not paint all with the same brush, are ferocious leeches fleecing the life out of our people, the Pentecostals represent the worst of these licentious locusts ravaging our polity. They are selfish, self centered, obnoxiously acquisitive egomaniacal predators. They take all and everything but give nothing in return.
I started off at the Anglican Primary School, Òkè -Imobì, Ìwàrà, in Osun State and finished up at St. Michael Cherubim and Seraphim Primary School, Òkè-Sênì, in the very heart of Ibadan, Oyo State. My secondary education was at Cherubim and Seraphim High School, Ilesa. I am more than enormously proud of these Schools because they laid the foundation of what I have been able, by God’s grace, to become today.
There were and still are several primary and secondary schools owned by the Cherubim and Seraphim, Catholics, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, African Church and many Christian Churches and organizations.Ditto for many of the Muslim missions. Those Schools were within reach for and of many. They laid good life foundation for millions of children who passed through them.
Despite one’s suspicion of Christianity and Islam as foreign faiths with imperialistic socio – religious and politico – economic motives, these early missions and their indigenous genre that came later on, all contributed several positives to the polity. They built not just affordable schools, they built hospitals all over. They did their best in giving back to the society in many ways.
Then came the egregiously greedy goons of Pentecostalism. Impelled and propelled by noxious materialism, they preached dubious prosperity meant to improve the lives of the anchors and impoverish the “sheep”, obviously so called because of their docility and vulnerabilities. They ridiculed and mocked the moderately ascetic living style of the leaders of the Orthodox Churches.
They glorified shameless flamboyancy with translucent horrifying hollowness and serendipitous shallowness. They misled and enticed their unwary victims called “followers” with glittering outwards that are vacuous at the core. Ostentation was glamourised in the midst of want, poverty and squalor. They exuded and revelled in reeking arrogance becoming unfeeling, unperturbed, unconcerned, unloving and uncaring except where money is concerned.
Their aridity in and of spirituality turned them into baptised agents of misery and gnashing of teeth for our people. They turned the Bible upside down as they engage in self serving selective quoting of the Book. The Pentecostals are the proofs of what the Bible warns against about the dexterous ability of the Satan to quote the Bible copiously in justification of its evil deeds.
These so called Pentecostals are enemies of our nation. They are against our culture and traditions. They are against our values of accommodation, compassion, tolerance and sensible civility in Yoruba land in particular. They preach to destroy the essence of our Yorubaness by attacking important elements of our culture and tradition.
In addition they enslave the minds of our people fostering odious docility, engendering political passivity, ineptitude and ineptness; inebriating our people with dangerous and debilitating indifference to moral, social, economic and political degeneration in the larger milieu. They encourage a genre of individualism than the vampire crude Capitalism could ever dream of and repeatedly axe our communality.
They are active antagonists if not committed, persevering enemies of our Yoruba heritage. They promote parlous life ideas that are of no value to their “sheep”. Everything Yoruba nay African is denigrated and demonised with unrestrained and often placed enthusiasm. They glamourised fake living as they encourage their “sheep” to mimic fake and banal tenets of Westernism. From figurative “sheep”, they turned their followers to real “sheep” of the worst form, cultureless, directionless with amoebic and formless identity bereft of any uniqueness.
They are mostly, intellectually incapacitated in their understanding of our essence, uniqueness and richness as a race with chequered past and great future. They demonize what they do not understand. They debauched in enthused ignorance. They are intellectually lazy and never bothered to study our ways of life, our faiths, our cultural practices before they condemn and demonize. They relish in fake righteousness and severely questionable superior moral authority.
These Pentecostals’ genre of exploitation is subtle but seething in its lethality. Like a sneaky but dangerous serpent, its victims are never prepared for the suddenness of its poisonous prowl. Before they realised that they have been dispossessed of their hard earned money, more often than not, it was too late. But the victims are quick to self-console, rationalizing their misfortunes that they did it for God. Yet God spends no money and the Bible insists that salvation is free.
Yes, it is true that you could find it in the Bible that “money is the wheel of evangelism”, but the Bible did not say as these Pentecostals do, that you should coarse, intimidate, blackmail, curse, threaten, cajole, dupe, trick, deceive and burden the poor, hungry, vulnerable “sheep” to get the money. All the evangelists in the Bible had jobs and never received tithes to help themselves, their families and their evangelism.
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The Pentecostals’ preachment of prosperity places the plan to prune the painful plight of their tithe paying “sheep” on permanent pause. Hence, they did not think of founding schools and hospitals like the Orthodox Churches. And occasionally, when they are staggered from the slumber of their gruelling greed to found Schools, they reach further down into the discrepit dungeon of luciferous love of lucre, asking for fees out of this world beyond the reach of their long suffering members. Ooooh, my apologies, I meant their long suffering “sheep.”
Then their sentries would saunter unto the public fora rationalizing the repugnant ruse, ranting relentlessly, “good education is expensive,” “quality education costs money.” Yet all these General Overseers, Oludasiles/Founders of these new wave Churches in the garb of Pentecostals were beneficiaries of the benevolence of others in their youth to get education. They’re actively removing from others, the ladder of opportunity with which they climbed.
Pentecostals, confident cowards who could and would never see any evil in tyranny. They are so gutless they could not even stand for themselves or any of their own. Their pastors are murdered like strayed goats and they could not wimp. Their members are executed during services on Sundays and they remain deafeningly silent.. Probity, integrity, social justice, equity and equality of all is not their forte. They couldn’t stand for anything but fall and crumble for anything like a house of cards.
These Pentecostals, all they care about is money, money, money and money. Even those miserable “sheep” euphemised as “members” or “followers” could never count on them at anytime for anything. They are potent enemies within our society. They are poisonous to our social milieu. They are parasitic conscienceless leeches on our economy. They are enablers of politics of charlatanism. They are shining purveyors of religious shenanigans. They are enemies within.
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.
-John F. Kennedy
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears