By: Charles Awuzie
Question: “Sir, I am one of your followers on facebook. You are God sent at a time like this. Please sir, say something about lavish birthday celebrations for Senior Pastors. It is getting too much. Members contribute to buy these pastors new cars and even private jets on their birthdays. Why can’t they make such contribution and build a free hospital for their host community? Sir please say something about this.”
Answer: Nwanne, I greet you. First of all, thank you for the kind words. While you believe that I am God sent, those who have sold their souls to mammon believe that I am sent by hell. ????. Let me quickly address the issue you raised – about celebrating a pastor’s birthday. There’s nothing wrong about that. If a local assembly chooses to celebrate their leader’s birthday in a special way, it’s their choice and they have not erred. Our fight is not against what people give to pastors or how pastors are celebrated. If we reduce our fight to such, we would have reduced this holy fight of faith to envy, jealousy and covetousness. Our fight has ONLY ONE focus – to ENTHRONE JESUS and dethrone mammon in the church by unveiling the gospel of the finished work of Christ. If you had said that the pastors manipulated the people with either curses or even promises of blessings if they celebrate him, I would call out such pastor and expose his serpentine heart. Our fight is not against pastors, but against false doctrines which downplay the great sacrifice of Calvary but exalts mammon, self righteousness and religiosity. We are against such doctrines.
However, I must note that your suggestions are valid – churches (especially in Nigeria) should be moderate in how they celebrate their leaders in the midst of such colossal poverty. I agree with you that such churches should consider making contributions towards their leader’s birthday but instead of buying a useless Rolls Royce, they should build a free community hospital with the funds and name it after their spiritual leader as a birthday gift to their leader. Do you understand? If the leader’s heart is sold out to serving God and His children, such gesture will satisfy his soul more than a thousand Ferraris.
May God give us all a heart that beats first for the poor in our midst.