By: Clement Ntukogu –
In recent days you will notice that most church heads have subscribed to the idea of “advertising” their “churches” by erecting colourful billboards of all sizes in strategic locations around most towns and cities. Most often these billboards carry the photograph of the Church head and his wife in a familiar posture.
Some of these posters and billboards most often contained not only the picture of the pastor and his wife, but also his little children’s picture.
In the time past, the Roman Catholics church billboards were normally with the logo and maybe the “assumed image of Christ”. It’s “assumed” image because it’s not the true image of Jesus Christ.
Yet, the Pentecostals criticize the Roman Catholics for using such images like that of Christ and Mary, but now, what do we see among the Pentecostals today? Is it not worse than what which they accused Catholics of?
Whose images are in those billboards? Is it not the beautiful and over-edited pictures of general overseers and their wives with their teeth brightened enough to get customers? Is it not the jewelries that their wives worn that are shown there? Is it not a pastor and his heavily make up wife posing on it?
The churches no longer advertise Christ as the Catholics do in the past, they now advertise daddy and mummy. They no longer preach to sinners through crusades, they now preach to convert people from one church to the other. They no longer publicize the gospel of that old rugged cross; they now publicize the activities of daddy and mummy. What a shame! Even the company owners don’t advertise themselves the way this new generation pastors are doing today.
Have you seen the pictures of company Managing Directors and their wives on their bill boards? Their advertisements were to promote their company and their product and not the owner of the company and his wife.
It is entertainment Artistes that advertise themselves on billboards along side promoting their album/movie because the entertainment business is all about the Artiste and his fame.
The Politicians too, advertise themselves on billboards seeking for popularity. Pastors who are doing this are simply seeking for fame and this should not be so. We are not called to seek for fame but to lift Jesus higher for the world to see. Jesus didn’t seek for fame, he simply was doing his work and fame came to him. Same goes with the apostles.
We never saw them seeking for fame rather they just concentrated on their calling and fame came to them. However, as Christians, we advertise or promote Jesus and His word and this does not necessary mean putting the so called picture of Jesus as most churches are doing.
Have you ever wonder why God did not permit the Israelite from making images of anything on earth, in the sea and in heaven above? In Exodus 20:4, God says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”.
Have you ever wonder why Apostle Paul told the people of Athens That, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24,25).
Or have you ever wonder why had God appear to many in all forms but not image? Why did Jesus say God is spirit and we are to worship him in truth and in spirit?
It is high time we tell ourselves the truth and leave sentiments out of it. Somebody will tell you that they are just advertising! What are they advertising? God or His word? While on earth, Jesus Christ never made use of His portrait for any reason at all or do you think there were no artist in his days?
If it were important for us to use His pictures on our billboards, then Matthew, Peter, John and other apostles who spent more than three years with Him, would certainly be able to give us an accurate accounts of such.
Yet, these New Testament writers offer no details about His physical attributes. Does this not suggest that, inspired by the Holy Spirit, they did so in order to carefully avoid encouraging us to make any image of Him?
Honestly you make a lot of sense a times when you are not defending some of the false doctrines in the churches, the Church is NOT a business centre, these billboards carry the photograph of the Church head and his wife in a familiar posture, are NOT advertising God or His word, but those pastors are enjoying fame and self exhibition.
Who is actually glorified on it? Those days Billboards are used to pass message, but now you will see a mighty billboard where the pastor and his wife will pose on more than half space of the billboard leaving just a little space for the church information. Some will even use their billboards to block junctions, that will now make it very difficult for you to see the oncoming vehicle when you are driving.
To Whom Exactly Is Your Church Advertising? The large space given to the pastor and wife on the billboard meant the church is occupied majorly by the family of the pastor. Must these billboards carry “photoshoped” pictures or is this supposed to be an attraction to the advertised Church? Is a Pastor’s face a necessity on these boards?