By Josephine Oguntoyinbo,
& Samuel Edu
Religious leaders have expressed worry over rise in the number of fake pastors , scammers , charlatans and herbalists disguising as prophets in churches and duping unsuspecting members.
They are specifically worried by the high level of unholy activities becoming a daily occurrence in the “House of God”.
Equaly troubling is the upsurge in cases of prophets and pastors being arrested, paraded and jailed for offences such as frauds, rape, rituals, kidnappings, stealing and embezzlement among other nefarious activities.
They described the situation as disappointing, a dent on the body of Christ as well as discouragement of people from giving their lives to Christ.
They said many of the so-called pastors were not called by God, saying that true pastors were aware of the consequences of sin or actions that could tarnish God’s image.
Speaking with The Hope on the development are the General Secretary, Christ Apostolic Church, Supreme Council Worldwide, Pastor Ejide Aladesaye, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Ondo State, Rev Father Anselm Ologunwa, Chairman, CAN, Ondo West LG Ren (Dr) Sunday Olowoniyi and Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Ondo West chapter, Pastor Akindehin Olumide.
The General Secretary of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Supreme Council Worldwide, Pastor Ejide Aladesaye said the quest for wealth and fame pushed many into pastoral work, even when they were not called by God.
According to him, pastors that were truly called by God knew that all the ungodly acts are satanic and the end is destruction.
He said the dos and donts are clearly written in the Bible, adding that it is only God that enriches people, not through shady means.
He posited that fight against sin needed self denial, true modesty and contentment in order not to end in destruction.
Also, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),Ondo State chapter, Rev. Father Anselm Ologunwa said those so-called clergymen were not in the spirit and were not of God.
He hinted that church registration and verification were ongoing in the state in continuation of what his predecessor did so as to ascertain those who actually went to seminary or theology schools, adding that this would be the first step his administration would take on the issue.
According to him, the exercise would enable the association to know who the self-acclaimed pastors are, their roots and background and those who are not in line, would be fished and flushed out.
“Because of the economic crisis, many people who are fake have come under the umbrella that they are pastors. That is why in the State, we have taken step by registering Churches and want to know pastors that are under these churches to ascertain whether they have truly passed through the mandated training and schools.
“Many have been brainwashed by this fake pastors, just probably because they were looking for miracle. Some who are using charms to perform the so called miracles and have dragged many into the kingdom of darkness,” he explained.
He called on worshippers to hold on to their faith and desist from searching for miracles at all cost.
In his opinion, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ondo West Chapter, Rev. Dr. Sunday Olowoniyi said the upsurge in criminal activities among pastors, prophets was caused by the influx of desperate people who were trying to enrich themselves.
He advised that “people should trace their way back to God. People should be sure that they are truly called by God before becoming ministers of God. People should seek after the kingdom of God first and other things shall be added to it.
The Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Ondo West Chapter, Pastor Akindehin Olumide revealed that “a pastor called by God will never get involved in criminal activities. A true man of God will not be involved in all these vices. Those involved in these terrible acts are not true men of God, they are satisfying the devil and harming Christianity in the country. People will not trust men of God and it is also causing members not be steadfast in worshipping God.”
Pastor Usoroh Nefdu of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said pastors involved in this habit have done more harm than good to the Christian faith.
His words: “The prevalence of atrocities committed by religious leaders is quite alarming and this as a matter of fact has done more harm than to good to the Christian faith.
Also speaking, a Senior Pastor at the Gospel Faith Mission International, Pastor Paul Ayodele lamented that Christianity is no longer as it was in the good old days saying that lots of pseudo pastors have emerged who are only after their belies .
The clergy man said “what we are experiencing in the church and among today’s Christians is quite absurd, the fact remains that this is happening as a result of the fact that most people are going into ministry today without receiving a definite call from God.
“We are in the end time and things of this nature are inevitable just as they have been prophecised in the Holy Scriptures as signs of the end time. Christians should be careful and avoid these set of pastors as they kept denting the image of Christianity,” he said.
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