Religion of Friday, 17 June 2011
Source: Issah Alhassan/Chronicle
Call it an extravagant lifestyle, call it ostentatious display of wealth or better still a manifestation of divine blessings on God's vicegerents on earth and you perhaps may not be far from right.
The flamboyant way of life being displayed by Pastors and Men of God in the country currently is becoming a source of discussion amongst certain quarters of the society.
At a time the media spotlight is on the exploits of "false prophets" which occasional coverage on their sexual and fraudulent escapades; one therefore wonders in addition, how some of these so-called men of God abuse the trust and the predicaments of their congregants for their personal aggrandizements.
The two wildly accepted good books, the Quran and the Bible clearly frowns on amassing of wealth by man, particularly at the expense of the masses and proffers the nature of punishment for the rich who takes undue advantage of the poor.
There is a saying that "No Rich Man Has the Right to Enjoy If He has Lazarus Standing in front of his Gate" the Bible for instance, talks about why a Man should possess all the wealth in this world and lose his soul".
The Quran in chapter 102 also talks about the seeking of wealth in the world "Abundance diverts you, Until you come to the graves. Nay, you will soon know, Nay, again, you will soon know. Nay, would that you knew with certain knowledge! You will certainly see hell;
Then you will see it with certainty of sight; Then on that day you shall certainly be questioned about the boons.
But has anyone thought about why by some of these modern day pastors are riding in multimillion dollar vehicles whilst their congregations, whom they claim to be seeking their welfare, are wallowing in the quagmire of poverty.
It is common to see these pastors engaging in competition over who owns the most flashy and latest model of cars such as Chrysler, Lincoln Navigator, Escalade, Hummer 5 et al.
These Men of God are constantly seen riding in these gaudy automobiles, driving majestically to and fro town, at the expense of their poor congregants where they get their source of funding from.
Some of these eye-glittering automobiles, which are seen displayed in the metropolis by the Men of God include but not limited to Chrysler, Hummer 5, Lincoln Navigator, Range Rover, Escalades, most of them are lasts models.
It is important, however to mention here that these pastors, in some circumstances, attempt to polish their images by making occasional donations to Children's Home and Prison Inmates but that can only be described as a flash in the pan, considering the huge amounts of monies they make on daily basis.
A close associate of a popular pastor once told me that his friend (Pastor) had revealed to him that his account at Barclays Bank was unquantifiable and that if he should mention it, people will marvel.
Rev.Mathew Ashimolow of the Kingsway International Church was quoted in BBC voice inset, to have said that the amount of money he makes within an hour is bigger than his late father's whole lifetime earnings.
But how do they make such non-taxable income, from the poor and unsuspecting congregation.
The situation leaves one wondering if that is what God actually wants his servants to do; to enjoy while the majority of their followers suffer in hunger and poverty.
So watch out, the next time you see a flamboyant vehicle passing by you, it may not be the footballer, the musician or the movie star you admire so much, it may be your head pastor or the Imam of your mosque