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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Columnist: Evangelist Samoa Mensa.

The church is a place of worship - Why turn us away?

I asked a jobless graduate friend of mine, Prince, to start going back to Church. His response was "How can you go to church and you can't even give offering when the time is due. Always *dodging the offering bowl*." Is it not an embarrassment? He added.

Yeah, bingo for me; something that I'd always want to write on. A perfect time to write, now.

Not only Prince, but so many jobless youth stay back at home on worship days for same reason, he added. Very true, Not only jobless graduates but also employed people stay back at home on worship days whenever they are faced with hard times to avoid shame.

Not only the employed and the unemployed, the worse of it is the new convert. So many new converts turn back from the church because of same reason. New converts too? Why then do we keep evangelising to win souls for Christ? To win souls and turn them back from the church? Jesus is grieved with this bad practice in the church.

My Dad of blessed memory queried his church leaders many years ago to stop that ill-form of fund raising at his church meant to seek approval of men and not God. They agreed not, so he stepped out of the church and could not go back to Church for over a period of 15 years till he died in 2011.

Who caused it? "How terrible for the world that there are things that make people lose their faith! Such things will always happen - but how terrible for the one who causes them!" - Mathew 18:7.

The church is a place of worship - why turn us away? Please we also want to come and worship God through His Son Jesus so please allow us in.

*To the true church*,

If you are a pastor, then, please restructure your church in order for it to be more convenient; welcoming to the poor, needy and the neglected. At their own free will, they must be able to enter the church with all joy and happiness.

Yes, you would please yourself by assuming you were not the one who drove us out. No, indirectly, you did. You asked us not to enter. Thought of these little ones? The new converts?

Remember the teachings of Jesus in Mathew 18:6. "If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose his faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied round his neck and be drowned in the deep sea".

The sheep turn away at the gate of the church; is there any wolf ? The place ought to be home for the sheep.

Jesus is saying; " enough of the appeal for funds ", enough of your discriminating appeal for funds aimed at showcasing riches and sidelining the poor. You allow and create stage for people whose hands are stained with blood to gain praise for themselves. Stop burdening me with these evil sacrifices for I am not pleased with. Isaiah 1:10-14.

Allow The Spirit of God to raise His own money and funds for the church. He needs not your tactics and strategies; business and oratory prowess to build His church. He builds His church on His own. The church is not your property that can be due for inheritance. The church belongs to God. So He shall provide for the needs of the church.

Pastors, please, whatever is at stake, allow God to do the next move all by Himself.

Why? Have you forgotten so soon that even *Salvation* which is the ultimate for a soul was not bargained but *given freely*? I mean freeeeeeeee. God never asked you to bill us to pay for the cost of eternal life. It is freely given. Please Salvation is free.

Please I am not saying stop offertory collections in churches nor church development. No, I will never say so. As a matter of fact, we have very good heart and we will give whatever God has blessed us with. So please allow us in.

Let members or the congregation give unto God out of their own will and secretly without any of them knowing what the other offered to God. This is the Jesus way as in Mathew 6:2-4. "So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.

*To the false church*,

The end of your time shall come; when Jesus shall thrash you eternally in Judgement. Forgiveness and mercy is here now; you can repent from your sins, but Judgement shall be tomorrow.

Jesus says " *turn away from your sins*. For the Kingdom of God is near." Come to Jesus now and ye shall be saved.