Faith & Philosophy

The Eleventh Commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Idolize Thy Pastor”

Pastor Emmanuel Aloysius Meduoye’s sermon was brilliant…titillating…uplifting…soul-stirring…even primal. It was the type of sermon that reverberated through the core of your very soul, making an otherwise dismal, unfulfilling life more bearable. The thunderous applause that followed was worthy of a visiting celebrity.

Comfortably ensconced in a massive leather chair, on the raised mahogany stage, Pastor Meduoye smiled indulgently as he watched the well-dressed and the not so well-dressed eagerly exit the pews and make their way to the front of the church. One by one, they deposited envelope after envelope into the tithing basket that sat at the feet of their adored Pastor.

Stylishly dressed in a meticulously tailored white Armani suit, the object of their adoration contentedly stroked his rather large stomach with pudgy, well-manicured, bejeweled fingers. His dark-brown skin glistened with sweat which he continuously wiped away with a monogrammed red silk handkerchief. But his sharp, little eyes never strayed far from the deacons, as they swiftly replaced each overflowing tithing basket with another and whisking it away to a secured back office, manned by two burly security guards. As the members filed out of the church, he noted the abundance of feminine pulchritude in attendance and made a mental note to remedy his celibate status, in the near future, courtesy of one or more of these Daughters of Eve. After all, he reasoned, wasn’t six months long enough to grieve your wife? As for the fornication issue, who would dare challenge or criticize him, “God’s Anointed”, on that or anything else for that matter? NO ONE!

So it is with the mindset of some Pastors whose charismatic personalities and onstage showmanship are worthy of an Oscar. Such theatrics have proven to be very effective magnets for the poor, illiterate and superstitious, as well as the rich and well-educated, all seeking supernatural solutions for real-life problems. For the weak in spirit Pastors, such overt adoration tends to warp their moral compasses. It swells their egos and makes them thumb their noses at propriety, pushing them to commit the very same immoral depravity they rabidly preached against from the pulpit. Seduced by the fame and fortune bestowed upon them, they begin to liken themselves to demigods, as do their fawning followers. They lull their trusting members into believing that all tithes are being used for “God’s work”, but there is little evidence of “God’s work” present among the needy in the congregation. However, the generosity of “God’s Children” is quite evident – which these “Anointed One’s” shamelessly flaunt with little or no discretion.

What of these charlatans’ followers? What drives them to idolize men or women who gladly don the trappings of a Pastor yet lack the pastoral conviction, compassion, education and experience needed to effectively lead their flocks? Aren’t they similarly seduced, when they choose to follow man instead of God?

Star-struck women, single and married, place lascivious Pastors on pedestals, becoming their willing mistresses, even bearing their illegitimate children.

Star-struck men, the Haves and the Have-Nots idolize arrogant, prideful Pastors whom they worship like heroes, sometimes emulating the very same sinful behaviors as their heroes.

In the face of such slavish devotion, why wouldn’t it be easy for these so-called Men of God to fleece their flocks? Is it a sign of the End Times that true Spirit-filled men of God are being overshadowed by the Great Pretenders? How shameful is it The Good Shepherds of Christendom are being gradually pushed aside, in favor of the Slick Ricks that unashamedly prey on the disabled, elderly, poor, illiterate and superstitious.

So lucrative is the soul-saving business that some rival Pastors compete with each other in “winning souls to Christ” -especially those with deep pockets.

They pull out all stops to lure new members into their folds, like spiders luring prey into their webs. Fiery, hypnotic sermons, tongue-speaking, all-night revivals, divine healings, signs and wonders, praise dancing, mass choirs and live bands bewitch willing members, prompting them to give and give generously. Then these greedy jackals rake in more millions selling books, CDs, DVDs, religious trinkets and miracles to their adoring audiences – many of whom remain destitute.

These Masters of Deceit use several methods to gain total and absolute control over their members’ minds and pockets. One method is to rate members on how many “good works” they do and the amount of tithes they give.

Generous tithers and good workers are showered with praise and special privileges. Lesser tithers and not-so good workers are publicly identified, made to feel guilty for not giving more money and may be shunned, all of which is contrary to Scripture. Such tactics breed jealousy and resentment among members of the “Out Group” and sinful pride among members of the “In Group”, with each vying for the attention of the “Author of Confusion”…their Pastor.

Such Pastors are also adept at coercing their members into believing false doctrines and teachings that directly contradict Scripture, one of which is that in order to be saved you must be a member of their church or their denomination. To maintain total control over their congregations, some Pastors decree that all non-members must be shunned, even close family and friends. Strict dress codes, mandatory church attendance and performance, restrictions against attending different churches, disciplinary consequences for members who question the Pastor’s authority are all used as other control measures.

In other churches, rules on where members can go, what they can read and listen to, public shaming, threats, condemnation and peer pressure are other disturbing methods used by unscrupulous Pastors to gain and maintain authoritarian control of their congregations and their money.

But then comes the day these shameless ones fall from grace – victims of their megalomania. How do they feel when their depravity is uncovered? How do they hold their heads up, when they are bowed down with shame and embarrassment? Do they care how their members feel, when their adored Pastor is looked upon with disgust, disappointment and disenchantment, despite his/her tearful pleas for forgiveness and mercy?

When Christians look to flawed men and women for moral and spiritual sustenance, they set themselves up for a fall – a soul-killing fall. Why? Because these so-called “Anointed Ones” are human, and being human, their flaws will eventually appear, leaving their members reeling with disappointment, disbelief and a sense of loss, in the aftermath of their Pastors’ disgrace.

So why aren’t more voices of True Men and Women of God raised in collective protest against such shenanigans?

Why do they hesitate and/or refuse to speak out about these wolves in sheep’s clothing?

Do they feel bound by Psalm 105:15: “…Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (KJV)?

A belief in “One Greater Than Yourself” is a wondrous thing. It gives you spiritual strength in times of doubt, need and betrayal. It comforts and restores your soul, in the face of adversity. It is also your very own private therapist – free of charge. It
should not be bastardized by immoral Pastors intent on capitalizing on Christian beliefs and using those beliefs to enrich themselves and their cronies.

The Bible teaches that the truth shall set you free, so why not free yourself from the clutches of greedy, self-serving pastors who covet power, money and fame at your expense?

A discerning Christian has eyes wide-open but a passive Christian is ripe for ma

nipulation and exploitation.

Copyright © 2013 Zee Boyd

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