Truth Series 001
Written by Kelvin Ugwu MSP on October 24, 2018
A particular parish in Nigeria once invited me to preach in their crusade/revival. On the first day of the program, I watched as crowds were making their way to the venue. The people were much.
In the sacristy as I was getting ready to proceed to the Altar, a lady whom I later discovered to be a lector smiled broadly at me and asked, “Fr, are you a charismatic priest?” Though I never expected the question, so I asked her: “What do you mean by charismatic priest?” She smiled as she try to explain strength or power with her hands.
I did not push further and I did not answer her either because I already have an idea of what she meant, it is not the first time I am faced with such question. For many, people they refer to as “charismatic” represent those ministers or priests they consider to be very powerful. Whatever that means, I don’t know.
As I climbed the pulpit and looked at the crowd, it was not difficult to tell what almost everyone looking at me wants to hear.
Concerning problems and their village people: They want me to tell them that their problems are over and they will live a life free of any stress. They want me to call down “holy ghost” fire upon all their village people. . .then they will shout Amen.
Concerning material things: They want me to tell them that this year they will all of a sudden, even without money in their account, buy brand new cars, build houses, and even fly private jets, and that even those who are not qualified for promotion or for a particular job will get it somehow. . . Then you will hear the loudest Amen.
Speaking in tongues and vision: They want me to speak in tongues, even if it means intentionally making any meaningless sound through the microphone and tell them I am in the spirit. They want me to tell them their names by just looking at them, tell them their date of birth and tell them the exact time they will use the toilet the next day.
Most people, this is the reason they go to church, to hear all those and shout Amen. Unfortunately, even when the teaching is not biblically correct, it has become what defines who a true man of God is. Once you can do it, you will never lack members.
This is the reason why the charismatic group in Abuja will go to the east to invite a priest for their program when there are countless priests around them. You know why? Though both the ones in Abuja and Enugu can both consecrate bread and wine to become body and blood of Christ, yet the one with a ministry in the east that they are inviting will be more powerful. Don’t blame the charismatic group alone. . .they know that parishioners will not attend if the person invited is not known to the people as belonging to the class of “powerful” priests.
This is the reason why harvest/bazaar committee will invite a priest the parishioners call “powerful” for their harvest launch/fundraising because that is the only way the parishioners will come in large numbers and even give more money after they have received the ‘prophecy’ that whatever they sow will be doubled.
This is the reason why a member of another church, even while you are going to your church, will do all it takes to convince you to come to his or her church, simply because for him or her their pastor is more “powerful” than any one else.
This is the reason why we have so many ministries today, because that is the only way many people will recognize the priest or pastor as a “powerful man of God.”
This is the reason why Christians in Nigeria are shallow. Those that do the worst atrocities are often Christians because our messages are often not centered on the root of what Christianity is. In other words, we preach what people want to hear.
This is why people leave Catholic Church and come back to tell you that they saw the light, you know why? They now go to their new church carrying note books, and always active to write and to shout Amen to any “prophetic” declaration from their pastor who is doing all he can to make sure he keeps his members even if it means impressing them with lies.
No doubt, people are gifted differently and you have the right to celebrate any gift. Again, the situation I painted above may not be true for every case, but just remember that he is not more powerful because he has the gift of healing while another has the gift of smiling. You don’t know how many people his smiles have healed.
Nor is he more powerful because he can preach and shout while another can write. You don’t know how many souls have been transformed by his writings.
In everything, look at God the giver of the gift not the agent used. God can use anyone.
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