FAITH FOR SALE
By Akin Ojumu
At the root of all the mess in the Christian Church today is the blinding love of money. Undergirding all the deception, enchantment, manipulation, immorality, self-glorification, empire building, pride, pomposity, and the rest that have come to define the Body of Christ is the fervent worship of Mammon.
The mayhem and chaos are all because people have chosen to sacrifice their soul as an offering to the demons of materialism and their heart as oblation to the spirits of covetousness. It’s the insatiable craving for earthly possessions with no eternal value that’s responsible for the deafening cacophony of, “Money, money, money, and more money,” that rings from the parapets of the worship houses.
“And in their greed, they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:3).
Today, a vast majority of those in the ministry of saving souls are not actually motivated by a deep concern for the salvation of lost souls. They may say, and even act like, they do, but don’t be fooled by their words and pretense. Deep down in the recesses of their soul, these people see ministry as a means of livelihood. To them, ministry is a job that pays the bills. The prestige that comes from being called and recognized as a "man of god," is also an intoxicating incentive for many to put on the garb of a minister.
With this mindset, such folks often put a price tag on everything they do. Like inventories in a grocery store, every ministration, every prophetic utterance, every prayer, every laying of hand, every counsel has a sticker price stamped on it. The focus of such a ministry is prosperity, and the theme of their message is success. Emblazoned on the banner of their denomination is deliverance and success. Wealth and health, name it and claim it, are the pillars that hold it all together.
Since Mammon is their god, these folks judge everything by their size and stature. They look at the outward appearance without much thought for what’s inside the heart. In their eyes, the success and failure of any endeavor are directly proportional to the size of the outcomes.
To them, a big church with a large audience bringing in fat offerings always translates into the presence of big anointing. Whereas a tiny church with a handful of people and a token in offering probably means no anointing at all. Fruitfulness is judged by human standards and the metrics for measuring success in ministry is something borrowed from the secular world.
Being a transactional deity that he is, the blessings of Mammon their god are reserved only for those with the means and wherewithal to buy the goods. In order to release the grace of their god, they say, you must give the man of god a sizable amount of money. To get this god to heal your body, you must sow into the life of his prophets. The only thing that unlocks the window of the vault of this god, is the offering you give and the tithes you bring. If you fail to do any of these things, your life will become tight, and the devourer will come visit you. Occasionally, Mammon, in his benevolence, does offer a Buy One Get One free (BOGO) sales event.
“Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.” (2 Corinthians 2:17).
Nevertheless, the truth of God stands. The blessings of Jehovah God cannot be purchased with money and the grace of Elohim cannot be bought. It’s a perversion of the Word of God to set a price on the blessings of God. To place a sticker price on the work of God is to price oneself right out of the blessing of God. Whenever a man charged with spiritual responsibility gets concerned about how much money he is getting, he bargains himself right out of eternal blessing.
God does not and cannot bless the work of a man consumed with greed for money. Show me a minister of the Gospel who is preoccupied with money, and I’ll show you a ministry with Ichabod stamped boldly across it. You cannot serve God and Mammon.
On the day we stand before the Bema Seat (i.e., the Judgement Seat) of God, those who put a price tag on the work of God will find their names omitted from the Book of Life, and those who engage in merchandising the grace of God will hear the stinging voice of God say, “I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”