“The Parable of Dollars”

By Akin Ojumu

Every so often, I’m asked the question:

“Which Church would you recommend without any reservation to a new Believer in Nigeria? Is there a place of worship you would suggest without the slightest hesitation to anyone looking to make a change of the Church scenery?”

Whenever people come to me to ask this question, their furrowed brow, puzzled expression, quizzical gaze, fidgeting, stuttering, and trailing off in mid-sentence betray the pent-up frustration and the barely concealed exasperation that undergird the inquiry. These questions are not, in anyway, asked whimsically or facetiously. They are posed by serious Christians genuinely sick and tired of the state of affairs in their various denominations.

Unlike the average penny-pinching Scrooge who keeps her eyes perpetually open for the next BOLO (i.e., Be On the Look Out) deal or the discount-chasing Couponer who seems to always know where to find a BOGO (ie., Buy One Get One free) bargain, once the average Christian chooses a particular Church as her place of worship, she simply wants to put down roots and grow in her faith.

Contrary to what you might think, Church shopping isn’t what most Church folks do. Hopping around from one place of worship to another doesn’t come easy for serious Believers who really care about their spiritual growth. For the most part, the preponderance of serious Christians don’t whore around looking for the next best thing.

Given the mess that Christianity has become in the country, my response to this heartfelt question is as straightforward as Robin Wood’s arrow. In light of the horror that the Nigerian Church has transformed into, you wouldn’t hear an umming or ahhing of indecision in my answer.

So, what I typically tell anyone who comes asking me the question, “Which Church would you recommend?” is a pretty blunt, direct, and unequivocal:

“Ba zan ba da shawarar kowa ba.”

“Agaghị m akwado nke ọ bụla.”

“Emi kii yoo ṣe iṣeduro eyikeyi.”

“I wouldn’t recommend any.”

As much as I hate to admit it, there’s no real Church in Nigeria. Across the board, places of worship in Nigeria are rotten to the core. Oozing from the dark and evil cavernous belly of the country’s religious houses is an awful stench, the dreadful odor of putrefying carcasses of spiritually dead souls.

While this may sound hyperbolic to you, bombast is far from my mind. I mean every word of it. And it gives me absolutely no joy to say so.

Top to bottom, Christianity in Nigeria is dead, and it has been so for a long time. What passes for a house of worship in the country these days is anything but a true Church where the Almighty God is worshiped. The gathering places that are considered holy grounds are unholy institutions where human ideas and opinions of mortal men are propagated instead of the true Gospel.

If you like, you can actually group Churches in Nigeria into broad categories. First, are the motivational centers marked by their intelligent sounding catchphrases and pseudo-profound rhetorical flourishes. Then you have those ones preoccupied with developing business acumen and entrepreneurial skills. Last but not the least are Churches steeped in esotericism, mysticism, & mesmerism.

Part 1 of this commentary series will deal with the first broad category, the motivational houses of horror.

1. Motivational Churches
A disturbing trend in Nigerian Churches is the phenomenon of Pastor-turned-Motivational Speaker. A number of erstwhile ministers of the Gospel have renounced the title “pastor” and have, instead, put on the mantle of “Motivational Speakers.” 

In the name of being relevant to the everyday realities of their followers, these people have determined that the Gospel alone is insufficient to meet the needs of the human soul. So, theyve replaced the Word of God with the opinion of men as the food with which they feed hungry souls.

Chief among members of this category is Pastor – Oops! I meant to say – Motivational Speaker Sam Adeyemi. If you are looking to be motivated and in the market for a place where you’d be pumped up with motivational speeches, the Daystar Christian Center is the right place for you.

What Sam Adeyemi preaches is not the Biblical Gospel. The man who wrote the bestseller, “The Parable of the Dollar,” is nothing but a gospeler of mammon. He is just another one in a long line of men who coat their core message with a veneer of Christian slogans.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Sam Adeyemi said as much himself in his own bio he posted on his website:

“A global speaker, strategic leadership expert and author, who is focused on shifting people’s mindsets so they can see possibilities and become those possibilities.”

Stay tuned for next time.


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