“Selling Souls for Shining Stones”

By Akin Ojumu

Secular music is not my thing. I detest them. I shun them. I steer clear of them. Their impurity corrupts the mind, and their lewdness torments a righteous soul. Sadly, though, as long as you voyage in the world wide web, and inasmuch as you wade in the waters of social media, sooner or later, you are bound to encounter a secular song.

And that was exactly what happened to me while I was researching the subject of this commentary. As I was thinking through the contours of the topic, I stumbled upon the song titled “Wolves” written and performed by an English singer named Rory Charles Graham, whose professional name, Rag’n’Bone Man, tells you everything you need to know about the man.

As I listened to the song, I couldn’t help but notice how aptly the lyrics capture the very essence of the evil and corruption that have taken hold of the Church in Nigeria.

Here’s how the song goes:

I don’t wanna drown no more
Sick of the same old people
The kind that will sell your soul
Trade it for a shining stone
Ain’t nothing in this life for free
Running from the greatest evil

Finally dawned on me
A man’s gotta fight temptation

Keep the wolves from the door
I hear them scratching like I don't know better
Won't you keep the wolves from the door
It won't be long before I cave in and open up the…

Ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing run rampant in the Buying and Selling Churches of Nigeria. The fiendish vultures that rule the Nigeria horror houses are feverishly scavenging the souls of men and trading them for shining objects. 

Willingly, the prey of religious carnivores surrender themselves to be devoured. Believing their precious souls are being tenderly cared for by compassionate shepherds who’ll make them lie down in green pastures, they voluntarily yield to predators who feed them to the devourer. Trusting they are safe in the hands of affectionate watchmen who’ll restore their souls with still waters, they happily clap their hands as they are led down to the slaughter.

Just as it is today in the horror houses of Nigeria, so it was in Israel during the time of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When the Lord walked the earth and lived among us, the shepherds of the people of Israel had become wolves who laid waste to the people. The Jewish religious establishment of Jesus’ days operated an oppressive system of manipulation, exploitation, extortion to feed their insatiable greed.

For filthy lucre, the religious leaders merchandised the worship of YAHWEH. Greedy of gain, they corrupted the religious sacrifices and ordinances, turning them into sources of pain and anguish for the poor masses. Not unlike what operates in the Buying and Selling Churches of Nigeria, those supposed to show the people the way to God were driving the people away from God as they themselves amass for untold wealth and live opulent lifestyles.

To mask their lack of spiritual authenticity, they resort to expansive symbolism. Shallow in their knowledge of God, endless symbols became the order of the day. They covered the Temple in pure gold and the inside was full of rich trappings. Genuine holiness on the inside was substituted by the outside sign of long robes, enlarged phylacteries, and lengthened tassels.

When they walked in the marketplace, they expected to be greeted with “O Great One,” “O Knowledgeable One,” “O Excellent One,” or “O Exalted Teacher.” To show that they are spiritually superior to the people, they clamored for places of honor at banquets and loved to be the center of attention.

Even worse than the external display of piety was their cruelty towards the most vulnerable amongst the people. Those deserving the most care and attention were the prime targets of their extortion schemes. This they did by way of false teachings and endless human traditions.

Just as you find today in the horror houses of Nigeria, manipulation and fear were the tactics the Jewish religious leaders employed to line their pockets. In fact, one of the most prominent rabbinical teachings of the time was that people who wanted God to bless them had to pay for it. Like the sellers of indulgences of the 16th century Roman Catholic Church, the Rabbi taught the people they could purchase their way to Heaven.

To effectuate this false teaching, they set up thirteen receptacles in the Temple treasury strategically placed in the Court of the Women. It was here the people came to drop money with which, they believed, they could buy God’s blessings and purchase their salvation. 

According to rabbinical traditions, the more money you give to God, the more blessings you get from God. On a daily basis, the people literally poured money into the receptacles hoping to buy their blessings and redemption. As the rich gave large sums of money, the poor gave everything they had left.

It was this system of exploitation and extortion that Jesus condemned in the story of the poor widow (described in Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4) who dropped her last two copper coins in the Temple treasury, thinking God would double the money.

Religious leaders, who were meant to be shepherds of the people were nothing but wolves devouring the people. Those who were supposed to be protectors of the masses had turned themselves into predators from whom the people needed protection. 

Two thousand years later, this is exactly what we see repeating itself in the Buying and Selling Churches of Nigeria. Like Judaism of Jesus’ days, the Nigeria horror houses are cesspools of exploitation by greedy men of God and they are sleazeholes of manipulation by cruel religious leaders.

Church-going Nigerians, like the poor widow, are victims of a corrupt religious system. In Nigeria, spiritually hungry souls, earnestly looking to be fed spiritually healthy meat, are being starved to death by a cruel and oppressive religious system that takes advantage of the ignorance of the vulnerable and preys on the fear of everybody else.

Such a religious system, that preys on the poor and strips the needy down to their last two farthings, is an epitome of cruelty. And it is high time to pull it down.

Next time we’ll discuss the next category of Churches in Nigeria. These are the horror houses of myth and mysticism run by the apostles of realms and operated by prophets of dimensions.


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