This post is about a very controversial subject. This post will either shock you or comfort your heart. You could get annoyed or you could get a little wiser. I take full responsibility for whatever reaction might come off this.
I want to talk about pastors. I want to share the experiences I’ve had with some of our pastors out there. It is time to get it out of me. It might help someone to avoid being aped over and over again like me.
When I got born again I was coming from a background of rejection and abuse. When I went to church, I badly needed physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Since I had never really experienced true parental love, I thought I could get it from the people God had established over me as my shepherds. I didn’t hesitate to open up to them, considering them as people I could trust. In my own naivety I thought I could fully trust them; that they were what the Bible says they should be. Then I got shocked out of my naivety.
What actually took me to many pastors was the fact that I was suffering from the kind of spiritual attacks that defied even the most anointed men of God. In my attempt to get help from a number of them I equally had the opportunity to observe them closely. I found out that many of those who claim to be pastors are just business men and women or simply crooks who are out to make a living by what ever means they can. They think God’s vineyard is their personal enterprise for personal aggrandizement. Did Jesus not prophesy about it? Many will come as sheep but deep within they are just ravenous wolves.
Don’t get me wrong. Pastor’s money is in the pocket of the Christians. But Pastor’s responsibility is to preach the undiluted word of God and the Holy Spirit will move his Christians to take care of all his needs. God will bring partners to sponsor church projects. Don’t be the kind of pastor who , when you need five hundred dollars for Monday morning you sit in your house Saturday evening and plan a strategy on how to fund raise Sunday morning. If you are forced to do that, know that there is something very wrong in the way you relate to God and the Holy Spirit. You don’t even care to take your needs to God any longer because you have your own way of getting it done. Repent, man of God, repent.
As a Christian I have come across the following categories of fake pastors. Get this and learn from it. But before you do, know that I have nothing against men of God. I am called to ministry myself, so I know many are observing me too.
- I have met hungry pastors who are out to make money in order to make ends meet at home. Everything they say or do is geared towards meeting their financial needs. They will go to any extend just to be able to put food on their tables. Now, who called them to the ministry? Has God become unable or unwilling to take care of His servants? Something is wrong somewhere.
- Covetous pastors who want to be like X or Y. They want to drive the same car like so and so; they want to fly a private jet like their colleague. They will intentionally manipulate their Christians and squeeze money from their pockets in order to live the high life. God’s vineyard has become their private enterprise and they behave more like the CEO than servants of God. They are eaten up by the spirit of mammon. They have no conscience whatsoever.
- Charlatans who have failed in every other area of life and have found refuge in God’s vineyard. There is no requirement for any form of qualification, certification, years of experience and interviews. All they needed was a Bible and a briefcase and before you know it they are bringing shame on the name of God claiming to be preaching the gospel. Some of them have never been called to God’s service. They slept one day, had a dream, the revelation came to pass. Then they bought themselves a suit, a briefcase and a Bible and became full fledge prophets.
- Have you ever been in a church needing help, but no one cares about your troubles just because you have a nice job? Pastor’s eyes are blinded to your need. All he sees is your pay check. “If he earns so much money, then he shouldn’t complain about any thing else.” That is why some very rich and influential people commit suicide although they are members of a church. They are always the first to make contributions towards church projects; but they are lonely, they are suffering and no one cares.
- I have had to work with pastors who suffer from chronic low self-esteem. They feel inadequate and unqualified before their own Christians. It is not a crime to feel a little low sometimes. It can happen to any body. The bad thing I realized however was that instead of getting what it takes to be what they are expected to be such pastors rather mount up strategies to demean and subdue their Christians. Some go as far as embarrassing you publicly while others preach your intimacy from the pulpit. They don’t know who they are, but they won’t let you be who you are. How am I to blame for the fact that you don’t feel confident enough, anointed enough or educated enough?
I have observed a number of strategies these fakes use to extort money from their victims.
“God told me to tell you this and that…” God never spoke to them at all. They know that you are a God fearing person and that when you hear the name of God added to a prophecy you will fall prostrate and do as they say. So they use that Holy Name to dupe you. May God have mercy on them.
Nowadays the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for sale. My Bible tells me that we have received freely and we must give to others freely. But it is no longer so today. Prophets prophesy for money; before pastor lays hands on you for healing or deliverance you have to disburse a sum of money. You have to pay for your own healing. The blood of Jesus is no longer sufficient.
Some will pray and then ask you to bring an offering because your case is settled. You bring them a handsome amount. A few days later you realize your case was not settled after all. When you go back to them they will find a reason to prove that it is your entire fault. “You do not have faith; you did not keep praying about it; your offering was not big enough”. When some of them realize they can’t help you, instead of telling you the truth they will create scandal to send you away from their church. After all, they got the money in their pockets already. You can go commit suicide, they don’t care.
I have had bitter experiences, but I am still a Christian and I still believe in Jesus. God has not changed; there are still genuine men and women of God out there. They are few but they are there. May God give us the discernment to know who to trust and who to flee from. May God help us to see the wolves hidden behind the sheep clothing.
If you are already part of a local church under a genuine servant of God, thank God for your pastor and stay put. If you are still searching for a place of fellowship, make sure the Holy Spirit Himself leads you to a church. If you have been betrayed and hurt like I’ve been, I pray that God Himself will heal your heart and then help you to meet a good shepherd. There are still some good ones out there.
One thing is sure; I have changed. These things have had an impact on my spiritual life. I’m no longer naïve and easily trusting, no matter how anointed a pastor is. I’m a civil servant. When I get transferred to a new region and I get into a church I take my time to observe very keenly what is going on there. I don’t just get to trusting everybody, and I don’t mistrust either. I just sit there and watch, then pray for the Holy Spirit to tell me what to do next.
If (like me) you really want to serve God in spirit and in truth, but are afraid to get aped (again), don’t get discouraged. Take a time out with God alone and ask Him to tell you what to do next. He is faithful and He will not let you live in confusion and uncertainty. He knows that some of His shepherds have gone astray, even more than the sheep. He will guide you to those who are still genuine. If you are really out to serve your God sincerely, He will never allow you to be ruined by unscrupulous mercenaries.
Some of you have become very skeptical about the church because of what you have suffered. People don’t understand why you seem so lukewarm in the midst of so much fire. Some even criticize your attitude. Don’t cry any longer; your creator knows what you have been through. Others judge but your actions. They can’t see your heart. My prayer is that God will heal your heart and enable you to be zealous once more for the things of God.
Serve the Lord with joy; trust in Him. Honor His servants, but keep your eyes peeled. Be meek as doves but wise as serpents.
God bless you.