A black lady asked me, “My brother, Why are you angry at African pastors, they are your colleagues”. I said to her, “I am not angry at African pastors, it is God Who is angry at them .”
How can God be happy at African pastors when black African youths, young girls and boys, between the ages of 18-23 are humiliated and dying in thousands, running from the social injustice, corruption and deprivation that have engulfed a continent which have the richest pastors in the world?
God cannot be angry at the African politicians for the social menace, because it is the pastors who hold the highest stake in all social canker and deterioration. The clergies are not only silent, they contribute to the social deterioration, corruption and bribery in the continent.
Throughout all generations, God has been angry at His pastors for failing the society. In Ezekiel 22:25-28, and 34:1-10, Jeremiah 23:1-2 and throughout all His ministry on earth, the LORD was angry at the priests and church leaders.
The LORD chased the priests and the church leaders from the temple and threw their tables and money laundering businesses down in Jerusalem. And they got annoyed and sought to destroy Him. (Mark 11:15-18)
God cannot be angry at the people of world or at the congregation, but the priests. Prophet Malachi began his writing by saying, “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.” (Malachi 2:1-2)
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings, Ye are cursed with a curse... Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:8-10)
Since Malachi 3:8-10 is the main scripture used by the African pastors to collect tithes and offerings from the congregation, without beginning from Malachi 2:1-2, which stipulates who the prophet gave the instructions, we shall begin to address the issue of tithing from this same scripture.
Malachi specified in chapter 2:1-2 that the commandment was to the priests, who were under the obligation to bring the “tithes of the tithes” into the storehouse designed for the fugitives in the cities of refuge. (Numbers 35:11-15)
The priests were to give tithes from the tithes received from the children of Israel (Number 18:24-27), and store them in the storehouse of the cities of refuge for fugitives. (Nehemiah 10:37-38)
It was not the children of Israel who should bring the tithes into the storehouse. Neither was their tithes which were to be stored, it was the Levites’ or the priests’. So Malachi’s instruction cannot be referred to the children of Israel. The Levites were those who were to bring the tenth of the tithes they received from the children of Israel into the storehouse. So it was not the children of Israel that faced curse for not bringing the tithes into the storehouse, it was the priests.
Black Africans at home pay millions of dollars to churches annually. In the United States and Europe, the Blacks give billions of dollars a year into churches. So the problem is not the giving by the members, but the pastors who embezzle the part to be stored in “the storehouse”.
Recently, an American evangelist called Benny Hinn was seen jumping and dancing in great excitement in the eyes of the whole world. The cause of his great joy and excitement was that since his ministry career of over several decades he had not seen money flowing into the Church than when he teamed up with an African pastor from Nigeria called Chris Oyakhilome. At Chris Oyakhilome’s “Loveworld” Television Broadcast in United States, millions of dollars were collected in one single program. A Nigerian gave $1 million.
This was happening at the same time when American Cable News Network (CNN) was showing a documentary to the world on how black African youths, mostly Nigerians, were been sold as slaves for as little as $600 each.
These African pastors care less about the social disgrace of the people they claim to be sent by God to save by their “gospel of love”. They are not ashamed to pose on television throughout the world claiming that they are “men of God” from Africa.
They selfishly care only for their families, their children’s welfare, their private investments and luxurious lifestyles.
The main reason why African societies are so deprived, and why the African youths are sold into slavery in Libya and thousands others are drown in the Mediterranean Sea everyday is not only the fault of corrupt African politicians. The crust of the matter is that the African pastors have failed to champion the course of social justice, youth training and wealth creation by judicious investment of God’s tithes and offerings in the African societies.
It is Christians, especially the pastors, who should champion the course of social justice and participation in the black African continent. But, unlike the Europeans, the African pastors are more Christian, but less Christlike.
In Europe, it is the Christians who champion the course of social justice, wealth creation and youth development in their countries. In German, the main political parties are christian, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU). They are people who are giving shelter, clothing, medical care and food to the African youths who succeeded in crossing to Europe. They cannot close their eyes on these poor and rejected souls sleeping outside at their doors without care.
Every month, the German government spend a minimum of €1500 on each of these youths, most of them carry a baby or more, so the amount is doubled or tripled in most cases. Every child in Europe receive support from infancy till it obtains its first vocation at the age of 25.
Christians in Germany pay between 8-9% of their monthly income from source to the churches, whether Roman Catholic, Protestant or Lutheran, Evangelical or member of other tax-collecting communities, you pay between 8 percent (in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerrttemberg) and 9 percent (in the rest of the country) of your income tax to the church or other community to which you belong.
These monies are judiciously used to support the youth, the needy mothers and children. The Caritas of the Roman Catholic give a minimum of €2000 to young mothers. At the train stations they provide shelter, free beds, blankets and warm foods to stranded passengers. The other churches have similar programs.
A clergy is threatened with imprisonment of up to ten years for embezzling church funds in Germany. Every cent collected by the churches should be accounted for. Every year every church registered in Germany is expected to submit their income and expenditure returns to the internal revenue office.
It is time, the African pastors be controlled and held accountable. But who can do the control? Is it the equally corrupt politicians? We have a long way to go as a people, but the journey to social justice and wealth creation for all should begin with the pastors and the clergies, the mouthpieces of God in the continent.
Edward Bamfo-Darko is a Ghanaian Pastor and Pharmacist residing in Germany.