In Nigeria, Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel has accumulated US$150 million. He is currently selling 2 of his 4 jets.
He is not selling his jets because of the recent documentaries that criticize his lifestyle for being "at odds with the poverty and helplessness that exists" in the communities he operates in, or the pressure from other megachurch pastors who did not make the Forbes Richest List like Bishop David. No, he is downsizing simply because of the "high maintenance costs" of those jets.
Yeah, I can relate . . . NOT! I got outbid on an auction this week for a 45 year old beat up Land Rover and the Nigerians are emailing ME for money????????
Anyone else think its time for Reformation in the church? Here's some interesting quotes on the Ka-Ching in the Ka-Church:
"Pentecostals understand that their worship is the 'show' that brings in the punters, who then buy the merchandise,"
Kate Mannix, editor of Online Catholic, from "God's Millionaires: Pentecostal churches are not waiting to inherit the earth. They are taking it now, tax-free." Business Review Weekly Magazine, Australian.
"The Scriptures forbid charging for ministry . . . in any circumstance or situation. It is that black and white."
Steve Camp, musician and reformer, Peddling the Word of God for profit . . . should we be charging for ministry? Nov, 2011.
"Many of these ministers have made themselves multi-millionaires. They are no more than business magnates who benefit from the tax-free status of corporations that they lead. They are not 'pastors' but business managers who have cashed in on a loophole in the Western governmental tax system."
Philip Powell, Pentecostal preacher, former general-secretary of the AOG, God's Millionaires
"I've seen more money stolen in the name of God than any other way. . . . Seven out of 10 of our cases involve affinity fraud, and in the South, probably 40% to 50% have a religious angle."
Joseph Borg, Alabama securities commissioner and a past president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, Wall Street Journal, Oct 21, 2011, in an article about Bishop Eddie Long's "Ponzi scheme" lawsuit.
"They teach the people that it is more helpful to give such hypocrites bodily alms, than to give it to poor needy men after the Gospel. And thus they deceive the people in belief, and rob them of temporal goods."
John Wyclif, On Vain Traditions
John Wyclif was so p**d off at the corruption in the church that he translated the Scriptures and started a Reformation. But that was a long time ago. Since then, the church discovered sneaky ways to get rich again. It replaced greedy monks with greedy preachers. It re-instituted the heresy of tithing and convinced the laity that clergy were professional executives, a higher breed who deserved a high class lifestyle. Shepherds became salesmen and their flocks became unthinking consumers. And then Ka-ching in the Ka-church became so normal and acceptable, and unaccountable, that the church was unable to reform itself.
Blinded by their dollar bills and unable to hear God's voice in all matters financial, the church turned into green sludge. So God began to raise up secular spokespeople and worldly organizations to bring the much needed reform in His church. This is where we are today. Sad story but I think a happy ending is on its way.
Recommended: All that Glitters is not Gold [Lausanne]