Prosperity gospel is evil, conterpductive, promotes poverty, cultic ideology - Don
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Prosperity gospel is evil, conterpductive, promotes poverty, cultic ideology - Don

Jan. 16, 2024

Prosperity gospel is evil, conterpductive, promotes poverty, cultic ideology - Don

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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A professor of religious studies, Kehinde Obasola, has expressed concern over the high level of religiosity and increasing wave of prosperity gospel from the pulpits acorss the country.

While nothing the outward expression of piety in the country without corresponding level of social morality among Nigerians, Obasola also warns that the prosperity gospel from many pentecostal churches is evil and counterproductive, while promoting poverty and cultic ideology.

The scholar made this known while delivering the 115th Inahural Lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, with the title 'Delivering God From Evil: An Afro - Philosophical Perspective'.

Obasola said that the world religions generally encourage truth, justice, honesty, fairness and probity but wondered why these have not been the case despite the avalanche of prayer houses and worship centres in the country.

Obasola described prosperity gospel as a prominent idea churches in the country teach and preach to congregants, telling them that Redemption through Jesus Christ releases one not just from death and damnation, but also from poverty, lack, sickness and other evils.

According to him, the preachers constantly remind followers that their promised fortune will not materialise until they have sown seeds, paid tithes, made big cash or property gifts.

He noted that while the prosperity gospel preachers are evidently amassing enormous fortune and living in opulence steadily, their followers remained largely impoverished, having been plunged into poverty due to high routine contributions, tithes and special offerings imposed on them.

Citing over a dozen of preachers, including late Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly called TB Joshua, as being involved in purveying prosperity messages, he gave reasons that line of teaching was inducing evil in the country and Africa.

According to him, apart from promoting poverty, it was also breeding occultism and cultic theology, greed, self - indulgence, selfishness, lack of Christian virtues and materialism in society.

He urged people to be self aware all the time and critically interrogate every doctrine or message coming out from the pulpits, warning that some of the prosperity preachers use "altered state of consciousness, peer pressure and hypnotic suggestions" to manipulate and exploit their victims(followers).

"The prosperity gospel has pushed pastors and leaders to embrace corrupt patterns of leadership, which is depriving people of their hard - earned money, plunging them into poverty. And as a result of the high contributions and levies imposed on them, congregants have been financially exploited.

"Churches are rapidly expanding in many parts of Africa today, yet Sub - Saharan Africa is the only place in the world where poverty is increasing. The prosperity gospel is not working. It impoverishes the followers.

"Prior to the arrival of Christianity in Africa, particularly Nigeria, people went to witch doctors and sacrificed goats or cows to get prosperity. They pour libations over the ground for the gods to hear their petitions. Similar acts persist now because prosperity preachers have taken the position of Ifa priests.

"There are stories of church preachers burying live animals beneath the floor of their churches to gain people's favour. People who follow these prosperity preachers are reminded that their promised fortune will not materialise until they make big cash or property gifts," he said.

The Don said there is an embarrassing gap between the high ethical expectations of the two major religions that the majority of Nigerians practice and phenomena of corruption, greed and graft that have given the country the unenviable status of being one of the most corrupt nations.

Prof. Obasola who noted that many have expressed the worry that corruption is pervasive in Nigeria that it was as if the socio - economic and political system could not function without it.

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