I spend considerable time each day combing through the various social media apps on my smartphone and one of such adventures last week landed me on a page that has quickly become my favorite on Instagram: @preachersnsneakers.
There, the hilarity and hypocrisy is exposed of how your favorite ‘mega-church’ preacher uses your tithes, offering and other financial gifts to purchase expensive suits and sneakers, fly in the fanciest private jets, ride in the best cars with incredibly low mileage — all in exchange for the promise of a better after-life.
And that’s why I find it quite confounding that people continue to flood their auditoria and warm their pews to soak in the vacuous, poisonous sermons served. The spiritual meals on offer at these places are only about as nutritious as anything from McDonald’s, served by insecure men who preach specious ‘theology’; men who couldn’t make it in the corporate world and thus resort to peddling lies to gullible folk that cling to hope that someday their wish of soaring as high as private jets go — and higher still — will be granted.
A little secret, though (remember where you first heard it, should it ever come true): one day, when I age and retire, I’ll probably open one of these church businesses. Given how widely these are patronized, I’d surely receive lots of gifts and ‘love offerings’. I would also be called ‘Daddy’ – oh how cute! — and have the first and last words in people’s marital issues even if my own marriage is far from ideal. I would get served the fattest pieces of meat and the best portions of dishes whenever I decide to – wholly of my own volition and against conventional judgement — visit any of my church elders in their homes.
And that’s only the half of it. Going further, I’d be entitled to all the love congregants can/can’t afford to give, and none will dare interrogate me, so long as I can browbeat the poor souls with that well-worn ‘touch not my anointed’ passage of Scripture. With all those Sunday sums wired straight to my bank account and little to no accountability required by the donors, what’s not to like?
One last thing, though: among the many issues I have with these mega-church ‘godfathers’ (do pardon the pun) is how vapid their biblical knowledge is. They’re not even grappling with the multi-layered issues of eschatology, Christofascism, liberation theology, consent and the story of the Immaculate Conception, how the Council of Nicaea allegedly distorted what is now widely regarded as the ‘Word of God’, or even how the Bible purportedly reinforces sexism, racism and homophobia. No way; they’d rather focus on the mundane, not the substantive stuff they’re too shallow to comprehend.
See, while the world deals with deepening inequality and social tensions on the brink of combustion, your favorite preacher would rather be obsessed with the latest brand of German-engineered automobile. As he’s convinced himself (and yourself, too, perhaps), such an acquisition would — somehow — elevate him to a plane high and close enough to God in a bid to lobby the latter for those blessings you always hope to secure with generous tithes and offering.
Jimmy Aidoo — Daily Mail GH