By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As corruption and impoverishment continue to rise all over the country, a non-profit making organization, One Love Foundation, OLF, Sunday, alleged that corrupt politicians are taking refuge with stolen public funds in some churches.
According to the Founder and President, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, some so-called men of God have transformed their churches into commercial centers that promote and harbour flamboyant lifestyles but fails to condemn persons of questionable character, rather praise-sing and encourage them to continue with their evil and corrupt activities at the detriment of the oppressed and less privileged citizens.
Eholor said, “These ‘men of God’ have now turned the church into a business center and living flamboyant lives, and this development is the reason why overall development in this country is stagnant because politicians now see the church as a place where they take refuge after stealing public funds meant for the development of the country without the so-called men of God asking the source of their income.”
Eholor who also lamented said churches supposed to be a place of taking care of the peoples’ welfare spiritually, physically, financially, materially, especially of the needy, where comfort, love, and unity is promoted and provided for members, and stand against all forms of corruption by using their preaching to hit them hard, not minding whoever is involved.
But most of them have turned out to be huge profit-making ventures “by some unscrupulous elements championing the agenda of Satan at the detriment of the poor masses.”
He said: “Nigerians are faced with poverty, unemployment, and diseases, and many have turned to religion as their only source of hope and solace. However, many became the victim of religious abuse as a result of these bogus preachers who capitalised on people’s desperation to gain fame, wealth and also satisfy their sexual lust.
“They have been known to hoodwink their followers into parting with huge sums of money and also subject them to dubious rituals, in the name of performing miracles.
“As these miracles are usually staged using actors, psychological tools or technologies, and are meant to attract members and also to establish a hierarchical religious power structure with the pastor at the top.
“As a result of these miracles, many have been injured, marriages have been broken and hundreds have lost their lives, all in the hands of these deceptive preachers and prophets.”
The vocal human rights activist called on the church leaders to make the life of Christ and the apostles their standard and beg for mercy, then imbibe the commandments of God as their yardsticks, while quoting Psalms 1.
“That is why God has told us not just to read or hear his words, but meditate on them. To meditate is to reflect on, to ponder, to mull over, to talk about, to re-read, to re-hear, to say to others, and to hear from the lips of others.
“We learn in Psalm 1 that God blesses those who: ‘do not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers’ (1:1).
“Our meditations or self-talk or self-reflection often express worry, unbelief, criticism of others or ourselves, busyness, activities, complaints, or tension. We should replace worldly meditation with godly meditation. Good meditation should replace bad meditation: healthy meditation should replace unhealthy meditation.
“As Psalm 1 tells us, God blesses those who both delight in and meditate on God’s teaching: ‘but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, they meditate day and night’ (1:2)”, he added.
He further stated that “It is only delighting in and meditating on God’s teaching, which will fill our minds, hearts, and lives with God’s truth, rather than the rubbish found all around us. If garbage goes into our minds, garbage will come out.
“If God’s words go into our minds, then God’s words will come out in our life, speech, and actions. And we will become fertile and fruitful, as Psalm 1 tells us.”