It is very easy to fall into BLIND arguments when it involves Religion as it pertains to Nigerian Christianity or Christianity as practiced by Nigerians in Nigeria and all over the World. So I am calling for Christian views as outlined in the BIBLE and not for Religious views, because Religion has been in existence before Jesus Christ was born, but Christianity started AFTER Jesus ascended into Heaven.
My questions which represent the views of the masses are:
- Is the Nigerian Church a BUSINESS venture?
- Does the Nigerian Church have any concerns/plans for the poor masses, which make up the 99.9% of its congregation?
- Who is the Nigerian Christian?
- IS the definition of Nigerian Christianity different from the Biblical definition?
Before you begin your self-styled argument or should I say “analysis”, this is a bit background of what prompted these questions:
Recent articles from some media houses have revealed the floating of an Airline called Dominion Air by the Nigeria’s richest pastor and self-styled bishop, David Oyedepo. This is an addition to his business empire, which spans across Education and Media Sectors.
Bishop David Oyedepo, who a few years ago ignited debate on flamboyant Christianity by acquiring his fourth private jet, is the owner of Dominion Publishing House, Covenant University and an elite secondary school called Faith Academy.
Bishop David Oyedepo, the presiding Bishop and founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, also popularly known as Winners’ Chapel was recently listed by Forbes as Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor. With a net worth of $150 million, Forbes also mentioned the preacher’s luxury homes in London and the United States, this is besides his four private jets.
According to Sources, Dominion Air has been registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), with Bishop David Oyedepo named as its Chairman. It is also believed that the airline project had been in the works for six years and was only made a reality this year.
Dominion Air, according to sources BOUGHT All their aircrafts and can authoritatively say that none of their aircrafts is on lease. The number of aircrafts and makes are still not revealed.
The entry of Bishop David Oyedepo entry into the airline business is creating exciting buzz in Nigeria’s stock exchange at the moments, but the buzz is received with mixed feelings within the Christian community, especially the Pentecostal congregations.
In recent times, the Pentecostal Congregation in Nigeria have come under serious criticism; there have been series of worries that the so-called men of God (MOG) have been “MOGging” or alienating their poor followers with their flamboyant lifestyle.
In a swift reaction, Lawrence Ofili, a member of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), has this to say:
“Pastor Oyedepo by his choice of businesses has severally demonstrated a disconnect between himself and hundreds of thousands of poor Christians who he claimed to have come to deliver. About 90 per cent of public schools in this country were built by early Christian missionaries; today Oyedepo has Covenant University but it is for children of millionaires,”
Mr Ofili further opined that:
“Even with the high school called Faith Academy, I am aware that most children in his congregation dream to be educated there but their parents who probably pay tithes and offerings cannot afford the school fees. His Faith Tabernacle accommodates 50,000 worshipers every Sunday; how many of them are going to fly Dominion Air? Honestly this project is not for the poor. He should have settled for mechanised farming to engage unemployed men and women.”
Based on the above and your views on the difference between Christianity as practiced by the missionaries why by the way brought Christianity to Nigeria, and the present day Nigerian Christianity, I am sure you would be in a better position to give a candid opinion and not one which is based on religion.
Your thoughts are highly needed.