I was woken up this morning by the email of Mojisoluwa Olabode,a friend that promised to try his hand on blogging. He MADE GOOD on that promise.
Enjoy the post he sent:
“Such uproar met the announcement that Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor got a private jet as a birthday gift from church members. All sorts of comments flew around on the net especially Twitter where all d heavy hitting happens these days. Those against the manner of the gift for a man of God are of the school of thought that such ostentatious lifestyle is not befitting of a someone of that office who is supposed to be living a pious & austere life.
How can he be flying about in a jet when his followers are trekking? When his members don’t have what to eat; wear & cater for their families, he has the luxury of putting up his feet in the comfort of the posh reclining sofa of his new jet.
Those in support of him having a jet also put up a strong case that why shouldn’t he have one? More so, it was a congregation or a part of it that decided to honour him as such and he deserved such if that is their assessment of his worth to them. @IamSteveHarris’ TL or #removethespeckinyoureye for more salient points in favour of this.
So, here is my two-pence contribution to this matter. Firstly, I will like to state categorically that as a personal rule I don’t judge people even when I have all the facts because I don’t know if I would act better than them if put in the same position they are. Let alone men of God. I don’t judge men of God. Note the last two words, Of God! Let God be the judge of them because they work for God.
Having stated the personal rule, you will understand my initial reluctance to talk about this, not because I’m economical with the truth or being partisan because I’m a Christian and may one day find myself in pastoral position and don’t want people to critique me when I start receiving my own gulf-stream jets, helicopters, yachts, submarines, Islands, etc. *grin*
So, without any prejudice I can sincerely tell you that I don’t see much fuss in the man of God owning a jet. If you can prove to me that church money, be it regular offering, thanksgiving offering, tithes, seed/partnership, etc., was siphoned to finance the acquisition of the jet, then there is a case in there for those against such show of opulence.
I feel it is hypocritical of people to say he has poor folks in his church so couldn’t he use that money to alleviate the poverty level of these set of people. Valid line of argument, I agree but are you saying authoritatively that the needy are not being considered & catered for by the church via their various welfare initiatives.
Well, you go ahead to change your salon car to a SUV and travel to Dubai for vacation but there is someone in your family that has dire financial needs. So do tell did you skip your vacation or delay getting that Ipad to help someone in need. Or you think the bible expressly exempted you. No!
Every one of us is responsible for helping out with needy.
I don’t know the reasoning, or should I say justification for getting the jet. Maybe it is coz he travels a lot or just because the budget could accommodate it. I cannot say.
Let me tell you a bible story, if you are not too old for such, a certain woman deem it fit to honour Jesus with an alabaster jar of VERY expensive perfume. You know what, his disciples were furious and argued, as some are now, that it could have be sold for a large sum and given to the poor. Theologians will describe that sum as equivalent of a worker’s annual pay.
You may be saying/thinking to yourself that “ha, them don brainwash this mumu, is the pastor now Jesus”. Lol! I’m not saying he is Jesus; however the lady didn’t know Jesus was the messiah or saviour at that point. She was just honouring him. You are seating in church not paying tithes nor offerings coz of the fear that the pastor will chop your money. C’mon, just admit it you are plain stingy.
Solomon gave a burnt offering of a thousand animals, probably bulls, to the Lord. You can count right, one thousand! I cannot even begin to imagine the preparation that will cater for this sacrifice and he burnt it all. I am sure there were one or two people that slept hungry in the city that night.
My point is that buying a gift for a pastor or man of God shouldn’t always be seen as a sinful show of opulence and that church money is being mismanaged. I know this may be happening in some churches and some men of God actually called themselves, not God calling them, but I believe time is a good test of such churches and men of God. The fruits will show forth and we can then see that the mango tree is bearing oranges now. Don’t mind me, bad analogy.
I was discussing with a friend last year and my conclusion to him was that some pastors are probably the biggest CEOs in the country but they don’t act it nor live it up. He laughed and said why. I said that they are the head of organisational structures bigger and older than banks. With more parishes than the entire branch network of the twenty-four commercial banks combined, you would agree with me that person on top of that pile is kind of a big deal. You will be shocked how many of those churches can afford to buy a jet and wouldn’t blink once it becomes necessary for the ministry to own such. After all, RCCG and Winners’ Chapel have secondary and tertiary schools. Am sure getting a jet is cheaper than establishing a university. People will be quick to talk about the high tuition fees, as if doing your Masters abroad is peanuts.
When prosperity is preached, cynics think it is a gimmick to trick people of their hard earned cash. It is possible, leave those people to God. They work for him, He will deal with them. However, giving doesn’t necessarily guarantee financial breakthrough, it is your believe in God that does that.
I think some people would like their pastor to be slapping it to church under the sun or crawling along in his fifteen year old rickety Beetle that Volkswagen has forgotten about the model while they are cruising in their mechanical beast. Or would it be better that he is perpetually looking famished and not related to fasting. Seriously, would you go to that church? Let’s be frank, I won’t. You know that old joke about the dude trying to selling that magic acne cream in the bus and his face looks like Nigerian coat of arms decorated with multiple pimples, acne, boils and rashes. You won’t buy the product. Remember Job was the richest man in the East.
The aviation industry is in a mess at the moment and the safest mode of transportation by best practice is proving different here. Crashes, near-misses, mid-air crisis and diverse malfunction problems have been rife in the industry. Flights are delayed or cancelled probably coz there is no jet fuel or one of the engines is faulty. So, consider all these in the reasoning of a frequent flyer that has the capacity to acquire a jet.
It is not a sin to buy a jet and definitely not a sin to receive one; it is the means of getting or motive of getting it that can be sinful. And if there is documented evidence that the needy folks are completing abandoned, then there is a reason to be bothered as well.
If a pastor decides that he wants to drive a Mercedes, all well and good. Live in a big mansion, cool. Vacation with the family in an exotic city, I am for it all as long as hands are clean, do you think it fair that all the blessings flows to the congregation alone and the set man of the house will be empty-handed. Very funny!
Having said all this, I am must wear yet another cap and say that from a business angle that acquiring a private jet might not be the best idea, not because it is a sin but the running costs, maintenance bills, servicing and staffing to fully maintain the jet would be enormous and be quite a burden for the pastor to bear personally and the jet may be transferred to church which may now lock down useful funds for other projects.
Aromplani to lo,
Ba mi ki pastor mi to lon,
iyanu meji o yo mi, o yo mi oh
By the way, my birthday is just around the corner, so if you are already considering buying me a jet, kindly park on 3MB, that will be my runaway until I buy a hangar for it. Hehehehe.
You can follow him on twitter @Mojisoluwa
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