Efio-Ita Nyok|6 November 2016
Inyali Peter, a Cross River-born bourgeoining journalist, social commentator and an acerbic critic of the present state political administration of Cross River State has taken his critical ware to the religious.
Peter has made reservations over how Christian preachers go about objectifying themselves, their wifes and families in place of God. He particularly observed that in contemporary times signpost, billboards, posters, flyers and other outdoor materials now have the pictures of religious leaders in place of that of Christ and Mary. Peter narrated an experience where while in a church the pastor dished out propositions that suggested strongly that he was the owner of the church. However, the man of God changed the narrative when he was requesting money from the pew of and claimed the church belonged to God. Excerpt:
'While growing up, I met churches flaunting the cloned images of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene or the church logo on their signpost, billboards, posters, flyers and other outdoor materials.
'Altars were well and beautifully decorated with Christ cloned images or the Cross which literally created a mental picture of a temple of God.
'While preaching you hear pastors make statements like 'this is not my altar or my church but the temple and church of God'.
'But today, church founders have replaced Christ picture with their own and Mary Magdalene's image with that of their wives. Flyers, billboards, signpost now carry the image of the church founders, his wife and in some cases their children.
'Altars are now proudly decorated with pastors images which literally means that the altar belongs to them not God.
'There's no place in the bible that any writer create an image of an altar to be a place where men of God advertise their images.
'Only 5% of church founders still understand the message of the old time religion. When I watch pastors live or on television claiming ownership of church I begin to wonder if they have placed themselves at par with God.
'Recently, a friend invited me to a church and when his pastor was reeling out their rules and regulations, I became so uncomfortable. It was like a secret society; if you don't want to do this and that leave my church, I'm not begging for members! Inside me I was saying this man should just shot up! Who told him he owns this church?
'But when the man wanted to call for seed sowing, he said "You're not giving me but you're giving to God the owner of this church" na for money time you sabi sey na God own church ba?', he concluded.
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