Thanks to all those that sent me their views regarding ‘Loadsa Money’.
Indeed your views and comments made me feel a little ….well….cowardly, to say the least.
It seems that once again I was a little too light on the grim reality that’s been staring us in the face for the past decade or so.
In my defense (hey! gotta defend a little bit …pleeaaase???!!);
I know where I am coming from in terms of the many mistakes and errors I’ve made in my past, and the faults and defects I continue to do battle with today. Therefore I am always very conscious of not wanting to sound too harsh or ‘holier than thou’ – in any shape or form.
But – on the prompting of many readers I feel obliged to delve a little deeper into the heart of the matter.
The question is this-
How far and how deeply has the lust for wealth seeped into every facet of society – relationships – work – church.
Here are two quotes from two readers – in response to ‘Loadsa Money’;
Quote from Tolu
“Why do you often not go to the heart of the matter? In Nigeria of today: our entire value system, personal scorecard, the respect you command in society… associations… among your peers… and in your extended family, the way you’re treated by those who don’t know you, whether you receive good service in a public place, the manner in which you’re welcomed and treated at social events, the manner in which your children are treated at school etc etc, are ALL strongly influenced by the actual (or perceived) wealth that you have! We were sold to mammon a long time ago and there’s growing inflation!!”
I must confess that I love the bluntness, and the pure but controlled rage that underlies the above quote.
Nigeria seems to be a complete contradiction of the term ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
In Nigeria we not only judge the book by its cover, but proceed to judge the next four generations of the book – by that same cover.
The manner in which one is treated in the market place (working environment) largely depends on the fabric of one’s suit, shirt, and tie; and for the ladies – clothes, shoes, and handbags.
Whether or not the security guard allows you to park inside largely depends on the make, model and year of your car.
A man enters a restaurant with his wife / girlfriend / mistress ( yep, no pretence here – let’s keep it real), or business partner – the door man greets the man with a respect that implies that the president himself has just arrived, and then completely ignores the woman.
Because he or she naturally assumes that the man will be paying, and hence immediately pays homage to the person he believes holds all the aces – all the wealth.
The woman in search of a boyfriend /partner / husband – introduced to a handsome, polite, and very loveable man, but loses interest as soon as she sees his 1997 two door Honda.
The man in search of a girlfriend /partner / wife – befriends a gorgeous and amiable lady but loses interest because she isn’t of the same social standing.
Yep – works both ways.
The church car park – glittering with shiny new cars – range rovers, mercs, all manner of SUVs – a true sign that God Himself visits that particular church every Sunday!
Material wealth IS the new God’s love!!!!
The prestigious front row of churches – reserved for people of affluence – people of influence – people with LOADSA MONEY.
The second quote is from my good friend Nana.
“Just read your article, and the truth is that people go to church mainly to be blessed with “wealth” – in this case solely “loadsa money” and its all in the frame of mind,homes and state of country plus the portrayal of the finer things of life right in church as the “sign” that you are a true christian…cliques in churches of the who’s who and who wants to be “who” starting from the heads of churches…..people dedicate cars and material stuff in church and no one questions how they were able to afford them…our society and generations before now put in place the loadsa money = respect trend and now people of my generation have no integrity. I am afraid I will have kids who will be governed by thieves and live in a society morally stripped …I can go on but what good will it do?? The world is deaf!”
During a chat with some young (much younger) female colleagues at work earlier today I asked them what they think of our churches.
I was shocked when they all told me that they are Anglican (one naturally assumes that most of the younger generation go to pentecostal churches).
I asked them why.
Their reason – the Anglican church isn’t all about money, sowing seeds, and prosperity preaching.
They may be a little extreme in their view point but I can see where they’re coming from.
“At our church they don’t force you or put pressure on you to give offerings.”
Having said that I must point out that I have attended a few Anglican services, and they most certainly did not dissappoint with their prowess for collecting ‘big bucks’.
Let’s be honest – no church is perfect – just as no human being is perfect.
But my concern is that our imperfections regarding the love / lust for money passed the tipping point a long time ago.
The interesting thing is that our saviour, Jesus Christ, was a carpenter whilst on earth; and led a very simple life.
Final quote of the day in relation to Loads Money goes to Lanre.
“Awesome piece…. ” You CANNOT Serve two Masters. It’s Either You Serve one or Despise the other, or use one to Serve the other” This scripture is the ONLY Evidence we have in the bible where God compares our servanthood to Him with our servanthood to something else. For God to state this categorically, it means that it is a very CRITICAL PROBLEM. Many use God to serve mammon, whilst others use mammon to attempt to serve God.
SERVE Him because of who he is, and for His Mercies, Love, Faithfulness, Grace etc Not Because of What He Will do For You…So Next Time you’re Praising, Worshipping, Praying and Even Giving in church, Ask Yourself “What is my Motive” ? Love of God or Love of Self and Money?”
People – I most certainly am NOT perfect.
So very far from perfect in-fact.
But I do recognise, as do so many others, that something is not quite right.
A body that is supposed to epitomise love, selflessness, and humility, is strangely reflecting something entirely different – greed, selfishness, lust for money, and the all too familiar judgemental attitude that tags along with them.
To coin a phrase from Shakespear’s Hamlet, ‘Something is rotting in the state of our churches’.
“Come to me, all you who are heavily burdened. My yoke is light”
Going to church – fellowshipping with one another should be a time / day we look forward to – to get away from the stresses and burdens of everyday life – to immerse ourselves in an environment of love, truth and humility.
But we seem to have made church another market place
– a place to talk about business, success, and Loadsa Money
– a place to flaunt success and wealth
-a place to seek opportunities to climb the wealth ladder.
Surely this is NOT the way it was supposed to be!!
Rather than finding a truth that set us free, we seem to have found another type of truth – one that has further ensconsed us in more bondage.
Can any of us really claim to regularly find peace in church?
Or do we often leave church feeling even more troubled – wondering why we haven’t received our breakthrough.
Christ’s message is one of unconditional love, peace, and humility – NOT WEALTH.
The population of Nigeria is in the region of 150 million people.
There are over 60 million Christians in Nigeria.
If just half the Christians in Nigeria can actually attain the ‘light yoke’ of Jesus then our environment will change over night.
But so long as churches continue to focus on the number of ‘bums on seats’ and the building of wealthy congregations, mammon will continue to influence every sphere of society – ‘with rapidly growing inflation’.