My quarrel with the new breed of believers

The God of unearned wealth. The God of undeserved employment opportunities. The Genie God who gives you anything if you rub him the right way by parting with some of your income. He will give you a spouse, a house, children, favour, vengeance if you believe. That’s the God that is being sold in the mushrooming shift shack churches.

And so believers throng the churches and scream their throats dry for miracles. They attend morning prayers that are supposed to last two hours but go on all day long because apparently the Holy Spirit has no sense of time.

Preachers go on for hours, bursting into song, bouts of unintelligible sounds and prophesies about a great future. The congregation cheers on. Then they fill offertory baskets and go home with a false sense of confidence and an idealistic view of the world.

Because of this, they cop-out of making decisions that actually point their lives in the right direction. They don’t think working hard is necessary. They only need to speak with unwavering faith and the fancy houses of the ‘ungodly’ will be theirs for the taking. They can fast for a few days for a job that requires a Master’s Degree whereas they have no professional training.

The worst part about this sense of entitlement is that it causes them to believe that they are beyond reproof. Anybody who complains about the noise caused by overnight prayers can’t just be a person who needs peace and quiet. No, they are condemning the church and standing in the way of God’s work.

The pastorprenuers believe that it’s okay to set up anywhere without being compliant with the rules and regulations of the government. Anybody who dares to ‘hinder’ their work is obviously sent by the devil and they need to pray against such a person.

This kind of attitude carries over into everyday relationships.

You will see it from the way they are apathetic to people’s life experiences.I watched in amusement as a friend was being told not to be sad about her father’s death because it showed lack of faith in God’s plan for her life. I witnessed the most bizarre and yet hilarious reaction of a believer being informed of something he had done wrong. He closed his eyes and mumbled a few words.He did not offer an apology.

Where churches once churned productive, respectable members of society, the new breed of believers are famous for being inward-looking and naïve societal nuisances.

So I am completely in support of government efforts in keeping places of worship in check.

Yes, it is important to protect freedom of worship but we must also recognize freedom from worship. People shouldn’t be forced out of sleep in the wee hours of the morning because a particular group is exercising their right to pray.

But more than that, the mushrooming churches need to be kept in check because they take away from productive time. It is no coincidence that there is an economic contrast between the most religious and least religious countries in the world.