But truth be told, we can’t blame the religious leaders alone for these faults, the followers have the larger chunk of the blame. Our poor attitude and faulty mentality is the main reason fake pastors are thriving even more than the real and genuine ones.
The influx of fake religious leaders is not peculiar to this generation, the Apostle Paul and other early Apostles dealt with the issue and warned against them. Just like we often fall for these ‘fakies’, some early believers fell too. More reason we need to take these warnings seriously. Now, let’s look at some attitudes and behaviours that may make us fall prey to these fake and selfish pastors.
1. You Are Lazy: What did Apostle Paul say about Berea Christians? ”Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”. These Christians were not lazy like most of us today, they didn’t take in the messages of Apostle Paul hook line and sinker, they listened, then after listening, they examined to see if the words of the messages were true.
But can we say the same about us today? You can be deceived if the only time you get close to the Bible is on Sunday or bible study day or prayer meeting day. No time to check if the words you heard were right, if they are true. I am not saying you should turn yourself to a ‘principality’ who will always counter the words of the Pastor or church leader, but I am saying you should also study the scripture and see the truth for yourself. Messages you hear from church and other places should be a complimentary dish, not the mean course. Lastly, notice the Apostle Paul was not angry with the Bereans? They were called ‘honorable’ for cross-checking the truths he taught them. If your pastor begins to get defensive and pissed when you ask questions concerning things he taught you, then there is a problem somewhere a true leader should be able to defend what he teaches.
2. You Are Ignorant: You don’t read and study the scripture, you don’t see the truths yourself, in fact, you lack the knowledge of God; your pastor, especially the fake one knows this and this is what he will use to his advantage. He tells you to give all your salary to God and receive double miraculously by the end of the month, you believed him. Then the month ended, nothing to show for your seed, you complain, he tells you patience is the fruit of the Spirit, then after patience he advised you apply endurance, then when your endurance got thinned out, he said you should apply long suffering, then just as you were about to give up, he call to tell inform you ‘God said’ you have not been receiving blessings because you are living in sin and disobedience, then you look at the laws of God, you look at yourself, you can’t but agree you are indeed a sinner so God cannot bless you. Let me ask, weren’t you a sinner when you sowed the seed? How come your ‘investment’ was worthy but you are unworthy to receive the returns?
This is just an example of the many things that happen when a Christian chooses to remain ignorant of the real nature of God and His word.
3. You are impractical: Have you met an impractical Christian before? *Facepalm* impractical Christians don’t understand the fact that time and season are a biblical truth, no understanding of ‘the time of life’, they don’t believe in waiting on God to make things happen for them; so whatever they ask, they want to receive now. Some false religious leaders have caught into this and are using it to cheat people. They promise that as long as you are born again, you can receive everything now, as in right now and no delay; as if this God is no longer the God of Abraham.
Another way we display our impracticality is by expecting God to work magic instead of a miracle, hey! He is a miracle worker and not a magician. Of course, God can bring something out of nothing, but he did not give you a brain so that your brain and intelligence should be part of the nothing he will make something from, your brain, intelligence, and willpower are something already, so do something with them. Many people are going from one church to the other today asking God to do for them things they can do for themselves; knocking the gate of heaven for the answer that is not in heaven but here on earth. If you fall into this category, fake pastors will use your destiny to play a ludo game and you know the end will not be good.
4. You Want To Use God: This is perhaps the strongest of all. Our worship houses are filled with people who do not know God and are not interested in knowing him, although they don’t give a ‘shit’ about God and what He wants, they want to receive from him; they want favour, protection, provisions, blessings of different kinds, to top it all, some people are not keen about knowing God but they don’t want to go to hell, so they see God as their ticket to heaven which is actually right except that no one can use God successfully.
If this is your lifestyle, these wolves in men’s clothing will deceive you. You believe they are closer to God so you want to use them to reach God, but no! Christ did not die so that some selected people may have access to God; He died so that ALL MEN may be with Him. God is not the president of a country that you need to know someone who knows someone before you can reach, no! He has granted you access, a direct access to Jesus and all you need do is take a hold of this access and build a lasting relationship with Him.
5. You Are Afraid Of The Devil: Some churches actually talk about the devil more than they talk about God, they pray against the devil than they worship God, look closely at such denominations, the lives of the members are built around the pastor, and a lot of the members fear the Pastor and respect his opinion than God’s. If you are the type that listens to sermons about the devil day in day out without having the knowledge of who God is, you will submit your willpower to the pastor without knowing it, because somehow, you will believe he is powerful enough to protect you against the one you fear so much… the devil, whereas, the same pastor cannot save himself when trouble comes.
In conclusion, I will say it is about time we moved away from ‘man worshiper’ to God worshiper. No one can save you in a day of trouble, only God can, therefore, put your efforts into knowing and getting closer to Him.