I went to a certain church some time ago. It was all emotional and spiritual and, well I liked the service. Until the time came for the tithes to be paid. Before the tithes, there was a special collection for the preacher’s wife. Apparently the Lord wanted her to have a car, despite her husband having a perfectly functional and luxurious vehicle.
Then came the circus, where members of the congregation had to pledge amounts of up to ten thousand dollars towards their “spiritual mother”‘s wheels. Trust in God, the congregation was told. Empty your accounts and God will increase it a hundredfold. And people lined up, pledging all sorts of amounts. In the end the pastor’s wife got her car. I do not know how many of the congregation got what they were trusting the Lord for.
This is not an isolated incident. With an uncertain future looming for many people, many are turning to God. Instead of finding God, many are being lured into religious ponzi schemes where they are being promised that God will meet their needs, if only they can give money. Render unto the pastor his dues, and if God doesn’t pay you yours, then you lack faith.
Faith is a very important thing to many people, and when it is misused by people in authority, not only does it make people disillusioned, but also create cynicism. And a nation full of cynical people is just a disaster waiting to happen. Instead of emphasizing aspects like love, tolerance and the pursuit of excellence, some pastors just emphasize worldly wealth. This creates an impression that God is some cosmic ATM who will shower riches upon you if you press the right buttons.