Bishop Oyedepo who is also on the Nigeria Pastor Rich List in his private jet
Some Nigerian pastors are no strangers to controversy. These controversies tend to revolve around the sharp debate between those who believe that pastors in general should disavow unnecessary luxuries like owning private jets and those who think these worldly possessions should be seen as fully deserved earthly blessings. On the side of the rich Nigerian pastors are the likes of Pastor Dr Fireman who in the documentary – Nigeria’s millionaire pastors, stated that he believes God wants him to be rich and denied that Jesus had a humble life. He was quoted in the documentary as saying that “Jesus was rich and had an accountant who followed him around.”
The latest “Jet owning Nigerian pastor” controversy came about when Nigerian pastor Oritsejafor, General Overseer of Word of Life Bible Church, acquired a private jet, stating it was donated to him by church members in celeberation of his 40th year on the pulpit.
In an interview with a Nigerian newspaper he stated that “I’m not ashamed to own a plane, I think it is a necessity and not a luxury for some of us deeply involved in the work of God to own planes,” “Sometimes, my schedule is so complicated. Now, with this plane, it changes everything about my movements. Now, I can move, I can even go and come back home. It is a bit more convenient for me and I suspect that this is one of the reasons a lot of these other preachers have planes.You may have heard me speak about my trip to Jakarta in Indonesia. In fact, it wasn’t even Jakarta I was going to, but I had to stay inside an airport in Jakarta for five hours to wait for my flight, to get to the very city I was going. I was only going to preach for two hours there. I flew from Lagos to Dubai and I spent over three hours, changed flight to fly to Jakarta and then stayed five hours at the airport just to catch a flight to where I was going to, where I was to preach for just two hours.
There is a part of me that strogly feels like condemning this pastor but, I know better, so I will not. Instead I will defere to the comment below made by a commentator on the Nairaland forum. He seems to have hit the nail on the head and I couldn’t possibly put it better.
“On issues like this, I want to thread softly not to be seen to judge nor condemn an anointed. For no one will pass judgement on the anointed and will be guiltless before God. Having said that however, my admonition goes to the men of God. Most of them started well and God lifted them. But what we now see is the danger of fullness. The deceitfulness of riches is derailing most of them. How many jets did they use at the beginning of their Ministry? Yet they saw the raw hands of God and their churches explode with people who yearned for the truth. If a Pastor could even afford a jet in this impoverished economy, shouldn’t the love for the people be enough restraint. Would Jesus do this if he were to be in Nigeria today? Among the hungered, a person drinking common Garri may be lynched for being sumptuous. This is what these men of God should think about. Also, I want to submit that only a very negligible percentage of wealthy men in this present Nigeria will be able to righteously acquire a jet, without a shady underground. Aside the acquisition cost of about N10b, the parking at the port is about N20,000.00 per day, Pilot’s salary, maintenance is done daily, not like a car you service 3 monthly, landing tax in foreign countries is exorbitant even for commercial aircraft etc. All these associated cost of maintenance is over a million Naira monthly. So would an hungry man among the congregation not be tempted to pass judgement on the man of God? Paul the Apostle said if my eating meat will make my fellow brother to stumble, I will rather not eat meat. The men of God are making us to stumble by forcing the hungry populace to pass unhealthy comments. I will not. But let everything be done decently and in order.”
What do you think?