File photo: A church congregation
Abel Damina, a Pentecostal pastor in Nigeria, has said that Christians who give money to churches and in turn expect to become rich were only living in a fantasy because, “God does not multiply your money.”
“What multiplies your money is work,” Mr. Damina said in a video which has been in circulation on Facebook and WhatsApp.
From the video, Mr. Damina appeared to have dropped the message in July during a sermon in his church, Power City International, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“Giving in the church does not bring additional money to you. What brings additional money to you is work.
The congregation could be heard in the video shouting and cheering on the pastor. "You don’t pray and fast to get money", he said. “What produces money is work. It’s called industry.
“He that does not work should not eat. You don’t faith work; you work (the) work.”
The pastor said that the earth was already blessed with plenty and that God’s first commandment to man was that he should be fruitful, multiply, subdue and have dominion over the earth.
He explained what he considers as the appropriate reasons behind giving in the church.
“Why do we give in church? We give because we are blessed? We don’t give to be blessed. It is part of the goodness of God that kept you healthy.
"It is part of the goodness of God that woke you up in the morning. It is part of the goodness of God that took you to work and brought you back…. But now you must engage yourself in work.
“There’s no future for lazy Christians because hunger will take you away.
“Somebody ask, ‘does God perform financial miracle’? Yes, he connects you to opportunities. But even if you see the opportunity you must do something. He connects you to ideas. He brings you before people that are willing to help. He brings you into favour with people that want to invest.
“Some say but Papa you used to say ‘receive money miracle’? Yes, you can receive money miracle. God can move somebody to bless you. God can touch somebody to buy a car for you, but who will fuel it?”
The congregation bursts into laughter.
The pastor continued: “It’s one thing to have a car, it’s another thing to buy fuel”
Mr. Damina attacked pastors who exchange money for “blessings” in the church, calling it a fraud and an insult to God. “He (God) didn’t supply you grace expecting anything in return. So, when a man of God says give money to be blessed it is an insult to the work of redemption.
“It’s an insult. It’s an insult. It’s an insult,” Mr. Damina said repeatedly in the video.
“Psalm 91! $91 for 91 blessings! It’s an insult to the work of grace. Psalm 91! $91 for 91 blessings! It’s fraud!. If you could give $91 and that would appease the anger of God, Jesus wouldn’t (have) died.”
He said asking people to pay money for God’s blessings sounds like buying goods in a supermarket.
Pentecostal pastors in Nigeria and in the world over are known to be at home with ‘prosperity’ messages which encourage congregants to give in the church so that they could, in turn, be blessed.
The message by Mr. Damina is, therefore, a surprise departure from the usual Pentecostal teaching.
“I can feel that some people are very angry right now because I say Psalm 91for $91 blessings is fraud!” Mr. Damina said. “After you finish getting angry, I repeat: it’s a fraud.”
The cleric said he didn’t mean it was wrong to give money to advance God’s work.
“Not to sound like I am boasting, the greatest portion of my income goes back to the work of God. I can’t be a giver to that extent and preach against giving.”
He said he won’t allow merchandise in the church. “Even Jesus used a whip to stop merchandise (in the house of God),” Mr. Damina said. RECEIVE NEWS UPDATE ON: WHATSAPP +234 701 056 0394, AND TWITTER: @247NGNEWSUPDATE, EMAIL: INFO@247NIGERIANEWSUPDATE.CO FOR INSTANT UPDATES ON INSTAGRAM CLICK HERE Share your story with us: firstname.lastname@example.org PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>