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Casino Pentecostalism Or Pastorpreneurship

Ebenezer Obadare is a sociology professor at Kansas University. He has a weekly column at Premium Times where he writes on various aspects of the Nigerian society. His writings are insightful, incisive, and fun to read. Check out his latest offering. It’s a piece on Pastor Enoch Adeboye‘s 20,000 dollar miracle package. Absurd? Have no fear. As Mr. Obadare remarks, when it comes to African Pentecostalism and  “the dynamics of mega-churches in Nigeria,  [he is] no stranger to the outrageous and the bizarre.” Here is how he breaks down this curious offer from Pastor Adeboye, one of the leading figures in the new church economies called pastorpreneurship.

Members of this elite group will contribute a princely “N2, 000,000 (two million Naira) and above” or circa $20,000 every month into the coffers of the RCCG. So, you have it right there. You will be the recipient of untold- and conveniently unspecified- “blessings,” but only for a fee. — Ebenezer Obadare

“First, the content of what pastor is pawning here as a one-on-one between himself and God is a basic negation of one of the essential properties of the Christian God, i.e. his omniscience. The God Adeboye is reporting here is not just utterly capricious; he is also cack-handed. After initially resolving to bless a chosen cohort for a ten-year period, he seems, in the strangest manner, to have had a change of mind. This time, he will only lavish his special blessings on these new partners for only three years. And why? “Because those people were in covenant with you (Adeboye) for ten years, I had no choice but to keep them alive for ten years.” And why, you wonder, is wrong with that? Why would a good God not be motivated to keep his children alive for ten years? Why reduce ten to three? Has God mysteriously lost his powers to do all things? Suppose, for instance, that a former covenantee resolves not to renew his/her lease, what happens? Does he or she then forfeit God’s blessings? And what happens in the interim, the time between the expiration of the former lease and the activation of a new one? Would God leave his sheep in limbo?

Questions like these are bound to boggle the critical mind, and make one wonder what God’s actual motives are” Read More

Here is Pastor Adeboye’s website

Here is the RCCG website

Still on pastors and megabucks, yesterday London’s Daily Mail called out Nigerian Pastor, David Oyedepo, after it came out that the “British branch [of Winner’s Chapel] received £16.7 million in donations from followers who were told that God would give them riches in return.” Read More

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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