Paradox of Religion and Poverty.

Left – Pastor in Nigeria relaxes on the faithful as he hammers the gospel. Right Another one painfully steps on his faithful. Poverty of knowledge and materials is the driver to such mediocre. PHOTOS/COURTESY

As its in some of the Africa countries, Kenya prides herself to be the most religious country. From Friday to Sunday, Mosques and Churches are filled to capacities. Muslims adorn in kanzus, hijabs and carry Korans. Christians dust their Bibles and take off to various churches on every Saturday and Sunday.

‘Miracles are happening. Miracles are popping like popcorns. I command miracles. Miracle money. Miracle babies. Miracle healing’. But a careful look at what hails our society is wanting. Prosperity preachers have cashed in with prophecies of miracles. And this is what most of the Christian ongregation want to hear in churches and at crusades. Despite these claim of miracles, the church attendants or goers continue to soak in unending vicious cycle of pernicious perpetual penury..

But there is a caveat for one to receive a miracle. Church founders are known to be the decision makers. They set targets for collections and preaching are tailored to achieve exactly that. Prosperity preachers have numerous scriptures to read from and convince any doubting Thomas. It thrives in the theory that God wants His people to be rich and prosper. They seems to read from continuous present tense. Some of the favorites verse include Deuteronomy 28 which states the curse of poverty was to come upon God’s children if they disobey him. But if Gods people are faithful, they should prosper as its written in proverbs 10:33 ‘the blessings of the Lord make one rich and he adds sorry with it’.

Theology of wealth and health also ploughs from the abundant literature which shows the patriarchs of the Old Testament were very rich and prosperous. With faith being that God does not change –He is the same yesterday, today and forever, we tend to believe that the same God who did great  things to the Patriarchs will also do to us today. These prosperity gospel crusaders do not however delve into the other scriptures such as 1st Timothy 6 and Ephesians 5 where corruption, idolatry and covetous mind is regarded as sin. Indeed African remain poor because the rich have a rich ingredient of the above three traits.

Abraham of the old was the most famous character in Bible: he was a successful man. The book of Genesis portrays him as blessed and rich with cattle, silver and in gold, In short words, he was a billionaire. The same applies to Isaac, Jacob, David and Solomon. They were all billionaires. I can conclude this without mentioning Job. THE Bible says that Job was a very rich man, faithful to God. Even though Satan was given person to test his faith, God stood firm to the point of rebuking his wife. The Bible says that after all his what was taken, God rewarded him again with double of what was taken away!

Let’s twist this stories for the betterment of our understanding. The fundamental question that lingers in my mind is: Can the same, today be said of modern faithful people or nations?

Majority of research done by renowned research groups show that the majority of religious nations are wallowing in poverty while secular countries are very prosperous. It’s now the most religious nations that envy and admire secular nations. On micro levels, poverty stricken families are predominantly found in slums areas where all kinds and manner of religious groups are found

One research conducted by Gallup in more than 100 countries showed that the more poverty a nation has, the higher the ‘religiosity’ in that nation. Top most religious countries include Ethiopia, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Kenya, Djibouti, Indonesia, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Despite being religious, these countries are among the poorest and least developed countries. Ethiopia is most religious country yet it is the poorest within this pool which is counter intuitive.

The paradox of the matter is that most secular countries like China, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, USA, UK, Finland and France are the wealthy and very developed. The second paradox is that the least religious countries feature in the lowest cadre of the Corruption Perception Index.

Living in a God-fearing nation and believing that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, its important to start asking ourselves tough questions. If God was able to bless the patriarchs, why are the God fearing Kenyans languishing in poverty when secularists re prospering?

I know the easy answer to the question is to recite scriptures that talk of wealthy being stored in Heaven and the Job’s story. After all we are told Jesus endured all on our behalf at the cross of Calvary.

Folks, as we worship whichever God – even in as much some of you worship your prophets, apostles and bishops, these are some of the issues we need to ask ourselves and brainstorm. Should we perhaps attribute our problems to education systems as Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukuh of Nigeria once observed?

Bishop Kukuh said: “Nigeria educational systems have surprising outcomes. The smartest students pass with First Class and get admissions to Medical and Engineering schools. The 2nd Class students get MBAs and LLBs to manage the First Class students. The 3rd Class students enter Politics and rule both the 1st and 2nd Class students. The Failures enter the Underworld of crime and control the politicians and the businesses . And, best of all, those who did not attend school become Prophets  and Imams and everyone follows them….”What a paradox and an irony of life! It can only happen in Nigeria where corruption is the order of the day..

His assentation above can be replicated in all over African countries. No doubt Africa is regarded as the poorest continent in the world.

Prophet Owuor of Kenya walks with a miracle receiver. Questions arise if its true such miracles do happen. Thousands of poor Kenyans throng his crusade to receive miracles yet still they recline back to their backyard, very poor while the Prophet lives a life of luxury. PHOTO/COURTESY.


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