Benson Idahosa once told his pastors: “If Catholics know what they have, and if Catholic priests get it right, you will be out of business.”
Look at all the powerful spiritual resources in the Catholic Church: the Bible and sound interpretation from experts, the Mass, the sacraments, various novenas, Eucharistic adoration, the rosary, the various spiritual groups in the Church.
Yet, you let deceivers deceive you.
They tell you that Catholics are not born again. You leave your church to theirs and all you see is that “born again” means the license to live in sin and just believe in Jesus’ name and everything is okay. Thus, you live in sin but don’t feel guilty. They become worse sinners than they ever were before they left the Catholic church. The Catholic Church accepts that it is a church of saints and sinners. We see sin as sin and we feel guilty when we sin. But you leave for a church where they live in sin but feel self-righteous. “Born again” has become the killing of conscience against guilt, but not a conversion from sin. Instead of teaching people to avoid sin, they teach people to simply not feel guilty over sin.
In the Catholic Church, your priests direct you to pray and do not enslave you to themselves with false prophecies. They don’t make you believe that only their prayers will work for you. Instead, they direct you to pray and do not make themselves the sources of your blessings. Yet, you leave for churches where people tell you that they are the only ones who will pray for you before God can answer favourably.
They condemn fundraisings, such as Bazaar, but they milk their members dry and make their members see failure to pay tithe as a sin, but fornication and adultery are not preached against. Their church members are more afraid of not paying tithe than they are of fornication, adultery and abortion.
You leave your church because your church does not preach prosperity as a proof of holiness. Then, you go to a church where someone tells you to donate your life earnings and savings in order to prosper. However, for the years you are there, the only ones prospering are the pastors telling you this and collecting your money. Where is the prosperity for which you left your church?
Everybody is becoming a pastor, an apostle, or evangelist and they are all opening churches in wealthy cities. There are no sinners in villages? With all the great education which Catholic priests have and can use to make great wealth if they choose to, they live in villages with the people and do not preach prosperity as a proof of righteousness. Catholic priests are the most educated church leaders in Nigeria and they can use their education to make big money if they were to go after money. Yet, they are priests in villages. That does not appeal to you, Catholics?
They move on the streets in cities looking for members and distributing handbills where fake testimonies say: “When I started worshipping in this church, I built a house.” “As soon as I started attending this church, I got my American visa.” So, all the people who have built houses left the Catholic church before they could build houses? No Catholic owns a house? All the people who have got visas to America left the Catholic Church before they got American visas? No Catholic has got American visa and there are no Catholics abroad? How many people have built houses and gone to America since leaving the Catholic Church?
In order to keep you in their churches, they claim to be prophesying that they see God using you in America and Europe. Why is God not calling you to use you in your village where there is poverty, no electricity, good road and big cars? There are sinners in America and Europe but none in your village? Has God converted everyone in your village? You heard those prophecies years ago, but you are still where you were – in Nigeria. How is America? How is Europe? What country are you in Europe? Since you are now in Europe and America and wealthy, can you, in Christian charity, send me some dollars, Euros or pounds? Even if you have travelled to America or Europe, how is that a reason to leave your church? Is it America you are looking for or God and salvation?
When have all the reasons for which Catholics leave their church in Nigeria become a reason for the existence of a church? Even if these are the reasons for the existence of a church, who has more houses, money and American visas more than Catholics?
Behaviour, righteous behaviour, is the sign that a person knows God. Put all the Catholics in Nigeria on one side and put non-Catholics on the other let us see. Is there better godliness among non-Catholics than among Catholics in Nigeria?
A friend of mine working in the Christian Pilgrimage Board of one of the states in Nigeria told me that everybody in the pilgrimage board had a title of Christian leadership: pastor, deacon/deaconess, apostle, evangelist, Rev. Fr., prophet/prophetess, man of God. Yet, he said, the corruption in the Christian Pilgrimage Board was worse than that in any other department of the government house.
Remember, Paul said he preached the crucified Christ (1Cor. 1:23; and 1Cor. 2:2). He said this so that the faith of believers would not be based on anything but on Christ crucified. Today, wealth is the standard of righteousness and the strategy for hunting for church membership. People are being hunted and deceived into churches, not so that they can know Christ, but so that the hunters can be rich.
Remember that Satan tempted Jesus to worship him for the sake of wealth, but Jesus rejected Satan’s offer, so that he would not make wealth the reason for faith. Today, people are worshipping Satan by making wealth the reason for worshipping God. The very temptation that Jesus overcame to teach us a lesson, is what people are succumbing to and using as an attraction for church membership. Wherever wealth or prosperity is the reason for church membership, such a church is a centre for devil worship. If only you know what you have as a Catholic!
Be committed your faith in Jesus Christ, and don’t allow yourself to be deceived.
-Fr. Robert Agbo-