Pastor Adeboye: “The Richest Man in the World”, By Femi Aribisala

Recently, a friend took me to the jewel-in-the-crown of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, a glitzy parish called “City of David” in Victoria Island, Lagos. Displayed resplendently on a wall in the church-office is a design of their current building project, a 14 storey architectural extravaganza titled “Trinity Towers.”

Is Redeemed still a church or is it now essentially a business concern? The Trinity Towers project shows the lines are now totally blurred. Jesus warns: “No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24). Nevertheless, this Tower of Babylon being built with church funds is designed both for the worship of God and for the worship of money.

The project is an appeal to crass commercialism; a blatant celebration of wealth. In this poverty-stricken Nigeria, the foundation of the building alone is expected to cost over 2 billion naira. Side-by-side with a 5,000 seat auditorium for church services are high-brow restaurants, cafeterias, indoor swimming pools, cinema halls, gymnasiums, retail shops, games arcades, lawn tennis courts, relaxation spots, and a helipad as the crowning glory. Of what relevance is all this “supermarket” in a church?

Anointing for carnality

A church-member, overwhelmed by the grandeur of it all, buttonholed me in the hallway. I did not know him from Adam, nevertheless, he held me hostage as he waxed lyrical about how the Redeemed Church was, to use his words: “taking over.” “We have already got the vice-presidency,” he said. (The vice-president of Nigeria is a Redeemed pastor). “Next we will get the presidency,” he continued; “and then we will get DSTV,” (a South African satellite television network).

The anointing for this pride of life flows right from the top. The General Overseer of the Redeemed Church is Pastor Adeboye. A few years ago, he decided he needed a billion naira without which his “work of God” could not be done. So he confounded the Christian faith by establishing a “millionaires club.” To be a member, you had to hand over a million naira to him in Jesus’ name.

Thereafter, he upped the ante by calling for a “billionaires club.” He announced that he would be building an auditorium that can only be described as “fantabulous.” It would be a ginormous three kilometres in length and three kilometres in breadth. This project is clearly more designed to get Adeboye into the Guinness Book of World Records than it is to get the members of Redeemed into the kingdom of God.

Declared Adeboye on that occasion: “We need 1 billion naira from ten people. If you are one of them, please see my personal Secretary after we finish today.” Who are those likely to have this kind of money to give in the Nigeria of today except those who have cornered public funds? Thereafter, an announcer sought to know the members of the church who were “willing to join hands with our Father in the Lord to build a new auditorium to God’s glory.”

Vanity upon vanity

The proposed auditorium is not to the glory of God. The proposed auditorium is to the glory of Adeboye. Adeboye’s project is reminiscent of Saul’s, who built a monument to himself. (1 Samuel 15:12). Nowhere in the entire New Testament was money ever collected for putting up a building. Money was only collected for the poor. The temple of God is no longer a physical building. The temple of God is now Jesus Christ.

Pastor Adeboye is getting increasingly carried away by vanity. I have a tape of a question-and-answer session he had with his church-workers a number of years ago in which he boasted that the time would soon come when, before anybody could aspire to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he would first have to talk to Redeemed Church. Nothing in the scriptures can be construed as suggesting this as one of the stated objectives of Jesus Christ.

A Redeemed church-member told me of another meeting he attended captioned: “A Day Out with the G.O.” It was a dinner for financial sponsors of one of the annual “Holy Ghost Festivals.” Pastor Adeboye boasted tongue-in-cheek on that occasion that the time would soon come when the Queen of England would plead to join Redeemed in order to work as an usherette. The audience reportedly responded with wild applause and shouts of “Amen.”

Richer than Bill Gates

At the just-concluded 63rd Annual Convention of the Redeemed Church, Adeboye declared that he is now richer than Bill Gates; widely acknowledged as the richest man in the world. He said: “I have houses in at least 188 countries in the world, where we have our churches, so I am richer than Bill Gates. Each time I visit these countries, my children would be struggling and saying daddy, come and stay with me.”

These “houses” don’t belong to Adeboye; they belong to Redeemed church. Knowingly or unknowingly, Adeboye distorts the gospel. Jesus says: “All who have given up home or brothers and sisters or father and mother or children or land for me will be given a hundred times as much. They will also have eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29).

However, Jesus words are spirit. (John 6:63). Therefore, his “houses” are entirely spiritual, while Adeboye’s are physical. Jesus does not make his disciples richer than Bill Gates. Instead, he says: “God will bless you people who are poor. His kingdom belongs to you! But you rich people are in for trouble. You have already had an easy life!” (Luke 6:20/24).

Adeboye continued: “If I announce here that tomorrow morning, I need a car to travel to the new auditorium, how many cars do you think would be made available to me by you my children? Those of you that do not have a car of your own, very soon, God will give you your own cars. So, I am appealing to you to become an incurable soul winner before you leave this convention ground and your cup will overflow.”

Anathema to Christ

This is nothing but the enticing word of man’s wisdom. Believers don’t preach the gospel in order to receive cars. We do because God commands that we do so.

Jesus had neither chariots nor horses. He had no lands and houses. Indeed, he warned a prospective disciple who wanted to follow him they would not be staying at the “Sheraton Hotel:” “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20).

Jesus does not speak like Adeboye. He says: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.” (Matthew 10:24-25). Jesus’ example is anathema to Adeboye’s declaration that he is now the richest man in the world.

This is the word of Jesus the Adeboyes of this age choose to ignore: “It’s terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.” (Matthew 19:23-24).

14 Comments

  1. May God show we d follower d way to heaven have trust in what u believe and not in any human being may God forgive us all

  2. Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye is a Man after God’s heart.All your comments and conclusions about the personality of the G.O are not true
    Whatever Daddy G.O say or do is to the Glory of the Almighty God.

    • Cant you read or feel this,since your g.o has been praying for presidents and evil politicians have been thinking whats going on.The evil leaders are destroying Nigerians and looting our money away and here is a man of God praying for them and even eating with them.Nothing bad when you eat or pray for your leaders but why cant you the g.o tell them the bitter truth and let them know God will deal with them soon but instead they pay the g.o after praying for them imagine.Am not surprised bout the building since you have the vice president of armed robbers as a senior pastor in your church imagine…God dey ooooooo….The big men only sit down at the front and their names on their chair in the church while the poor sit down at the back and no names on their chairs,lol…..why all this in the house of God!!!only God can judge right I bet you ma people….God save naija,amen!!!

  3. That so called man of God has enslaved millions of Nigerians, Him and his ilk of fake and materialistic men of God continue to milk poor and gullible Nigerians of their hard earned money.

    • Those who are “enslaved” and do not wish to realise and recognise the truth have already decided what they want to believe and their beliefs are being validated by the supposed man of God. This is the way of the world and unfortunately, it is not the way of God. I still ask my people to name one disciple or Apostle of Christ who was rich and lives in splendour….. I am still waiting!

      • THEY WILL HAVE EYE NOT TO SEE.EAR NOT TO HEAR,FOR 99% OF CHRISTIANS ARE ARE ENSLAVE MENTALLY IN THE NAME OF JESUS.AND WITH THE BIBLE, BUT SINCERE SEEKERS OF GOD IN SPIRIT WILL KNOW THE TRUTH AND SPIRIT TRUTH MUST SET THEM FREE.THEY WILL CONTINUE TO DIED FOOLISHNESS 4 THEY SEEK AFTER HIS HAND WORK NOT HIS WAY.

        • MATTEW 6:20.STORE UP YOUR TREASURE IN HEAVEN.MEN OF GOD STORE UP THEIR TREASURE IN HEAVEN, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT IN THIS MATERIAL WORLD,4 THEY KNOW THEY ARE ATOM GIFT,TO WHAT THEY HAVE BACK HOME.THEIR TREASURE IS IS MEASURE IN SPIRIT IN ORDER TO REIGN WITH THEIR FATHER IN ETERNITY. BUT MEN OF MATERIAL WORLD WILL ACCUMULATE MATERIAL THINGS LUXURY FOR THEIR GLORY,4 THEY KNOW WHERE THEY BELONG AND MUST ENJOY THEIR WITH LORD OF THE WORLD WHOM THEY HAVE CONVENANT WITH UNDER CANOPY JESUS.MATTEW 4: 1-11.AND REMEMBER SATAN IS THE EARTH, AND THOSE WHO BELONG TO IT MUST ENJOY IT TOTALLY BUT SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY. SO NEVER BLAME THEM THEY MUS DO THE WILL OF THEIR FATHER SATAN.

      • Even the early christian never have not such in this present days no christian again but business men & traders.Jesus said at my return will I met christian.luke 18 7_8.Churhes are now a marketing place.

  4. The Jesus that is worshiped in many Nigerian churches particularly the ones with the largest follower ship is not the Jesus in the Bible. It is the ‘Jesus’ that loves money and prosperity and jets and material wealth like the world. This ‘Jesus’ has been fashioned after the fundamental cultural disposition of the Nigerian who in his/her perception bases their reason to worship God on financial and physical prosperity !. This is now being exploited by their leaders who realize this loop hole and create human doctrines to increase their wealth. E.g. First fruits -giving the whole of your January salary to the church. You only need to see the under belly of the financial shenanigans and stealing that goes on in these churches for you to know they are there for the money. Stealing tithes and offerings, embezzlement, abuse of office, sexual sins etc. These same members are back in their offices on week days taking bribes , inflating contracts and off course bring the proceeds to church to assuage their conscience. The devil has taken over many churches in Nigeria and this was largely proven during the Jonathan’s administration when these leaders were happy to hobnob with GEJ while his whole cabinet were busy plundering the nation. G.O was happy to give the pulpit where God is proclaimed to GEJ to do his clueless campaign for PDP ! Christian faith in Nigeria is like the proverbial salt that has lost its taste and is now is now useless. With Oritsejafor in the forefront of CAN laying unholy hands on GEJ in deceit and dishonesty, told the whole story of the churches complicity in the corruption that straddled the tenure of GEJ. It is the prayer of the righteous few that has brought Buhari who is a muslim to power to show that every heart belongs to God and He will use those that are honest, sincere, broken and transparent to achieve His purposes. Final reminder, prosperity will not get you to heaven ! You came with nothing and you will depart from earth with nothing as well, but you obedience to the Jesus (Yeshua) the only son of God and his commandments will build your mansion in heaven.

  5. Reading some of the comments above only breaks my heart as to how myopic some people are and the silly mindset some still have towards the so called Pentecostal churches. Well I don’t blame those commenting but the jobless Femi Aribisala who has nothing to do with his time that came up with this article. Can anyone tell me the kind of people that attend this particular branch of RCCG? CEOs, chairmen, captain of industries so what is Femi Aribisala talking about? We all take our monies to the bank and the MDs of these bank live fancy and extravagant lives but this jobless Aribisala will not go after them.
    The Anglicans, Catholics do all these things but the Pentecostals are the only culprit. Smaller Anglican churches contribute and send money to the main church where the Bishop reside. The bishops drive nice cars while there are poor members too. What has Christ Church, Marina, Church of Assumption, Falomo, etc done to alleviate the poor amongst them.
    You all need a serious change of mind towards Pentecostal churches.

    • A question please. Why do you have to insult the writer to pass across your objections to his writing?

  6. Femi Aribisala, this is totally out of context. What he said and meant was that he has so many children who would be willingly supply his needs without struggling. He also said that he has so many children who have apartments in countries where RCCG is, who would willingly accommodate him whenever he is in those countries. He did not say he owns a house there.

    He said, Bill Gates would buy these things but his children would supply to him free. That was how being the richest came in.
    You may listen to him again to get the facts yourself via tapes of Communion Service of August Saturday 9th,2015

  7. Take bits of the whole and slap them together to create a narrative that suits your position,add a few ad hominems and sound bites, then hit the send button. Some of the favourite tricks of Dr Aribisala who has made a virtue of being contrarian on many subjects – Pentecostal Christianity (even though it does have a lot of unfortunate baggage), the economy, Goodluck Jonathan and so forth. It has become quite tiresome and really, despite his formidable academic credentials and considerable intellect, the good Doctor now sounds like a bad record.

  8. You don’t get it Femi. If we follow your ideas/beliefs/concepts whatever you thoughts are, the gospel will not get to the whole world according to the request of Jesus our saviour. The gospel is written for believers to believers. Unfortunately, I see proud person in this write up. For instance have you ever stayed an entire week during a convention at the camp? Did you see the number of people? Did you experience any audio issues? Did you smell urine close to auditorium of worship. Because if you did, I bet your mindset will change from this vanity misinterpretation to a need that only one with a true love for God will desire to meet. So what if anybody’s name is in Guinness book of records for doing a good work? And What is the good work? Get a bigger, a better place for worship! Did David and Solomon not do the same thing for this God in the Bible? Take more from the already rich to do this work. My brother, what is wrong with that? How can you conclude that the funds are stolen? But even if they are, did not the scripture say that the wealth of sinners will be transferred to the righteous? Or is Ps Adegboye going to live inside the 3km by 3km auditorium with his family?
    Life has changed immensely since Jesus lived on earth. Our studies about God should not be taken out of contest if we truly love our God.
    God is the perfect judge, not any man.

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