How Pastors Make Youths Disillusioned & Depressed ~ By Anayo Nwosu
I could pass for a financial and economic adviser to business people but I have never prided myself in being a good counselor especially on religious issues but, I have found in my surroundings, a growing population of disillusioned youths who are victims of unbridled religious indoctrination.
These youths could be termed as the “hostages” of modern day men of God who claim that by their interventions, they could get God do whatever He is asked to do.
A heart- rending case was that of Jessica who claimed to be virgin and have striven to live a holy life having become born again in her secondary school.
She was a moderate evangelical until she entered the university where she joined a group that believed that they could pray God into granting their wishes.
Relying on Matthew 7:7 that says “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”, Jessica drafted a spiritual agreement which she believed God had signed after her noisy prayers.
She told God that she wanted a first class degree and believed it would happen.
Jessica’s conviction was further reinforced by her understanding of John Chapter 10 verse 34 where Jesus answered the Jews attempting to stone him, “is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”‘?
So, Jessica derived her super-humanity from that passage.
Jessica would later justify her pursuit of excellence and her desire to come on top of her class by claiming the word of God in Deuteronomy 28: 13 that says:
“Aand the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them”.
Tried as she did, Jessica made second class lower in her final degree examination.
It was a blow to her but that shouldn’t have been as her grades before final exams didn’t point towards her target but she hoped for a miracle.
Perhaps, her aspirations and hard work to took her to where she landed.
But she felt that God failed her. She strangely decided to give God another trial. She set a target of the kind of job she wanted and the age at which she would get married.
We now have youth who believe that they can pass exams without studying and become rich without work.
When her dream job and husband were not forthcoming as she “covenanted”, Jessica started losing her self-esteem. She felt that there was something else responsible for her not receiving the response to her prayers from God.
Jessica was rescued by her neighbor from the rope she wanted to use to commit suicide. She wanted to end it all.
Another youth named Cletus reacted differently.
Cletus was smart enough to realize that his pastor was not realistic. How could he ask the church members to go buy a key of whatever car they wanted to own in December?
Both the unemployed and artisans believed the pastor and came to service with the keys of their dream cars.
Cletus has since gone back to his normal Anglican Church. He knew how long it takes to cook beans of success.
Not every young person has an auto reset in their brains like Cletus.
When many of the young born again youths fail to achieve the targets they set for God, they get confused, become disillusioned or even slip into depression.
Scattered in many parts of Nigeria are many pastors who act out of ignorance while some others act out of sheer greed.
They would be reeling out covenants in the Bible and making their youthful followers to claim them. Even their adult members join in the claims.
The youths are being made to believe that all they need to achieve any of their desires is to hold “God against His words” and constantly remind Him to fulfill His covenants.
Those kinds of Jessica’s passages I had earlier cited above are being used to embarrass God to grant the wishes of men.
In those churches, happenstances or chance occurrences are advertised as miracles and church members are advised to tap into the anointing.
It is normal to see men of God organizing weekly programs during working hours and be encouraging the youths to attend. They are certainly not economists. They don’t understand the meaning of gross domestic product (GDP).
All people of good reasoning should join hands to stem the increasing number of youths under this bondage of our men of God, who through their actions transform our youths into people that think that God has failed them.
These youths overtime begin to spite God by taking to hard crimes like prostitution, armed robbery, gambling and Satanism.
Most of the people who subscribed to MMM and other get rich quick Ponzi schemes are those who were in a hurry to harvest their miracles.
The Word of God is still powerful as in the old but whatever a human being achieves is according with a specific will of God. Despite our desires in life, the will of God must happen or take preeminence.
Many pastors wouldn’t want to reveal to their followers that God himself had to decline the repeated prayers of Jesus in Matthew 26.
It is written in Matthew 26:42, that Jesus for “…a second time prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
If you are young and are a victim of being led in attempts to arm-twist God to obey your prayers or to make happen, those claims your pastors helped you to formulate, your solution could lie in the proper analysis of your strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and to positively work towards your destiny.
Always remember that God “has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
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