By Solomon Inzam Ashoms
The last few days has been a baptism of fire for the “nation of FIFA”, headed by its now resigned dictator, Sepp Blatter. United States prosecutors alleged that there is huge corrupt activity in FIFA and one of such corruption cases involved South Africa making an illegal payment after the government promised $10m to Mr Jack Warner – then a Fifa vice-president – in exchange for the “Rainbow Nation” becoming the first African country to host the World Cup.
Fifa chose South Africa as host ahead of Morocco. The fact of the matter is FIFA is corrupt, even though Sepp Blatter has helped Africa and Asia with football development and FIFA World Cup hosting rights.
Even though SAFA president Danny Jordaan was quoted as saying the money was paid to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) in 2008 as South Africa’s contribution towards their football development fund. This development has exposed the mafia style operation of FIFA. Long accused of corruption among its top leaders, FIFA is very similar to some of the churches we have today. Operating solely as a business entity and enriching itself by all means through all methods. The FIFA saga has so much to do with its modus operandi than just bribery and other money issues.
As a sport journalist, I have covered three FIFA World Cup and have met Mr. Sepp Blatter, he’s a nice guy from the outside but inside says a different story.
A lot of churches today are about power and money and greed. It is the story of how part of the church in South Africa has been hijacked, corrupted and made to be like the temple Jesus angrily went into and turned the tables of corrupt business people operating it like “a den of robbers”. The church has become a lot more about prophecies to make money, grass eating, petrol drinking and a fornication and adultery accepting body. Far from what it should be.
So what are some of the signs of a corrupt and greedy church? Here are some of my ideas of such church:
Personality Driven: A church whose pastor/prophet/apostle is charming, charismatic, intense, persuasive and intelligent personality holds unquestioned sway over his/her congregation. Not accountable to anyone. Has his own moral standard different from the rest of the congregation. The pastor or prophet is treated like a celebrity
Always Busy: The expectation on the church members is to attend every church event. This isn’t communicated as compulsory, but it is. So one must give time and energy for free to various projects. This is another way to keep milking the members through offerings, special offerings and contribution for projects. Not that i disapprove of giving, but what is the money used for?
Stalking You: Always monitoring you like the FBI, watching every move you make, this is called “just keeping each other accountable.” Approving the clothes you wear, the man/woman you date or marry, business decisions, your opinions on social media , calling to check if you miss church. All with the goal of keeping you under their control.
It’s All About Your Money: For you to experience any sort of blessing you have to plant “a seed” – that’s money. You are sick, plant a seed, you want to get a husband, plant a seed, you want your business to prosper, plant a seed, you want your enemies to die, plant a seed. Must everything be about money? That isn’t biblical. So the pastor and church keep getting richer – not God, and the members keep getting poorer.
Isolation: Dedicated members of the church devote all their time to the church, they are deceived and made to understand that the more you dedicated your time to God the more God will bless you. They are discouraged to have friends outside the church, family members who express concern about the church are cut off, leaving the church is the same as leaving God, and sometimes you get caused for leaving the church.
Constant Lies To Members: Members of any corrupt and greedy church are often seduced and manipulated by big talk about all the wealth, blessings and riches God will give them if they just devote their lives to this church. But then after a way nothing changes. Those who do not experience God’s blessings are told that they are either “doing something wrong” or they have “weak faith.”
You Are The Enemy: If someone leaves the church due to any valid of invalid reasons, the pastor will require every member to ignore this person until they “repent.” New church members are told to shun family members who don’t support the church. Parents are told to shun “rebellious” teenagers. Husbands are to shun “unsubmissive” wives. Don’t call them, don’t speak to them, if you do you will be punished.The church comes first in all relationships. This sounds like a cult too.
Well, I know some of you may not agree with me, but it wouldn’t change the truth about FIFA and some churches – corrupt and greedy. Both need redemption, change of attitude, leadership style and ethics. Until then, corruption and greed would continue to reign supreme.The poor will always be poor, leadership would always operate without integrity, leaders would always be living like Kings and Hollywood stars using monies which belong to the people. Are we out of our moral alignment?
I believe just like Sepp Blatter, some pastors need to resign!