The General Overseer of the Maker’s House Chapel International (TMHCI) Dr Michael Boadi Nyamekye has condemned the practice by some modern day men of God who have adopted the practice of engaging in profiteering businesses using their church platforms.
He alluded to practices where some pastors and churches bought items at relatively low prices and sold them at exorbitant prices to non-suspecting members in the name of God.
He posited that if such men of God could buy olive oil at a price of GH₵10 and after claiming to have prayed and therefore, added value to it, sold it at GH₵100, then they equally ought to pay value added tax on such transactions to the state.
Merchandising in God’s house
Delivering a sermon at the Destiny Arena of TMHCI off Kwabenya Point One in Accra today, Dr Nyamekye emphasised that “you cannot turn the house of God into a place where you sell. You cannot sell in the house of God. It is not right no matter how you look at it.”
According to him, “God is not pleased with us as a church that would go into selling, that would go into the buying and selling of things in church. God is saying He is not pleased with it.”
He said there had often been excuses that the church bought the items and was selling them saying If that was the case, then it would be appropriate to sell such items at the cost at which they were originally bought.
Dr Nyamekye said if there was oil selling at cost, then there could be the safe assumption that the church was not into a profit-making venture but “in the situation where you buy oil for GH₵10 and sell it to congregants at GH₵100, you have converted the gospel into merchandise.”
He was emphatic that If God gave a vision about his children to a man of God, he cannot use it to enrich himself by saying that if the person who the vision was about did not pay so much he would not pray for him.
Dont use your gift to manipulate’
You cannot use your prophetic gift to manipulate God’s people. You cannot use your healing gift to manipulate God’s people. You cannot use your deliverance gift to manipulate God’s people. Freely have you received, freely give,” he maintained.
God, he said, was not pleased with the 21st Century church because “we have turned the house of God into a place of merchandise yet we are supposed to sell the gospel freely because the bible says we received from God freely and ought to give out freely.”
He said God was looking for people who would know that His house, was a house of divine transactions where people came to when they were dejected and broken-hearted and a place where people sought refuge in the name of the Lord.
Stop exploiting the vulnerable
Dr Nyamekye recounted that there were stories where people who were vulnerable, broken and distressed had attended churches where the pastors had taken advantage of the same people who were running from the world and coming to seek refuge in the name of God.
“When you are given a role of leadership in a church, it is not an opportunity to enrich yourself or do things your own way but you ought to be mindful that the things you do must bring glory to God,” he urged.
Dr Nyamekye, therefore, encouraged pastors to be bold in telling members of the church when they fail to play by godly standards that they either comply or leave “but we must not put a veneer of piety on their actions just because we do not want to lose them.”