Earlier this week, I watched a program filmed in West Africa where the reporter visited a number of ‘Christian camps’ where it appeared people who were sick and in need of grace were charged exorbitant prices for intercession and prayer.
It came as no surprise. Anyone who has grown up in Nigeria, Ghana or any other African country will recognize the practice of people being charged or having to pay for so called Christian “pastors/prophets” to “intercede” for you if you found yourself in particular need.
Whether it was to address unemployment, look into the future, deal with witchcraft and curses, address barrenness, sickness or a whole number of other misfortunes, it is believed that these people have some sort of access to grace and God that they can use “at a price” on others behalf.
Many of these pastors/prophets make most of their money from poor people who have few alternatives and do not truly understand the Good News of their own salvation or the gift Jesus freely gave them on the cross and in His resurrection. So in desperation they pay what they can scarcely afford while filled by the same pastors with fear and dread about what will happen to themselves or their loved ones if they do not pay up. They are encouraged to live more in fear of the satan’s powers than to walk in the righteousness, Authority, and Knowledge of the indefinable power of the living God who is their heavenly Father.
This belief is sadly a legacy from many African traditional religions where the “high priest of the gods” was the doorway to the spirit world and seen as the human voice of the gods. Sadly many have extended this same belief to Christianity and there are equally many ready to exploit their ignorance and lack of knowledge.
These are the ferocious wolves among the sheep (Matthew 7:15)