You will recall that the COZA pastor celebrated his birthday on a yacht in Dubai and photos surfaced earlier this week. If you missed it earlier, you can read it here. Musician cum writer, Etcetera has penned an open letter to the pastor. Read it below:
“I am writing you today because I am a Christian myself. I am not writing this article to attack you; on the contrary, I am writing it to wake you up from sleeping in these dark hours. Jesus asked His disciples to pray, but they went to sleep instead. Believers have gone to sleep spiritually worldwide, especially in Nigeria. I want you to be awake to righteousness – (1st Corinthians 15:34 says, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame”). I want to help you in the spirit of meekness – Galatians 6:1.
I saw a lot of tweets and Facebook posts by Nigerians expressing their disgust about the all white yacht party you did in Dubai. What is most worrisome is that the (touch not my anointed) believers won’t tell you that you are glamorizing the ministry by putting your lavish lifestyles on display and deceiving lazy Christians that the party in Dubai is what God wants, what God can do, and what God has provided.
You may ask why Nigerians are so angry. – Everybody wants nice things, right? And what better way to get them if God does it for you? Pastor Fatoyinbo, it is true that there is nothing wrong with having nice things. Everyone loves to have more and live a richer life but is that the only reason why we (should) go to church? We should also go to church because we love God, desire to worship God, draw closer to God and are in fellowship with other believers.
Your followers have defended you as expected – that most people who are frustrated by your unnecessary display of wealth are those who are struggling to get by day to day, trying to make ends meet, save enough to meet their needs and that of their families. Therefore, they are the ones finding it hard to digest your lavish lifestyle.
How do we digest your lavish lifestyle ehn, knowing that you and many so called men of God are able to live this way because of people who give monetarily to support your ministry? You think anybody likes to feel like they are being hustled or pimped by their pastor for profit? People love God enough to give and trust that their money will be used to touch lives and souls with the Word of God and not to be used for throwing lavish birthday parties in Dubai.
Pastor Fatoyinbo: If you are going to build your own “kingdom,” do not build it on the backs of hardworking people who really just want a more intimate relationship with God and believe that you can point them in that direction. Don’t “floss” on the people; it is wickedness. It’s as if you’re saying, “Look at what I bought myself with your money.
Don’t you like it? If you want it too, pray about it!”
American rapper Kanye West said in one of his songs, “I’ve been talking to God for so long, if you look at my life I guess he’s talking back.” But today, he is telling us he is Jesus “Yeezus”. He has deified himself. Pastor Fatoyinbo, your party in Dubai also suggests that you are deifying yourself, and on your own Yeezus tour, getting high on your own supply. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up.” (John 12:32)
Unfortunately, you “with your lavish lifestyle” are lifting up yourself and making golden calf idols of your possessions. Pastor Fatoyinbo, unless you willfully left heaven to take on human form, lived out a nomadic ministry on the margins, was crucified for your ministry, died, was buried, then rose again — sorry to say, it’s not about you.
Your followers are defending your frivolities arguing that pastors are people too, human and flawed. Of course, they are. But as a pastor “you don’t show people your wounds, show them your scars.”You do so as evidence that the journey with God brings about healing and transformation. People need and want to be whole. The question Jesus asked was “do you want to get well?” (John 5:6 NIV)
Christians often ask why Davido and Wizkid and entertainers should be the only ones with Bentleys and mansions. First, Bentleys and mansions don’t measure the quality of one’s life. Secondly, entertainers are people selling what people choose to purchase — music, movies, etc. As ministers of the gospel you are not selling God and faith.
The Gospel is free. The Bible is not the best-selling book in history because it has a good price point. It’s because people want to know God and know God loves them. Yes, there is a business side of ministry but literally for God’s sake, keep it to yourself. You don’t have to throw lavish parties as evidence of how much money you make.
It only perpetuates the negative stereotypes true believers are constantly trying to disprove. Your expensive all white birthday party has only made people who are leery about church say “shebi I told you so. The mentality of most Nigerian believers that being rich and thinking money sets you free, gives you peace of mind and eliminates injustice, is a lie of the devil.
Assimilation is not liberation. You can have all the things you want and still not be whole. The true test of how you live your life and success is what will be written in your obituary. What will people say about you, and what you did with your life? I’ve yet to see an obituary list all the expensive items someone owned. So, Pastor Fatoyinbo, go on your knees and cry to God for forgiveness.”