Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ostentacious Pastors heat up the discussion

This was a friend status update today and that is graphic representation of the comments. He defined a super luxury car as one costing $100,000( about 15m Naira) and above.
Ultra Luxury Car suggests a vehicle with greater equipment, performance, construction precision, comfort, design ingenuity, technological innovation, or features that convey BRAND IMAGE, CACHET, STATUS OR PRESTIGE—or any other discretionary feature or combination of features. Automobile manufactures market specific makes and models that are targeted at particular socio-economic classes, and thus "social status came to be associated more with a particular vehicle than ownership of a car per se." While a high price is the most frequent factor, it is "styling, engineering, and even public opinion that determine which cars had the highest and lowest status associated with them."
Defined thus, we might think why shouldn't a pastor drive a quality car? And I say 'Nothing wrong with reasonably priced quality car'. Luxury cars? Here's my grouse with them:
1. These cars are status symbols. Why is a Pastor seeking cars that are for boosting a 'certain' kind of image?
2. This status obtained is directly proportional to money spent. Why should a Christian leader in a developing country, a third world country which regularly goes cap in hand to seek AID from others to care for her poor, combat Malaria and HIV/AIDS spend obscene amounts on a car? What are you teaching your congregation? That amount can sustain 25 poor families in your congregation (average of mom, dad and 3 kids) in a year. The same people funding this lifestyle through their tithes and offerings.
3. There are great, excellent durable cars which can be bought with a quarter of that amount. Why isn't he buying those? Why is does he chose to make an expensive choice at the cost of other more enduring projects?
4. Jesus whom we emulate made POOR choices when he came to earth. He chose to come into the family of humble poor people, was born in a manger, rode on a colt, chose to die a shameful death. Trappings of wealth and status were not considered important by Him.
Being a christian leader, an evangelist, a priest, a shepherd has given you a mark which differentiates you from others. If I hear a Beckham or Cruise owns 5 stretch limousines. I wouldn't blink an eye. Not that they deserve it, but cause I don't expect them to have the virtue PRUDENCE (their loss). But you a shepherd? a teacher?
I guess my catholic upbringing has given me this aversion to ostentatious-ness. I know my congregation would ask questions if dear Fr. Peter turns up with a Rolls Royce on Sunday. I remember Father Munoz in Uni with his grey colored rickety old Mazda. He was the assistant parish priest and a theology professor. I wished I could buy a car for him. I also knew he could actually buy a new one if he wanted. But i think for him it was a kind of penance or sacrifice-as long as the car could get him to where he wanted he was okay. Father Adeigbo the parish Chaplain drove a well maintained green Volvo. These cars did not detract from their greatness. They nourished my youthful soul by their words, humility and unworldliness. A lesson our new age prosperity teachers have dispensed with. 
Well, thats just my two kobo worth of opinion. 
I copied and pasted a few of the comments below: 

#1- When Jesus rode an ‘exotic horse’ in his days - the Pharisee’s grumbled...when Mary Magdalene poured out her fragrance on his feet, the disciples, et al murmured...Let Jesus judge those whose ways are right before him...

#2- There are so many others who gave everything for the gospel. So if these men drive super luxury cars and live in ultra modern mansions let us not forget what they gave up to serve the Almighty who created everything including the super luxury cars. So if God decides to compensate them who are we to judge..... Gal 6:7, Gen 8:22

#3- I don't know I have a BIG problem with the balancing of appearance of moderation and being God's poster child for prosperity (proof of His Grace). Let God deal with His own.

#4- Who has God given the licence to judge any man? With a greater measure will such person be judged. Percentage wise, some of those widely criticized give more than there critics! I guess Jesus shouldn't have rode on that colt stepping on 'poor people's' clothes! I would implore folks to leave others to be judged by their Maker.

#5- I'm really beginning to hate that phrase 'let God be the judge' quickly uttered by us. A pastor is man too and should be held accountable by men. It doesn’t preclude God as overall judge of all men. It doesn't mean we should let a murderer go free, or a bad leader go in peace. Would you condemn your Governor for driving such a luxury car when there are bad roads and unpaid public servant salaries yes. how much more a pastor who is living on the generosity of his flock.

#6- ….before you are a pastor, you are flesh and blood. who doesn't want the good things of life? i believe there should be moderation too but if half of the pastor's congregation have the top of the range cars, they should definitely get one for their pastor...

#7- He could have ridden on a horse which was a symbol of wealth but chose to "borrow" a donkey, a baby donkey at that - what can be more humbling than that. So CLEARLY by today's standards, the last car He would have ridden in would have been a Rolls Royce.

#8- oh, a donkey would be the equivalent of a mazda...:D, a donkey is definitely not a rollsroyce by anybody's standards.....:)

6 comments:

  1. What a really neat thing to think about. Look at all these TV pastors... huge houses and cars.. hmmm.....

    To me a luxury car is anything over 20,000!!!

    If I was a religious leader I know I could never EVER live in luxury or ride a fancy car. No matter how much money I made. I would always be thinking... this money could be feeding this family or that family...

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  2. Exactly Katharine. So many ways we could be making lives better.
    lol @20,000.That's a goodly sum indeed!

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  3. They should be wearing gladiator sandals whilst they preach the word of God to ppl.lol

    honestly though some of these Pentecostal pastors have really taken things to another level sha

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  4. lol. Gladiator Sandals, eating locust and honey too. perfect!

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  5. wow...i couldn't agree more. you actually put it better than i could have. i'm sold to your blog totally.

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