In the last episode, we talked about a lady who cheated me and sold me inferior shoes, not just using the scam that she was a Christian, but that she was even participating in a hundred (100) days fast, proclaiming “to God are mine!” mscheeew! I’m hissing as if I didn’t fall victim. This episode is just another evidence that our Christianity would be judged by our love for God and one another, and our fruits. If anybody comes to you in name of Jesus or in the name of church member or brother in Christ to take from you, beware o!
The Great Ephren Taylor
I won’t waste words here because my aim is not to be judge over the matter, even though the evidence from the video is clear and the reactions of the culprits say it all. From the facts of the video, the above-named “was the son of a preacher who told believers he could revolutionalize their finances… He was charged by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) with running what they call a Ponzi scheme, saying he preyed on those church goers who gave him their trust in over eleven (11) million dollars” and the SEC couldn’t find him. When converted to naira, we are talking of close to two (2) billion naira.
He was innocently (I guess) introduced by some of the top mega church pastors in the US, including Eddie Long and Joel Osteen, to their congregations and some of the members placed their trust in him based on their endorsement. In fact, Eddie Long introduced him as his friend, his brother, the great Ephren Taylor! He was also reported to have funded his wife’s secular music career, even featuring in her music videos; as in, rubbish and nonsense songs (at least, based on the one featured in the video report above) “I move like a billionaire and I don’t care and I don’t care and I don’t care and I don’t care…” Imagine! Mscheeew… SMH!!!
When the reporters caught up with him and his wife, he said “I have no idea” entered the car and they drove off. Later, they caught up with his wife who was just acting possessed, like she was walking on a runway in a fashion show. It’s just sad. Now, this is no new gist, these kinds of things have been happening for ages now, but this is referenced because of the amount involved, its Internet presence and the fact that mega churches were involved in the scam.
It’s Just a Pity
Many atheists and unbelievers have been ridiculing the victims, rather than the culprits, claiming they were so naive and stupid as they believe many Christians are in general; claiming they don’t even deserve to be paid back because of their stupidity. Of course, that’s why they are unbelievers, they are only living up to expectations. It’s really sad and a pity that those people have lost millions of dollars, their life savings! As you can see, they are not small children or young men and women, they are people probably in their 50s’ and upwards.
Imagine working for over 20 years to invest all your savings in a church related investment scheme which you had no reason to doubt or fear because your pastor endorsed it, only for you to realize it’s all a scam. If it were to be a local business investment they wouldn’t have been so naive, but because it was from what they claim or feel to be the House of God, endorsed by who they claim or feel to be the mighty minister of God, they went all out. It’s just a pity! And at the end, it was even reported as in the case of Lillian Wells, formerly of Eddie Long’s church, that she received no financial help from the church. According to her, speaking of Long, “He came in and he said basically, church aint got no money”. She was forced to file for bankruptcy with all of her life savings gone, while Long claimed that the church did nothing wrong.
You could say they were actually stupid; nobody puts all his eggs in one basket. You could also say they were actually greedy, trying to take advantage of the opportunity and hit a jackpot. I say they were just naive victims of a well established ecclesiastical fallacy that has stolen from and destroyed the lives of many Christians. Many are living in poverty because of this fallacy, many families have scattered because of this fallacy and many have even died as a result of the after effects of this fallacy. Everybody is not your brother in Christ. People are not Christians because they go to church or are constant church goers, workers and ordained or employed pastors. This is what makes us Christians:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35).
You don’t trust someone because your pastor endorsed him, you will have yourself to blame! Your pastor is not God. You don’t run to a church building where people are gathered for safety (Boko Haram has taught us that lesson in Northern Nigeria), it is the name of the Lord that is a strong tower and the righteous will only get safety there (Proverbs 18:10). You follow the leading of the Spirit and judge based on love and fruits.
Don’t be naive, the devil isn’t, he only wants to steal, kill and destroy (The 3-Point Agenda). Jesus said
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15).
Paul also said in Acts 20:29
“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”
Trust me, they would only come back to bite us, I speak with a wealth of personal experiences dealing with these wolves.
Beloved, nobody is perfect in himself, but in Christ, let us therefore strive to continue to grow in grace and love and avoid sentiments; even the Holy Spirit couldn’t stand the lies of Anaias and Sapphira, though they still tried to contribute to the Church (Acts 5:1-10). There is a level of love and fellowship that we will get to that no wolf, Tom, Dick and Harry would be able to penetrate at all. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18) and fervent love will cover the multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Let us long and yearn for such, even from the smallest of gatherings, remember He is there (Matthew 18:20).
Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!