Some clerics in the South-South have come hard on their fellow ministers who created online platforms to collect tithe and offering from members, especially during COVID-19 pandemic lock-down, describing it as ridiculous. Some of the pro-tithe/offering pastors, however, defended their position, saying it was proper to do so, but those against asked if the Lord Jesus Christ would take or give to the people at a time like this.
The pastors, who spoke, also sang discordant tunes on whether Covid-19 is a sign of end times. While some said there was nothing to worry about if a cleric did not heal Covid-19 patients as expected because pastors do not have the power to heal, but God uses them, some argued that Covid-19 has exposed fake pastors.
General Overseer of Promise Kingdom Ministry Inc Worldwide in Sapele, Delta State, Bishop Godday Okokporo, is one of the clerics who pooh-poohed the ministers who arranged online apps for payment of tithe and offering during the pandemic, saying they are not true men of God. Okokporo said: “Rather than helping their members at this time of pandemic which has shut the world down, they are demanding for tithe and offering. “This is not biblical, times are hard and the only thing we should be doing now is to give back to the people and not continue to take from them. “That is why I am condemning it totally, it is not proper for a man of God to keep demanding without giving back.” The cleric, fondly called Bishop Overflow, also said why pastors were unable to heal Covid-19 victims was not because their faith and power failed them, “but because the Church was beginning to lose faith in its own ability, in God’s power.”
He added: “It is totally wrong to say the Church was unable to heal Covid-19 persons and why the deaths were more abroad than in Nigeria was because we are all praying and God has been merciful.” Asked if Covid-19 is part of the signs of the end of age, the bishop replied: “No, I do not think so. I think God will still give us more time to repent, but I think the pandemic has taught the Church that we need to know that we should be prepared. God has been kind to us but we should be prepared for the worst.”