COMMENTARY: Pastor Paul’s Manipulative ‘Witchcraft’
BY: Femi Aribisala
Have you noticed that the primary business of pastors is the collection of money? Every manipulative trick in the book is used to do this. The father of this disgraceful practice is Paul. Without a doubt, Paul is a past-master at manipulating churches for money. It is not for nothing he boasts to the Corinthians: “Crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!” (2 Corinthians 12:16).
Paul says Christians are “indebted” to preachers: “If the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.” (Romans 15:27). This self-serving principle provides the blueprint for the “sowing and reaping” deception prevalent in the churches: “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:6-7).
The deceiver here is Paul. For him, “sowing” is not planting the word of God in our hearts according to Jesus’ injunction.(Luke 8:11-15). It is not even giving to orphans or to widows. It is giving money to the so-called “man of God;” in this case, Paul himself. You see the trick here? Paul fabricates a highfalutin religious principle primarily designed to get people to give him money. He says: “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18).
Since man is not an ox, this amounts to quoting Moses out of context. (Deuteronomy 25:4). Indeed, according to Jesus, we should not even expect a “thank you” for our services: “When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10).
Paul barrages the Corinthians repeatedly. He says to them: “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 9:11-12).
The man is nothing but a 419 specialist. Paul says it is “a right” to collect money from them, but he will not use this right. So why is he talking about it if not because he wants their money. Is he not, in effect, doing what he says he should not do- hindering the gospel- by asking them for money? Then he goes on: “Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:14).
This is another one of Paul’s blatant lies. Surely, the Lord himself does not want the gospel to be hindered? All believers are required to preach the gospel. Does it mean, therefore, all believers should live by the gospel? Certainly not! Jesus’ position is diametrically opposite. He says: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8). This means we are not to insist on payment for spiritual services rendered.
Paul’s tactic is to go around asking for money while protesting he is not: “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Okay Paul, why not leave it at that? But no! He goes on: “I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:15-18).
Note the manipulation here. Paul says he would rather die than collect any money. But the reason why he is saying this is precisely because he wants them to give him money. We then discover he actually collects money without committing suicide, using another cunning rationalisation: “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:17-19).
This is pure manipulative witchcraft from a very a smooth-operator. In a subtle but devious manner, Paul maintains when you give something to him, you are automatically giving it to God. This makes Paul God. The things sent to Paul were well-pleasing not to Paul, but to God. What witchcraft! He then says because they gave to him, his God will supply their need. The God in question here is apparently not “our God” but Paul’s personal exclusive God. Does it mean God will not supply their need if they don’t give anything to Paul?
Paul is unrelenting. He continues to harass the Corinthians in another letter: “Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I ROBBED OTHER CHURCHES, taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.” (2 Corinthians 11:7-10).
The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks! The same Paul who says he would rather die than collect money now reveals he “robs” others of their money. So the problem with the Corinthians is that, in spite of his arm-twisting, they have not given Paul money. But Paul refuses to be denied. He says deceptively: “For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong! (2 Corinthians 12:13).
Haba! To what lengths will this man go to extort money from these poor people? How can they be inferior just because they refuse to give money to Paul? He then sends a gang of “the brethren” to collect money from them willy-nilly, while insisting they must give it “cheerfully.” (2 Corinthians 9: 1-6). Nevertheless, he continues to deny his actions: “What I want is not your possessions but you.” (2 Corinthians 12:14).
Hold on to your wallets and purses boys and girls. Pastor Paul and his minions are after your money. They are full of trickery. Before you know it, you will be out of pocket.