The International Central Gospel Church (ICG) and its General Overseer, Pastor Mensah Otabil, have become the subject of serious trolling on social media over cash-intensive offertory that is seen as overly exacting and materialistic.
Onslaught on platforms including Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter has been punctuated with outpouring of scorn for Pastor Otabil and his church in reaction to what is seen as extortionate levying in the name of Christ.
Many critics are questioning how a church could quote premiums as high as GHc21,000 under a so-called “Special Offering.”
Non-Christians and atheists alike have seized on the seeming immoderation to harp on the view that modern Christianity is con-artistry to victimize the weak-minded.
“In the philosophical lyrics of a reggae legend, Joseph Hill, otherwise called Culture, (he) said, ‘ Don’t believe them but Jah alone is a Christian,” a line of criticism went.
A snapshot of a so called “Special Offering” from a supposed “Greater Works” event by the ICGC which has gone viral on social media lists a pecking-order of six seed offering categories and quotes hefty dollar-denominated amounts against them.
The highest category, designated, “Millionaire Status” has as quoted premium, 5,000 US dollars or the cedi equivalent of GHc21, 000 (210million old cedis).
The next category, designated “Seed of a Thousand times more” has $1,000 or GHc4,250 as premium while a, “Seed of Completion” has $520 as quoted premium.
“24 Hour Miracle,” “100% life Improvement” and “Seed of Projection” categories have $240, $100, and $70 quoted against them respectively.
“All cheques payable to ICGC Special Events, Capital Bank, Account Number 1120000416451,” the poster for the offertory directed.
The huge quotations have led to scornful questions as to the difference between Pastor Mensah Otabil and the peddlers, money changers and gamblers that Jesus Christ had lashed and chased out of a temple in Jerusalem.
Atheists have since been having a field day with the issue on social media, using it as opportunity to mock all practising Christians as blind victims, as if Pastor Otabil and his ICGC are the definition of Christianity.
“A renowned philosopher, Karl Max, said religion is the ‘opium of the masses’ … Check the special offerings of a renowned church in Ghana…( 1) millionaire – $5000= c21,000.00, (2) sow a seed – $ 1000 = c4, 200 .00 (3) twenty four- hour breakthrough – $ 250 (4) life improvement $100….among others ……sheiiiiii religion sacrificed on the altar of personal aggrandizement….” one line of the mockery went.
The issue is worsened by the fact that Pastor Mensah Otabil has a reputation for being one of the most practical and commonsensical preachers in Ghana.
Among his very popular teachings, Pastor Otabil has enjoined his congregants to save and invest diligently.
Scorners have also resurrected an age-old criticism about exorbitant fees charged at a university that belongs to Pastor Otabil and the ICGC.
The Central University College, supposedly, charges higher academic fees than all public universities in Ghana, even though it was built and is seen to be being maintained with offertory contributions from church members.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey