Devon Dick | Tek God mek prekeh
Recently, an apostle of the church bemoaned how a member of a church 'Tek God mek prekeh' by sowing a seed of one dollar and expecting a one-bedroom house. According to the pastor, who was delivering his sermon on TBC FM, owned and operated by Tarrant Baptist Church, one would need to sow more money to get a house. The preacher bemoaned that many preachers were not teaching the people right.
Indeed, that member was taking God mek prekeh if she believed that God can be bribed or that He is spurred into action based on the level of our contribution in the collection plate. If that were so, then persons who are wealthy would have an advantage over persons who are poor. Furthermore, we do not give to God in order to get, but rather we give as a response to God's goodness, greatness and graciousness. It is not that we are sending up praises to God and then God responds by sending down blessings. God is the one who always blesses us and then we respond by praising Him. God initiates giving and we respond.
Similarly, it is God who initiates the move towards us being saved. It is God who seeks us and not we seeking God. We merely respond to a God who seeks after us. God gives us gifts out of His mercy and because of His grace. Therefore, it cannot be earned; it is always undeserved. It is offered freely and for free. God's mercy towards us is always unlimited and unending. The Advent season reminds us that God gave His best and all in Jesus. Therefore, were the whole realm of nature ours to give to God for his gift to us, it would be an offering far too small.
There is no guaranteed co-relation between our giving to the work of the Lord and His material blessings. If it were so, then all we have to do is sow $10,000 five times and get five houses for a family of five.
Perhaps it was the apostle who 'tek God and mek prekeh'. In his treatise on money, he warned people about the dangers in accepting blood money. He cited the example of a car dealer selling a vehicle for $2 million and not knowing that it was blood money. He claims that the wife of the car dealer will suddenly become sick because he unknowingly took blood money. This makes God to be stupid, wicked and vengeful. God does not hold people accountable for actions they are not responsible for.
Similarly, he claimed that he does not wash feet. He moved away from it because some young man came with stinky feet. The policy of his church is that you wash your feet at home. To develop a theology based on smelly feet is dangerous. Nurses, caregivers, Missionaries of the Poor do such work with pleasure. The lesson behind Jesus washing the feet of his disciples was to teach humility in service, a point which has escaped this apostle.
This preacher is making God in his own image as a God who is materialistic; a kind of golden calf.
And church members, likewise, give when there is something in it for them or with strings attached. It is a preoccupation with the comforts of this life as if these are the only realities. It is this understanding or the mis-understanding of God and interpretation of Scriptures that facilitated the spread of Ponzi schemes such as Cash Plus and Olint. Perhaps the lotto scammers are also listening to these kinds of teachings. Remember, God is not fooled, when we serve mammon, we will perish with our money.
God does not get excited to give based on what each person returns to him out of the bountiful blessings He bestows on us, and because He gives all does not mean we should take advantage of Him or interpret the scriptures to our own benefit. Don't tek God mek prekeh!
• Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.