Last week, we celebrated the Day of Pentecost. As a Pentecostal pastor, I am truly concerned about the way Pentecostalism is being presented by a group of false pastors and preachers.
Pentecostalism has been seriously hijacked by false teachers and prophets who are taking advantage of people financially, sexually, physically and emotionally.
While the Christians in the west are praising the growth of Pentecostalism in the Majority World, I am deeply concerned and worried about this growth. It is really getting out of hand—we have created a monster “church” that has a combination of “Hollywood-ized” commercialism of the West with the Majority World’s superstitions and unhealthy spirituality, which misleads people. This monster has the ability to manipulate its followers and eventually devour them. I am concerned when I see a pastor who falsely claims to be Pentecostal who calls his female members to wave their dirty underwear in church services. I am equally concerned by the pastor who touches the naked breasts of his female members with either his hands or with his mouth during church services. It is beyond understanding that pastors are washing their followers in the shower in “private counseling” sessions. We even have a case here in Amsterdam of such washing practices.
I am concerned when I see a pastor who claims to be Pentecostal who calls his people to eat grass like animals right outside the church. Equally concerning is the pastor who places a heavy music box on the belly of a pregnant woman and then sits on the box. I am concerned about the pastors who preach of hell for people who do not pay their tithes and offerings, and I am worried about pastors who build mega churches in areas where locals are suffering from poverty. I am concerned about preachers and clergies who are more concerned about their Armani or Bijan suits and neglect the needs of their people who place their trust in them. I am worried about a Pentecostalism that is so commercial that while preaching a promising message about prosperity it robs every last penny from widows, orphans and immigrants in church.
We need a serious reformation! We have to speak openly and condemn these practices that are against the very essence of Pentecostalism as described in the book of Acts. Just like Martin Luther, who nailed his protest on the door of a corrupt and failing church, we too need to post our protests on every wall we know, from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. We need to “nail” this message in our newsletters and blogs. Let us join together and liberate Pentecostalism. The time has come for us to be bold and speak openly.