Like a well-run business, churches have been able to figure out what kind of God they should sell to the congregation.
Some call Him El Shaddai or Jehovah, others see Him as Abba, Adonai, Yahweh, the list goes on and on.
In Nigeria, He does not just have numerous names, we also portray Him as a multifaceted being in our churches.
You realise this after visiting a lot of churches in this country. For instance, in Harvesters International Christian Center (HICC) in Lekki, you get a cool, fun-loving God/Jesus.
The accepting Father ready and willing to accept you just as you are. So, you get church members who have the non-judgemental, God cares more about your heart than your appearance mentality.
Then, there are others like Deeper Life and Mountain of Fire (MFM) who represent God as a very serious person that wants your all. All of your time, devotion, everything.
Like these churches, Catholics also give you the solemn side of God. Here, you can expect formal ceremonies like the ‘Stations of Cross’ that reflect the sacrifices made for our sake.
Next, you have the God wants you to be wealthy on earth ministry. The world’s richest pastor, Edir Macedo of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God falls under the category.
He believes that Christians should have their riches on earth, not in Heaven like some say. Reportedly, he defends this belief with this: “If I preach prosperity and my clothes are ragged, who will follow me?”
A Ugandan Prophet named Elvis A. Mbonye, who went viral for allowing his church members to kiss his shoes, also has this belief.
In his words, “The Lord showed me hell and the people who went there. Hell is stuffy, poor, sickly, and degrading. I have been to heaven and it is a glamorous place with streets of gold. All attributes of God are glamour and beauty and I’m of God, so I will unapologetically be always on the side of what is rich. You want me to be in a car where I sweat?”
Which of these different portrayals do you recognise in your church?