The Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International, Bishop Charles Agyinasare, has said he has never taken sides with any political party nor served as its mouthpiece.
“As a pastor, to the best of my ability, if you check my pronouncements over the years, I’ve never spoken for, nor taken sides with any political party”, Bishop Agyinasare, who is popularly known as the Nations’ Pastor, told his virtual audience in a sermon on Sunday, 5 July 2020.
“If you have any time when I chose a political party in my sermons, in my public discourse, I’ll like to see it”, he dared.
The founder of Perez Chapel International added: “I have faithfully tried to be a man of God in the discharge of my pastoral duties because my prayer, as a pastor, has always been: ‘God, make my words speak to the conscience of my hearers. Let me be your mouthpiece, not the mouthpiece of any political party’”.
“I’m not a mouthpiece for NPP, I’m not a mouthpiece for NDC, I’m not a mouthpiece for CPP”, Bishop Agyinasare stressed.
“The only party I’m a mouthpiece of is the Jesus Party”, he noted.
Teaching about shunning bribes and acquiring wealth honestly rather than through get-rich-quick schemes, Bishop Agyinasare said any wealth got through ill means eventually crumbles.
Quoting Proverbs 13:11: ‘Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labour will increase’, to buttress his point, Bishop Agyinasare said: “Stealing or taking what does not belong to you, stealing from your employer, not paying your staff what is due them to make money” are all forms of dishonesty.
He said 1 Peter 5:2, which says: ‘Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind’, warns pastors against gaining dishonestly.
Bishop Agyinasare cited, for example, the selling of so-called miracle water and miracle oil to church members by pastors, as dishonest gain.
“For a pastor to arrange with people to pretend they are healed so that his church would be packed is quick money; for a pastor to arrange with people during fundraising to pretend they are giving so others would give, is looking for quick money; for a pastor to say that one should bring their jewellery for sanctification and keep or take it, is going for quick money”, Bishop Agyinasare noted.
Reinforcing his point with Proverbs 13:11, which says: ‘Wealth [not earned but] won in haste or unjustly or from the production of things for vain or detrimental use [such riches] will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase [his riches]’, Bishop Agyinasare described as unjust, businessmen/women who fleece depositors by using their monies to buy luxurious vehicles and live luxurious lifestyles.
“You are going to write an exam, and you get a leaked paper to pass your exam; a lecturer asks you for sex in exchange for good grades, falsifying figures to get extra money; going to buy something for your office and adding your own percentage” are all “unjust and dishonest gains”, The Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International said.
Also, Bishop Agyinasare quoted Proverbs 28:16, which says: ‘A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days’ to emphasise as “unjust gain”, the phenomenon where “politicians go into government and suddenly, in four years, own a fleet of cars and chains of houses”.
Additionally, he noted, as unjust, the practice of “getting a contract for a particular sum of money and using shoddy materials to do the contract”, saying: “Collecting 30% of the contract sum from a contractor pushes them to do a shoddy job”.
“Inflating the contract fee of a project is dishonest gain”, Bishop Agyinasare insisted, just as is “buying the property of the weak because you are in a position of power” or “pocketing money for the development of a community”.
Bishop Agyinasare also condemned corruption among judges by relying on Exodus 23:8, which says: ‘And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous’.
He said a bribe is “money, favour, or other consideration given in exchange for one’s influence against what is true, right, or just”.
Bishop Agyinasare underscored that point with Proverbs 17:23 – ‘Corrupt judges accept secret bribes, and then justice is not done’; Deuteronomy 16:19 – ‘You shall not misinterpret or misapply judgment; you shall not be partial, or take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous’ and Leviticus 19:15 – ‘You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour’.
The Nations’ Pastor narrated the following real-life stories to drive home his point about the need to make wealth honestly rather than through gambling and other get-rich-quick schemes:
1. In 1988, William Bud won 16.2 million USD in a Pennsylvania lottery. His brother tried to kill him for the money, unsuccessfully though. He, however, dissipated all his winnings and was living on welfare when he died.
2. Billie Bob Harrell Junior won 31 million USD in the Texas Lottery in 1997. Two years later, he committed suicide and there was not enough money left to pay taxes on his estate.
3. Victoria Zell in 2001 shared with her husband 11 million USD from a Power Ball Jackpot. She is currently serving time in a Minnesota Prison with her money all gone. She was convicted of an alcohol-induced collision that killed one person and paralysed another.
4. Evelyn Adams won a New Jersey Lottery twice in 1985 and 1986 totaling 5.4 million USD. She gambled and lost all her money and by 2001, she was living in a trailer.
5. Mack W. Metcalf and his wife shared 34 million USD from a Lottery jackpot. Three years after cashing in his winning, he died of complications from alcoholism at age 45. The wife, Virginia’s body, was found partly decomposed in her bed with a possible drug overdose.
“Proverbs 10:2: ‘Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death”, Bishop Agyinasare quoted.
He, thus, urged Christians to be “satisfied with the little you make and build on it”, as Proverbs 16:8 says: ‘Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right’ and shun greed, as Ecclesiastics 4:6 says: ‘Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit’.
“Today, some are not only chopping with one hand, but both hands and feet”, Bishop Agyinsare added.
Borrowing a leaf from Psalm 37:16, which says: ‘A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked’, Bishop Agyinasare urged Christians to build wealth little by little, as “wealth is not everything”.
“Mark 8:36: ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’” he quoted, adding: “Luke 12:15: ‘And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses’”.
Bishop Agyinasare, again, turned to another real-life story to teach Christians about how money is not everything:
The Nine Mega-Rich Men Who Met In 1923:
A group of very wealthy and super successful American financiers met in 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago to review the financial situation in the US and how to continue as the movers and shakers for many more years of their lives. These extremely rich tycoons between them controlled more wealth than could be found in the US Treasury at the time. Their success stories were published everywhere and they were held in the highest esteem both at home and abroad.
Below are the men;
1. Arthur Cutten – The greatest wheat speculator of the time.
2. Albert Fall- The Secretary of Interior in President Harding’s cabinet.
3. Leon Frazer – The President of the Bank of International Settlements.
4. Howard Hopson – The President of the largest Gas Company in the US.
5. Ivar Krueger – Head of the world’s greatest monopoly.
6. Jesse Livermore – The greatest bear in Wall Street.
7. Charles Harles Schwann – The President of the largest steel company.
8. Richard Whitney – The President of the New York Stock Exchange.
9. Samuel Insull – The President of the largest Utility in the US.
After 25 years of their historic meeting in 1923, below is what had become of them:
1. Arthur Cutten died abroad insolvent and unable to pay his debts
2. Albert Fall was pardoned on humanitarian grounds from prison to die at home
3. Leon Fraser committed suicide
4. Howard Hopson was insane
5. Ivar Krueger committed suicide
6. Jesse Livermore, famous speculator in the stock and commodities markets, his end is perhaps the most tragic of all. A week after Thanksgiving in 1940, Jesse walked into the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York, had two drinks at the bar while scribbling something in his notebook, then proceeded to the cloakroom where he sat on a stool and shot himself in the head. He was 62 and left behind $5 million, down from the $100 million fortune he had amassed just ten years earlier.
And the note he had scribbled? “My dear Nina: Can’t help it. Things have been bad with me. I am tired of fighting. Can’t carry on any longer. This is the only way out. I am unworthy of your love. I am a failure. I am truly sorry, but this is the only way out for me. Love Laurie”
7. Charles Schwann was bankrupt and had to live on borrowed money for the last five years of his life.
8. Richard Whitney was released from prison to die at home.
9. Samuel Insull died penniless.
None of these men was known to be religious or to be a Christian who faithfully practised the faith or religion. There was nothing that attests to that fact in the lives of these men.
He, thus, emphasised: “Ill-gotten wealth would not be enjoyed” as says Jeremiah 17:11: ‘As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool’”.
“Hasty riches has consequences”, Bishop Agyinasare said. “Proverbs 28:20: ‘A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent’”.