Viewpoints about religion, churches, and pastors have always been debatable. With the rate of churches cropping up every day in Nigeria, inevitably, the number of fake pastors will also increase.
Most Christians fall into the hands of these fake pastors because they are always chasing miracles. These fake pastors pretend to be real pastors, but no matter how much they pretend, they can’t hide who they are forever.
Lots of scandals usually follow these fake pastors, therefore, giving a bad name to the body of Christ. To curb the ever-increasing rate of fake pastors, and guide you as a Christian so you don’t get entrapped in the net of these fake pastors, this article will show you various ways to identify fake pastors.
How to Know a Fake Pastor
1. They preach about wealth more than Salvation:
Any preacher or man of God that is constantly deviating from the principal message of Christ, the message of salvation should become a suspect. How can a pastor care more about enriching himself and pleasing his members rather than teaching them on how to be saved on the last day?
Pastors who often preach about wealth or prosperity are always talking about tithes, offerings, seeding sowing, donating to the church, and praying for riches and wealth. While preaching about this topic is not bad, doing so excessively while neglecting the souls of members shows that the pastor is fake.
2. He asks you to pay for Deliverance/Family Liberation:
A genuine man of God will never ask you to pay a fee for him to conduct deliverance or do family prayers for you. Rather he prays for you by requesting anything in return. In the case of family liberation, a real pastor will never ask you to pay, instead, he will tell you that you will be responsible for any bill that they will incur ( Like transportation, accommodation, and feeding) especially if they (he and his prayer warriors) will be leaving their city to conduct the prayers.
3. He gives ungodly advice:
The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. A fake pastor can never give you genuine or Godly advice. Why? Because his own heart and mind are never filled with the things of God.
One of the major responsibilities of a pastor is to lead and guide the people of God the right way. But instead, a fake pastor leads his members astray with his advice and guidance.
A good example of fake pastors is those pastors that pray for fraudsters, knowing fully well what they do. Instead of advising them to quit taking people hard earned money, they encourage them to continue by praying for them and blessing their cars, and houses.
4. He asks you to buy spiritual materials from them:
Another way to know a fake pastor is that he asks you to buy spiritual materials from them, and their prices are usually very high.
While there is nothing wrong with a church having a shop as an extension that sells things like holy water, oil, and the rest, it’s wrong for a pastor to sell these items at an exorbitant rate, and also insist that members must buy them. Sometimes, most of these pastors refuse to pray for you using any material you bought from outside.
They use this as another avenue to make money from their members, and some of them might have already possessed these items with strange powers for miracles.
5. He is always showing off and concerned about his looks :
While nobody is saying that you should look dirty because you are a pastor, a genuine pastor should not be obsessed with his looks, he is not a pop star or celebrity. If a pastor is looking flamboyant, and dressing to kill, you might have a fake pastor on your hands.
In addition to dripping more than most pop stars, if a pastor insists on driving extravagant cars, and staying in extremely expensive hotels, he is most likely fake. The only exception to this is when maybe he was giving the car as a gift, or those that invited him over for a program made the accommodation arrangements for him.
6. He is Obsessed with performing miracles:
Even though miracles, signs, and wonders are guaranteed to follow a real pastor, when a pastor is always bent on performing miracles, then it’s a red flag.
If a pastor demonstrates more power(casting out demons, and performing miracles) than preaching the word of God to the people, just know that he is doing it for fame and money.
No matter how powerful a pastor is, he will never abandon the message of salvation to perform miracles always to please people. Any pastor who does such is fake.
7. He is constantly giving alarming prophecies to get attention:
This type of pastor is usually called a prophet of doom. They are always giving alarming prophecies to remain relevant in the public eye. Most times, these fake pastors usually use these prophecies to get more members, and they most especially give this during critical times (like election periods). These pastors are also controversial, uncouth, and confrontational. They usually bring division and hatred into the church through their prophecies.
8. He is more concerned about himself than the church:
Once a pastor begins to project his image more than that of the church, there is a 95% probability that you are dealing with a fake pastor. This is seen in most Christian communities today, many pastors are well-known, but most people who know them don’t know the name of their church.
A pastor is supposed to be a servant in the vineyard of God, taking care of the vines (The people of God) and spreading the message of salvation, and not getting glory for himself. Once a pastor starts giving glory to himself rather than God, Run.
9. He never speaks the truth:
One very big red flag when it comes to knowing fake pastors is this. Fake pastors are people, pleasers. They preach to their members what they wish to hear, and the truth as it is in the bible for fear of losing their members.
Any pastor who preachers what his congregation wants rather than what God wants has no fear of God, and is fake according to Hosea 4:8.
10. He indiscriminately lays hands:
Be very mindful of pastors who indiscriminately lay hands on the heads of their members without promoting, or their members requesting prayers. These kinds of pastors are fake 1 Timothy 5:22.
Most pastors who do this are Fake and uses such avenue to either steal people’s destinies, initiate them into occultic kingdoms, or control their lives.
Apart from these signs, other red flags that show that a pastor is a fake include:
- He teaches you to ignore revelations and leadings of the holy spirit
- He teaches facts, but not the truth from the bible
- He boasts more about himself
- He is more concerned about your financial status than spiritual growth and development
- He is often surrounded by scandals (Rape accusations, extorting members, adultery, etc.).
- He is not accountable
- He is unteachable and doesn’t want to share the spotlight
- He asks you to bring leaves, roots e.t.c for prayers.
How to Avoid falling into the traps of Fake Pastors
Although we have extensively discussed how to spot fake pastors, some of them hide their true selves so much, that it only takes God to reveal them to you. Here are some ways to avoid falling into the nest of fake pastors:
- Pray for the spirit of discernment
- Anything your spirit doesn’t accept a pastor or a church, leave.
- Study the word of God
- When you see more than two of the signs listed above, Run.
Wrapping up, in as much as fake pastors are increasing daily, especially in these end times, there are many genuine men of God out there to help you on your journey of salvation.
As long as you are in tune with the word of God, and the holy spirit, and watching out for these signs, you will easily detect a fake pastor.
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