Sudan: S. Sudan Bishop - "Don't Be Fooled and Pay for Prayer"

A bishop in South Sudan has hit out at pastors who have been selling prayers and blessings to church members.

Bishop Moses Deng Bol of Wau Diocese warned members of his diocese not to be fooled by the conmen in Yei--in the south of the country.

"How stupid then to think that you can pay for faith or sell it like market goods," he wrote in the Diocesan newsletter. "Let us be clear - salvation is a free gift that no amount of money can buy."

Bishop Deng Bol said the reports of such examples of "Prosperity Gospel" made him angry and said he was unable to stay silent about such behaviour. He added that paying for prayers was "contrary to the way God wants us to behave."

"It really makes me so mad that because they lust for money people that have been trusted to lead in faith are taking advantage of people that cannot understand the message of Jesus properly."

The Bishop pointed his readers to Scripture including passages from Romans, 1 Timothy and Ephesians showing that it because of his grace that God's gave Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our salvation.

"God loves us so much; if you pay for someone to pray for you, or to bless you, you are wasting your money. Why pay a heretic when all you have to do is just ask God, through Jesus? So if a pastor asks you for money to say prayers or give a blessing, refuse to have anything to do with them."

Bishop Deng Bol called people to pray for "our misguided and greedy brothers and sisters so that God will open their eyes to see that what they are doing is not acceptable."

"Then they may stop this disgraceful practice and return to the true faith that they were freely given; as a gift from the almighty God that loves them."

Wau Diocese is part of the recently renamed Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan, a member Church of the Anglican Communion.

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