Albert and his demon
I’d like to talk about Pastor Albert Odulele of Glory House Church in London. Not one iota of my being is surprised that in the last year, the unfortunately familiar stories of the Catholic priests who can’t keep hands off vulnerable children is now being joined by those of pentecostal pastors. We were all shocked, and then floored with the obscene nonsense around the situation with Bishop Eddie Long. Well here is pastor Albert to add to the pile.
My first experience of Glory House is when my sister was a regular member there over a period of about 5 years (thankfully she left 3 years ago). From the second time I went there, I knew I hated it. It was bad enough I was already struggling with my ideas of religion and trying my hardest to define my personal spiritual identity, going to that church certainly didn’t help much.
I felt like I’d walked into a cross between a polo match, ladies day at Ascot, a celebrity wedding and the x-factor. The deity-like worship of the pastors (both the Odulele twins at the time), the level of glamour and expense in the outfits and cars, the scale of the church (thousands in the main hall, two overflow rooms, plus a TV feed), the brazen “I’m here to find me a wife/husband” attitude of the singletons (of which there were plenty), and probably most significantly, the out and out begging/guilt-tripping tithes and offerings collection strategy just plain got my gait way up.
Now the reason this issue with Pastor Albert is worth posting on my blog is two fold.
Number one, the dude is claiming to have “struggled with [his] sexuality for years”. Poor him. Whilst I accept that he is clearly a man with crisis issues, any inference that proports to align his struggle as primarily an issue with a desire for the same sex, needs to be put in check. The christian massive who wish to both condemn and defend him need to learn that homosexuality and peadophelia don’t live in the same village.
Secondly, and to be honest this is what boils my blood. This man is being SUPPORTED by his church and pockets of the christian community. Yes. Not only was there a consistent cover up and pressure applied to his victims (only 2 out of a known 10 followed through to testifying due to pressure from church elders), but idiotic, sycophantic, foolish, eeediyat people (yes, I had to go a bit street there), continue to support him.
People are quoting bible passages calling him a fallen man, saying the paths of the righteous are treacherous, bringing parodies with Paul & Silas. I’ve even heard people saying he was such a powerful prayer warrior that his actions are the result of spiritual attack.
If you are reading this and find yourself somewhat upset by my opinion, slap yourself twice and wake up.
THESE MEN ARE NOT GODS. No, we don’t need to turn our backs on everyone who falls, but you know what, if joe bloggs can be named, shamed and told to carry his own burden load when it comes to protecting our children, then this dude should suffer his punishment without proclamations from others about how holy he is because of the magnitude of his sin.
The rise and glamour of these churches is something that scares me rotten. Spiritual men should be humble men. All the prophets of any holy book you wish to pick up, you will always find men who led through humility in every action. See that humble. It is not about published prayer books, £100k a year salaries, glamorous clothes, first class travel to go pray for corrupt leaders, churches with thousands, TV stations or anything else. If anything in these modern times, humility should be even more important than ancient times.
Knowing that the church Pastor Albert founded supported his Michael Jackson-esque access to small boys by covering up his indescreditions and maintaining his position should make every single one of us shudder and run to protect our children.
If you ask me, a true man of God isn’t leading a mega-church right now. You cannot and should not commoditise spirituality.
People shouldn’t let themselves be fools for any man in the name of spirituality or a relationship with Christ. Wisdom in all things, all decisions, always.
Search Facebook for Albert Odulele to find all sorts of nonsenese supporting him.