In recent years there has been a global shift of Christianity from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, from the west to the east. This migration has left former Christian communities like Europe secularised whilst the former mission field of the third world has become the centre of Christianity. The Pentecostal and Charismatic brand of Christianity has greatly impacted the African Church. This global shift of Christianity is an opportunity for the African Church to add the African flavour to the global Christian expression. It is true to say that the vibrancy of African Christian expression is vital to global Christianity.
However this writer is concerned with the way in which the Prophetic Movement within Pentecostalism in general is altering the character of Christianity in significant ways. This movement is subtly bringing OCCULTISM into the Church. This is shameful, shocking and shuttering because sooner or later occultism will be a new religious normal in the Church. Occult practices are slowly being introduced into the Church through the psychological processes of LEGITIMATION, DIGNIFICATION & GLAMORISATION.
Occultism has to do with connecting oneself with the world of spirits through divination, soothsaying, augury, necromancy, sorcery, use of charms, mediums and wizardry or witchcraft. God clearly warns us against indulging in these abominable practices. Practitioners of occultism do so to gain knowledge which allows them to exert power and control over people or events. They use psychic powers to control people by casting a spell over them. Scriptures clearly instruct us not to learn, experiment, follow or do these abominable practices. In Biblical times occult practitioners were excluded from the community of God’s people. This spiritual harlotry costed Saul his kingship when he consulted the Witch of Endor. The New Testament warns us against the madness of the fee charging occultist Balaam (2Peter 2:15-16). Balaam was an occultist whose specialty was blessing and cursing. He attracted high fees for his trade. His attempt to curse the people of Israel was a total fiasco because according to his confession later, “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel” (Numbers 23:23). These modern false prophets and false teachers are bringing respectability to occultism through syncretism and polytheism. I refuse to be complicit to the spread of occultism in the Church of God. Those who practise occultism in the name of God should be named and shamed because in their rebellion, they belittle God and exalt humans. They view God as inadequate in revealing mysteries hence pilgrimages to shrines in secret locations. The Global Church deserves something better from Africa. This return to primitive occult practices must stop. May the Church in Africa maintain its vibrancy from which the global Church may glean handfuls of purpose.
OCCULTISM: A NEW RELIGIOUS NORMAL IN THE PROPHETIC MOVEMENT IN AFRICA (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)
Tags: augury, charms, Christian expression, dignification, divination, glamorisation, global shift, legitimation, necromancy, occultism, polytheism, soothsaying, spells, spiritual harlotry, syncretism, witchcraft, wizardry