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TITLES, RANKS AND HIERARCHIES


There is an obsession about titles, ranks and hierarchies in the Christian community these days. This could be a new heresy having its rounds in the religious market. The most popular one in Africa south of the Sahara is ‘Prophet’ or ‘Prophetess’. I am also reminded of a Facebook article by one of our leading pastors in the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, Dr Dennis Erasmus. I was privileged to get his voluminous PhD thesis which he did with the University of Unisa. In one of his Facebook articles, he protested against preachers who have never been to a University lecture room but have the audacity to call themselves Doctors. For this reason he opted to be called Brother Erasmus. 
Could it be that we preachers in our ranks and file as Archbishops, Bishops, Overseers, The Most Reverend, The Very Reverends, The Right Reverends, Apostles, Evangelists, Pastors, Prophets, Elders, Deacons, Deaconesses, Ministers, appointed or self-appointed etc (This writer at the time of writing is addressed as Reverend Overseer and Vice President of AFM in the United Kingdom) have forgotten that first and foremost we are children of God like any other believer? We are all brethren (Bazalwane in Zulu) who were washed by the same blood of Jesus. Whilst I am a strong proponent of the Honour Code but this should not be equated to the way we honour the Lord our God. Some have even gone too far with their blasphemy whereby they view themselves as fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh etc. to the Godhead. This nonsense must stop. 

The time we were growing up in the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe, I still vividly remember our veteran pastors like the late Pastor Langton Kupara, Pastor Peter Stephen Mutemererwa and many others of their generation, they used to address each other as ‘Brother Pastor’. The above were national Presidents of the AFM but they never forgot that they were brethren. Even our white counterparts like the former Director of Missions, Pastor Edgar Gschwend used to also be addressed as ‘Brother’. What has gone wrong with the current crop of Church leaders? It looks like the doctrine of the Priesthood of Believers is slowly being thrown out of the Church. The Caste System which defines people by classes is now replacing our biblical Brotherhood (BAZALWANE). This is destroying the fabric of Christianity.

In light of the above, I started to dig into the AFM’s past and from there I discovered that there is no better title than being BROTHERS AND SISTERS OR BRETHREN IN THE LORD. Professor David Maxwell in his book titled, ‘African Gifts of the Spirit’ argues that the AFM was founded by five Missionaries, three men and two women and their families from America in 1908. Among the five brethren the ones who took distinct leading roles were John Graham Lake and Thomas Hezmalhalch. They brought the Pentecostal Revival to South Africa, having experienced it themselves at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, USA. Professor Maxwell narrates that the AFM Church was multi-racial, inter-denominational and gender-inclusive in its early rooting. He also argues that the running of the AFM mirrored the Azusa Street Revival way of doing things i.e. addressing each other as Brethren. Listed below is my summary and evaluation of why it is important to go back to our roots:

# The AFM was planted by a team of men and women missionaries hence the need to appreciate teamwork as fellow servants in God’s Vineyard. Our Sisters should be viewed as fellow-workers with their male counterparts
# The multi-racial nature of the early AFM promoted racial equality which was practically demonstrated by having Holy Communion from the same cup as BAZALWANE. The Apartheid ideology killed this equality among brethren leading to the formation of black, white, Indian and coloured Churches within the AFM. The coming of independent South Africa in 1994 led to the re-unification of the AFM Brethren again

# Pastors from other denominations like the Dutch Reformed Church, American Methodist Episcopal Church etc. were accepted into the AFM together with their congregants e.g. Pastor Pieter Louis Le Roux was from the Zionist Movement but became the AFM President from 1913 to 1943. The symbiotic relationship the AFM had with other denominations confirms that we tap into each other as BRETHREN/BAZALWANE

# The AFM was initially registered as an Unlimited Company in protest of ecclesiastical hierarchies and disillusionment with denominationalism, hence the emphasis on the Priesthood of Believers whereby ministers of the word were addressed as Lay-Workers and Full-time Workers rather than the Clergy and the Laity. These would gather together to bring reports of the Lord’s work in their constituencies as BRETHREN at National Workers’ Councils.
However the need for RESPECTABILITY led to the institutionalisation of the AFM Church, which gave birth to ecclesiastical hierarchies which if not guarded diligently can be manipulated by political opportunists. My fear is IF POLITICS IS UNAVOIDABLE IN THE CHURCH, THEN GODLINESS IS UNATTAINABLE. It is only when Church leaders at various levels view themselves as BRETHREN/BAZALWANE and not political rivals that godliness becomes attainable in our generation and generations to come. From now on call me BROTHER or BROTHER PASTOR if need be. I rest my case BRETHREN/BAZALWANE.

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Posted by on July 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GIVE IT, GET IT & GROW IT (Malachi 1:6)


The prophetic word I have for you is that YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GIVE IT, GET IT & GROW IT. Honour is the value you place on someone or something. To honour simply means to view as valuable or to view as precious. The value you put on someone determines how you treat that person. The value you give to God determines how you treat him. The Honour Code features highly in Judaism, Christianity and African Culture. In the three communities, individual identity is closely knit with the community to which one belongs. One’s humanness is seen by how one relates with the community around him/her. African philosophy has one of its celebrated sayings which sums up the need for the Honour Code. It says, ‘I am because we are’ which in Zulu means, ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ and in Shona means, ‘Munhu, munhu pavanhu’. Therefore Ubuntu (Zulu), Unhu (Shona) defines our humanness in relation to how we honour others in the community. The Honour Code is crucial for our spiritual, physical, social, moral and material wellbeing.
The Bible is awash with people who gave high value to the Honour Code in the way they related with other people or handled tempting situations which could lure them to desacralise the Honour Code:

# David did not kill King Saul because of the stipulations of the honour code concerning the anointed of God.

# Joseph refused to go to bed with Potiphar’s wife even though she had put safety measures because of the honour code.

# Job refused to curse God and die because of the honour code.

# The three Hebrew boys refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idols because of the honour code.

# Peter and John, after being beaten and warned not to preach Christ chose to obey God because of the honour code.

# Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision when being tried by King Agrippa because of the honour code.

# Mordecai refused to bow down to Harman because of the honour code.

# Joseph before an angel appeared to him, wanted to secretly break up with Mary due to her pregnancy because of the honour code.
1. YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GIVE IT
Honour is something we should give to God, to our parents and to all other people. We honour God because of his POSITION i.e. who he is and not what he does. He is EL ELYON the Most High God. In Malachi 1:6 God is making a formal complaint to his people Israel, ‘A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’. The main culprits who showed contempt for his name were the priests who offered blind, lame and diseased animals for sacrifice. Ironically these priests offered to God animals which were detestable to offer to the governor. It is our duty to give God the honour due him.

# Honour God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

# Honour God with highest praise.

# Honour God with the first best (First-fruit).

# Honour God with your tithes and offerings.

# Honour God with your lifestyle (Holiness)
After giving honour to God, your own parents are next on line. Deuteronomy (5:16) quoting one of the ten commandments says, ‘Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you’. The honour we give to God is about worship but the honour we give to our parents and other people is about treating them with dignity and respect. The two Hebrew words for honouring human beings are KAVOD meaning to dignify and MORAH meaning to respect. We give respect and dignity to our parents by obeying them, clothing them, feeding them and sheltering them. The two sons of Noah, when they realised that their father was naked, they covered him with a piece of cloth hence the duty to dignify our parents. 
Your ability to give honour to all other people is determined by how much you honour God and your parents. If you fail to honour God and your parents, you are not likely to be able to honour other people. People who dishonour other people are actually dishonouring God and their parents. If you dishonour other pastors, you are in effect dishonouring your own pastor too. 

# Give due honour to your spiritual leaders.

# Give due honour to your employer.

# Give due honour to Civil authority.

# Give due honour to your spouse.

# Give due honour to your siblings and relatives.

# Give due honour to brothers and sisters in the Lord.
2. YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GET IT
Whilst it is imperative to GIVE IT (Honour), you also deserve to GET IT. However you do not wait to get it from others because it may never be given. I propose that you get it by honouring yourself. Nothing should reduce your value, not even the colour of your skin, your gender, your ethnicity, your background or your origin. No one can add or take away your value. Just like a £20 note; fold it, squash it, kick it, spit on it, step on it, its value will never change. Trials, tribulations, pain, sickness, poverty etc do not take one iota of your value before God. Get rid of the spirit of self-hate. Refuse to mourn about your situations or curse the day you were born. Refuse to limit your value by the labels the world gives you or the negative self concept the devil tries to make you believe. Instead, learn to shower yourself with words of compliment.

# I am one of a kind

# I am an original and not a duplicate or photocopy of someone

# I am fearfully and wonderfully made

# I am not an afterthought or a statistic in this world

# I am proud to be me

# I am a full package that needs no additives to my skin colour

# I am a superior breed belonging to the bloodline of Christ

# Blessed is the day I was born
3. YOUR WELLBEING IS IN THE HONOUR CODE: GROW IT
Ability to honour does not come by accident. It was instilled into you by your parents, the school and the community. You and I have a responsibility to PASS IT ON to future generations. You have to grow it in your children who will in turn grow it their children and their children’s children. 

# Grow it by being a MODEL to your children (80%)

# Grow the other 20% through other channels

# Grow it by setting rules and boundaries 

# Grow it by positive reinforcement

# Grow it by instilling it rather than enforcing it

# Grow it by teaching and training

# Grow it during the attachment and detachment periods of parenting
ITS TIME TO GO BACK TO THE HONOUR CODE.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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DEALING WITH SYSTEMIC EVIL: NAME IT, SHAME IT & CONFRONT IT


Whilst there is more emphasis on an individual’s personal relationship with God in Christianity, it is imperative to note that there is also the CORPORATE RELATIONSHIP of us as the BODY OF CHRIST. An individual is made accountable for his/her sins, flaws and failures but there is silence about holding Churches, Denominations and Ministries accountable for their sins, flaws and failures. This should also be true of Governments, Political parties, big companies and small businesses. They must be held accountable for their sins, flaws and failures. SYSTEMIC OR CORPORATE sins, flaws and failures have caused more damage to communities than individual sins, flaws and failures. History and current affairs testify to SYSTEMIC SINS which manifest in slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racial segregation, discrimination, tribalism, regionalism, poverty, unemployment, patriarchalism, gender inequalities etc. In Pentecostal circles individuals undergo exorcisms of demons of all sorts to deliver them from such evil realities. But high ranking demons known as principalities and powers which cause systemic evil are left to torture communities in broad daylight.
The Church should continually review itself to see if its still fit for purpose. The Church should not only be a prophetic voice of justice to society but it should be seen to practise justice in its system. The major reason why systemic evil persists in society is because some people are benefitting from such flawed systems hence we have two classes of people namely the PRIVILEGED AND THE DISENFRANCHISED. Without delving into the debate of true and false prophets in Israel, those who spoke what the kings wanted had a privileged position in the state whilst those who demanded accountability from kings were demonised. Systemic evil is all over hence the prevalence of injustice, innocent suffering, poverty, wars, dictatorships and corruption in high places the world over. 
Where are God’s prophets today? They are busy addressing individual sins, flaws and failures rather than challenging systemic evils which are causing corporate suffering of the masses. They are busy preaching against individual sins to the delight of the devil. Indeed satan is not too dull in the way he engages his resources. He has left us dealing with individual evil while he concentrates on masterminding and perpetuating systemic evil hence the engagement of principalities and powers in the control of states and governments. For example he created the APARTHEID SYSTEM which continues to raise its ugly head in the so-called post-Apartheid era in South Africa. It is one of the die hard systemic evils. The memory of the Rwandan Genocide is there to stay as a reminder of SYSTEMIC EVIL. Needless to mention that Africa has independent states yet systemic evil is still persisting under the guise of independence hence we have a new form of colonialism among us. I call it SOPHISTICATED COLONIALISM because its being practised by a new crop of the BLACK ELITE against the poor masses who are being short-changed left, right and centre. This is being done under the watchful eyes of God’s prophets some of which are wining and dining with those in control of the system. It would be a shame if there is any Christian community among us which is deliberately erecting diabolical structures which perpetuate misery, corruption and wrongdoing. Let us learn lessons from Reformation era where Martin Luther challenged systemic evil in the Church. Furthermore if the Church is silent when its parishioners suffer the consequences of systemic evil, then it will be guilty of ignoring or neglecting WEIGHTIER MATTERS. The Church cannot be silent, neither should it accept to be silenced. 
Its time for the prophets of God to name, shame and confront SYSTEMIC EVIL wherever it is. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3). When the systems of evil are destroying the livelihoods and fabric of society, what can the prophets do? DON’T JUST SIT THERE, DO SOMETHING. NAME IT, SHAME IT AND CONFRONT IT. If you cannot publicly deal with this systemic evil, you can still NAME IT, SHAME IT AND CONFRONT IT in prayer. Remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of this dark world. We are fighting spiritual forces of evil in the air which manifest in SYSTEMIC EVIL (Ephesians 6:12). We should concentrate on dealing with both individual sins and systemic sins. Remember that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34). May the good Lord give you anointing to NAME IT, SHAME IT & CONFRONT IT.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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GOD’S GONNA GET SOME GLORY OUT OF YOUR STORY (John 9:1-3, Philippians 1:12)

Are you aware that your story is for His glory? God is gonna get some glory out of every chapter of your story. Some of the things you are going through may not be glorious but God is in it. The Johanine corpus gives us a setting where Jesus is confronted with a case of a man born blind. The question was; Who caused this situation of being born blind? Is it the sin of the parents or the victim? Those who posed this question had what is well known in academic circles as DEUTERONOMISTIC THEOLOGY. This theology has it that misfortune is a result of sin. This theological framework blames the victim for his suffering. Bad things happen to bad people as a punishment from God. Similarly good things happen to good people as a reward from God. It was inconceivable that BAD THINGS DO HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. Whenever someone suffered misfortune he had to do a lot of soul searching to find out where he went wrong or missed the mark. The community was also quick to judge you harshly for any misforne which befell you. This is the same thinking Job’s friends had when evaluating Job’s plight.
Jesus’ response to the plight of the blind man focused on demystifying this notion hence Jesus’ answer, THIS BLINDNESS IS NOT A RESULT OF SIN, BUT THAT THE WORKS OF GOD MAY BE DISPLAYED. In other words this man’s blindness does not need any research into the cause. His story is for his glory. Having said this, then Jesus miraculously opened the man’s eyes leading to God getting all the glory. 
The Apostle Paul similarly reassures the Philippians of his story of imprisonment. He asserts that all the adversities which happened to him helped in advancing the gospel. His suffering and possible execution did not in any way curtail the propagation of the gospel. Could it be that all the adversities you are facing are by divine design for the advancement of the gospel? Could it be that God may deliberately not remove some thorns in your flesh and he gets glory through his sustaining grace? Could it be that today’s Christians prefer golden chains and crosses to adorn their necks rather than carry a blood stained cross in their daily walk? Could it be that the modern Church has classified the crucified life as an outdated Theology suitable for Primitive Christianity? I beg to differ. Check out the following for your consolation:

# Your story may littered with sickness and suffering like the ten lepers but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with betrayal like Joseph but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with barrenness and childlessness like Hannah but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with being dropped and dumped like Mephibosheth but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with being born, bred and buttered in pain like Jabez but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with loss and misfortunes like Job but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with grief like Naomi or the widow of Nain but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with being a fugitive like David but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with threats like Mordecai but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

# Your story may be littered with bills and debts like the Prophet’s widow but God is gonna get some glory out of your story

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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ITS TIME TO MAJOR ON WEIGHTIER MATTERS: TALK IT, WALK IT & LOVE IT (Matthew 9:36, Luke 10:25-37) PART TWO


We noted in the previous article that Jesus challenged the Scribes and Pharisees for neglecting the weightier matters of the Law i.e. JUSTICE AND MERCY. Any religious practices which lack justice and mercy are acts of hypocrisy. A closer scrutiny of Jesus’ life and ministry reflects that it was characterised by the statement: MOVED WITH COMPASSION. This statement means to have the bowels yearn, a Jewish idiom meaning having deep compassion. These are the BOWELS OF MERCY which Paul encourages the Colossian Community to have (Colossians 3:12-13). Could it be that those who want to serve God the Jesus way must have BOWEL FEELINGS which will move them with compassion in everything they do for Christ? Whilst the story of the Good Samaritan teaches us the behaviour of compassionate people, it is also a reminder that religious people can sometimes be heartless. Both the Priest and the Levite who who happened to be going down the same road where this half dead man was, simply passed by. They valued ceremonial cleanliness stipulated in the Mosaic law but ignored the spirit of the law where compassion had to out-weigh their outward cleanliness. They valued religious duties at the expense of a dying soul. Jesus asked the expert in the law, ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ He replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him’. How sarcastic it is that the expert in the law hesitates to say that it was the SAMARITAN but deliberately opted to reduce him to a statistic ‘THE ONE’. 
It is my prayer that the 21st Century Church should glean lessons from the 1st Century Church whose ministry was moved by compassion. Indeed weightier matters should propel us to action. When weightier matters become your passion, you will TALK IT. Paul declared before King Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Its time to talk about Jesus wherever we are and whenever an opportunity arises. When weightier matters become your passion, you will WALK IT. Some TALK IT by the mile but WALK IT by the inch. Our greatest and most effective method of winning others to Christ is to WALK THE TALK. Somebody said it well that Christianity is easier CAUGHT than TAUGHT. Indeed actions speak louder than words. May the 21st Century Church produce WALKIE TALKIES for Jesus (WALK IT & TALK IT). Finally when weightier matters become your passion you will LOVE IT. Micah 6:8 rightfully says, ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To ACT JUSTLY and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God’. Truly humble people act justly and love mercy. You and I have to love weightier matters of justice and mercy. 
Check out some of the scenarios which moved Jesus with compassion:

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the SHEPHERD-LESS 

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the SICK 

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the DEGRADED

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the MOURNING

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the POOR

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the DISABLED

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the HUNGRY

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the SINNERS

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the HEAVY-LADEN

# Jesus was moved with compassion for the DEMON-POSSESSED
May weightier matters of the bowels be our passion.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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THOU SHALT MAJOR ON WEIGHTIER MATTERS: TALK IT, WALK IT & LOVE IT (Matthew 23:23, Micah 6:8, Mark 1:40-44, Colossians 3:12-13)

In order to make myself understood in this discourse, allow me to humbly propose an eleventh commandment; THOU SHALT MAJOR ON WEIGHTIER MATTERS. As I was celebrating my 55th birthday, I started reflecting and praying for God’s guidance on this journey of life and Christian service. Of all verses of Scripture, the Lord took me to Matthew 23:23 where Jesus Christ challenged the Scribes and Pharisees for disregarding WEIGHTIER MATTERS. The Lord challenged me to MAJOR ON WEIGHTIER MATTERS hence this sharing with my brothers and sisters in the Faith. 
Why WEIGHTIER MATTERS? This is about putting first things first. This is about letting what matters most, matter most. This is about value tags we put to the things we do. While a lot of people major on minors and others minor on majors, its time to major on majors. The Scribes and Pharisees in their endeavour to tithe to the dot, they would calculate one tenth of their proceeds from their small backyard spice gardens. But they neglected weightier matters of the law i.e. JUSTICE, MERCY AND FAITH. Jesus’ contention was that they should have practiced the latter (Justice, mercy and faith) without neglecting the former (Tithe). In a nutshell the Scribes and Pharisees focused on the LETTER OF THE LAW rather than THE SPIRIT/INTENT OF THE LAW. They gave meticulous attention to their tithes, offerings and prayers whilst ignoring issues of justice and mercy in their neighbourhood. To say ‘they ignored’ is actually an understatement. They violated weightier matters of ethical values of justice and mercy which enshrined the spirit or intent of the law.
Could it be that issues of justice and mercy have been put on the sidelines of the Kingdom Agenda because it has been misconstrued to be a SOCIAL GOSPEL which emanates from LIBERATION THEOLOGY? Truth be told, JUSTICE AND MERCY are at the heart of the Kingdom Agenda. The Church should be a shining example in the way it administers JUSTICE AND MERCY within its ranks before it moves out to the wider community. Justice is about administering what is just, factual, reasonable, morally upright, fair, righteous, impartial and legally correct. Justice is about being careful in our judgement of others well knowing that its easier to see specks in other people’s eyes whilst ignoring glaringly visible logs in our own eyes. True justice from a Christian point of view is administered with the HEART AND MIND OF GOD.
The existence of the MERCY SEAT upon which the High Priest sprinkled blood once a year on the day of Atonement is a reminder that God’s judgement is based on MERCY. God deals with our sins today from the MERCY SEAT OF CALVARY. Truly speaking if God was to do justice to the sins of Preachers and Parishioners who fall away from grace, we would all be dead because the wages of sin is still DEATH. Furthermore the Psalmist shows us that MERCY is one of the attributes of God and his mercy endures forever (Psalm 136). The Hebrew word for mercy is RICHAM which means to be soft or to be gentle. Another word in singular form is RECHEM meaning WOMB which denotes that mercy is something which should come out of our innermost being. This implies that merciless people are heartless and womb-less. In the Christian community, mercy is seen in how we treat each other. Mercy should indeed focus on the POTENTIAL GOOD that may come out of a BAD SITUATION. The Apostle Paul supports the dispensing of mercy when he says, ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, BOWELS OF MERCIES (from our innermost being) kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; fore-bearing one another and forgiving one another…’ (Colossians 3:12-13). 
In Part 2 of this sharing, we will look at how our Lord Jesus Christ was moved by WEIGHTIER MATTERS in his earthly ministry and how this should move us to TALK IT, WALK IT AND LOVE IT.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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GAMES, GIMMICKS AND GAMBLES BY RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDISTS


The challenge of POPULAR RELIGION is not just a 21st Century phenomenon. Popular religion has been with us from time immemorial. In the Old Testament times people were obsessed with High Places instead of Temple worship. Similarly Aaron succumbed to the demands of popular religion when he made a golden calf to be a god for the Israelites i.e. Idol worship. Needless to mention that baal worship was the greatest eyesore to Yahweh worship due to its fertility attraction to people in an agro-based economy. Judges like Gideon and Prophets like Elijah challenged this popular religion among the Israelites. By popular religion in Christian circles, I am talking about the type of gospel which is geared for those with itching ears whose ears enjoy hearing a particular genre of the gospel. This is the gospel with mass attraction but is void of the Saviour. Popular religion thrives because of its propagandists who are obviously benefitting big time from it. 
Just like in yesteryear, today’s propagandists capitalise on playing with the human mind and human needs. Many well-meaning innocent people are being manipulated by these false teachers, false prophets and false messiahs because of ignorance. Today’s Christian community needs to be more vigilant like the Bereans who examined Scriptures to establish if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11). Check out some of the games, gimmicks and gambles being used by modern religious propagandists:
# PROPAGANDA: is information which is biased or misleading which is deliberately used to deceive. To deceive means to give a mistaken impression, to fool, to cheat, to trick. Just like politicians, religious propagandists have an inner circle which knows all the strategic tools which are used to mislead. The most hated people are those who manage to come out of the inner circle. Both in politics and religion, such people are viewed as traitors because of their exposure to official secrets and their potential to demystify the propagandist agenda.
# DISTORTION: to distort means to pull or twist out of shape, to misrepresent, to change the form of something. From Latin DISTORQUERE meaning to twist apart. False teachers play around with Church doctrine, pulling it and twisting it to suit what they want. Even Bible verses are pulled apart to bring out a meaning which is unscriptural. Several historical figures known to this writer have claimed to be the last Elijah before the second coming of Christ but unfortunately they died before the parousia materialised. 
# DEVIATION: To deviate means to diverge from an established course or from normal standards, to go astray. From Latin DEVIARE meaning to turn out of the way or divergence from the intended route. The Bible says, ‘Do not move the ancient boundary stone set up by your fathers’ (Proverbs 22:28). What used to be viewed as abnormal has now become the NEW NORMAL in the Christian community. If there is divergence from the intended route, what assurance do we have that we will  arrive at the right destination? Today’s proponents of popular religion are not only MOVING ancient boundaries, but they are actually REMOVING them. 
# EXAGGERATION: to exaggerate means to alter beyond normal proportions, to overstate, to overemphasise, to amplify. Altering Christian truth beyond normal proportions is LYING. Truth overstated becomes questionable. For example, whilst prosperity is the heritage of God’s people, the PROSPERITY GOSPEL or the claim it and have it gospel is truth overstated hence it borders with heresy which emanates from EW Kenyon who is well-known as the grandfather of the Prosperity Gospel.
# BRAINWASHING: to brainwash means to subject someone to a prolonged process to transform their attitudes and beliefs totally, to indoctrinate i.e. to cause to accept a set of beliefs uncritically through repeated instruction. Several modern political regimes are using brainwashing as a political tool to manipulate and control people. The same is true of some religious movements today. Needless to mention that Jim Jones made his brainwashed congregants to take cyanide poison leading to the death of over 900 souls. Brainwashing is the worst form of spiritual abuse and it is the starting point of all other abuses in the Christian community. God expects us to be critical thinkers even on religious and spiritual issues. He says, ‘Come let us reason together ……’ (Isaiah 1:8).  
# OBSESSION: to be obsessed means to be preoccupied by something to the point of being carried away. Some religious propagandists are obsessed with DEMONOLOGY. Demons are real but they should not be given centre stage. Too much talk about demons removes people from God. Too much concentration on casting out demons means whatever gets your attention GETS YOU. Some believers have an obsession with miracles leading to dependance on miracle workers in the same way non-believers depend on Sangomas/N’angas. Other believers are obsessed with prophecy to the point that many of them end up being manipulated in the name of prophecy.

BEWARE OF THE GAMES, GIMMICKS AND GAMBLES USED BY RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDISTS.
   

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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