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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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PREACHERS OF GRACE FALLING FROM GRACE (Hebrews 12:14-17, 1Cor. 9:25-27)

I write this article with deep pain because of the tragedy which has befallen the Christian community at unprecedented rates. I do not put myself above my fellow preachers as a judge. Rather I write as a concerned Preacher who is also aware of Paul’s warning that ‘Let him who thinks he stands be careful lest he also falls’ (1Cor. 10:12). This article is about Preachers of Grace falling from Grace. The Apostle Paul is conscious of the possibility of being disqualified or falling from grace hence he puts his body under subjection. To fall from grace means to lapse into sinful life or to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Preachers are being dragged into secular courts of law charged with abuse of the very parishioners they are supposed to be shepherding. These cases range from indecent assault, attempted rape, rape, adultery to mention a few. Some have ended up serving long jail sentences or doing community service. But there are other cases of abuse which go unchallenged in the Christian community. Some of the weird practices which take place in the Christian community are a clear indication that the practitioners have long fallen from grace. Unfortunately there are so many innocent followers who have been brainwashed such that they cannot discern that the Preacher in question has crossed the line of grace. The million dollar question is why Preachers of Grace are falling from Grace. Listed below are some of the reasons why we preachers are falling from grace:
# When we become unrepentant when we have sinned before God
# When we become careless in our interaction with people of the opposite sex and even the same sex
# When we get carried away by self-glory instead of giving God all the glory
# When we get preoccupied with the cares of this world especially prosperity at any cost
# When we become over-confident and no longer need God’s grace in our daily lives
# When we forget to be sober and vigilant in a time the devil is targeting those who dispense grace
# When we ignore common danger warning signs and the still small voice of God
# When we breach ethical standards and values we used to embrace
# When we rely on the false gospel of hyper-grace which promises forgiveness of future sins in advance
# When we focus on external gratification of the flesh instead of inner satisfaction
# When the new phenomenon of ‘Miracles on Demand’ forces us to perform miracles at any cost
# When we begin to see ourselves as super-humans, semi-divine, super prophets, super apostles, super pastors, super evangelists and super teachers

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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IDENTITY FEATURES OF SPIRITUALLY ABUSIVE PEOPLE, LEADERS, CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES (1Timothy 4:1-2)


The Christian community has been invaded by false prophets, heretic teachers, full-blown cultic ministries and Churches with cultic tendencies. Regrettably the majority of members who follow such religious leaders and movements do so innocently and sincerely. Many of them have no capacity to detect or suspect spiritual abuse. Of all types of abuse, spiritual abuse is the most subtle because it is done in the name of God and it is perpetrated by the most respected proponents of religion. What a sorry and worrisome situation. Surely sincerity and innocence is not enough because you can sincerely and innocently go to hell in broad daylight. Their gullibility to spiritual abuse is observed by how they passionately defend and protect their abusers. These followers are like the Zealots during Jesus’ time. They were so zealous about their religion that they were prepared to fight any pagan forces militarily although they did not have the military capacity. Similarly these modern Zealots will do anything to defend their leader even if they operate in error. The Shona language of Zimbabwe rightfully sums up the behaviour of such followers when it says, KWADZINOROHWA MATUMBU NDIKO KWADZINOMHANYIRA (People rush in great numbers where they are abused). Some of these abusive leaders have come to the extends of impoverishing their parishioners through unbiblical financial demands. Needless to mention that some members have sec-umped to dehumanising acts like eating grass and snakes, drinking petrol as juice, bringing underwear to Church for demons of spiritual wives and husbands to be exorcised, anointing of private parts with holy oil. Rape cases of parishioners being committed by Church leaders is on the increase. The list is endless. Furthermore some have tragically died in search of miracles e.g. Jim Jones killed over nine hundred of his followers through drinking cyanid poison in the name of Holy Communion. False teachings are poisonous no matter what amount or how mild they may appear. The Apostle Paul says that these false prophets and teachers are heartless and conscienceless hypocritical liars who have abandoned the faith and are now following deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Listed below are some identity features of spiritually abusive people, leaders, Churches and Ministries:

1) They demand reverential fear and honour which should only be given to the Most High God. 

2) They demand undivided loyalty which if not followed is equated to unforgivable sin which attracts multiple curses from God.

3) They claim to be the sole custodians of truth (although such Churches and Ministries are late comers in the Faith) and all others are lost and in need of redemption.

4) They manifest spiritual pride or a holier than thou attitude as if they have monopoly over God and Christianity at large.

5) They glamourise and deify the founder more than what they do to Christ i.e. the founder is more omnipresent in protecting them than Christ

6) They emphasise extra-biblical revelation and adherence to the published articles and books of the founder at the expense of the word of God (BIBLE).

7) They focus on brainwashing which enables them to manipulate rather than discipleship which empowers individual Christians to voluntarily serve God.

8) They are anti-family and anti-society hence isolation of their members.

9) They create a dependency syndrome among their followers, thus mould an addictive behaviour where a person gets so hooked to the leader that they cannot make independent decisions for their lives.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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BITS AND PIECES (Acts 20:27)

The religious market is being bombarded left right and centre with bits and pieces of semblances of truth, partial truth, twisted truth and half truth. This accounts for the confusion among unsuspecting Church folks who are gullible to every concoction of false doctrines. False teachers thrive on dishing out bits and pieces of twisted truth in order to manipulate and brainwash innocent souls. Truth be told, brainwashing has become an art of blinding unsuspecting followers from encountering the liberating power of the whole counsel of God. No wonder there are now divers kinds of extra biblical practices in the name of God, some of which are laughable whilst others are deplorable, lamentable and disgusting. However what Christians need are not bits and pieces which they pick here and there but they must receive the whole counsel of God in the context of a local Church where one is consistently fed. The whole counsel of God must be the content of our kerygma/preaching. Whilst I subscribe to preaching that is accompanied by the demonstration of power, it is suicidal to follow extremist Church leaders who overemphasise demonstration of power at the expense of presenting the whole counsel of God. I am alarmed when I see believers travelling all over and everywhere in search of demonstration of power rather than seeking for the whole counsel of God. The only weapon to counter this eyesore of false teachers in and outside the Christian community is to present the whole counsel of God. YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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