Tread carefully on Christian matters

HARARE - When armed police fired tears gas at Glen Norah parishioners during a church service in 2011, there was a huge outcry.

The outcry was not a reaction to politics, but police heavy-handedness and insensitivity which was seen as an assault on the Church.

Pregnant women and children who were among the parishioners suffered injuries as they broke windows to escape the tear smoke.

Police had used force to break the parishioners who were praying for peace.

The church is a powerful institution, it is held sacrosanct, and the sanctimonious spirit it brings to humankind has not been known to be challenged successfully, even by those who control power.

This is why it is important to tread carefully in dealing with the rising storm which is slowly but surely causing ripples amongst Zimbabwean church leaders.

In the last two years, we have seen the emergence of a young brigade of prophets whose prophecies have set tongues wagging.

In Nigeria, we have seen the rapid rise to prominence by TB Joshua whose prophecies, coincidentally, or by design, are about death more than hope.

Locally, Uebert Angel, a young preacher who claims to be a prophet, has risen to prominence with his latest instalment of “miracle money”.

His  close friend, Emmanuel Makandiwa, who commands a large following, has, among his prophecies, predicted gold pickings in Zimbabwe this year.

These two men have come under serious attack from fellow clergymen and millions of Zimbabweans who find their “gifts” unsavoury and unbelievable.

It appears there are now competing interests amongst local church leaders to the detriment of the battle of winning souls. But at the end of it all, the word of God must win.

Desperate parishioners who believe in “miracles” are deserting the traditional churches in favour of the young brigade of prophets.

This poses a conundrum on how parishioners and general Zimbabweans are supposed to behave.

God is bigger than prophets performing miracles.

His name must never be used in vain, it is agreed, but also his name must not be brought into disrepute, as what is happening now.

If we can deplore police and politicians for dividing and failing to respect the church, why can’t we criticise pastors and prophets for inflicting self damage on the church?

We call on prophets and pastors to unite in the name of God not to take advantage of desperate and suffering Zimbabweans to milk them of their hard-earned money. - Staff Writer

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