THE tragedy of the contemporary prophetic movement, particularly in the African context, has been its diversionary effect which shifts responsibility for good governance from inept and profligate politicians to mythical curses and throttles timeless societal values like hard work in favour of twisted concepts of ‘instantness’ aimed at enriching the professed man of God through manipulating the gullible.
Africa’s religious world, largely on the Christian side, has become the single largest threat to the time-tested principles of life namely, hard work and perseverance.
Just last week, controversial preacher, Sanyangore, was at it before cameras and the media with the Jik liquid equating it to the blood of Jesus Christ and citing its cleansing abilities as similar to that of Christ. The Jik product, he said, could cleanse people from poverty instantly.
What is most sad is not so much the ludicrous claims by these con prophets but the thousands who tragically subscribe to these blasphemous ideals. Lately, the same supposed pastor availed a picture in which he claims heavenly angels were pictured with him near a swimming pool. The man has also claimed to have walked on water.
There is a general dearth of common sense as people seek to escape suffering from troubles of the world. Many evils have subsequently been born from these prophetic movements which ridicule other denominations as lacking the ‘Holy spirit.’
However, the focus of this piece of writing is the twin evils that have resulted from these popular movements.
The tragedy of the contemporary popular prophetic movement, particularly in the African context, has been its diversionary effect which shifts responsibility for good governance from inept and profligate politicians to mythical curses and throttles timeless societal values like hard work in favour of twisted concepts of ‘instantness’ aimed at enriching the professed man of God through manipulating the gullible.
Many African countries, it is a given, are run by rulers without regard to the people they should serve. Some countries in Africa have aggregate wealth that may be less than what the rulers own, case in point being former Ugandan President Idi Amini and Mobutu Seseko of DRC who came to a point where they owned more than their countries. Leaders in Africa live in sickening luxury at the expense of their people.
The national cake is hardly shared in equal proportion; wealth remains concentrated in the hands of a few and a parasitic elite. Africa has countries with, believe it or not, an unemployment rate of over 90%. It is a continent filled with very educated people who dabble in menial work.
Brilliant people’s talents continue to go to waste. Many people, for instance, in Zimbabwe, have trained as professionals, nurses, lawyers and teachers but employment can’t simply happen due to disastrous governance.
This, however, is not to say employment is the only source of livelihood but it is very telling when you have only 8% of 14 million people employed.
The net effect of these man-made problems in Africa has been the proliferation of prophetic movements claiming all manner of solutions and directing people to some curses in their lives. ‘Generational curses’ is a newly coined term to describe poverty in families. The laity has swallowed these things hook, line and sinker in their desperation. These congregants, in their multitudes, have, in essence, been diverted from the real issue of focus which is good governance which stabilizes an economy.
The staggering unemployment in most Africans countries is directly proportional to the mode of governance which only enriches a few. People in Africa are not cursed in any way. It’s the politics, period! This is the first negative impact of the prophetic movement. It has conveniently become the diversionary weapon for the inept politician.
These prophets, by misdirecting people as to the source of their suffering, have become accomplices in perpetuating the suffering of the distressed. And quite successfully, this has been the effect.
Zimbabweans in these prophetic churches won’t see a thing wrong with their politicians but will jump to pull the trigger on their relatives who have supposedly bewitched them. It’s quite sad.
The second impact of these prophets is, in my view, the worst thing to happen because of its psychological damage to people. This prophetic movement, by its emphasis on instant riches and instant things that have not been worked for, is defeating the timeless and enduring principles ironically taught in the Bible.
It is this message of ‘miracle babies’, ‘miracle money’ and ‘miracle riches’ that has mental damage. It is a form of psychological imprisonment which discourages the biblical principle of seed-time and harvest. The Bible, in Genesis, states that as long as earth remains the principle of seed time and harvest will not go away.
First, there is a seed, followed by a period (time) and finally harvest. These charismatic movements now skip the time aspect instead focusing on harvest only. It has been said that the only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary. But sadly these ideals are under grave threat the more these comic prophets continue to hog lime light.
Some have often brushed aside these prophets as nonentities not to be taken seriously but the damage to both the religious and the non-religious is massive.
The real culprit that has melted the progress of nations in Africa has to do with poisoned political systems. Children and those growing up in this age need to be strongly admonished in the true ideals of hard work. God is not about irreverent instantaneous miracles; People must work.