THERE is a widespread debate within and outside Zimbabwe about Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa's authenticity as a man of God. Some people believe that he is a true man of God and likewise others believe he is an opportunist fake prophet bent on swindling blind Christians of their hard-earned cash.
Makandiwa’s name now attracts praise and revulsion almost in equal measure. The arguments over his ministry are mainly driven by emotion.
In this scenario, Christians need to summon the prowess of their spirit of discernment to come out with the right answer. Without discernment, we will be tempted to rely on our feelings for answers.
The good thing is that our God, who is faithful, has revealed everything already in the bible. Our duty is to comb through the inspired book and feed ourselves with the scriptures and all the knowledge we will have to separate truth from fake.
The spirit of God is power and power is the ability or capacity to perform and not only perform but perform effectively. Apostle Paul emphasized this point in 1 Cor 2 v 4-5 when he explained that the word of God should not be just mere enticing words of man's wisdom but should be both words and demonstration of power.
Jesus taught, preached and demonstrated that power as well. The lame walked, the blind could see, the dead were raised, demons were exorcised and sickness was healed. Is working miracles bad?
In the bible, the prosperity gospel was not preached with the intensity it is done today. Could it be a symptom of greediness or could it be a genuine way of gathering resources for use towards God's work?
According to the prosperity gospel, you reap what you sow. This is supported by the scriptures too. In this situation, church members are supposed to give to the church and anticipate God to bless them in every area of their lives – finances, health, relationships.
This belief becomes the main motivator of prosperity seekers and unfortunately many deviate from salvation in their pursuit of riches because of a lack of teaching about other important doctrines outside of prosperity. Prophet Makandiwa is great teacher. Could he be hiding behind these teachings? Can these teachings lead followers astray?
The debate sparked by the emergence of Makandiwa and others like him is healthy. Christians should be as clever as snakes but also righteous as doves, borrowing from Jesus' words.
Is the prophecy that in the last days fake prophets will emerge being fulfilled? The bible says that you will identify them by their fruits. Is Makandiwa preaching a gospel contrary to the bible?
I am not a member of Makandiwa’s United Family International, nor do I have any relationship with that denomination as I am a member of another denomination where I can boast I am well fed spiritually. I have never attended UFI physically but I have watched countless DVDs of their services in as much as I have watched TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar and so many others just to supplement my spiritual growth.
I can recommend Makandiwa to anyone anytime to hear what he believes in and I promise you won't be disappointed if you listen or watch him with an open mind and judge later.
As Zimbabweans and as human beings, we are shaped by what we hear. Hearing about prosperity often will awaken us from the heavy slumber of the defeated lifestyle of a tail and yearn to be the head, not always thinking about being an employee but an employer.
With God as our father who owns everything good imaginable, and us as sons and daughters blessed through Abrahamic faith, no-one(not even the devil) can stop us from excelling and enjoying our lives in abundance as per our father's will (let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven). In fact it's our father's pleasure to bless his children.
Makandiwa should be applauded and respected as man of God. The reason why people continue to pour more money into his ministry can only be the results they get. People not trained in God's ways do not understand why people queue to give away their money. They think Christians are blind and wasteful, yet these people are living a good blessed life with surplus to give away for the benefit of the church and the community.
Makandiwa is always working with the poor and donating to the community and himself as a man of God should lead by example, a golden lifestyle.
The power of God is not only in preaching and enticing people with empty words. If we believe God can heal, people with different ailments should be seen healed, demons exorcised, and people's lives changed. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and seeing results. Many people's faith is dead because they haven't seen anything and they believe a God who is silent, causing their faith to waiver.
Makandiwa ticks all the boxes of what a man of God should be like. It's high time all Christians unite regardless of denomination to support each other. We weaken ourselves by fighting fellow brothers and sisters. To make matters worse, the debate has been hijacked by non- believers. What's wrong with healing people? Is God against his children living a good life?
Graham Nyakudjga can be contacted on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org