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'Bling Bling Pastors exploiting Zimbabwe's poor,' says Ezra Sibanda

03 Dec 2013 at 15:54hrs | Views
As a true Zimbabwean and concerned citizen l'm deeply worried at the rate companies are closing down in most cities and thousands of people losing their jobs. The company buildings have been taken over by churches which are mushrooming everyday. Every corner of Bulawayo City Centre there is a new church with "men of God"s booming and screaming voices calling Jesus's name on daily basis.
Many unsuspecting and desperate people are exploited by some of these churches to part with their hard earned cash into believing they will receive blessings. They even go to the extent of telling people that the more they give, the more they will receive! One of the churches l visited today the pastor was head saying only those with envelopes with real cash should come forward and be prayed for.
The few who had cash were prayed for while the rest of the congregation appeared lost, manifesting signs of desperation wondering where will they get money to give to the "pastors" so that their heads can be touched and be prayed for by "men of God". As far as lm concerned God is for everyone, the poor and the rich, so why should some of these pastors and churches practise discrimination against the poor?

Many professed Christians have the Bible and even study it, but the way they live their lives shows they do not respect it. There are church members and pastors who, on a daily basis, break God's laws when they lie, cheat, steal, etc. I believe most of the large Christian denomination leadership has become infiltrated by the elite of Satan and much of the institutional church has fallen away from the true faith and have followed doctrines of men. Some have a different Jesus than the Jesus of scripture. Churches have of late become more of business ventures than spreading the word of God and help lost souls find happiness in the house of the Lord. We are seeing more than ever before the rise of 'bling-bling' men of God, young men who already qualify to be called 'Reverend' or ' father' celebrities who go around with body-guards and motorcades.

Last week on a lunchtime visit to one of the new churches in the city centre, the preacher was doing a good job until near the climax of the church service, the issue of money was raised. He said "If you know you are a son or daughter of God, put money into the basket." These were the words of the leader of this church in the city centre and it therefore meant that, he who did not put money into the basket was not a child of God, or put simply, was a child of the devil. Isn't it that one has to give willingly, not because he has been blackmailed or coerced to do so? Doesn't the Bible say God delights in those who give willingly? Lets give offerings to the church, pay our tithes but lets not be seduced into parting with our hard earned cash to please the pastors!

God says that false apostles, false prophets, brutish pastors, false teachers, deceptive workers, and false brethren will come from the churches and to the churches. God wants the true believers to be aware of them and to reject them. They will come as true worker, but they are deceptive workers. That is, a false pastor will appear as a true pastor, a false prophet will appear as a true prophet, a false teacher will appear as a true teacher, and so on. In short, a false church will appear as a true church. Even though they appear as true, Jesus Christ says that they are wolves in sheep's clothing. They will deceive many. If possible they will seduce even the very elect with signs and wonders. This means they are within the Christian world showing themselves as true powerful charismatic workers of the gospel, even working miracles.

 The forces of darkness and Satanism are circulating and people should be wary of what they believe in and what they get themselves into by joining churches that do not have a bit of history.

Mainstream traditional churches are slowly but surely losing members trickling to new churches, most of them Pentecostal Churches. Dont get me wrong there are good traditional Pentecostal churches around which have been operating for years but the recently formed churches have taken into magic games to attract people to their congregations. There is so much money, which is tax free being realised in churches. You just need to look at the flamboyant life styles by the leaders of these new churches to know they are in business and they mean it. We see in most cases a pastor leaving his church because of personal differences with fellow pastor/s or leaders of that church and moving away to form his own ministry. You wonder what differences cannot be mended by people who call themselves men of God, so how can they help families with problems if they can't sort their own issues as pastors?

Most of these new churches have failed to make projects for the poor people let alone build schools and hospitals despite making millions of dollars from church members, not even a charity organisation to help the poor. Where is the church money going? The mainstream churches like SDA, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Brethren, Assemblies of God, etc and other Pentecostal churches like FOG, ZAOGA, Word Of Life, etc are running projects to help the poor people. Good example is mission schools built by some of the traditional churches and food for work projects like ARDA and scholarships offered to some children from disadvantaged families.
 I know this is controversial but I thought l should say my opinions about what l have been observing. It pains me to see the unemployed and poor people getting exploited in times of need in Zimbabwe because of the dwindling economic conditions. They look upon to churches to give them hope and counselling as they try to cope with difficulties in everyday life but find themselves manipulated and exploited for financial gains by the same people they look up to. I believe in Jesus, l pray and worship a living God and he allows me to say my feelings and opinions without fear or favour. Dont be discouraged to go to church, Jesus we believe in is there and within us every time and you just need to worship him but learn to be true to yourselves and never allow false churches to lead you astray. I say to these fake mushrooming churches, God is watching!!!

Source - Ezra Sibanda
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