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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
If you are wondering about what to pray for when it comes to the church in Africa, do pray for faithfulness to the message of the gospel. Conrad Mbewe a local pastor in Africa in his recent newsletter from Kabwata (Zambia) laments:
[This post was first run here in 2012] I came across a pamphlet today. It was given to me at the traffic lights while waiting for the lights to go green. It read as follows:My name is Stella Mwanza from Sinda (Eastern Province). I used to read in newspapers and listen to the radio about how different people were testifying concerning Pastor Elijah and I was so impressed with his healing powers that I decided to try him as I had a lot of problems.First, my husband was divorcing me as he accused me of having an affair with another man and even doubted our lastborn child. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and this calmed down my husband and now we’re happily married with our kids.I introduced a friend of mine to the same pastor who had an unstable marriage because her husband was sexually weak and had a tiny manhood. She was going out with other men to satisfy her sexual desire though she loved her husband. Pastor Elijah invited the couple to his place and prayed for both of them. Now they are back in a good relationship. Thanks to Pastor Elijah.Also meet Mr James Siame from Batoka: “I am a businessman who has been doing business for the past 27 years. At first my business was doing well but as time passed on I had some breakouts in my business, as my capital was finishing. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and my business has flourished and is working well now.”Through his prayers, Pastor Elijah also helps people with the following problems:1. Financial problems, including increase in salary, promotion at work, poor business turnover, debt demands, and customer attraction2. Sexual problems3. Diabetes, asthma, body pains, the symptoms of AIDS, and the control of blood pressure4. Win court cases5. Protection of property6. Deliverance for bewitched people7. Removal of bad luck
Actually, the pamphlet was not about a Pastor Elijah but about a Professor Elijah—a witchdoctor! The only reason why I replaced “professor” with “pastor” (and medicines with prayers) is because this witchdoctor’s claims are precisely the same as that which I am now hearing from my fellow African pastors in their tens of thousands everyday. It is all about the body and the pocket. There is precious little about the salvation of souls.
This is a very sad day indeed for the church on the African continent. The unique gospel that pioneer missionaries brought us, which speaks about repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins is hard to come by these days. It has been traded in for a message promising deliverance from financial, sexual, and bodily problems. We are now merely another option to witchdoctors—peddling the same temporal benefits.
Excerpt from Are we preachers or witch doctors.