HomeOpinion & AnalysisReligious cults and spiritual fathers

Religious cults and spiritual fathers

sundayword: BY PROSPER TINGINI

In predominantly Christian countries of Africa and in other sectors, there has of late been a spontaneous mushrooming of some charismatic Pentecostal formations of dubious origins. Out of nowhere, you find these Christian-coated cults and characters generating some strange and zealous following within our communities. The leaders label themselves as prophets and speak vehemently in Jesus Christ’s name. In his example they “likewise” go on some crusades of performing miracles of all kinds, which attract multitudes of people. Unlike in Christ’s way of living, they go on to amass a lot of wealth within a short space of time. Using the scriptures, they tactfully preach gospels of prosperity, healing, tithes and religious code of give-and-receive principles. Hordes of people will sacrifice their life savings and pour them into the coffers of the “prophets” in the belief of getting huge rewards quickly. Many have lived to regret their “schemed seeding” after licking the wounds of their losses.

In our country of Zimbabwe, there has been, there currently is and there still will come many such questionable Christian look-alike formations that come and go. Very recently many cases have occurred where a number of the self-proclaimed prophets have fallen from grace. One of the foreign prophets had the audacity to expose himself and his compatriots both on a South African television channel (SABC 3) and in a tell-all book. All the chicanery involved in their shenanigans came to the fore. Indeed, he confessed, most of these get-rich-quick cult formations that use Jesus’ name for profit are of evil origin. Let us look at some extracts from his confessions.

In the TV broadcast’s question and answer session, the confessed fake prophet narrated how he was guided by “spiritual fathers” to go on an empowerment mission which would enable him to acquire some demonic powers meant to enable him to do things beyond human understanding. He would go on to be taught on how to deceive people through various tricks and staged miracles. He was led to various secret occult societies that would groom and equip him with some supernatural powers. The first leg took him to Mozambique where a cult availed him with some powers called “fire by force”. The second empowerment mission took him to Nigeria where he was made to join another cult of witchcraft activity. After a period of learner ship, he claims to have gained some “back-to-sender powers”.

The third leg of acquiring powers brought him to Zimbabwe, where he was taught the tricks of removing weird objects from people’s bodies; a common fake practice used in the country.

He was asked what those powers meant and how he utilised them. He affirmed that all these powers were of demonic origin. The powers are acquired through some initiation ceremonies within the organised cells of these cults. A godfather figure, himself a product of the occultism, would guide trainees through all the processes. They were made to bow down to these introducers whom he referred to as spiritual fathers. Initially, the spiritual fathers would make trainees worship them, and they would bow down to their demonic altars. These spiritual fathers would be treated as demigods and the powers are then assumed to come through them. The “powers collected” would then be used in the charismatic churches. In the churches they spoke of Christ but substituted his gospel with teachings of prosperity, faked prophesies to people and teaching people that demons are following them causing illnesses and death. They then pretend to cast these demons out.

They always use Jesus Christ’s name as a cover to perform their intended hidden schemes. The repentant prophet then went on to speak on how he was made to sleep in cemeteries and on graves. He then talked of the ritual use of dead human body parts to enhance those demonic powers. The trade in mutilated body parts and other horrifying activities is rampant both in those charismatic churches and in witchcraft.

He exposed in detailed how fake miracles are arranged and staged. Syndicates within the churches from ushers to the prophets themselves are all actors in the staged miracles which are secretly managed. There are also staged acts of miracle money where the ushers take an active part in most the fake miracles. They secretly put monies into people’s bags or bank accounts to deceive people to think that God is multiplying their gifts and offerings. This induces the victims or other congregants to then voluntarily increase their tithes and offerings in the hope of “heavenly greater rewards”.

The ushers and close associates are employed to gather as much information as possible from targeted victims. The prophet then uses the gathered information to plan, recite and execute the fake prophecies, or miracles. It is a noticeable practice that the prophets or pastors always enter into their places of miracle worship very late so as to give them enough time to receive tips and to get the identities of people whose information has been gathered. Most of the proclaimed miracle healings are faked too. Have you noticed that all those who are paraded as having been healed are not from that particular community where the choreographed healing is staged? Zimbabwe has seen and experienced its own share of fake religious miracle activities, based on tricks and acquired witchcraft.

Jesus Christ’s name is regrettably being used in most of these satanic crusades, not to mention the abominations that are attached to such practices.
Let us be guided by the scriptures to give us an insight into the demonic magical powers that exists among us. In Exodus 8:8-13, the Lord our God sent Moses and Aaron to the Pharaoh of Egypt to perform a working miracle which would turn a rod into a snake. What Moses and Aaron could do, the Pharaoh’s sorcerers could do as well.

l Prosper Tingini is the scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s messengers. Contact details: 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com

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