Pastor Calls Prosperity Gospel Damaging, Asks 'Where Are We Heading?
South African Pastor Calls Prosperity Gospel Damaging, Asks 'Where Are We Heading? By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter Thuso Kewana's book, Where Are We Headed To? (November 2012) examines the prosperity gospel movement in South Africa.
Thuso Kewana, an ordained pastor and ministry leader living in impoverished South Africa, says he can be silent no longer about the damaging effects of the prosperity gospel, an American export he believes is unbiblical and used by wolves in sheep's clothing to prey on mostly charismatic and Pentecostal Christians not only in his country, but around the world.
Kewana, speaking recently via phone from his home in Polokwane in the Limpopo province, bordered by Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, told The Christian Post he has witnessed how the prosperity gospel can warp people's understanding of God — leaving the impression that He requires worshippers to give money, to ministers, churches or their favorite television network, before they can be blessed with financial, physical and spiritual well-being.
"People are leaving churches. Some practice fellowship in their homes, but some leave the church and go back to their old lifestyles. Some leave to stay at home and do nothing," Thuso writes in Where Are We Heading To? The book critiques the "obsession" of some pastors for material things and large congregations.
"This is because of the disappointments people experience with churches and church leadership. This is more prevalent with so-called spirit-filled or charismatic churches," Kewana adds in his book. "The greed for worldly wealth, huge church membership numbers, and fame form the cornerstone of such dissatisfaction engulfing the congregants and encouraging them to leave the church of God. Pastors are involved in all sorts of ungodly behaviors."
The prosperity gospel appears to most find its home in the "word of faith," or name-it-and-claim-it movement, which positions some charismatic preachers as special carriers of God's favor and power. These particular ministers are then often looked to by hopeful Christians as their key or source to divine healing and blessings.
A recent example unfolded in a deadly way in May, when a stampede broke out at Temitope Balogun (T.B.) Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations in Ghana. At least four people were killed and 30 others injured when a throng of 1,000 people made a frantic rush to get hold of free holy water, which usually costs $39.36 and was presumably blessed by Joshua, a popular self-declared Nigerian prophet who has churches around the globe.
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