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Monthly Archives: May 2012

A LETTER TO SOME ZIMBABWEAN “PASTORS”

Ezekiel Fajenyo and Sunday Patrick

Dear Sirs,

Christianity, to all those truly concerned with its fate in contemporary context, is not altogether in a perfect form through Christ is perfect. It is a relationship and though should exhibit love, transparency, friendliness and shared responsibility in the pursuit of credible direction and significance as symbolized by Christ, the perfect Master. Except the relationship is perfect and orderly as Christ wants it, it grows only in a debased, questionable and sterile relevance.

Christianity is about truth, the pursuit of excellent mastery of the Word and sincere adoption of Christ-like qualities as life’s guide. It is a privilege to be in relationship with Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith; but it is dangerous to see such relationship as a privilege to castigate His anointed hands, kick against His commandment on love and yet wish Him to continually treat us as sincere partners in holiness.

Christianity in troubled waters for reasons which are best known to Christians and not threats as posed by other worshippers the world over. It is a relationship which has gone sour; it has been soiled by the very attitude of the travails of fellow Christians in troubled spots (as we see in parts of northern Nigeria today or had happened in places like Iraq, Egypt, etc). The relationship is thoroughly poisoned, abused and murderously defined by hatred, mischief, envy, jealousy and witchcraft. Christians – or so we wish to address ourselves – take delight in throwing arrows of disintegration, even in the name of Christ! We cast aspersions and wildly throw around words which betray the faith and wound the true essence of our unique relationship with Christ.

Why did we have to write this letter to all “pastors” concerned? We are only joining voices with many of such voices which had cried out before, asking why Christians should be the destroyers and betrayers of their own faith, an ignoble attitude which is hardly ever found in people of other faiths. Many others, at seminars, workshops, sermons, crusades and media-talk-shows have spoken (and are still doing so) on why Christians are the greatest mischief-makers to fellow Christians all over the world, like several women married to the same husband.

The reactions to an internet material titled, “Churches Rap T.B. Joshua” on May 9, 2012, will go on for some time. And the reasons are obvious. Christians all over the world must feel disgusted at the way and manner Christianity was reduced to sheer meaninglessness and infamy by “pastors” who were reported to have participated in a workshop organized by Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, in preparation for that country’s “National Day of Prayer set for May 25, Africa Day”.

Every African who knew what Zimbabwe went through before attaining her present status should be happy at the development. Zimbabwe is a major historical place in the continent and its development over the years should be a source of pride to every African, regardless of the country. The announcement of its National Day of Prayer in Zimbabwe should also attract Africans because every nation needs prayers to survive with its people, to conquer forces of retrogression and starvation and launch into an experience of socio-political awareness. What is wrong in praying for a land which one loves so much? A land whose independence everyone struggled for with much passion and enthusiasm?

What rather shocked people in the announcement was the issue of T.B. Joshua which completely overwhelmed you – or a few among you – that you completely neglected to talk of the National Prayer Day but how not to allow Joshua into Zimbabwe, though you do not have the immigration powers to ban him.

The tone of your disapproval of the person of Joshua was so acrimonious and sharply condemnatory to the extent that many people were shocked that the whole of Zimbabwean “pastors” would fail to honour African activists and freedom fighters by praying (or organizing to pray) for their country but held meeting only on T.B. Joshua, a man who Zimbabweans had thought prophesied the death of Mugabe (which turned out to be false!)

Joshua, at a moment like this, (National Day of Prayer) should not be an issue among you “pastors” of the Evangelistic Fellowship. First, Christ deserves to be thanked for making Zimbabwe a close-knit country over the years. Second, the prayers should have been directed towards strengthening the political and socio-economic base of the country so that inflation and reductionist trends would leave the land alone (some African countries are in a similar situation. Third, prayers suggest absolute belief in the Almighty God and not opportunities to desecrate the international image of a man of God. National survival, growth of the citizenry and a robust future should be of attraction to you than the personality of Joshua.

In the quoted report, not even a line was written to show the real purpose of the National Day of Prayer but other people in a similar situation would have boldly told the world the glory of the moment, the rare achievements in the land, the way forward by government – all of which God Almighty should address urgently. If the workshop was organized by politicians and political party leaders, people would understand (because Joshua is seen by some Zimbabweans as pro-Morgan Tsvangari while he hates Mugabe) but at least those in “God’s service” should have shown some spiritual maturity, discipline, wisdom, sense of decorum and sincerity of purpose, which members of your cabinet are so distant from. While the former may see Joshua as a foe for political reasons (not fundamental truth), you should have been bold enough (except if motivated with coins) to stay on a neutral ground; you should have left issues in the hands of God in respect of the National Day of Prayer instead of turning your own Synagogue to a centre of political argument. That is why we are bothered. Politicians may wish to condemn Joshua to honour Mugabe but how do we qualify your attack on Joshua, as if he brought terrible inflation and political misgovernance to Zimbabwe?

Rather than speak of the event planned for May 25 (Africa Day), you demeaned yourselves as a body of “over 100 denominations, churches, Para-church movements and individual Christians of the Evangelical persuasion”. In sheer numbers, you should be more than 2,000 people altogether. If Joshua were a white preacher from the West or other places, certainly you would not mind welcoming him at the airport but not Joshua – a popular Nigerian with world-wide followership, just because he is a friend to your Prime Minister. Could this be an act of spiritual immaturity, senility, blindness, impurity? Do we now know why one arrogant leader said he was “luckier than Jesus” not long ago (and to which you said nothing?) Joshua never said he had edge over Jesus, yet he should be maliciously crucified? Are you not asking why a Nigerian should come and pray for Zimbabwe?

The EF2 President and spokesperson of your fellowship (we wonder if this word means anything to your clique) Dr Goodwill Shana pointedly said Joshua was not wanted in Zimbabwe because his teachings were judgemental, partisan and unorthodox and that he may not bring good tidings “to help the country to move forward” and because “he is notorious for issuing death prophecies”.

We are at a loss as to what Dr Shana (we do not understand what goodwill is here) meant by these statements because he was rather terrified by fire of yet unheard prophecies, or he was very afraid of Joshua whose prophecies have kept shaking the entire world. Millions of people have often welcomed his prophecies and prayed to enjoy such when positive or ward them off, if negative. That of Israel was once surrounded by your kind of “pastors” and “prophets” (some 400) who did not want the voice of truth to speak to the man in power. Macaiah, the great, fearless and courageous prophet told the man the truth, regardless of the possibility of jail. Ahab never returned from the war in Ramoth Gilead, as prophesied by Macaiah. The 400 others were brought to shame in his palace. Why should Christian leaders be so robotically inter-twined with power that they will not be identified with truth? Is loyalty to Christ not sufficient? Is the grace of God not sufficient, if we must follow the example of Paul? Is the Zimbabwean Constitution the Bible? Is the Christ in Zimbabwe different from the one the world is used to? Why should you – at your age and experience of many years – dislocate the essence of Christianity by condemning the prophecies of Joshua? Have you equally not been judgemental, ornamental, doggish and paralytically unorthodox? What would any Christian learn from your spirit of intolerance, hatred, envy and blackmail? And how are we able to be sure that the over 2,000 Christians of “Evangelical persuasion” were persuaded along the line of attacking Joshua instead of praying for national deliverance and healing from years of agony, political recklessness and social impatience? Did Joshua constitute a problem for that country? If Africans know not what love is, why are we deceiving ourselves celebrating National Day in any country – after all, different nationals fought (directly or indirectly) for the independence of Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, etc. Africans are proud of their own and will not mind what happens, as long as true freedom is obtained. We are proud of Mandela, Toure, Nkrumah, etc. for this reason. They understood the sacrifice of fellow Africans; they respected fellow Africans and would not have organized a workshop whose subject matter is to deny Joshua entering Zimbabwe!

It should be a moment of sober reflection and gratitude to God; people should be welcomed from all over the world since they are not bombers, kidnappers, ritualists, killers and questionable militants. Zimbabwe should mean much more to Africa than the coldness in the hearts of some “pastors” who want to satisfy the palace at the expense of the salvation of their souls.

We do not understand Dr Shana’s self-inflicted definition of “judgemental teachings”, though it is true that “God is redemptive”. He forgot that even King Hezekiah was told by an angel of the Lord that he was going to die; he had to turn to the wall, wept bitterly and showed mind of total surrender after complaining and his years on earth were increased! Elijah confronted Ahab’s Baal prophets (850 in all) and eliminated them and asked Ahab to go for a good meal – he was fearless, regardless of the fact that he stood before the king. If “pastors” must eat some leader’s shit, what business have they climbing the pulpit? The Disciples of Christ stood their ground and simply moved away from where their evangelical mission was not welcomed. Your “Evangelical persuasion” is something which may take a century to properly analyse and digest!

One Bishop Trevor Manhanga of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe (also a member of this fellowship) could not hide his political persuasion, even when he wears the cassock. To him, Joshua’s closeness to the Prime Minister would not affect the political fortunes in Zimbabwe, despite Joshua’s reliance on “artefacts”. Yet, he also joined in this fellowship against “judgemental preaching” and partisanship! He referred to a burning Nigeria on which Joshua could do nothing and that those who visit Nigeria “should know that the water they are given has no significance here and will not serve as a lucky charm to bring them power, political or otherwise”. Yet this man is a Bishop, who hates the Prime Minister!

Are hatred and envy qualities of a seasoned Bishop in a much politically troubled land? Should he dismiss Nigerians as if he is not an African? Could Nigeria be burning more than Zimbabwe at this hour? If God is “not interested in the outcome of football games”, is He not interested in people’s spiritual edification, deliverance and healing? Is there anything in life God does not know of? Does this Bishop (despite his presence in Zimbabwe) know the number of Zimbabweans who daily visit Nigeria for the salvation of their souls and purification? Does he know people from all the continents of the world make The SCOAN a home? Hasn’t he been watching what happens in Emmanuel TV? If several thousands of people are being delivered of evil spirits and terrible worldly encounters, what has been the contribution of the likes of this Bishop in Zimbabwe or do people have no reason to know? If he spoke so bad-mouthed about Joshua, what would he say of non-Christians in his own country? Yet, we all say Christianity must grow in the spirit of love and as the Lord Himself approves. Has this Bishop ever seen Moslem, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. leaders speak against one another in that manner, especially when talking of a “National Day of Prayer”?

This Bishop spares odious companionship with the likes of Shana even though he does not wish to hear “of the death of Michael Jackson” which does not “assist and mould people to be better citizens”. But the prophecies in the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation – how pleasant are they to him? What impact was made on this rare “man of God” by prophecies made in Books of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Kings? Do some people qualify to belong to where they claim they are? If prophecies are not important to this Bishop and his “fellowship”, what is he doing in the Church of the Lord? We thought what should anger a Bishop was to discover that a prophet has lied? Or that he never said anything good of others? If Ahab had listened to Macaiah, he would have lived some more years. Hezekiah was wiser. So these stories meant nothing to this “man of God” and his “fellowship”?

This Bishop allegedly said Joshua’s presence “will have no bearing on our politics. Our authorities have nothing to fear”. Is this man the Chief Press Secretary to the President? And he was living when the leader said he was “Lucifer than Jesus”? Did he protest that kind of message which may likely be his prayer point on the National Day of Prayer? Is Christianity not in trouble? Are we helping it to grow? Could Islamist militants speak of Joshua the way this Bishop did? Or is there a different Jesus in Zimbabwe?

We are concerned with the faith of the church in contemporary times. A Cameroonian, Erebe Ayissi, allegedly called Joshua “a son of the devil masquerading as a man of God” – is this not judgemental and partisan? Would he have said so if Joshua were a Cameroonian, benefitting the administration he serves? But his uncouth mannerism and lousy disposition may be understood because he is an anxious politician, wishing to make some noise against an internationally reputed Nigerian. One Godwin Chitsinde, a “pastor” in this group who heads the Spoken Word Ministries, said Joshua’s planned visit to Zimbabwe was bad because of his “interest in politics”. Did this not suggest that all of you “pastors” are afraid of Joshua and that his presence will dwindle the quality and substance of your own presence in Zimbabwe (though he is a Nigerian)? Pastor Vukani Dhladhla of Abiding Hope Ministries allegedly said Joshua’s prophecies were wrong because of his flare for “telling someone his phone number or the colour of his underwear” instead of being “about the Word of God”. He also said Zimbabweans “have our own reputable apostles and what rides us is that he is coming on a partisan ticket without consulting the churches”. If not fear, what do we call this, in Jesus’ name? How many pastors from other countries have your “fellowship” invited to share in the glory of the moment? How was the issue of partisanship handled by you? How did you resolve the issue of prophets not dictating “phone numbers” and “colours of the underwear” but yet prophesying “deaths” and doing “diabolical miracles”? How did some of your “fellows” arrive at such names as Spoken Word or Abiding Hope Ministries whose spiritual symbolisms and testimonies are so hollow, myopic, sectional, arrogant and reckless? How do you convert people to the faith in Zimbabwe? What exactly do these ministries and ministers do in the name of Christianity except show pretence and ill-discipline when discussing the faith? How much were some people paid by some Ahab to heap attacks on Joshua when national interest in a universal context should be addressed?

Evangelism is essentially about winning people (souls) for Christ. Do we take it that the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe has no mission than to attack Joshua because of his prophecies on the death of leaders or his partisanship. Must personal and official hatred for the Prime Minister translate to hating and attacking his personal friends, even if they are prophets? Are we not being reminded of the vampish Baal prophets here? Could Joshua be causing more sleepless nights than the diabolical mannerisms of political leaders in that country whose motives in governance are dictated by “agents of satan”? Does Joshua have the power to cast his vote in Zimbabwe?

Could he mount the soap box and proclaim prophecies before Zimbabweans? Does the constitution regard him as a citizen? Why are you “pastors” (and of evangelical persuasion) trying to pick crickets from the hole with teeth? Why call a spade another name? Of what specific political interest could Joshua be pursuing in Zimbabwe which makes some “pastors” want to dig their own graves in fear, before his arrival? How could he be more feared than a million Napoleons if political rascality, greed, disrespect for people’s wishes and pride have not been allowed in politics? Is Joshua the one to make “judgemental preaching” before God does what He wishes for a people?

These were the reasons why we started off by lamenting the troubles of Christianity. People find it difficult (especially some “pastors”) to separate politics from religion; prophecy from earthly endeavours. Joshua is undisputedly respected worldwide because of his total loyalty to God and he has delivered many “pastors” who were yet to be born-again in the true sense of the word. His coming to Zimbabwe or your coming to Nigeria will assist to transform the spiritual life of many of you “pastors” by becoming true men and women of God. What kills people is gloomy ignorance and even God says His people get killed because of lack of wisdom. Joshua, as an African, should be a “material” of whom all of us should be proud. His coming to Zimbabwe if he chose to, would have been a special blessing to that country rather than to himself. Even leaders from more advanced countries are his friends because the glory of God is not about nationality or sex; it is about whom God Himself chooses. When will some notorious African “pastors” learn the rule of the game?

Why fear Joshua if all hands are clean? Why fear his prophecies if occultism has not taken over people’s hearts? Why judge him as an “agent of satan” when there is no solid proof of your being “agents of light”? Why preach spirituality when you speak of authorities having “nothing to fear”? Why should a politician speak authoritatively on a man as not being “a man of God” as if we are talking of endless corruption, graft and ideological impotence of his own country?

We pray for Zimbabwe and all other countries of the world, in the spirit of The SCOAN! We know there is nothing God cannot do for people; He is an agent of awareness, baptism, uprightness, honesty, humility, understanding and of love. Rather than pick on Joshua for attack in a country of millions of people, you should study the Bible aright to know what the disciples of Jesus did when He was removed from them – they preached, suffered bruises, were imprisoned, flogged, molested, yet Christ remains proud of them. A word is enough for the wise.

Happy Celebration to all Zimbabweans!

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in International

 

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ZIMBABWE PASTORS ATTACK ON T.B JOSHUA PROVOKED BY FEAR AND JEALOUSY

An internet material which appeared under the title “Churches rap T.B. Joshua” on Wednesday, May 2012, would not have generated any response but for the fact that some misrepresentations and infamous attributions happened in the text.

The story is anchored on the outcome of the pastors’ in Harare, Zimbabwe. Such pastors (if they truly qualify to be so-called) were said to be members of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe whose President is Dr. Goodwill Shana (Center) and Secretary-General Reverend Lindani Dube (right). According to the report in the “Herald”, written by Felix Share, the Zimbabwean Church leaders said they were not prepared to welcome T.B. Joshua, the General Overseer of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in their country to participate in the National Day of Prayer “set for May 25, Africa Day”. The day, which is supposed to be accompanied with prayers, should naturally be an avenue for prayer warriors from all over the world to help reach out to God on their national problems.

The idea of the National Day of Prayer is not limited to Zimbabwe, it is a universal phenomenon, especially when a country and her people face serious socio-political and economic problems which are beyond human comprehension and handling. Africa is particularly noted as one unfortunate continent where most countries are breathing under, pressure of harsh and uncertain socio-political and economic realities. Even in Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State and Chair of “Nigeria Prays” has been known to have extensively used the platform to preach unity and solidarity while praying for an end to the dilemma facing the land.

The world will be shocked to see how the ‘anointed’ pastors in Zimbabwe suddenly met, and instead of discussing and praying for the political and economic survival of their country Zimbabwe, rather chose to discuss the Nigerian Church Leader, T.B. Joshua, accusing the respected man of God of “teachings which were of no help to the country as they were judgmental, partisan and unorthodox”.

The points raised in the write-up, being the arguments allegedly raised by these “men of God” (God has unlimited patience, indeed!) reminded people of the argument pushed some days ago by Professor Moyo, a cabinet member also in Zimbabwe, to the effect that there was some nebulous theoretical fallacy on T.B. Joshua’s prophecy concerning the former Malawian President, Professor Bingu wa Mutharika; he even suggested, so backward-thoughtfully, that Joshua either had a hand in the man’s death or he had security report on the coming death. But Moyo’s obvious day-dreamt philosophy has been punctured by many people, including Zimbabweans, to have emanated from a dirty mind of a man desperate to win political space in the heart of the reigning leader in that country, who himself boasted that he was “better than Jesus Christ” – a statement which none of these Zimbabwean “pastors” responded to!

Dr Goodwill Shana

In this latest internet story, the EFZ President and Spokesperson Dr Goodwill Shana was quoted as saying that the anticipated visit of Joshua to Zimbabwe (where exactly did he ever speak of being “headed for a troubled African Country”?) should not be used for partisan purposes: “Of course, we do not have the immigration powers to ban him (TB Joshua), but we have never invited him as churches. We think it is important to get (into the country) people who can help the country to move forward not people that are judgmental. People have a right to believe what they want, but it is difficult to believe a Word of God that comes on a partisan basis. We don’t want judgmental teachings, that is why we don’t subscribe to his teachings”.

But the “man of God” who spoke on behalf of “over 100 denominations, churches, para-church movements and individual Christians of the Evangelical persuasion” should have explained further what he meant by the word “judgmental”. This word should mean something being condemnatory, hated and abused, but except for fighting forces of evil manipulations and atavistic greed (we have some leaders in this class!) operating in human circles and degrading their countries and people before the world, which are always been condemned by all true men of God including Joshua, how else could his preaching and sermons be considered to be judgmental?

And why must priests of God, if they are true to themselves, have thought of “immigration powers to ban” Joshua (as if he was some terrifying oracle from outside the world) and why have “we never invited him as churches”? There is an obvious truth here: some pastors and theological leaders are much afraid of the name, class, acceptance and universal respect which Joshua has won through the instrumentality of God’s power. In a world where religion is free, and where “people have a right to believe what they want”, it should have been known to this “Evangelical fellowship” that “fellowship” means extending hands of friendship and solidarity to every person in the world to rejoice with Zimbabwe, if truly there was something to rejoice about.  Dr Shana should not have employed the mantle of his office to attack a fellow pastor, even when he is not a Zimbabwean.

Secondly, the work of God is not a political office. As illustrated in the Bible, through the machinations of King Ahab (2 Chronicles, 18), we have always some pastors and prophets who are so politically motivated that they could even choose to follow some leaders who professed to be Lucifer than Jesus, even if their countries are boiling in the oil of joblessness, inflation and political negativity. King Ahab had some 400 prophets who prophesised to him that he was going to succeed in the war at Ramoth Gilead, but Micaiah, the prophet thoroughly hated by Ahab (whom he would never have invited but for the motivation from Jehosaphat, King of Judea) was the only man who told Ahab the truth, and Ahab asked his soldiers to detain him until he would arrive from the war, a success. But was Micaiah not proved right? Consider only one prophet to 400 others?

The so-called pastors and their evangelical messianism are too far from the truth. They have chosen to blackmail a man of God, just because they are terrified by Joshua’s well-known accurate prophecies over the years. Political power has no potential to cripple the Word of God and those who are opposed to listening to it should be pitied. If an Evangelical fellowship was against Joshua (a prophet of the most high), what would they do if some Boko Haram had existed in their midst? The world understands that when Joshua spoke of an African Leader who was to die soon, some Zimbabweans chose to attack him because they had thought they knew exactly what he was saying and unsaying. But was that a correct attitude to prophecy by these “pastors”?

If Joshua was accused of being “partisan” and “unorthodox”, how do we interpret the attitude of Dr Shana and his “over 100 denominations” on the Joshua issue? Did Jesus denounce people on the grounds of partisanship? Did he not embrace the Jews and Gentiles, the poor and the rich, the leaders and the led?

What exactly is the meaning of “unorthodox”? Is ritualism and true worship happening in The SCOAN, even when there is the advantage of the Emmanuel TV being viewed all over the world? There are many Zimbabweans who had received their deliverance and healing in The SCOAN, and Joshua has always been mightily used by God. If a people “do not want judgement teachings”, why not allow those who are not opposed to Joshua, in Zimbabwe, to enjoy the privilege of his presence (that is even if he wishes to visit Zimbabwe, in the first place). If South Africa is no longer practising apartheid, why should some evangelical maniacs start thinking of “immigration powers” to ban Joshua?

Dr Shana allegedly said that Christianity “should be platform for people to repent, not to die” (which is true), but why should Joshua’s prophecies be said to be “notorious for issuing death” examples? Just less than a week ago, he predicted that another leader would emerge in France, with only three points margin. Did it not happen? Was that about death? The politicians, statesmen, leaders and respected bureaucrats who had been prophesied for, are all over the world, and they are enjoying the blessings of God. What was Dr Shana’s kind of dream and interpretation of the Bible and the pastoral ministry?

The world will be shocked to see that Dr Shana was leading a crusade of persecution against a fellow pastor simply because of politics. Should the truth be murdered simply because some notorious old man is disturbing some political space? What has Africa ever gained from such foolishness over the centuries? Joshua had prophesied many good-fortuned developments for people, and there are evidences in books, journals, ex-publications, magazines, VCDs and DVDs, etc. to illustrate these. The millions of people who come to The SCOAN from all over the world know that “Our God is redemptive”, and His Word cannot be changed on any issue! If Shana and his myopic team are not biased, unorthodox, partisan and judgemental, why condemn a single prophet (out of several thousands all over the world) as if he is ordained to prophetically wrestle the political powers in Zimbabwe? God is truly redemptive, but He wants us to turn away from sins and self-inflicted tribulations, too. How would ritualists in Zimbabwe take Shana’s statement against Joshua? Should true men of God turn their own poisoned arrows and evil swords against another prophet just because he enjoys more universal attention and spiritual applause? What exactly is this crime of Joshua that he must be persecuted by “fellow evangelists”? The truth is that, from the example of Paul, fake and filthy-preaching “pastors” also exist in the world who hate the voice of truth. Elijah, Paul, Peter, Barnabas among several others, were almost battered by fellow gospellers during their time. And even Jesus was called Beezlebub! Great minds do not always enjoy the applause of all people; the facts of envy, hatred, mischief, marginalisation, ethnicity and nationality always create bottlenecks for angelic people. It is historically known that the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai visited The Synagogue, Church Of Nations (The SCOAN), and this, by itself, is creating a lot of discomfort and unease amongst some people, including the political class, who want to nail the man just because of his political differences with Mugabe. But must the work of God be so debased to the extent that political considerations must swallow its essence? If Tsvangirai had invited Joshua, it must be out of patriotism; it must have been engineered by a passion to move his country to a new level. Why should pastors be influenced by the cabinet in Zimbabwe to see Joshua as a politician rather than a prophet? If Joshua has predicted that Mugabe would spend the next 200 years in power, some “pastors” would have decided to invite him to that country for being “a voice of truth” rather than being “the voice of satan”. This is one of the troubles with Christianity – it is a house divided against itself!

Bishop Trevor Manhanga

The “pastors” could not even hide their political inclination on the matter. Bishop Trevor Manhanga, a Zimbabwean leader of the Pentecostal Assemblies argued that “Joshua has no power to change the political landscape in Zimbabwe”, because Tsvangirai’s “political fortunes would not be shaped by T.B. Joshua or any artefacts received from him” Should Joshua stop associating with Tsvangirai just because the Prime Minister has political differences with Mugabe? And why did the Christian leaders choose to foolishly politicise their position as if Jesus asked them to do so? By choosing to hate the Prime Minister and Joshua, have they not compromised their spirituality (if indeed they ever respected Jesus)? And who told these people that Joshua has refrained from praying for Nigeria? Bishop Mahanga spoke of a “burning” Nigeria where Joshua “was doing nothing”. And according to him, Joshua cannot influence “the Zimbabwean political landscape” because “the leadership of the nation of Zimbabwe will be determined by God Almighty, not T.B. Joshua”. This was a Bishop speaking! What does this man teach his congregation? What does he ever preach? Does he truly believe in prayers and prophecies – this is because we have Bishops in the world whose speciality is to do to Jesus what Judas Iscariot also did. Events in Malawi – except if he says so – may never be replicated in Zimbabwe. Why should the fear of Joshua make some people pee in their elaborate cassocks, even if they are bishops?

This Bishop said that the water people receive from The SCOAN “has no significance here and will not serve as a lucky charm to bring them power – politically or otherwise”. This is a Bishop! Shadows, sticks, dead men’s bones, water and mantles had been used by great prophets to achieve good results in the Bible, and these were not necessarily political. Changes had occurred in people’s personal lives (the poor, downcast, blind, lame, hopeless, etc) in the Bible through “materials” anointed by God in the hands of the prophets. It is unbelievers who see such as sheer fiction, and nobody can crucify them for their unbelief. But what of a Bishop leading a congregation? What of Dr Shana and his evangelical heroes who hated to be identified with “artefacts”? Since when have these “pastors” and “leaders of the saints” read their Bibles, for example? What do they preach in Zimbabwe?

Is there anything under Heaven that God cannot do or does not know, including “the outcome of football games”?  So those who used the “artefacts” in the Bible (Elijah, Paul, Peter, etc) were not men of God? Did those (miracles and signs and wonders) not help their ministries and mould “people to be better citizens”? Is the Book of Ezekiel or that of Isaiah a lie? Could the Acts of the Apostles and the Synoptic Gospels be wrong? Joshua said, “What the world does not understand, they call names; what they understand, they destroy”. What do we call the attitude of these modern Bishops and their followers?

TB Joshua, persecuted and progressing!

Could it be true that the “Zimbabwean churches were not even afraid of T.B. Joshua’s coming”? Even the dead know that this is exactly the situation. On hearing Joshua, even on screen or radio, some “bishops” would surely defecate in their robes because what they stand to protect always is mischief, colourless hatred, jealousy and wickedness; they remind us of Ahab’s 400 prophets and their long robes. We may never know the exact number of those who attended the Evangelical Fellowship workshop in Zimbabwe, but we were told that the fellowship contains over “100 denominations, churches, para-church movements and individual Christians of the Evangelical persuasion”. Altogether, they must be over 400! Ahab is an African! And his palace is enjoying the presence of the selfish Bible-killing and Gospel-rubbishing pastors who wish to attack Tsvangirai by using Joshua as a tool, an artefact! If Africa remains a backward continent till today,  it is because “our men and women in Christ” do not think it virile, progressive and meaningfully developmental to tell the truth to our leaders, as we have seen in Zimbabwe, even when the world knows what is happening in that country! Could that be the kind of attitude preached by Jesus?

It was also said – at a gathering meant to discuss National Day Prayer for Zimbabwe – that people were not afraid of Joshua (one man in a multimillion peopled continent!) and that his presence would “have no bearing on our politics. Our authorities have nothing to fear”. Are these “bishops” and “pastors” fighting for the “authorities” or for Christ?

In the piece, it was even mentioned that the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Cameroon, Eyebe Ayissi condemned Joshua as “a son of the devil masquerading as a man of God”. Salvation is personal, because thousands of Cameroonians besiege The SCOAN every other day for prayers, deliverance and healing. Ayissi was simply speaking for himself and not for Cameroonians, if he had been used to the media, over the years. Joshua’s so-called “diabolical miracles” have been what the world love and they come to share a part of – Americans, Britons, Germans, Russians, fellow Africans, Asians, etc. Ayissi could not have been more knowledgeable than the Presidents, Prime Ministers, National Assembly Members, etc who throng the church, everyday. He is no better than any of them. And it is true, as we all know, that most African position-occupiers depend on their traditional medicines, local charms, para-psychologists, palm readers and ritualists to maintain their positions.

Africans will never find it strange when some politicians – as also did Moyo of Zimbabwe – took up the mandate to attack those ‘anointed’ by Jesus to do His work.

This also relates to one pastor Godwin Chitsinde of the Spoken Word Ministries who said Joshua’s political interest was rather “too excessive”. How do we judge the veracity of this?) Is Joshua a politician? Has he ever contested for an election? Is he planning to? The man said Joshua does not qualify as a prophet? Who then is a prophet to Chitsinde? How will envy and jealousy – which even Satanists cannot talk of – assist the work of God to grow?

He said Joshua’s visit to Zimbabwe (if it even does take place) “is not good for the nation considering his interest in politics. We have no problem if he comes on another day but we say no when it is an important day like this one”. And listen also to Pastor Vukani Dhladha of the Abiding Hope Ministries. “Prophecy is not about telling someone his phone number or the colour of his underwear but it is about the Word of God. We do not need him here because we have our own reputable apostles and what riles us is that he is coming on a partisan ticket without consulting the churches.”

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai

In God’s own name, of what use are these “pastors” in the work of God? They could not even hide their minds of mischief, hatred and envy, yet they have ministries over which they preside. How did the issue of “phone number or the colour of underwear” influence the idea of a National Day of Prayer in Zimbabwe? Also, how could a true pastor speak of having their own “reputable apostles” as if Jesus is limited to Zimbabwe? Is Jesus not of the entire human race? There are terrible problems with Christendom – to the extent that even the omnipotent image of Christ is reduced to the size of Zimbabwe. And all these spiritual clowns and never-do-wells call themselves “pastors”? And just because Joshua must be stopped from travelling to Zimbabwe? He is said to be partisan because he is a friend to the Prime Minister, but has he ever acted and prophesied negativity because of his ‘love’ or ‘hatred’ for anybody? Is Christianity about politics? Is Christianity only about Zimbabwean National Day? Or the regime that is in place over there?

Sarkozy beaten by Hollande by approximately 3 points

These “pastors” have no business to be preaching the word, but should be transporting yams for sale in other countries because they stand against what Jesus preaches through the Holy Book; they are antagonistic, unfriendly, myopic, sectional and lack deep knowledge of the Word. This is where The SCOAN has kept trying to bring a change to Christendom. Most of these “pastors” have refused to be born again because envy and hatred will not allow them to understand the way of Christ; they are still besieged by satanic sensibilities and they revolt against the Gospel. These “pastors” have revealed to the world that they are disloyal and unfaithful to Christ, and swim in odious misconceptions about the Word. How limited can they be in religious matters, especially prophecies? That Joshua recently prophesied that Sarkozy would be replaced by another person, did not mean he is a friend to Hollande; or how could Christ be said to be limited in his form of friendship? Who, then, are the ‘diabolical’ and ‘agents of satan’? Why should Joshua’s hatred become a national affair in Zimbabwe? Why should some debased ‘pastors’ insist on misleading Zimbabweans and their chosen path to true Chrsitianity? Are Christians not supposed to be united instead of being separated, hateful, jealous? These “palace pastors” are doing much damage to Christ and His body because He preached tolerance, unity, love, forbearance, understanding and humility. What do these hypocritical evangelical touts teach people in Zimbabwe? Deceit? Hypocrisy? Indiscipline? Pride? Mischief?

What Joshua has done in the lives of people, through God’s anointing, has not been done for Zimbabweans by all these “pastors” and their funny spirituality. And we are talking of millions of widows, widowers, the poor, jobless, helpless, sick, and spiritually trapped. These “pastors” have a role to watch more of Emmanuel TV to know what their exact work should be in Zimbabwe and other places, if their world is not polluted by the devil and the acrobats of ritual bigots. Enough is enough!

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in International

 

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Africa’s Economic Downturn: A SCOAN’s Perspective

Ezekiel Fajenyo and Sunday Patrick

The African economy is particularly noted as a developing economy; it is grossly under-developed. The two words are often inter-changeably used by analysts, public policy commentators and social critics, but all of what they say is that the economy is a dependent one – it is anchored on the antics of the West, which must be obeyed, even if unfavourable.

The essential character of this economy is such that it has not been free from the market dictatorship of the advanced countries of the world – countries like the USA, UK, Germany and China. These countries may be having their own headaches in the contemporary context but the level of their pampered self-satisfaction and essential growth can still not be equated with what we have in Africa, where the economy is assailed by an avalance of troubles created from within and outside the continent.

From within the continent are governments which lack sufficient knowedge of modern world economy; governments filled with selfish, dark-souled, ideologically impotent implementers and planners. The governments lack people with deep sense of thorough planning and pragmatic commitment to industrialism; people capable of shaping and implementing feasible and qualitative strategies capable of inspiring collective enthusiasm in the people who may wish to contribute to the growth and development of the economy.

Africa governments are filled with terribly corrupt people; those without an iota of patriotism and sense of self-worth. And they are committed to corruption in all ramifications, turning bribery to a way of life, and simply stealing from the coffers as if they never swore an oath when coming into governance. Nepotism, tribalism, ethnic particularity and religious manipulation are often strengthened by acts of public stealing. Recent revelations involving the handling of pensions funds in Nigeria – in civil service and police force – clearly showed how public funds are mismanaged. Most of the victims who worked for many years were not paid their pensions and gratuity; most died waiting to be paid. The effects of corruptions are seen in almost every sector of the economy. Most of the manufacturing industries, for instance, have since died and unemployment is the reality of the day. Millions of qualified professionals, in every field, walk the streets, unengaged. Starvation, hunger, deprivation, exploitation, greed, and gross sensitivity are empowered by the sheer carelessness of government functionaries; hard work has given way to mediocrity. Truth and sincerity in government are no longer viable. Official falsehoods, manipulation of figures, frauds and diversion of funds are most noticeable in most African countries. The culture of waste is so pronounced that public officers are grossly nonchalant and unresponsive to public taste and interest.

Corruption is so satanically widespread, and mismanagement of resources is well recognised in places. Blessed as most African countries are in mineral and human resources, what had worked out to bless other countries, has been a source of stagnation, mischievous selfishness, and backwardness to them. Oil is a good instance. Oil should eliminate poverty and starvation, while opening up opportunities for people to be gainfully employed and be creatively self-sufficient. With oil, infrastructural provisions, educational advancement, social development and even unity should not be a rarity as they are, today. Oil has succeeded in tearing us apart as a people. Massive structural deformations and deaths have since occupied the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria, for instance. Young men and women who should be enjoying the glorious outcomes of oil are into militancy ad deadly combat with government; most of them experience a sense of loss and de-humanization. Because of lack of plans, manipulation and greed, oil has become a malediction, a negative product. African economy is largely consumer-oriented because productivity is not encouraged in most countries. Competitions among people on religious, social and economic grounds have rendered them ignobly violence-prone. We are no producers, but consumers (of what others have produced).

Prophet T.B. Joshua of The SCOAN has made reference to the ills of this kind of economy, in one of his recent sermons. Of course, he had spoken to diverse media establishments, before now, on the vision of blood flowing on the streets; blood which should not be flowing for any reason whatever. He had told the world that hatred, jealousy, political mischief and political miscalculations would most often, lead to bloodshed. Blood is being shed, till now, by the militants in the Niger Delta, and the Boko Haram sect in the north. Such situations have also occurred in Ivory Coast, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia. There are threats of Boko Haram’s likely invasion of Mali, too. Blood is flowing because of “struggles for power”, even when those who eventually secure power are not likely to invest progressively in human and mineral resources.

Joshua specifically addressed these issues, recently, when he challenged Africans to be producers rather than consumers, he asked why governments waste the vast resources in these countries “instead of using the minerals well”. He established, truthfully, that African governments and their functionaries engage in “collecting dollars and pounds” instead of “collecting technology” which should serve the scientific interests of the people. Such money (hard currencies) are continually wasted. To him, “nobody will embezzle money if mineral resources are exchanged for technology”. Should oil be exchanged for technology, corruption would have been eliminated, he said.

He had charged that Africans should have understood the secret of development by sending mineral resources (some of which are iron ore, gold, diamond, feldspar, talc, bitumen, bauxite, silver, bronze, etc) to Europe, USA and Asia in exchange for technology which could have been relevant to the mass of people, rather than money which go into the pockets of only a few people (a phenomenon which has rudely created class schism, exploitation, corruption, and insubordination in places). The people are marginalized, dispossessed, cheated, humiliated, and dehumanized by only a few, a viable source of existing violence in places, anchored on the “struggles for power”. While people complain to no end, the leaders keep on stealing, cheating, and exploiting the people. Joshua even prophesied that such “powerful” people would always be targeted by the unemployed and poor youth and the under-paid workers, and where would they run to, eventually?

According to the man of God, “dollars and pounds are not companies”. This is true of the African situation. Money received from exported mineral resources (including oil) were never (and are not) pushed back into serious technological and scientific essentials, which should benefit the young and old, men and women, especially in such areas of education, agriculture, health, social infrastructure, tourism, roads and bridges, electricity, water supply, rural development, and mass transportation. Joshua said, “it is not oil for money; it should be oil for technology”. Technology, in an age of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), should attract the commitment of any serious government in Africa.

Many authors, economists, social commentators, and public analysts have written extensively on the phenomenon of retarded economy in Africa. There are many ways in which the economy has reduced to rubbles tomes of economic managements and planning publications, because government functionaries have refused to practicalize progressive ways suggested by experienced people and institutions. Though the effects of the bad economy could be seen everywhere, we wish to illustrate with the health situation in Africa. Jimaze Ego-Alower in “A new Nigerian tribe is born?” (Daily Sun, May 5, 2011) had written in part that the decay in the medical industry “is supplied by and reinforced by the larger body decay. Our first duty is the reconstruction and reconstitution of the axial or platform structures, the state upon which all others may be planted, take root and be nursed to greatness”.

The health situation in Nigeria (and Africa) has always called for special act of interrogation because it has been a record of failures over the years. While the poor keep dying for lack of necessary medical attention, the rich often swiftly take to flying abroad for such attention, regardless of the monetary charges involved. It is common to see the financially accomplished moving out, by the next available flight, into such countries as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Dubai, Lebanon, Germany, Russia and the USA, among others, for such infections as typhoid, cancer, HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, liver problems, eye troubles, sickle cell anaemia and other diseases. But while this is so rampant in Africa, and In Nigeria in particular, most of the people involved do often die in the process, and their bodies packaged and flown back home, quite expensively.

The health situation in Africa is pathetically chaotic for many reasons. Health institutions (hospitals and clinics) are deeply cancerous as they are without drugs, personnel and infrastructural facilities to aid the acquisition of good health. The healthcare delivery system is defective because there are no basic healthcare materials, while there are problems with primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities. Medical cities only exist in name, and most university teaching hospitals are cocoons of infrastructural emptiness. There is lack of recognition for expertise in the medical field amongst the citizenry, and this has prompted quite a significant number of these to search for greener pastures in foreign countries. This situation applies to medical and para-medical staff, most of whom are gainfully employed in developed countries of the world. There is a absence of reliable dispensaries and effective mobile clinical services in parts of the federation. The rural communities are most affected. There is often absence of communication and transport facilities, which promotes the dearth of drugs and medical equipment in these places. Various statistics have existed on the massive, untimely deaths in different parts of the continent. A renowned medical expert in Kaduna, Nigeria who spoke to us recently said that “There is high material mortality among children. Pregnant women die every day in great numbers, and communicable diseases are breeding higher than before. Most government hospitals are indeed mortuaries, and you need to visit some of them already overgrown with weeds and inhabited by rodents and reptiles.  What do you call that? The system is unhealthy. And an unhealthy system cannot give birth to a healthy one”.

The Nigerian federal and states governments seem insensitive to the plight of the citizens as far as health is concerned. It is often alleged that some governments functionaries have expensive private hospitals established in foreign lands where they go, with their families, when in desperate health situations. Those without these do often corner government funds, meant for the provision of other services, to travel out to obtain good health. When such happens, government programmes and projects are abandoned, while higher levels of poverty and want are promoted. Musa Alhassan, a medical practitioner in Abuja told us: “Those with hefty foreign accounts do not fear ill-health because they have somewhere to run to. Their confidence is often rooted in this. There is lack of good leadership in medical establishments, and home-based medical practitioners are not being monitored for proficiency. The very good ones have since moved over to Egypt, Canada, USA, Cuba and other places where they get good pay for their services. My family members do not want me to move; I could have been in Germany since two years ago. Let’s face it. How could any man agree to be drenched with poverty if he has better alternatives? That is why Nigeria is empty now. I even pity those now in the medical schools. Their certificates will mean nothing after graduation. Do you know that some of them will turn out to be contractors visiting officers for contract? It is not a curse but the reality in the land”.

Equally, it has been observed that only very few Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) committed to health in Nigeria, exist to assist the government to realize its health policy objectives, and painfully governments at every tier have failed over the years to seriously invite home Nigerians who are making waves in foreign scenes, in the field of medicine. Some of such have even nationalized in those countries, and no effort is made to lure them home even when good resources, which the country possesses, could easily have made this possible. Equally, no serious efforts have been made to import sufficiently reliable medical gadgets and equipment, freely donated to existing medical centres around the country. Medical institutions are few in Nigeria, even when land, manpower and capital exist to make this possible in all states of the federation. The result is that the few available ones are over-crowded, ill-maintained and unattractive. Beddings and drugs are ever insufficient; and there is low morale among workers. Pilfering of drugs and poor maintenance of patients have often led to preventable deaths in most African countries.

One of the major challenges afflicting the health situation in Nigeria is the cheap availability of fake drugs, which has led NAFDAC to be engaged in wars with known and imaginary sponsors and monitors of same. Fake drugs are criminally promoted by desperate businessmen who import the out-dated and cheap drugs from foreign lands, in conspiracy with fake doctors. Thousands of young and old, men and women have been killed by such drugs, which are found in most pharmaceutical shops and medical centres in Nigeria. The drugs are being carefully packaged and imported through our porous borders, and with active connivance of some patriotic security agents. Dr Jumoke Adeboye, a government medical practitioner in Ibadan, explained her understanding of the situation: “The world of medicine in Nigeria, and Africa in general today, is dominated by false practitioners and fake drugs. It is very shocking that at the expense of people’s lives, some people manufacture fake drugs which are prominently in circulation, and killing thousands of our people. NAFDAC has been trying, but the war is multi-diversional and expanding. The rich onces are those responsible for it, and they have connections in places. Strong laws do not exist to do the battle for NAFDAC yet. Also, corruption is giving strength to the gory situation. Patients pay for virtually everything in the hospitals. Money meant for keeping the hospitals alive is often consumed by false functionaries of government. Nobody even remembers the rural hospitals. Indeed, in most clinics and hospitals, there is no electricity, water, maintenance culture and drugs. Some beds are so blood stained; and the environments are filthy. The toilets are out of the world. Some patients who could have survived actually died in the hospitals. Some trained midwives are not even employable. Students only do exams but are not able to utilize the experience to do medical work thereafter. How much are the state and federal governments committing to health in Nigeria? The situation is pathetic”.

To change the unfortunate situation in the country, it is obvious that a lot has to be done by governments, states and local, the Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals. First, budgets meant for health must be truly expended on same. Such budgetary spending must be monitored by special committees set up to pursue same, while accountability and prudence must be maintained. Professionals should be appointed to oversee ministries of health and health institutions so as to achieve excellence in service delivery, while undue interference by governments has to be checked.

Governments must renovate, equip and construct new structures where old ones are derelict and unattractive, and all necessary facilities must be installed. Such structures in the local government areas must be carefully attended to. Equally, all nursing and midwifery institutions, and medical colleges have to be upgraded to meet the required standards. Moreover, all health centres and general hospitals must be supplied with required personnel, equipment and drugs, while all existing ministries of health in Nigeria should be strengthened with necessary funds. The Private Public Participation (PPP) arrangements may be introduced by governments to achieve excellence in places. Indeed, medical Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) have to be strengthened to align with government policy objectives on health. The role played by such organizations like the Global Partnership for Maternal, New-born and Child Health (PMNCH), African Cancer Prevention Group (USA) and the Care People Foundation must be acknowledged. Such organizations must be dutifully promoted in Nigeria. Foreign-based Nigerian organizations and individuals who wish to contribute to solving medical problems in Nigeria should be awarded honours every year to serve as encouragement to others. Moreover, in the worlds of 34-years old Saleh Jibril Mohammed, a Lokoja-based medical practitioner, (Nigeria), “Public institutions have to be supported on issues of health promotion and enhancement. I learnt of the Skye Bank PLC’s donation of drugs worth 6 million naira to the government of Niger State in February, 2008. Banks, insurance companies, philanthropic organizations and religious bodies must be encouraged to support government programmes on health. The situation is almost getting out of control. Look at snake bites situation in Kaltunga and other places. People are dying every day. Vaccines are needed to combat polio and malaria, and fake drugs regime must be terminated now or never. There should also be free anti-natal and post-natal treatment, free cataract surgeries and free distribution of doses of Coartem to children to control malaria. There should also b attention paid to community midwifery. Equally, I suggest there should be a major Nigerian Health Summit organized by the federal Government to be attended by all stakeholders. This is the time for Goodluck Jonathan to put this into effect since he has won the presidential elections. We cannot afford to waste more time”, he said.

To improve the health situation in the country, it is established that there should be improvement in the training of healthcare providers; and there should be increased allocation for health to 15% of the total budget in line with WHO recommendations, while 10% is to be devoted to maternal and childcare. The media should also be used to advance the cause of maternal health programmes in Nigeria because ignorance is responsible for spreading diseases, and such enlightenment campaigns should not be limited to the issue of HIV/AIDS and cancer afflictions. It is also true that State Primary Health Development Agencies must be established in all local government areas of Nigeria; while functional health facilities with trained staff should be provided, as well as an integrated supervision system for healthcare centres. There should be improved referral system, to enhance good record keeping of statistics, and there should be improvement of girl-child education while there should be free Medicare for children, pregnant women and the aged. In the words of Saleh Mohammed again, “There should be attention paid to International Donor Partners (IDP) programmes and signing of MOU with foreign medical experts to provide HITECH Medical Services in the states of the federation”, he concluded.

Fajenyo and Patrick are Fellows of the Social Engineering research Institute (SERI) and authors.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in International

 

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