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When the role of Jesus is replaced by ‘men of God’ — Afrika Mhlophe
In December last year, I wrote a piece about Lethebo Rabalago, a so-called prophet who gained notoriety for spraying his congregants with the insecticide Doom to heal them.
Now the latest ‘prophet’ to bring disrepute to the Christian faith is Timothy Omotoso. This Nigerian national was recently the subject of a SABC 1 Special Assignment expose into allegations that he lured young ladies, some as young as 14, to his Umhlanga Durban house for them to perform sexual acts on him.
Up to 30 ladies throughout the country have now come forward to reveal that they have been victims of Omotoso, whose alleged modus operandi involved the use of a recruiter who approached beautiful ladies from disadvantaged backgrounds to spend time with the man they refer to as “daddy”.
These ladies were then trafficked to Durban on the pretext that daddy will help improve their lives, but ended up as sex slaves who were detained for weeks to satisfy the carnal needs of Omotoso.
Shift in focus of faith
The unfortunate thing about these abusive incidents is that they provide fodder to secular media and sceptics who already have a bone to pick with our faith. But the same incidents reveal a shift from a Christ-centred faith to an anthropocentric one where the meeting of our personal needs ranks higher than knowing Jesus.
We are now living in the days of Christian hedonism people follow Jesus for the fish and the loaves that feed the flesh for temporary satisfaction. And not for the words of life that feed the soul for eternity.
In fact, the majority of people who shore up the ministries of false prophets and false miracle workers are Christians who have left their congregations in search of human mediums who would connect them with God.
Thus the role of Jesus has been replaced by “men of God” who operate with supposed superhuman abilities. In fact, the Holy Spirit, who convicts, corrects and helps to produce the character of Christ, has also had to give way to spiritism that produces a false sense of righteousness.
Most of the people who fall victim for the likes of Omotoso do very little to advance God’s kingdom. They don’t witness to the lost, will never go on missions, or support a charity. They won’t attend a prayer meeting unless they are the main focus of the prayer.
But their time is preoccupied with running from demonic forces that are forever chasing them. If they give, it is often to their man of God because of the idea that he’s their main channel of blessings from God.
As for faith, it is safe to say that they do have, but it is directed to the wrong object. Instead of faith in God, it is faith in the man of God.
What kind of believers are we producing?
So the question we should be asking ourselves is what kind of believers are we producing in SA? Are we producing believers who can stand persecution and can sacrifice all for Jesus? Or ignorant ones who want shortcuts and aren’t prepared to see Jesus as anything more than a Christian sangoma?
Heavily armed police arrested Omotoso as he landed at Port Elizabeth Airport today. But what I am hoping for is that the church will arrest the rapid decline from Christian orthodoxy — and disown a faith that exists to placate the egos of prideful charlatans and that caters to the whims of self-centered Christians.
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