As I waited for my body to suddenly find the energy to leave my bed this cold morning, a friend sent me this clip of the leader of Zoe fellowship, Prophet Elvis Mbonye – a man who has dominated headlines for doing something rare in Uganda – start a successful business. The kind of people that go to his fellowship gatherings ranges from corporate managers to a rapper whose hit song would undoubtedly be an apt announcement of the prophet’s arrival.
So I clicked on the link and my mind, well…this is what came out of that abyss.
1. Connection problems
The Corona Virus prophecy came in bits. I guess he couldn’t get a clear signal to Jehovah. Shame. Guys. Perhaps we need Fibre connectivity. But there is precedent for God being difficult to hear for some reason.
“I speak in parables because I know some won’t receive it. I do it like Jesus. I said someone would have a 14-day sick leave”
So, God tells you something clearly, YOU decide to obfuscate it then say, “Well, you wouldn’t have gotten it anyway?!” Indeed, this is a parable!!
3. ” Why did you not speak?”
Prophets are meant to speak. Mbonye says just like Jesus said not to cast pearls before swine, he decided not to tell us ” heavenly things”.
4. It is my Gift!
“It is my call. Not God’s call as to speak. God gives the responsibility.”
Biblically sound. Sorry, but the man is right. The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet – 1 Corinthians 14: 32 says. Though, I particularly like the contemporary English version that reads – “A prophet should be willing to stop and let someone else speak.”
5. Don’t tell me about Jonah.
Jonah was called to provide prophecy for the sake of repentance. Mbonye says those types of prophecies he cannot hold back.
So, this means, God was not interested in having us prevent the spread of this virus and repentance will not alter it. It’s happening as a brute fact. Praise the loving one!!
“There’s a clique out to mischaracterize my statements”.
Fair enough, many public figures suffer from this so – valid. However, your own declarations are themselves, questionable dude. This is like me when accused of stealing sugar as a kid, protesting about the lies that I stole money as well.
7. Deliberate unbelievers that accuse him of being a false prophet.
“Do you want men of God accredited by secular systems, by bible schools and decrees? No”, he says, God called him in his mother’s womb (free choice?!). He says to compare his prophecies, which he admits to “making a parable” with others in the world who claim to be prophetic.
Bruh, you withhold jazz, then tell us to judge you by that jazz?! Shall we go off of Oscar predictions which secular people do, shall we weigh it against vague statements that can be moulded so as to fit any situation arising? If we are to know them by their fruit, your yield is wanting.
8. What a house!
The house has great decor though. What a dining room set. Very nice tones. Nothing ostentatious. Like well done, sir. They say a prophet is despised in his hometown; Lord let me be despised too!! 9. Exploitation? Nooo!!
On claims of exploitation and being flashy – Mbonye says the Lord delights in the prosperity of his servants so no apologies. Echoes of the Calvinist Protestant work ethic in which prosperity is a sign of Gods blessing. Presumably, this means the poor are failing to live up to please God. Perhaps he loves them but not enough?!
Although Mbonye makes a good point; people voluntarily give to him and it is their right. We might think them hoodwinked but by what measure are people who give to the Catholic church or Anglican Church or to a mosque or to self-help gurus (all the people that bought that big nonsense ” the secret”) not liable to the same paternalistic patronising caution?! People obtain some service from him and should be free to give. I mean, have you seen the Vatican?! We can critique it, but to say “well, you give to your religious authority who is different from my religious authority” is to trap yourself in a critique best placed on your own choices. Remove the log in your eye first!
A man of experience is not at a disadvantage to a man with an argument. Come through, empiricist Mbonye. A very sophisticated position that many might agree with. Many people of faith say the same; unable to share evidence that is mutually agreeable, they resort to experience to which no third party is privy.
Two things though;-
a) Experience is good but subjective as two people may experience something similar but interpret it differently. So, we question the interpretation for plausibility.
b) This whole negates the role of prophecy and communication as we would all have to experience the same thing to reach revealed truth. In practice, rhetoric and argument shape experience. But nice try.
All in all, I wish this was longer, with more in-depth pressing on the prophecies and controversial elements; it might also have benefitted from having the clips he mentioned screened for us to see.
Otherwise, a good start and an urge for people to not just blindly believe or reflexively rubbish anything. It’s important to go past the headline and actually engage with the matter and give reasons for your position.
The very effort it takes might change your mind.