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THE POISON IN THE CHURCH

Few things poison the church, and sully her reputation in the world, like arrogant and proud leaders. Arrogance in the pulpit is a great blight on the church and in the community where she is to shine her light. I write today burdened because I see the church losing its ground, in a time we should be selfless and sensitive. Maybe a form of false revival which has been exposed by the quarantine, and should maybe challenge us to get back to the basics of salvation in the end days. So, if you kindly want to be abusive or quarrelsome, you could desist from my post.

Today, Prophet Mbonye inherently highlighted a big issue with the Church today and its followers. The ‘dominionism’, self-importance, idolatry, inability to question leaders, and an ambitious desire by the middle-class corporate to have purpose and meaning based on prosperity and self. The desire for instant gratification, power, and the desire for a ‘form of the supernatural’ to add meaning to our lives. Well, you can argue that I shouldn’t care, because salvation is personal. But when our ‘salvation’ sends a mockery to the world, causes disrepute, fosters pride and sidelines true evangelism by sending a wrong message to non-believers, then we’ll all held accountable.

I watched the much-anticipated Facebook interview of Mr. Mbonye explaining the reason he didn’t reveal any information about COVID 19. My sisters couldn’t sit through it as they believed it was pride based and very convenient for him to speak about out it 3 months later. Maybe a last gasp attempt to save his credentials as a prophet, but without offering a way forward, solution or healing. It would have been wiser to stay quiet to avoid controversy and foul talk, as Paul recommended. Self-importance is a sin (3 John 1:9). Many times in the midst of our love for preeminence – let’s face it, we all like to be important – we lose sight of what is most important, what the church is about. We lose sight of God.

In a snippet, the interview with Solomon Serwwanja, Mr Mbonye, unfortunately, exposes who he truly is and demystifies his character for everyone to see. I do believe in prior years he started out right but the 3Ps can get to anyone (Power, Pleasure, Prosperity). Whoever spoke to Solomon was devoid of humility and loathes in his achievements and power. An ooze of self-importance and pride stood out the most. If the Scriptures’ pervasive condemnations of pride and arrogance aren’t enough, then the express qualifications for pastor-elder make it all the clearer: He must not be arrogant and proud. (Titus 1:7)

In summary, with very wanting scriptural context and flaws to justify his position, the Mbonye highlights that clearly stood out:

  1. How the COVID prophecy came to him, and he didn’t clearly reveal in in his January revelations (we all know COVID was discovered in China as early as November). And yet he still offers no solutions, so comes off as someone working hard to desperately save his credentials. And yet none of his followers knew anything, a bit convenient
  2. He speaks in parables like Jesus, and not all prophecies are to be revealed because they are not for everyone, as he can’t cast his pearls to swine (a sad mockery for those who have died from the coronavirus)
  3. He challenges us to show who has a more proven prophetic record in the world (another angle for unnecessary stir and disrepute as Prophet Bushiiri and T.B Joshua fans will probably argue). Furthermore, several records already show flaws in some of his past prophecies (but then again, who is counting)
  4. And more indications of being a special conduit through which certain powers from God come. No mention or call to salvation and evangelism to viewers, just self-validation and promotion. The highest form of self-importance and pride that isn’t relatable to Biblical prophets.
  5. He offered no spiritual solution, healing or maybe financial contributions to the COVID gov’t fight, yet he bragged about his congregants wealth (I do know a “broke” remnants, and it’s no sin as all churches have poor people, and money has never been evidence of salvation)
  6. He knows several gov’t secrets and what is to come in the coming years. Again, to what end? To blackmail the gov’t or get allegiance from them? Last time I checked Biblical prophets served a purpose than trivia. These distractions bring useless debate(2 Timothy 2:23)

Point is, this trivia and pattern is common amongst some of our African Superstar pastors nowadays. Basking in controversy. And my observations are call to the general church, a last-ditch attempt to speak life and trigger self-evaluation as we walk towards the eternal goal, Heaven. We aim to evangelize and see the whole world saved, right? So, as we partner with the Holy Spirit and Spiritual leaders, how are we going about our Father’s business.

I speak not to disparage church leadership, but to Biblically challenge them like the Bereans with Paul. Appointment by God implies servant leadership, regardless of pride or the size of your congregation. And COVID quarantine will show that church is in our hearts, not in a building, stadium or auditorium. Pride takes away God’s glory and draws attention to us! 

The prophetic obsession in the African church has made true evangelism take a backseat and fostered a ‘one God for all, everyone for themselves’ mentality, and exposed a subtle selfishness, greed and anxiousness in many believers. Our desire for the world and all its pleasures through God and “men of God” is clear. We claim people’s cars, houses and spend nights in church without actually working. WOW. We make a mockery of our principles, and yet some non-believers thrive in them, and yet we have the nerve to criticize Islam and Hinduism.

The prophetic has a firm place in the church, as one of the tools for evangelism. Unfortunately, we emphatically idolize prophecy to an overzealous and unbiblical extend. We change our profile pictures to Pastors, we disrespect our spouses because of prophets, we ostracize our friends, we disobey our parents. Love is nowhere to be seen. We play victim, yet we claim to be spiritual. As long as someone disagrees with us, then we say ‘get behind me devil’, WOW). Either you are for us or against us? We block those who don’t share our beliefs, break up with those who question our spiritual actions. And yet we sing ‘LOVE’. We can kill for our pastors and prophets and wonder why people are scared of ‘Balokole’? I could argue that it all starts with PRIDE!!!

Where is the room for the Holy Spirit? It’s more of Papa’s word, Pastor’s message. Someone once joked, ‘Why don’t our African prophets go to Amuria and Kaabong’, is prosperity only for Kampala?’. ’Some of us have become toxic as Christians, and yet claim persecution by ‘non-believers’.

That said, we are obsessed with promoting our ‘Men of God’ on social and all over, like we have shares, and yet rarely preach Christ crucified. My papa this, my man of mystery etc. We work hard to convince others of their authenticity or how ‘they are possessors of heaven and earth’. How does this benefit the Body of Christ?

The urgent question would be, ‘Can you preach Mbonye’s gospel to the village, the deprived and sickly, and in Syria to persecuted believers’. We really have a corporate gospel for the entitled “elites” who can’t spend a month on a missionary trip to Karamoja. So maybe we need to get humble and search our hearts.

Pastors must not be arrogant (Titus 1:7), among other reasons, because they are to be men under authority, stewards of, and under, the words of Christ and his apostles. Paul identifies one who is “puffed up with conceit” with one who “teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness” (1 Timothy 6:3–4). The very heart of the pastoral task is teaching — and not teaching self or preference but teaching “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul mentions “the condemnation of the devil,” who in his pride and swollen conceit was unwilling to bow to God’s authority.

The country is hurting more than ever, in an unprecedented time and respectfully, Mr. Mbonye drawing attention to himself is an elaborate and opportunist distraction stirring disrepute by ‘haters’ or ‘unenlightened’. In a time where many are seeking God, you’re drawing others further from God by propagating your agenda! Ideally, haters should be the ones you evangelize with kindness, through your behaviour, and fruits of the spirit, but ohh well, some people are the ‘elect’. Your gifts are nothing without LOVE, whether you speak in tongues or move mountains (1 Corin 13), and Love effects the word of God, which is clearly against pride, self-promotion and causing disrepute.

To some, I may have no authority as a layman, and for all intents and purposes, I do believe Biblical principles are not selective, so I choose to urge some with scripture. To that end, I urge the church to get back to the basics. I urge Pastors, Apostles and Prophets to painstakingly get back your mandate from God. Philippians 2:3–4 a word that is especially pressing for church leaders: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”

So, dear Pastors and Prophets, we as a body are tired of getting hurt, quarrels, conflict, favouritism and the controversy enabled by leadership. We are tired of subtle self-importance and braggadocious tendencies on pulpits. We are tired of ridicule on social media and in public. We are tired of spiritual leaders propagating curses to those that don’t agree with them. Competitive natures amongst followers. We are tired of followers abusing others on social media as you stay quiet. We are tired of you seeing your congregants put you as profile pictures, screensavers, ringtones, and not say anything to deter idolatry. As the Holy Spirit takes a backseat quietly.

In this COVID time, we need humble pastors to speak love, hope, encourage generosity to non-believers, not stir up useless controversy (2 Peter 2:2) or drawing attention to self, transparent rather than evasive; authentic (in the best of senses) rather than superficial. The kind of men not inclined to absorb attention and deter idolatry to allow followers to focus on loving non-believers and the lost in a season of uncertainty and fear. Who won’t let cynicism develop amongst their flock and fester in their hearts. Let’s stop giving audience to proud men, and maintain the integrity of the church as we reach out to the lost, drunken, abused, widows, orphaned and hurting. But then again, maybe I’m not “deep” enough.

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Written by Denis Tumuhaise (0)

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2 Comments

  1. You have summed it up so well my brother.I fully agree that lots of servants of God are simply not portraying what our Lord Jesus so specifically admonished and taught.The mandate to all believers is very clear : spread the gospel,love all,practice humility and avoid the entrapment of worldly pleasure and self enrichment.
    Christian leaders who teach that worldly prosperity is paramount in a believers life is misleading congregrants.It is spiritual riches in Christ that is important and not the love of money.Even apostle Paul on numerous occasions speaks of spiritual riches in heavanly places.
    The evidence is very clear that Jesus did not advocate self enrichment because llok at the disciples: not one of them became rich in this worlds wealth.

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