Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are We Preachers Or Witchdoctors?

I came across a pamphlet today. It was given to me at the traffic lights while waiting for the lights to go green. It read as follows:

My name is Stella Mwanza from Sinda (Eastern Province). I used to read in newspapers and listen to the radio about how different people were testifying concerning Pastor Elijah and I was so impressed with his healing powers that I decided to try him as I had a lot of problems.

First, my husband was divorcing me as he accused me of having an affair with another man and even doubted our lastborn child. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and this calmed down my husband and now we’re happily married with our kids.

I introduced a friend of mine to the same pastor who had an unstable marriage because her husband was sexually weak and had a tiny manhood. She was going out with other men to satisfy her sexual desire though she loved her husband. Pastor Elijah invited the couple to his place and prayed for both of them. Now they are back in a good relationship. Thanks to Pastor Elijah.

Also meet Mr James Siame from Batoka: “I am a businessman who has been doing business for the past 27 years. At first my business was doing well but as time passed on I had some breakouts in my business, as my capital was finishing. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and my business has flourished and is working well now.”

Through his prayers, Pastor Elijah also helps people with the following problems:

1. Financial problems, including increase in salary, promotion at work, poor business turnover, debt demands, and customer attraction
2. Sexual problems
3. Diabetes, asthma, body pains, the symptoms of AIDS, and the control of blood pressure
4. Win court cases
5. Protection of property
6. Deliverance for bewitched people
7. Removal of bad luck

Actually, the pamphlet was not about a Pastor Elijah but about a Professor Elijah—a witchdoctor! The only reason why I replaced “professor” with “pastor” (and medicines with prayers) is because this witchdoctor’s claims are precisely the same as that which I am now hearing from my fellow African pastors in their tens of thousands everyday. It is all about the body and the pocket. There is precious little about the salvation of souls.

This is a very sad day indeed for the church on the African continent. The unique gospel that pioneer missionaries brought us, which speaks about repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins is hard to come by these days. It has been traded in for a message promising deliverance from financial, sexual, and bodily problems. We are now merely another option to witchdoctors—peddling the same temporal benefits. With all due respect to the modern understanding of Mark 16:17-18, etc., this is not what Jesus sent us to do as preachers of the gospel.

As long as our publicity to the outside world is nothing more than that which witchdoctors are using, we can only have the same impact. Are our churches full to overflowing? So are the consultation rooms of witchdoctors. Numbers prove nothing. What matters is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). We cannot bear this fruit until men and women are made to face the fact of their rebellion against God and the need for them to trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross in order to be reconciled to God. The rarity of this message from African pulpits today is a modern day scandal.

What good is it, if men and women have full pockets, sexual satisfaction, and healthy bodies but in the end go to hell? We are sent out to preach messages that will prepare souls for heaven. The gospel transforms lives so that they hate sin and live for righteousness—whether they have full or empty pockets. It is the absence of this life-transforming message that has resulted in so many churches around Africa but little or no moral effect on the society. We preachers are to blame for all this! Today’s preachers on the African soil need to answer this one question: Are we preachers or witchdoctors?


  1. This is really sad! May God raise more faithful preachers and open eyes to the many deceived souls to the gospel of Christ.

  2. Quite disheartening. But as soon as the gospel becomes secondary then anything is used as a draw string to lure people into a form of bondage. Sadly many usually fall prey to such gimmicks.

  3. Very true and sad situation. The Gospel has been turned into a money spinning industry with its roots in the prosperity teaching that ignores the Word of Truth.

  4. May God help us. Well I have actually read an article about a pastor and it carried the same message. Most of that is rubbish and it sickens me to the core