“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4: 1
Since the influx of the so-called prophets and bishops of the charismatic movement in Ghana, statements like “me wiri so”, “receive your blessings”, “Afe yi y3 wo afe”, “your life will never be the same”, “you are loosed”, et cetera are really common utterances among the prophets and many local gospel lyrics. All these are classified under what is known in theological studies as prosperity theology or health and wealth gospel.
In Ghana today and especially among the charismatic preachers, the heart of the messages has been wealth and healing now. Jesus is portrayed in a seemingly way like Santa Claus who enters your compound with hampers and seasonal wishes. Emphasis on deep ethical and spiritual living in the hope of the second coming of Jesus is less talked about.
As it has become a tradition in many of the churches, 31st December is always marked as thanksgiving and prayer night to welcome the New Year. I'm patiently waiting to hear the prophecies of the prophets for the coming year. Whether 2013 will be a year of gargantuan harvest or bombastic amalgamation from the abyss to celestial ecstasy. You can imagine their big terms.
They’ll never tell husband snatchers to stop in 2013. They'll never wish you a deep spiritual and personal relation with God. They'll not tell you to be resilient to suffering and patiently hope for the blessed assurance and imminent return of Christ. I bet you they shall never talk about the second coming of Jesus because some even don’t know Him. They're so materialistic and temporal that the Bible has become a magical rod instead of an inspired writings of God. Some of you must put your prophets to test whether they’re preparing you for heaven above or heaven on earth.
I hereby want to send a message to the prophets and ministers in Ghana to focus on the whole Bible. Don’t let us create an imbalance of the Word. Every word in the Bible is inspired. They must use their pulpits to denounce evil, encourage politicians to do the right thing and advice church members to stop practicing corruption. Ghana would have been better if these so-called prophets had used their pulpits to educate the people.
To my reader, you don’t have to be ignorant or adamant about the presence of false prophets. The scripture really warns about end time false religious revival and revivalists. The Greek word “polus” as used in 1 John 4:1 doesn’t mean one, two or three. “Polus” simply means “much”. This suggests that in the end time there shall be uncountable people claiming to be prophets. You don’t have to be fascinated or hypnotized by the fine gestures of these so-called men of God. A false prophet always looks like a good one.
I don’t think someone is offended by this piece. If so then that person doesn’t understand that some of our brothers and sisters are being led out into the slaughterhouse. In addition, the good ministers are rather obsessed by the presence of these false prophets. Their image is destroyed because of false prophets. Let’s be wise; there’re lots of Trojan Horses in the churches.
-- Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi University of Lausanne, Switzerland
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