The African Continent has a big plague that is slowly eating away the heart of the true gospel and faithful handling of Scriptures. It is surprising to see the ever increasing number of Churches as new Ministries are being established. Many critics have said that the African church has not done enough discipleship for the ever increasing number of believers. Others still argue that the church is slowly moving away from its mandate. Whether or not, the one thing that is quite subtle is what we see Paul warning the Galatians against in Galatians: 1: 6-10; the Church in Galatia had been infiltrated by a teaching that was quickly spreading like gangrene. This same teaching was pointing people away from the gospel which is Christ Jesus and his work of grace.
THE FOCUS OF THE WORD FAITH DOCTRINE
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preach to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10.”
Like the Church in Galatia, the church in Africa has seen an influx of egocentric “Men of God,” who are lording over congregations preaching heretical messages that are devoid of Christ but with a coating of religion. These groups of people serve their own interests as they are key on three big points; health, wealth and power. Others go as far as having self help sessions in the Church. The challenge has been a misconception of what the gospel is and how we ought to herald the message. People have been taught on how they can get material blessing and be well endowed here and now. With the majority of people looking and earnestly searching for hope, they end up being easy baits to these preachers. As being cognitive misers, the congregations easily get duped and even made to believe and subscribe to these preachers.
Our biggest challenge in Africa being poverty and resources, the preachers act like witchdoctors others giving charms for wealth, anointing oil for good health and protection against witch craft, still others have holy water with which they use to anoint homes and houses from “bad eye,” effect and ill motives. The biggest of them all preach against suffering in this world. They are quick to point out that Christ needs us to occupy and thrive in this world before he comes to take us home. Nobody should suffer because we have it all done by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is however contrary to the gospel and its an error in the interpretation and application of scriptures.
The biggest question to us as servants of Christ is how do we walk away from these errors and ensure that the gospel is preached in its entirety? While writing to the Corinthians Paul is keen to point out that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Our depravity and fallen nature qualifies us to be the objects of God’s wrath. Our default position is destruction, but God out of his love lavished his grace on us. He has chosen to save us and give us life. As it is Christ should be our treasure and priority as believers. For the preachers ours is to woo for the bride of the Church. For we have been called to a higher calling. Scriptures remain authentic and true inspired word that ought to be handled faithfully.