Cleric Noah Pashapa became one of the few prominent local clergymen to repeat his open questioning of the claimed powers of Zimbabwe’s ubiquitous, self-styled prophets.
His criticism comes after flamboyant preacher and founder of the Spirit Embassy church, Uebert Angel, was recently denied entry into Zambia.
The charismatic Angel and his entourage were earlier this month turned away at Lusaka International Airport by President Edgar Lungu’s government after being deemed unwanted visitors.
Pashapa, who leads the Life and Liberty Churches International, hailed Lungu’s administration yesterday for having taken the decision.
“Kudos to Zambian church and gvnt (government) for keeping charlatan fake prophets out of their country … great lesson for all of us!!!
“This is not fishing for praise or recognition ‘cause by God’s grace I have had more than my fair share of these over the years.
“It is to highlight the importance of preventing Christ’s followers from being taken advantage of by charlatan false prophets who hide chains of spiritual manipulation, exploitation and oppression under coverings of spiritual father-connections, spiritually protecting or enhancing anointed artefacts, stage-managed miracles and magic-ritual-like redemption offerings,” Pashapa wrote on his Facebook wall.
“These tricks hide from sincere unsuspecting salvation-seekers the simple message of the cross of Jesus Christ which casts out superstitiousness, fear and spiritual dependency and perpetual infancy while promoting spiritual maturity, freedom of conscience, the priesthood of all believers and Christ’s delegated authority and liberty to resist the devil and cast out demons made available to every believer.
“I get angry when such basic biblical truths are covered up by trickery resulting in believers being manipulated, exploited and oppressed by charlatan false prophets,” Pashapa added.
Angel, who has since rebranded his Spirit Embassy to the Good News Church, was on May 4 held for several hours at Lusaka International Airport before being denied entry into Zambia, where he was to participate at a massive church gathering.
Last week, Lungu supported the move to deny Angel entry into his country, saying Zambia was a sovereign State with the right to decide who visits their country.
“We did not deport him, we just refused him entry. We have the right as a sovereign state to decide who comes and goes out of the country. That’s our preserve as a nation,” Lungu told Zambian media.
Angel, born Uebert Mudzanire, and who relocated to the United Kingdom (UK) three years ago amid claims by one of his former congregants that he had been duped by the 38-year-old preacher, is not shy to blow his horn and flaunt his wealth.
He had a number of brushes with authorities, including being linked with so-called miracle money and being placed on the police wanted list on allegations of defrauding a Harare man of his luxury vehicle worth $300 000.
Angel’s warrant of arrest involving the car was later cancelled by former provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe after the complainant in the case indicated that he had opted for an out-of-court settlement with the then accused.
This is not the first time that Pashapa has savaged the country’s new breed of “prophets”, who he has previously accused of only being largely interested in preaching messages of prosperity, instead of salvation.
Speaking in an interview in 2015, Pashapa also strongly laid into the self-styled prophets.
“Theirs (approach to the gospel) … takes from the poor to enrich the teachers. They engage in superficial care and concern activities, whilst robbing the poor and enriching themselves.
“They have a very myopic understanding of the church. Just their little group is the only authority on the church and everyone else is wrong.
“Just their brand of Christianity subscribes to one strand, which is the gospel of prosperity message which focuses on material wealth,” Pashapa said then. Daily News