Following the debate over the contentious “miracle money” has been quite interesting. Some of the remarks have been so snide that they bordered on hatred, which I find quite unnecessary. There is no law in the country’s statutes that compels us all to follow Prophet Uebert Angel or be part of his Spirit Embassy Church or any other church.
Opinion by Phillip Chidavaenzi
Attending or being part of a church, as well as following someone, is a choice. Against this backdrop, I contend that if a person opts to follow Angel, or Prophet Makandiwa, the founder of the United Family International Church (UFIC), then it is their choice and I do not have any right to stop them. Spiritual matters are personal.
I find it quite unfortunate that the holier-than-thou among members of mainline churches are often on the forefront of attacking Pentecostal churches, and would rather “counsel” those of us who have opted for the later, to re-consider our decisions. I have no right to choose a church for someone! I don’t know what it is that made them opt to be part of that church, or to follow the message of a certain pastor.
I have heard a lot of so-called men of God launch scathing attacks on Uebert Angel, and some of them event went as far as branding him a Satanist, following the “miracle money” distribution in Botswana end of last year and in Zimbabwe during the New Year’s eve service dubbed “Cross-Over with no Carry-Over”. Money is said to have appeared in people’s hands, bags and bank accounts, with some receiving confirmation messages on their mobile phones, thanks to e-banking.
This matter has become so controversial, I believe because it has no known precedence in this country, since the advent of the church in Zimbabwe at the turn of the last century.
However, I have always argued that when a pastor attacks another pastor—then there is something wrong with the attacker. In fact, the moment you point at someone with your forefinger, notice that the other four fingers are pointing right back at you.
If you read beyond the words of the accusers, it’s not difficult to tell that most of them have faltering, fledgling and small-time ministries and are often motivated by jealousy.
I find it pathetic that someone can use a whole sermon preaching about another man of God to people who have come to hear the word so that they can be encouraged, comforted and edified! Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel—not to preach about other people!
Passing judgment on other people is a preserve of God. Jesus said: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-4, KJV).
Jesus never said judge only those you think are doing wrong. He further described anyone who judges others as a “hypocrite”. It’s really astounding that many of those on Angel’s case are not even believers, and should, therefore, use all that time to look into their own lives and consider the salvation of their souls.
One of the biggest problems that believers have, which is often a stumbling block in their own walk of faith, is the attempt to shut God into a little box and provide him with a formula on how to operate.
One major question that has been asked is: Where in the Bible do we find miracle money? Well, if you think the Bible records all that Jesus ever did, then you need to go back to the very basics of Bible study.
This is how John concludes his rendition of the gospel: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have enough room for the books that would be written” (John 21:21, Gideons New Testament).
God can do anything, anytime. He can move in ways that we have never known him before and perform extraordinary miracles! It’s really sad that we are often content with “small miracles” — for want of an apt term — that when big, extraordinary things begin to happen we are quick to attribute them to the devil, as if he is more powerful than God.
In his book, Love: The Way to Victory, Kenneth Erwin Hagin (the late influential Pentecostal preacher who is often regarded as the father of the Word of Faith movement in the 1800s) related an incident in his life when he, together with other pastors, was ministering in a particular area.
One of the ministers made a serious blunder, which they all condemned. Later on in prayer, Hagin said God confronted him concerning the incident.
Then God quoted Romans 14:4 back to him; “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand.”