The gospel of prosperity has become the in thing

The gospel of prosperity has become the in thing
Published: 21 January 2012 (1255 Views)
The curtain finally came down on 2011, burying behind it moon-after-moon of activities and guess what, this villager who had taken a brief sabbatical to consult the soothsayer in the land of milk, honey and dust, entered 2012 in style, pomp, zest and fanfare.

Not very religious but able to define between religion and religiosity, the art and belief, this villager had one-one at Gunyazburg, the popular watering hole, where with the autochthons of Guruve drank under the silhouetted sunset shadow of 2011.

Having last entered through a church door at Waddilove on the last day of his Advanced Level examination decades ago, this villager found everyone pressing him to turn Christian or at least, to attend one church service to cap a fine journalistic year.

They suggested a Cross Over, all night prayer in Harare, the city still claiming its sunshine status, albeit mounds of uncollected garbage, smelling allays, jay-walking ghostly figures and scantily dressed women.

For the first time in about two decades, this villager was convinced by a colleague to abandon his "Pagan Traditional Beliefs" as they called it, and try Christianity through these new churches, just for the sake of entering the new year, with a new religious dimension.

From Gunyazburg, which this villager understands is the trading name for farmer and owner of the drinking hole, Lloyd Gunyungo, we hit to road to Harare.

The crossover was held on the huge prayer hall or hole in Harare, which was so full that it was only after stampeding, pushing and shoving that this villager and his colleagues managed to enter. This villager wondered if there would not be the same amount of pushing and shoving on judgment day, when Heaven calls.

The congregation had a fun name, spirited or spirit something, something and the name had something to do with angels too. But this villager was taken aback, when the pastor or prophet (this villager couldn't quite make the difference) took to the stage like a storm, praying for everyone there and hey, things got quite sticky when he started handpicking people from the congregation and giving them prophecies and blessings. He called them annointments.

Someone whispered to the villager's ear that he could prophesise one's national identity number and the villager was not amused because spirit mediums could do almost the same but in a different number because they are not mathematically talented.

They were loud cries for chances to be handpicked; women, men and children, all wanted their future foretold and blessed. Some got in trances and he prayed for them, they spoke in strange tongues. There is this particular woman or girl, the villager could not quite see the difference, but hey, she was elegantly dressed, immaculately groomed and charming.

She went down and in her trance tore her hair in rage, cried louder than the Public Address System drowning it in a shriek but sharp voice, kicked and punched the air with hand and legs with the furry of a beaten wrestler. It was demonic shouted someone!

Bouncers milled around making sure the prophet or pastor is not abused or does not abuse himself.

That anointed and praying for people took about four hours and indeed we were on the brink of entering 2012. Time was ticking away. Then came the prime time. The language changed systematically. It was the time for the tithe.

How much you tithed determined what God would give you in 2012. We were all ordered to raise our tithes in the right hand and raise it up for the annointment. God is great! This villager looked around in shame and disbelief, after realising he was holding up a dollar, when others were raising bigger denominations.

There were bunches of pula notes, for many had come from Botswana, there was the rand too, for other had travelled from down south but it was the bunch of US dollar notes that made this villager look like an unpleasant joke.

The villager looked like the infamous lone dog boarding a village-bound bus full of people. Ask Kapfupi and Mai Nga! Most of the denominations started at US$20 upwards.

Then came the anointing prayer.

"All Mighty God, father and creator of earth and Heaven. We gather before you today, to pray for more fortunes in 2012. As we enter the new year, not through our own wisdom and liking but through You, look at our individual tithing and give us back according to how we are giving to you today.

"We gather here to give you our 10 percent so that you can safeguard the 90 percent that remains with us. Thank you Lord, once again, we kindly ask you to give us according to how we are giving you today. Amen."

What a prayer!

This villager noticed that during the prayer some people who had raised a single dollar like him, revisited their pockets and fished out more money. The villager had nothing more in his pocket.

Literal translation of the tithing prayer meant that this villager would get US$10 after God had safeguarded the remaining US$9.

By daybreak on January 1, 2012, many people had lost their voices and their money too.

This villager only lost a dollar. But the man of cloth had made quite some money and this villager wondered what he would do with the multi-currency in terms of his own tithing. Tithing to who?

The village soothsayer, the ageless fountain of wisdom and knowledge, later laughed at this villager for being gullible and failing to comprehend the concept of giving.

According to the soothsayer, the principle of giving is that it is more pleasant to give than to receive.

"Don't give because the next person has given more. We are only giving back what we were given by God.

"We only pray the money will be used properly. When you plant you expect to harvest. Depending on what you have given and depending on your faith, the harvest is determined by this.

"Tithing is very important. It started even before the Mosaic Law when Abraham gave a tithe to Melchezedk. Give a 10th of what you will have got.

"When you have a 10th child in you family, the 10th child must be tithed. He or she must be given off to do god's work,'' says the soothsayer.

Back in the village, in the land of milk, honey and dust, the villager felt awful. The villager wondered if religion has not become and money spinning venture.

The villager seeks to define the difference between Churchianity and Christianity. Only time will tell.

- zimpapers

Tags: Prosperity, Gospel,
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