Some Spiritual Leaders Are Such Opportunistic And Greedy

BY: Dan Phale*

Over a decade ago a well-wisher made a decision to donate a borehole to a community which lies close to place where the offices of my work is situated. He thought he should channel such a donation through a person engaged in any of the pastoral works. In accordance with his understanding and belief, such a person would be the most trusted one… Yes, he preferred spiritual leaders to any of the social leaders because most of the people shared a common view that the latter group of leaders have often been associated with corrupt practices.

Through one known as Mbewe, one of the residents in the target area, Pastor Gabriel was identified and introduced to the donor. So through Pastor Gabriel all processes commenced to identify the site. There and then the donor identified the contractor who came and drilled and fixed a borehole. And sooner than later the community members were all smiles for having a borehole within their reach for safe drinking water… Thanks to a well-wisher. But none dreamed what the so-called Pastor Gabriel was up to.

Everything was in order with respect to the usage of water from that borehole. Periodic elections were held in order to choose from the borehole users leaders to oversee the borehole usage issues. But about ten years later things changed. The pastor’s attitude and demeanour got changed drastically.

One day, last week, people woke up to get the stunning news that the pastor had just made an order that all the office bearers should relinquish all positions earlier held by each of them. And this week the pastor has made another order that all the money which has so far been paid in form of annual contributions by each of the water users be surrendered to him with immediate effect. As if this is not enough, the opportunistic church leader has again stamped his authority by raising the amount of the annual sum of money for each of the water users to pay, an issue which has irked everyone. Amazingly, over ten years, about one thousand water users have been paying quite huge sums of money as annual contributions; and this money has never been used because the borehole has never developed any mechanical fault, thanks to the sound management of the borehole as spearheaded by the removed position bearers.

Meanwhile the pastor is on record as having once said that the borehole could be turned into a very lucrative business for him and his family to become rich because it was donated in his name. Rumours are also rife that he formed his church only after the news about the intended donation of the borehole had reached him. His only aim was to grab the opportunity to become rich. Suffice to mention herein that the community leaders, as led by the same Mbewe who is the most key witness, have filed a civil suit in a court of law against the opportunistic church leader.

In fact this unfortunate story is but a tip of the iceberg. Certainly there are many religious leaders who are harvesting where they did not actually sow. Instead of being exemplary by living up to what they do preach on pulpit they are doing quite the contrary. Greed and hypocrisy are what they show. Now, if the spiritual leaders are nothing but crooks, then who shall the world look up to for moral advice? Your answer is as good as mine, “nobody“.

But the Bible says we should be alert because during last days there will come false prophets in God’s name. No wonder there are too many churches today in the world with self proclaimed prophets or prophetesses. I mean, has our God been divided?

Well, let us be on a lookout, for people of such bad attitude and thinking might be living in our midst. Otherwise we may be betrayed by the very people whom we have ever considered as righteous.

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Washing In The Muddy Water

BY: Dan Phale *

This article is published at a time when the OUR LIFE ISSUES blog has clocked its third anniversary. It is, therefore, dedicated to all and sundry who look forward to realising the best out of this life on earth.

Most of the times we wonder as to whether all such people who are, or claim to be, the spiritual shepherds deserve our trust and confidence. Actually, more often than not we observe quite a lot of nasty issues by which their life is hugely characterised; such issues that very negatively affect their positions. When these people are ordained, they are called with various names such as befitting holly leadership amid members of congregations. Some are called prophets while others are known as apostles or evangelists.

In the like manner, we frequently question the integrity of people who are put on social leadership positions… Some are called with names like His or Her Majesty, The Right Honourable, and many more… but their actions and/or behaviours are not in tandem with impression that comes with such names.

The nitty gritty:

Whatever the case, the bottom line is that we bath in the muddy water… The general expectation is that all the spiritual leaders ought to be leading with good examples, as emulating what and how Jesus and all other prophets did when they lived on the planet earth. They were a source of light whenever social and/or spiritual darkness engulfed mankind in a manner that at least life was not harder than in the present era… In fact we even fail to grope for the meaning of having spiritual leaders in our midst by the very virtue of the fact that they act in an unusual manner as opposed to a code of human conduct.

In fact the clergy are recruited or ordained or chosen in order to act as water that can help fellow human beings to cleanse their souls from the evil stains, and to help keep them clean for as long as they live on earth… Thus the detergent is the Holly spirit of God; and what does this mean? The detergent – herein the Holly spirit – will be successfully used to cleanse the stained clothes – herein the spiritually challenged souls – if and only if the water – herein the clergy – are spiritually upright. In fact, the Holly spirit can be manifested through good behaviour and acts of the clergy men; but as the situation is the spiritual leaders are devoid of the power of the Holly spirit. Just imagine the clergy selling blood calling it the holly blood of the old prophets; I mean where does that blood come from…? Today’s clergy men involve themselves in drug trafficking and some other illegal or unnatural dealings… They promote divisive language and/or acts, plunging the entire world into perpetual conflicts or fighting… Yet these clergy men preach to the multitudes about the kingdom of God.

Today’s clergy – whether apostles, evangelists, pastors, prophets – are pathological hypocrites. No wonder, currently there are too many spiritual congregations but the rate of sins is too high.

A Pastor Relying Upon A Legal Practitioner…?

BY: Dan Phale*

Sometimes when you look at a tortoise you are likely to mistake it for a stone… These words “Tortoise is like a stone” were once part of the song words in a song done by the then popular local musician, Ben Michael, now the traditional chief.

Last week a pastor for a certain church in our area was apprehended for allegedly having forged official documents which are in respect of some projects being undertaken by the local authorities… And on Friday, he was taken to the Magistrate Court of law for the inception of the legal proceedings. With all the exceptional and extraordinary interest generated in the society by the case, most of his church members and all other people crowded the Court chamber in order to witness the proceedings. The most notable figure of all was another self ordained prophet who had been seen talking with the lawyer before getting inside the chamber.

Having heard the Court’s reading of such particulars of the offence as averred by the State on the charge sheet, how do you plead?” the Court asked.

Your worship, Im denying the charge,” the so-called man of God responded.

Then the prosecutor made an opening address. This was followed by that of a man in black suit who stood up and introduced himself to the Court of law as a lawyer to represent the accused person… But immediately before the lawyer’s address came to an end, the gallery went abuzz with murmuring. “How can a man of God rely on an earthly lawyer to represent him in court when he preaches that Jesus is the lawyer of all lawyers…?” The proceedings nearly got disrupted before a court Marshal strongly cautioned them to desist from making noise or risk being charged with being in contempt with the Court.

It is worth mentioning that as a general understanding of the people, it was expected that the pastor, Reverend Stephen – whose real name initially was Buffalo Buffalo – would always lean upon God as he has often preferred himself to be called “Man of God” both when preaching and when chatting with others… In fact Buffalo Buffalo had chosen Stephen as his spiritual godfather in his pastoral work… As per the bible, Stephen was stoned to death merely because of sticking to the truth according to God’s word.

But contrary to such a great expectation, people became hugely perplexed when they noticed that the socalled Man of God resorted to relying on somebody who practices law in earthly courts. To one and all, this is an hypocritical jigsaw puzzle because even the street wisdom can confirm that those who spread the word of God must live up to their own preachings.

When order was restored in the gallery, the pastor’s lawyer – Counsel Collins – continued with submissions. He pleaded with the Court to consider releasing his client on bail. And at the end of an inter partes hearing, the bail application was indeed granted. Finally, after all the formalities were done, Pastor Stephen was released on bail, as a matter of constitutional right.

Outside the chamber, Pastor Stephen raised his arms to the sky, and said, “thank you God” before everybody burst into giggling… Well, could it be proper to say that God had sent the lawyer to help him get out of the custody of the State on bail…? OR, is it an irony to suggest that a pastor or a prophet should be the one to guide a lawyer?

Meanwhile, most of the pastor’s church members are at the sixes and sevens. They don’t know whether it is true that faith in God is key to success in everything. Furthermore, they have lost trust in their pastor. In fact, the pastor’s name has now become a topical subject of gossip among many people. According to them, if he really did not commit this offence he would rather leave the case in the Almighty God’s hands than depending on a mere mortal. As such it is yet to be seen whether they will continue following him.

Justice For Sale…?

BY: Dan Phale*

There is one popular phrase used when and where justice is required, or is sought, or is being administered. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth“, and this confirms the notion that justice is a reflection of true facts. In an illustration, the equation is (facts + honesty) equals justice. Simply put, justice prevails where people are honest. In this article we will have to meticulously look at some of the pertinent issues in relation to a case study in which Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus.

Let us begin by agreeing that without conflicts among human beings there would never be need for laws; nor would there be need for processes of justice administration. Furthermore it is the naked truth that people seem not to be in terms with one another due to greed, hatred, ill will, jealousy, and selfishness. It should also be noted that whenever conflicts arise, somebody is somehow in conflict with the rule of human conduct.

* * * * * * * * *

A Case Study in this context is a biblical story of Judas Iscariot… When the Passover was drawing near, the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way of silencing Jesus. Why…? They feared that His followers would no longer be submissive to them, having known the truth. Judas Iscariot approached the chief priests, offered to betray Jesus, and was given thirty pieces of silver as payment. But after Jesus had been unjustly and unfairly treated and crucified, Judas Iscariot was filled with remorse. He took the thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests, saying, “Ive sinned by betraying the innocent blood.” The chief priests rebuffed him, chiefly because what they wanted had been achieved… And flinging down the silver pieces in the sanctuary, he went off and hanged himself.

Jesus – who was given a penalty for a crime which He did not commit – won the case. Three days after the death penalty, he rose again, and ascended into heaven where He is up to now.

Lessons are multifold, but only one shines out as gold. A good conscience is a soft pillow… The one who sleeps well or lives peacefully is the one who has nothing to feel guilty of. He/she has the infallible peace of mind.

* * * * * * * * *

The relationship which exists between those entering into bonds on dubious or unfair or unjust motives barely last long… Surely, justice cannot be sold nor bought. Over and above, such acquisitions that are realised through bribery are but a bunch of curses as somebody suffers in silence. And those who have a tendency of deviating from the truth shall perish.

Most of the times, the systems are neither bad nor good. Suffice to mention herein that the key players in the settlement of disputes are not trustworthy. More often than not, they advance their selfish motives. They get some bribes to deviate from the truth.

However, the world can access justice when people convey true information to the justice administration agents and/or to the tribunals. But there should be adequate resources to be used in the justice administration processes to ensure that conflicts are timely solved, otherwise justice delayed is justice denied. Finally, all the justice administration agents should always be Whiter than white in discharging their duties, because nobody is above the law.

Are They Apostles Or The Magicians…?

BY: Dan Phale*

In this era when there are too many churches, many individuals have come forward claiming to be the servants of God with spiritual titles like apostles, or prophets, or something like that. And really this is a phenomenon of its kind.

Let us, first of all, look at the definition of the term apostle. This word comes from the Greek noun, apostolos, which in English means an ambassador, or the one who is delegated… And in the local church an Apostle Of Jesus Christ was the highest ranking official as appointed by God the Father for the purpose of establishing churches and spreading the truth based on the word of God. Those who qualified for apostleship were those who had the spiritual gift as bestowed upon them by the Holly Spirit either immediately before or immediately after Jesus’s accession into the heaven.

Now for the purpose of this article let it be known that one of the attributes for which an apostle was uniquely known among the people was the spiritual ability to perform some miracles… And this is why I have decided to publish this article so that we assist one another.

May all and sundry be warned that the possibilities are very high that some people are false apostles.

According to the book of Acts 8:9 a man called Simon had for some time been practicing magic in a certain town whereas the Samaritan people had been astounded. By virtue of his magic this man had given out the impression that he was someone with great spiritual powers. As such everybody believed in him; the official and ordinary people alike had declared, “He is the divine powers called Great.” But when Phillip, the Apostle, preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ they knew the truth about Simon.

Similarly, at Paphos, according to the book of Acts 13:6, there was a Jewish magician and false prophet called Bar-Jesus. He was one of the official attendants of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who was an extremely intelligent man. The proconsul summoned the two real apostles Barnabas and Saul and asked for the opportunity to hear the word of God, but the magician tried to prevent the proconsul from being converted. However the Holly Spirit who often led the apostles instantly punished the magician… Well, the question is: what would happen if the two apostles were not led by the Holly Spirit? Obviously the proconsul would not have the grace to know the true status of God.

In the same way many people in this generation have the impression that those who perform miracles while preaching at various religious gatherings are apostles… This is a wrong perception. Such individuals who display their supernatural powers may be doing that in a simple quest for popularity. Over and above, there are already evidential facts that some of these people have a record of having made false prophecies.

All in all, we should be careful lest we become ensnared by the devil… Not all who perform miracles are the servants of God.

Longing For Wealth And Worldly Glory

By: Dan Phale*

There was once a man called Chiphaka in the outskirts of a certain city that was best known for people who lacked almost nothing in their lives. Chiphaka was married to a very faithful devoted Christian named Zione.

Since Chiphaka and Zione tied the knot they lived happily. After one year their God blessed them with a baby boy, and they named him Blessings. It was a very happy family; but after a few years their longing for a better life grew so ardent that they often admired other people whom they met in markets whenever they went shopping.

However such a strong desire would have a bearing on their life. One day Chiphaka went to the house of Pastor Spear of their church. Oh, the poor Chiphaka was coaxed by the hypocritical pastor to come away from the monotheistic faith. It only emanated from his request he gave the pastor.

“Pastor, life in our family has been and continues to be okay except for one thing…”

“What is it, my son?” responded Pastor Spear.

“Pastor, the world is partisan as we can see that other people are rich while we lack even a descent dwelling house, let alone a car. I don’t have to even mention it to you that you live in a different world altogether. You are rich, pastor.”

“My son, the Bible says that if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all men generously and without reproaching and it will be given him…”

“But my wife and I are true believers of the word of God. We pray daily – I mean what kind of wisdom do we lack, pastor?”

“That’s a very good question, my son,” the pastor said. There comes a moment in life when we need to understand things much better… You remember the story of Abraham in which he was commanded by God to offer his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice… don’t you? ”

“I remember, pastor.”

Good! At times we need to do likewise!” The pastor paused with an interjection, and allowed some seconds pass in to allow the words sink in the poor Chiphaka’s mind.

Without employing his thoughts well for a moment, Chiphaka decided to take heed of whatever the Spear had said… He had been misled merely by considering the fact that his pastor was famous for having performed quite numerous miracles which nearly knew were possible with satanic powers.

“So-” words failed to come out of Chiphaka’s mouth.

“Get into my car, and let’s drive to the church,” the pastor spoke with a voice of commandment.

Twist Of Events:

Instead of driving to the church was known to Chiphaka as their church, they drove to a certain eye-catching mansion.

Getting into the mansion Chiphaka was highly amazed to see a group of men he had ever known to be rich in the city dressed in red robes and chanting some songs. Without much ado he was converted to polytheism. He was made sacrifice his semen, and so strongly warned against having coital intercourse with his wife and/or any woman any more.

Really a few months later Chiphaka became rich; he acquired a brand new car, and a descent house. Of course his wife, Zione was suspicious because Chiphaka was not working. Nevertheless she was too daft to ask her husband many questions – she needed worldly glory, too; and she had been counselled to always submit to her husband.

Sooner than later the once happy family turned into the hell of problems, characterized by lack of peace of mind. Whenever Zione had a sexual desire, Chiphaka gave all sorts of excuses to avoid her. And this prompted Zione to assume that Chiphaka was seeing another woman outside their matrimonial home. And led to the two break away.

In the long run Chiphaka came to realise that too much longing for worldly possessions was a source of all the lack of peace of mind. Finally he sought God’s divine intervention through other true believers of the word of God… He was delivered.

Today’s Church Members Fight, Seek Court Interventions

By: Dan Phale*

Acts 2: 1 says “When the day of Pentecost came all the believers were gathered in one place.” Those were the days when the church was all united such that the Christians could act with one accord.

Behold, in many churches nowadays religion is based on individualistic motives. And in most of the instances it’s regarded as an insult for me to question the belief of the misguided Christians and/or the clergy who pretend to be even more righteous. No wonder each of the founders of churches strives to show the community that his or her ideas concerning faith and/or truth are the most genuine in spite of the lowliness in terms of the degrees of the so-called truth.

Faith has become an individualistic matter – and not communal – unlike in the past when members of the church were so united that they could not break up merely on trivial discrepancies. Instead of relying upon God members of today’s church lean upon courts. As such courts which are expected to adjudicate real matters are loaded with civil cases involving churches and/or their members. Oh, yes, I mean (members) because today’s church comprises of members and not Christians.

Many Christians have opted for a spiritual autonomy by fabricating stories that their former churches would not see their members getting into God’s kingdom. They move out and open their own new churches. But sooner than later you will see some of the break-away Christians again rebelling.

Go to primary school institutions on weekends you will find clusters of people singing choruses and/or listening to someone preaching in their midst in almost all the class rooms. And the word “prophecy” is so common that it is difficult to know who the true prophet is.

True to knowledge, some of the so-called prophets have on a number of occasions not been trusted because their so-called prophecies have never come to pass. And some have even failed to prophesy the tragedy due to befall their own synagogue.

Well,  I remember about a decade ago I was startled to catch sight of the sign post by the road side saying “The Last Church“. But today there are too many churches with too many prophets with too many wrangles that we cannot differentiate who is a Christian from a multitude of hypocrites among us.