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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Opulence in Kenyan Churches:Televangelists and False Prophets

Whoever said church is big business certainly must have had Kenya in mind; second to Nigeria.

Switch on your TV on a Sunday morning and tune in to any station and you will be bombarded by what is commonly reffered to as Church TV.Well,if you don’t know what that is then you either not watching TV as much as you should or you are an early riser who goes straight to church without flipping through channels on TV.

The good thing about church TV is that it comes in handy for spiritual nourishment for those who cannot make it to church either because they are sick/bedridden, those who are in areas situated far from physical church houses, those who are nursing hangovers not to mention guilt from the previous night's nocturnal activities and the lazy bones who need prodding to go to church etc.

I sometimes find myself in one if not all of such scenarios on a Sunday morning and I resort to seek spiritual refuge in church TV. This particular Sunday, TV remote in hand, I flipped through the channels and came to one conclusion... {some}Televangelists are such vultures!
Pastor Ng'ang'a who was recently busted drunk as a fish!
MPESA, Orange Mobile, YU Cash, Airtel Money mobile numbers flash on the TV screen like disco lights as the preacher guy does his thing. He/She will stop mid-sermon and remind you to plant/sow a seed of faith for you to receive your miracle. He will point out the numbers currently displayed on the screen {..even with live TV he/she will trust the video editors to include the ‘magic numbers’…} that will ensure a smooth highway for your prayer request to reach the intended recipient {God}.

Infact there is one preacher dude {*name withheld*} on Kenya’s premier broadcaster who is notorious for asking viewers to “panda mbegu” {sow a seed of faith} before jumbling up all the letters of the alphabet and proclaim that you will receive your miracle in the coming week. Thus, he will go, “If your name starts with the letter “K” you will receive your miracle this week, “If your name begins with letter “S”,”Q”,”B” your prayers will be answered, just send your seed to the numbers on your screen,”..and on and on. By the time he is done, he has dictated A to Z all jumbled up! How cunning,right?You can now imagine all those believers who don’t see through this religious fraud but rather wait for the alphabet denoting their names and then scroll through their phone menus and as ‘instructed’ and sow their ‘mbegu’..

To cement their ‘miracle performing prowess’ they have a stable of false witnesses with sweet tongues. I gotta hand it to these characters for their unflinching lying ways in front of the pulpit; it takes big {balls} to pull such stunts while calling on the name of The Most High!They will proclaim as to how they had chronic illnesses that were somehow wiped away when they ‘sowed a seed’ as per the pastor’s directive.

The unsuspecting believers who cling on to the pastor's every word.
How about those other characters who will answer to alter calls only for them emerge from the crowd acting all demon possessed, screaming in tongues not understood by you and me, throw themselves on the ground, feet kicking, mouth foaming and making grunting noises? A few minutes later after being ‘cleansed’ they will wave to the crowd and testify while thanking the pastor for ‘delivering’ them.

This reminds me of an African American comedy I once watched called Hustle .Well, the plot of the movie revolved around two friends in the hood who decide to escape from the rigors of poverty and menial jobs to masquerade as pastors at a local church following an idea they got from watching a televangelist who seemed to be getting major pay by preaching water but drinking wine{if u know what I mean}.They even bestow on themselves the powers of healing the lame, sick and the blind which they perform albeit hilariously. Things look good for them and they rake in good money from their loyal faithful until their crazy antics backfire on them and they are discovered for the fraudsters that they are.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in miracles and the existence of a higher power that controls our destiny as human beings; that’s why some phenomenon on this earth cannot be explained even by the best of human Medula Oblangata {read brains} on planet earth.

Call me a religious skeptic but I am so content with my spirituality. I put God first in everything I do and He has remained faithful as per the good things that He has provided for me thus far. It’s the kind of hypocrisy and opulence that I have seen among the men of clothe that makes me take an arm’s length approach to church affairs. Catch me dead allowing a false prophet to lay his hands on me.

Even political leaders resort to spiritual help in turbulent times.
In one of my work engagements, I accompanied a senior government official to an opening ceremony for a week-long church conference in Nairobi, Kasarani area. The conference drew some of the major evangelical pastors from the country and each came dressed to impress, with designer suits and colognes to boot. The state of the art cars parked at the church’s parking lot, you would think it was a car bazaar. That notwithstanding, each pastor tried to outdo each other with impressive ‘spiritual vocabulary’ when given the mic at the podium.

But what stood out that day was the ‘message’ from the main preacher of the day. His preaching was centered on the hypocrisy of Christians and fake pastors who use the pulpit to propagate their own selfish interests to enrich themselves. The sermon to say the least was intriguing as each declaration was punctuated by loud “Amen{s}” and “Halleluiahs” from the ardently listening worshipers.

All was well until the pastor appeared to shoot himself in the foot as he was concluding his sermon by telling the congregation that he came with bottles of anointing oil which he had personally blessed. He then testified at the wondrous things that have happened to his congregation who had used the anointing oils. He said each of the bottles –that had been strategically been placed at the church entrance – was going for Ksh 1000!

The ‘man of God’ did not stop there, he went on to advertise his monthly church magazine but not before  distributing brochures of an upcoming prayer convention at his church  that he promised would be a miracle galore.

The Holy Bible has taught us never to rebuke believers or to question God’s work. I am not trying to do that either. What I am against is the blind way Kenyans follow false preachers without raising eyebrows lest they be labeled blasphemous. It is precisely this kind of ignorance that continues to relegate believers into poverty as their spiritual leaders continue living lavishly in up market hoods. It is the same believer who will come to church by faith to pray for a job that he doesn’t have in the first place but still be asked to sow a seed from the meager resources that he has{doesn’t have}. He/She will probably would have walked to the church for lacking bus fare. He/She will pin down his head again in faith and ask God to ‘onekania’ {reveal Himself} his situation.

At the end of the service, the pastor, his wife and kids will get into their state of art fuel guzzler and zoom past the believer as he treads his way back home hoping to receive his miracle having ‘planted a seed’.
I could go on and on…..but I don’t want to write a book..Hmm..Maybe I should..

{1-4.}The Opulence of Kenyan Televangelists {Rev & Mrs.Cathy Kyuna's empire}
 BOTTOM LINE; Let us not be as gullible as to fall for the hypocrisy of the modern day Robin Hoods who rob from the poor to enrich themselves and their ilks.Faith is a matter between you and your God. Sometimes you might need an intercessor, yes, but why should you PAY for a free service. Get on your knees believe and pray...It’s that simple! God has three answers, YES, NO and WAIT.

Just remember, there is no better time than God’s timing; patience is also a virtue that if incalcultated is bound to bring good returns in the long run. Beware of false prophets-these are the end times!

The Scribe Rests his Pen


  1. the truth in this shines bright.

  2. In the last days, there will be wolves in sheepskin, false prophets who will not withstand the test of fire, deceiving the flock. Yet when Christ ascends back, to set kingdom, many will call him, Lord, Lord, did we not preach and baptize in your name. He will say, depart from me evil doers, who did not feed the hungry and heal the sick - in other words, meet the needs of the needy. We have failed to learn from the old testament, false prophets v. Elijah. In the new testament, we are warned, not to sell or profit the works of God - miracles. Free have we received, free are we to give. Quite a contrast, Peter, Paul, John (other disciples) did not own mansions, villas, ships/planes/cars, travelling on public means (shipwrecks) to Rome and Greece, losing wealth (Zachaeus) to serve the poor. Christ was homeless, thus is the greatest philosopher EVER. Money (corruption) is the root cause of the church disintegration.

  3. Indeed Untonyto ..and it this truth that will set us free!@Anonymous, u have summed it up so well..most of these religious frauds sell their souls to the devil in the pursuit of material wealth at the expense of their flock.Modesty and humbleness in the call for saving souls for Christ ceased to exist in modern-day Christianity *SMH

  4. Martin gitonga9 July 2012 at 13:16

    well said, the oxymoronic nature of large, opulent church buildings next to sprawling shanty semi permanent houses....i dont know if its actually an oxymoron or a poster for idiosyncratic nature of human beings..well written and thought provoking.

  5. INDEED Martin,these are the end times!
    II Timothy 3:1-5,7 READS "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
    #Signs that the end is near,dont u think?Thanks for visiting the site.Keep reading.{u can join the site here and on -FB/Twitter btw}

  6. I agree with brother, Raymond

  7. leave servants of God alone, u never called any mind ua own bussina

  8. I believe in prosperity because the word says that in 2Corinthians 9:8-10 though christ was rich yet for our sake he became poor so that out of his poverty we might be rich.But probably i might differ with the some of the stardands which does not potry true religion of helping windows and orphans

  9. God is an abstract idea that needs human spirituality to give it life

  10. They are already living in their paradise.