Makandiwa feud with millionaire couple an expose of wealth gospel
THE exponent of the prosperity gospel in Zimbabwe and leader of United Family International Church (Ufic), Emmanuel Makandiwa, is reportedly embroiled in a messy feud with a millionaire couple Mr. and Mrs. Upenyu Mashangwa owing to over US$1 million in tithes, offerings and other contributions to the church.
by Learnmore Zuze
It is reported that the couple, which left Makandiwa’s church in August last year, is demanding its dues back resulting from a breakdown in the relationship. The couple claims that the clergyman has been, resultantly, fighting them through a series of articles in State media and through targeted sermons.
Mrs. Mushangwa claims that the Ufic founder wrote an article on August 16, published in the Herald titled, ‘The importance of a good name’. She alleges a direct attack was made on her businesses. Furthermore, the couple states that it is more incensing that a message was run on the church’s Facebook page in another unwarranted attack on them. The post described five people who left the church as those ‘who dine with devil’.
The pair further alleges that the relentless attacks by UFIC continue to mention some things that were said in private discussions, indicating clearly that there was a real targeted attack on their persons and businesses. Even more, the couple claims that they were recently arrested for the alleged kidnap of one Mr. Kudakwashe Madzvawawa who had sought refuge at their Borrowdale home. The couple was however set free after it was proved they were not guilty of the offence.
Subscribing to the much-vaunted prosperity gospel in these charismatic churches, the millionaire couple paid staggering amounts in offerings and contributions to the church which run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The availed receipts by the couple show that they were forking out a minimum of $24 000 per month as surety that their businesses would run efficiently under the prophet’s covering. On December 4, 2011, the couple gave 100,000 South African Rands in thanksgiving. This is to mention but a few of the immense contributions inspired by the gospel of prosperity during their time at Ufic.
Now, like I have highlighted in different ways, the prosperity gospel simply enriches the church founders and no one else. This is the reason why people who have attended such churches come to a point where they see the truth outside warnings. And believe me, it is a task next to impossible to try and show reason to ardent followers of the charismatic church. It is only time that inculcates sense into followers of this breed of gospel.
After years of pumping money under promises that never turn out to be true, members of these groups come to the realization of the very things I have highlighted time without number. The uncut statements about seeding and offerings in these groups have little to do with success of the laity but the founders themselves.
Week in, week out, I have laboured to make the point that there is a serious perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world today and that there is a pressing need for Christians to return to true Christianity which has nothing to do with self-aggrandisement. Jesus never, at any rate, demanded the so-called seed to perform miracles or ‘cover’ people as it were. As a show of true Christianity, he never gained materially from the miracles he performed.
The new breed of gospel is clearly a manipulation of the word by those seeking self-enrichment. I have never doubted that these popular men posing as prophets have little to do with advancing Christianity as it is about them. In fact, an objective observer of this new breed of gospel would have long seen these failings coming. The pigeons where certainly going to come home to roost.
There is no ploy by anyone to discredit or hold the so-called men of God to ransom, as some would be quick to say. Most people have condemned followers of this brand of faith labeling them as dumb to be so easily so duped. It is easier to blame them yet it is also important to appreciate the emotional blackmail involved in these ventures.
Many Zimbabweans to date have given away things of value in the hope of reaping yet they have become poorer while the “men of God” amplified in wealth. It remains my deepest desire that people turn away from this adulterated message to the truth which focuses on righteousness as taught by Christ himself.
Jesus Christ himself the founder of Christianity never had people seeding their horses, chariots, donkey, sheep, cattle or any wealth as a condition for some future worldly prosperity. His war cry was for souls to repent ‘for the kingdom is at hand’ His message was simple to understand and remained consistent, “What shall it profit a man if he gains this whole world and yet lose his soul.”
The wealth of this world was never the focal point of his message neither was it the central message of the disciples he left. Surely, one wonders where this greedy brand of Christianity has emanated from. The men and women left by Christ where detached from the love of the wealth of this world and nowhere does the Bible teach the principle of seeding in the self-aggrandizing manner we are witnessing today.
This certainly is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we call upon all true Christians to stand for the true Gospel whose focus is not materialism. Indeed, by their fruits you shall know them.