‘Beware of the False Church’

Apostle Chiriseri

Apostle Chiriseri

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Stories by Fatima Bulla

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Apostle Charles Chiriseri has cautioned Zimbabweans against following “the counterfeit church”, which he said had arisen from false teachings in recent years.

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He said this on the sidelines of a “Building Strong Families” conference hosted by His Presence Ministries International in Harare last week.

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“I think we moved too much to preaching prosperity. I believe what is critical really is that the church begins to teach the foundations which I personally think are about eight: prayer, emphasising the word, fellowship and accountability, giving, soul winning, serving faithfully, worship — the Ten Commandments,” Apostle Chiriseri said.

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He warned churches against pursuing bigger congregations at whatever cost.

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“I believe discipleship has been thrown out the door and that’s why we have people who move from one church to the other. So many spiritual tourists! They move from spectacular things to another spectacular thing. Which makes it very difficult for them to be rooted in anything.

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“After a while the bubble is blown and the devil has succeeded. When they have gone there and it has failed they will tell you I have been to the highest operating pastors and I have realised there is nothing there.

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“And many of them believe there is no God. That’s the challenge. But one person who is discipled is able to change the world. If one chases a thousand, two chases ten thousand,” said Apostle Chiriseri.

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He defined discipleship as a process that transformed a person from being a mere adherent to the doctrine of Jesus to a witness who produces evidence that Jesus was real and alive.

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“Because the gospel has also to be heavily commercialised people are producing surface Christians. Many times because we have been interested more in financial benefits we are afraid to tell people the truth,” Apostle Chiriseri added.

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He also said stable families were the key to restoring a morally upright society.

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“You walk in the streets of Harare, you see children there, they are a product of failing families. We have also taken statistics in the church and we find that 70-80 percent of young adults don’t have fathers.

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“And even if they do they are coming from dysfunctional families or absentee fathers. That’s why now you can have educated people but have no idea how to function.

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“Because they have never been accountable, they have never been helped to be answerable or to take responsibility. Family helps you to be accountable, to be responsible, to be questioned and to be disciplined. Some people have never heard a father’s voice, they have never heard a mother’s voice and they were never formatted in any way.

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“So they may be intelligent, brilliant but you find that’s why we have prisons full because those people are intelligent. But they use their intelligence differently. That’s why we are very deliberate as a church,” Apostle Chiriseri said.

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Apostle Chiriseri added that apart from church and family, society was also shaped by education, politics and the media.

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“Values are determined by people so we believe it’s critical that we come in there and bring godly values that make society strong. Things are changing continuously around us but the values that never change are the word of God,” he said.