The night of every 31st of December is a special time for Nigerian Christians. It is that time of the year when they congregate in their millions to listen to prophecies and pray for blessings that will guide them throughout the following year.
by Ijabla Raymond Dec 30, 2015

The night of every 31st of December is a special time for Nigerian Christians. It is that time of the year when they congregate in their millions to listen to prophecies and pray for blessings that will guide them throughout the following year. These watch-night services as they are known often do not end until tithes and offerings have been collected multiple times. Nigerian pastors are ingenious when it comes to extorting money from their members – they persuade members that God will bless them abundantly, but only if the members first bless God with their tithes and offerings. These pastors claim to resurrect the dead and heal all kinds of diseases but when it comes to money they are always powerless, and must always beg for it. They never seem able to explain why an all-sufficient God needs money or why the well-being of the church member is dependent on the donations they make to the pastor.

I do not understand the point of the frenzied prayers that characterise watch-night services neither. As Christopher Hitchens said, “the man who prays is the one that thinks God has arranged matters all wrong and thinks they can instruct Him how to put it right”. Praying is not a sign of faith, it indicates a lack of faith. You would not pray if you truly believed in an all-powerful God who has a perfect plan for your life. Nonetheless, Nigerian Christians say the same prayers every year at watch-night services, which begs the question – is God bothered by their prayers?

One thing is clear – the prophecies are fuzzy proclamations which lack specificity. The prophets all claim to hear from the same God but their prophecies often contradict one another. Even worse, they do not say anything that matters to the life of the Nigerian. I invite the reader to consider my analysis of Pastor Adeboye’s prophecies for 2015, (http://saharareporters.com/2015/01/02/end-year-prophecies-ijabla-raymond). Since he made them 12 months ago, the Chibok girls are still missing and no one knows if they will ever be found; Boko Haram (BH) insurgency is still raging on; our national revenue is being threatened by the drop in the price of crude oil, and so on; but none of these featured in God’s conversation with pastor Adeboye when He was drawing up the 2015 prophecies. On the occasion that he tried to be specific, the prophecy turned out to be inaccurate. He had prophesied that, “Daddy (referring to God) says all over the world insurgencies will be considerately weakened.” I am not sure which world daddy was referring to because the terrorist activities of BH, al-Shabbab, ISIS and the many lone wolves in 2015 on planet earth do not support His claim. At the international level, it appears that God also forgot to tell pastor Adeboye and His other prophets about the Syrian war; the refugee crisis in Europe; the unprecedented floods in Britain; the terrorist attacks in France, Egypt, Algeria, America and Australia; the devastating earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people in Nepal; the blowing up of Russian plane over Egypt by suspected ISIS jihadists. Or the fact that Russia came to the brink of a war with NATO after its fighter jet was shot down by Turkey. The reason prophets do everything they can to avoid being specific when they announce their prophecies is that it weakens them and makes them appear as charlatans.

It is usual for Nigerian Christians to respond to any criticism of their pastors with the cliché, “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm”. But they forget that the bible also says: “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously.” It goes even further: “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded . . . . is to be put to death.” Deuteronomy 18:20,22. To me, this means that the prophet (pastor) is accountable.

The other common excuse Christians make for their pastors is: “the pastor did not force anyone to give money.” This excuse ignores the threats of the devourer being unleashed on people’s health, income, relationships, family or even eternal damnation in hell. This is a form of psychological control and explains why some members who cannot even feed their families or pay their children’s school fees would borrow money and still pay tithes and offerings from it. The pastors spend the money as they like on luxury lifestyle, real estates investments, private jets, and are hardly ever held accountable. Some of them have built private schools and universities with the tithes and offering of their members but the members cannot afford the fees for their children. Yet, some of these pastors benefitted directly from the free schools built by foreign missionaries.

Nigerians are extremely gullible when it comes to religion and would believe every sentence that starts with the word, “God.” Charlatans understand this vulnerability and have come up with all sorts of schemes to con them. These include prophecies and miracles. I do not believe in miracles because like gods, demons, spirits, witches and wizards, there’s no evidence for their existence. Death certificates and medical reports can be forged. Deafness, blindness, paralysis, epilepsy – they can all be faked. Even death can be faked. A real miracle is watching an amputated limb grow. Real miracles stopped happening from the moment cameras and videos were invented. Christians should consider why there are no videos of pastors Kumuyi, Adeboye, Oyakhilome, Oyedepo, TB Joshua and others growing the limbs of amputees during their numerous church conventions. You would think there would be at least one considering the massive volumes of videos they have accumulated purportedly showing people who have been cured of all kinds of diseases and resurrected from death. No one who claims to resurrect dead people or heal diseases is to be trusted. Surely, if they can perform these miracles then they can magically manufacture money, and should not have to mentally coerce their members for it.

My heart bleeds every time another poor patient dies because their pastor has led them to believe that their illness has been cured and that it is okay to not take their medications. It is unconscionable to exploit the desperate situations of vulnerable people for one’s gains. Personally, I feel there is need for a specific legislation to prosecute faith healers who cause demonstrable harm to others through misrepresentations.


Ijabla Raymond is a medical doctor and he writes from the UK.

You can contact him at ijabijay@me.com or Ijabla.Raymond@facebook.com



The issue of tithing remains a contentious one across Christian denominational divides because of varying interpretations of its origins and purpose.

Why a tithe is given, to whom and for what purpose are some of the many questions that have kept communities in the Christian faith searching for understanding.

Insistence on paying of tithes has also been the reason – or excuse – for some to stay away from certain churches. It is within this context that a Harare prophet, Prince Wonderful born Wellington Kahari, says his colleagues who are collecting tithes and offerings need deliverance themselves if they are serious about salvation.

Founder of the Loving Christ International Ministries, which he says he dissolved after an encounter with the Holy Spirit in 2013, Prophet Wonderful says it was revealed to him that ministries and churches who collect tithes and offerings in the name of God are destined for hell fire.

“In 2013 the Holy Spirit visited me in my room as I was praying and preparing for my Sunday service. The Holy Spirit said to me, ‘You have sinned against me for you have walked after the error of Nigeria and Ghana’.

“I asked what the error was. He then said the error was the founding of churches and ministries, making oneself a president and founder of denominations, paying and collecting tithes and offerings.

“The Holy Spirit told me that all those who have formed churches or ministries, appointing themselves presidents and founders, those who are attending, those who are collecting or paying tithes and offerings in the name of God are destined for the lake of fire.

“These three things blew my mind and the following day, Sunday, I announced that Loving Christ International Ministries has been closed with immediate effect. It was not an easy decision, but it was more valuable to follow Christ than the worldly desires.

“We began to gather about five of us in the name of Jesus Christ according to 2 Thessalonians 2:1 and 1 Corinthians 5:4. A lot of our people decided to join other denominations; they could not stomach the ‘new light’.”

He says their gathering is growing – and no one pays tithes or gives offerings.

“If we want to pay our bills or rent we just collect the money among ourselves and pay. God never said Christian converts are supposed to pay tithe for the upkeep of the church or its leaders and we are just following that,” he says.

Prophet Wonderful also has some choice words for men and women of the cloth who are fond of titles.

“In the encounter with the Holy Spirit I was questioned, who in the scriptures was anointed by God to be a founder of a church or ministry? And who ever collected tithes or offerings in the New Testament of Jesus Christ among His apostles, especially among the Gentile nations of which Zimbabwe is one.”

He continues: “The spirit gave me Ephesians 2:11-16 which plainly differentiates between Israelites (Hebrews) and us the Gentiles.

“In verse 11 the Apostle Paul was teaching the Gentiles and showing them how the Hebrews or Israelites viewed them in time past. The Gentiles were without Christ, meaning it took Jesus Christ for the Gentiles to be accepted of God.

“Hence tithes and offerings were paid by Israelites only, those who happened to be biologically Hebrews bonded with the Levitical priesthood.”

He adds that Malachi, widely used to encourage people to give offerings and tithes, is clear on the matter.

“In verse 9, God says they are cursed with a curse – even this whole nation. Was God cursing Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Afghanistan or Britain? No! It was the Israelites. God did not say He would curse nations but a nation.

“Malachi 1:1 reveals that the nation which was going to be cursed for failing to pay tithes and offerings were the Israelites not spiritual Israel (Gentiles) but the real Israel, the sons of Jacob.

“I couldn’t count the times I have heard self-appointed ministers of the gospel berate their congregations for ‘robbing God’ in tithes and offerings.

“This verse in Malachi certainly means what it says. Someone was defrauding God of tithes and offerings, but wait until you find out who it is that God blames for this act.

“This is the time past referred to in Ephesians 2:11-13 and when all this was happening among the Hebrews who are Israelites, Gentiles were not part of these covenants. They were aliens. Therefore, the collection of tithes and offerings amongst Gentile countries and people is the work of the Devil.”

He added that in the book of Acts 15 a dispute arose between the Jews and the Gentiles when certain Jews wanted to force the Gentiles to follow the Law of Moses.

“The apostles Peter and James refused that the Gentiles should follow the Law of Moses, but that Gentiles should believe in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“The Lord Jesus Christ Himself never collected tithes and offerings from the people. And Jesus Himself said the New Testament was in His blood which was supposed to be shed – Luke 22:20.

“He is the High Priest of the New Testament. If God freely gave eternal life by the death of Jesus Christ, then why should all other material things of this earth be paid for to these workers of darkness?

“What can be more precious than Jesus Christ, the one true offering which alone was acceptable to God?

“The book of Luke 8:1-3 states that certain women and many others supported Jesus out of their own means, Jesus never collected tithe or offering from anyone during his ministry.

“Even when he sent his disciples to preach he gave them instructions as to where they were going to survive. Luke 10:1-11 in particular shows that the disciples were supposed to receive whatever they would be given freely by the people and not to intimidate them with the name of their master. They did not use the name or the anointing of Jesus Christ to collect tithes, offerings or seeds because they were labourers of Jesus Christ not Moses.

“The yesteryear apostles of Christ survived by a certain manner of giving which was abandoned by the current crop of false apostles, pastors and prophets.” The Sunday Mail

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Call it a holy war if you like!

A Madzibaba from the Johanne Masowe eChishanu Apostolic sect in Lower Gweru snatched the wife of an AFM pastor.The wife snatcher only identified as Madzibaba Nyoni had been asked for prayers by Bhiri Mamombe’s wife Fungai Mamombe because she had health issues.

Pastor Mamombe who at one point led an AFM assembly in Lower Gweru told B-metro that his wife had only told him she sought spiritual assistance from Madzibaba Nyoni-a well-known prophet in the area.

“She told me she wanted the services of Madzibaba because she was not feeling well .Just like any husband I supported her and sometimes would accompany her to Madzibaba’s shrine for prayers,”said Mamombe.

The Madzibaba got so comfortable that he would visit Mamombe’s homestead for routine prayers.

“Madzibaba Nyoni would come to my home to offer his services.I never at one point became suspicious that the two could be dating.One day when I came from town I found my wife not at home and I decided to follow her to Madzibaba’s home because it was the only place that she frequented,” he said.

Upon reaching Madzibaba’s place the man of the cloth was denied entry into Madzibaba’s house but he insisted to get in.

“When I got to his homestead ,Nyoni denied me entry into his house saying that I should wait for my wife outside since they were in the middle of a prayer session.I insisted to get in telling him that I always that I always allowed him into my house and as such he should allow me into his.Left with no option he allowed me in.

“When I got into the house I found her trying to put on her underwear .I was engulfed with anger ,emotions took over,I wanted to kill someone and at the same moment felt like crying,” he added.

The matter was reported to Headman Lugwalo who demanded that the woman choose between the two men.To everyone ‘s surprise Fungai chose Madzibaba over her legal husband.Contacted for comment Lugwalo confirmed presiding over the matter and ordered Madzibaba to pay two beasts to the pastor for such a shameful act.