Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
(1 Timothy 4:1-5)
A couple of weeks back I was heading somewhere using a cab. As is my custom, I greeted the driver as me and mine settled in. Out settling in is normally an event 🙂 🙂 Bags of clothes, bags of food plus 3 children, sometimes the helper is with us then lastly myself. Guy was very kind to us not those who begin to advise me on family planning methods 🙂 🙂 Car was clean and the music was even more appealing. He had on some Gospel music from the Kamba community. Nothing gospel kapuka, very intentional, slow Scriptural music. So we get chatting:
ME:”Nikuulize, ni nyimbo umeweka tu ama pia umeokoka?”
Driver: Bursts out in laughter. “Nimeokoka madam”
Music was really nice and I knew most of the songs so after he shared his testimony we all got into singing mode. I had some foreign guests with me so I was also showing them some spots on the road.
Me: “That is a public cemetery”
Guests: “Whaaaat!! It is so large”
Then we would go back to the music.
Suddenly the music stopped and some guy came over the radio. He was heaving. Guy introduces himself with titles “Prophet and Apostle XYZ” What intrigued me was that the driver began to slowly but surely increase the volume on the radio. Lots of chitchat was happening at the back of the car now and he was beginning to look irritated.
Guy on the radio continues:
“Tafadhali tuma maombi kwa hii number XYZ, usipige simu, tafadhali tuma message only!”
Then he began recognising those who had tuned in. At this point I figured out, he must be live on Facebook or something as well as being broadcast on TV and Radio simultaneously.
“Nakuona XYZ kutoka Kitale”
Then he started reading the prayer items and it got really spooky
“XYZ kutoka Kitui umesema unataka school fees ya watoto”
XYZ kutoka Mombasa umesema unataka shida za nyumbani ziishe”
At some point I had to re-listen because I felt like I was in a live witch doctor session with a sprinkling of “In Jesus Name” in between.
And of course there was the money part:
“Tuma pesa kwa hii number XYZ”
As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
(1 Timothy 1:3-7)
The problem of merchandising God and His Word is two way – the unscrupulous wolves in sheep’s clothing and the gullible masses who take in everything they are told hook, like and sinker.
The idea that a mortal man can wave a magic wad or say an incantation that will rid self of all troubles is not new.
But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
(2 Kings 5:11-12)
Therefore Paul writes to young Timothy inspired by the Holy Spirit to guide him as one leading the flock of God.
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
(1 Timothy 3:14-15)
And here we find our ever increasing contrast, the war inside spaces called by God’s name and people called to God: teachings of demons vs. buttress of truth
Which of the two will the Church choose to espouse: lies, mysticism, genealogies,myths, rules, merchandising the Good News, regulations or will the Church be and continuously become a pillar and buttress of the truth.
A pillar and buttress for truth in all spheres of life.
In the media.
In regard to mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical health.
One of the primary ways the Church can become a pillar and buttress for truth is to Speak out clearly to the people on what God is saying about them, in their current spaces, but most importantly about them in His grand scheme revealed throughout Scripture.
That God loves you.
That God desires to have a relationship with you now and through eternity.
That God has already made the first step towards you in actualizing that relationship.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8-9