Miracles performed in churches world over have turned to be the most effective way of getting attention, thus drawing more church members for the miracle pastor. Miracles are recorded in the Bible and they are good for the beneficiary. They come through intercession for the person in need and sometimes by the laying of hands. It is also possible to receive a miracle by praying for yourself.
Under normal circumstances, a miracle should bring glory to God and not the pastor that performed it. A miracle should not elevate the pastor that performed it; neither should it be means of making money. Jesus said, ‘freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:8).
A case in point
You may have heard about pastor Penuel Thsepo from Pretoria South Africa. He is one miracle pastor who has brought a lot of controversy with his miracles. The print media and other news houses, including the internet, have reported a lot of controversial miracles he performs. The following are some of the things he does to his congregants in the name of performing miracles:
- Making them sleep on the floor during the service
- Make them behave like snakes
- Makes them eat snakes, rats, weave, grass and drink petrol. Congregants say that the snakes taste like chocolate.
- Strips them naked and
- Jump on them
Pastor Penuel has other pastor followers that perform similar miracles elsewhere in the world. In Swaziland, there is one pastor known as Nkosingiphile Dlamini who performs miracles of a similar nature. Pastor Nkosingphile has at one point made his congregants eat grass as reported by The Swazi Observer. I would not be surprised if each country in the world has at least one such miracle pastor because the devil is at work and works hard at maximising his efforts; knowing that his time is limited (Revelation 12:12).
Jesus, the Christian model, did not make people eat inedible material; neither did he force people to behave in a strange way. He did use some mud made from His spit to open eyes of the blind man (John 9:6) and we note that this was for the benefit of the blind man. One then tends to wonder what the benefit is for the congregants that are forced to eat inedible material, particularly the petrol.
Causing a brother to Stumble
There is an outcry in the world from both Christian circles and outside on the practice of Penuel. Recently, the EFF has taken interest on these disturbing miracles. EFF wants to see the pastor eats what he feeds others to prove that it’s edible even to him. This is a political or even social approach to this matter. I want to remind Penuel and all that perform these weird miracles that they are called not to make their fellow brothers stumble.
The Bible says in I Corinthians 8:13, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend”. The Bible acknowledges that there are some weak Christians that you should care about. Your religious liberty should not lead someone else to stumble. As children of God, we have a responsibility to every other born-again believer. We must do everything possible to help him on in his Christian life and be careful never to do anything that offends him. If the thing in question offends other Christians, then it is wrong for you to continue doing it. Rather you would stick with the exact miracle acts of Jesus that are recorded in the Bible. In that way, no one would question you but they would have to question Jesus for what He did.
If pastor Penuel and others like him feel that they have no reason to stop performing these miracles, let them consider that they should not cause their fellow brother / Christian to stumble. Christian organizations, independent pastors and individual Christians have voiced their discomfort for these miracles. Bishop Masilela and Bishop Samson Hlatshwako from Swaziland said that such acts are immoral and these are not real pastors.
My position is that Penuel and all those that do such unbiblical miracles are on the wrong. They need to be delivered from these powers of darkness and I believe they know it that these powers are not of God but of the devil. truth be told, they have been deceived to believe that the devil loves them and will spare them the pain of hell when they die. I pray for them to have their eyes open and make right with Jesus while its grace time.