Posted by: stpowen | October 23, 2012

Conrad Mbewe on False Teaching

Conrad Mbewe on False Teaching

James 3:1.  ‘My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive stricter judgement.’

2 Peter 2:1-2, NIV. ‘But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies…..Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.’’

Conrad Mbewe is minister of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia and a fine preacher who now has an international ministry.  I was privileged to hear him speak at the E.M.W. Conference in Aberystwyth, Wales recently.  Here are his views on two current abominations within the Church; firstly, the ‘Prosperity Gospel’:-

http://www.conradmbewe.com/2012/10/our-criminal-evangelical-silence.html

And secondly, ‘Motivational Teaching’:-

http://www.conradmbewe.com/2012/06/curse-of-motivational-speaking.html

The Lord Jesus Christ was called the Friend of sinners (Luke 15:2).  Whilst He always insisted upon repentance (John 5:14; 8:11; Luke 19:8), sinners came to Him in droves and He did not drive them away (Mark 2:15 etc.).  His wrath was reserved for religious people who oppress or deceive the people, and particularly those who are greedy for money (…..).   What then shall we say about those who make godliness  a means of gain (1 Tim 6:5) and deceive the poor into thinking that Christianity is all about being rich in worldly terms (contra Luke 6:20; 24-25)?  “Serpents!  Brood of vipers!  How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matt 23:33).  ‘Prosperity’ teaching is a wicked deception wherever it is found, but especially so in Africa where so many people are living in desperate poverty.  We hear much these days  of how the Gospel is making great strides in Africa and throughout the Third World and we should not wonder at this for the Gospel really is ‘Good news to the poor’ (Luke 4:18).  But those who swallow this prosperity rubbish will inevitably find that it doesn’t work.  They will then either lose faith in the Gospel and drift away, or suppose that God needs a little help in making them rich and start stealing or embezzling.

 Motivational teaching is at first sight less objectionable than the Prosperity Gospel , but in reality it is just as harmful.  It is saying to lost sinners, who are under the righteous condemnation of God, that everything is absolutely fine, that God really loves them just the way they are, and that they just need to add a little piece of Christianity to their lives and then God will be their own personal butler and make them really happy and successful.   This teaching is particularly attractive to people living in Britain and America who have found that increasing affluence has not made them any happier and are already spending huge amounts on Psycho-analysts and ‘self-help’ gurus.  Once again it is dangerous heretical nonsense.  Certainly the Gospel should bring peace and joy to those who receive it, but only on the basis of true repentance and faith in the shed blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.  Alas, those who have tried the counterfeit and found that it doesn’t work will be less likely to consider the real thing.

So what should our response be to the heresies highlighted by Pastor Mbewe?  Well we should be vocal in declaring that ‘Prosperity Gospel’ and ‘Motivational Teaching’ are far removed from the Gospel of Christ.  No fond ideas about ‘preserving the unity of the body’ should keep us from opposing every form of false teaching.  We can help the cause of the Gospel in Africa and elsewhere by supporting organizations like Pastor Training International ( http://www.pastor-training.org/ ) that help to train indigenous Pastors to preach the true word of God.

But that isn’t the main thing we should be doing.  It is not enough to inveigh against the false; we need to proclaim the truth and demonstrate the difference between the two.  In the face of rampant false teaching, Paul instructed Timothy, ‘Preach the word! Be ready in season or out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching’ (2 Tim 4:2).  Fine-sounding arguments and reasoning are not going to turn the tsunami of godlessness that is sweeping over our nation, nor the false teaching rampaging through Africa.  We need prayer, repentant prayer, and lots of it, and we need the preaching of Christ crucified which alone can turn poor lost sinners back to God.  It is the Gospel that is bearing fruit all over the world and reaping a mighty harvest in the teeth of persecution all across the world;  China, India, Iran and even Saudi Arabia are hearing the Gospel and hundreds of thousands across the world are coming to Christ daily.

Someone may be thinking, maybe it is too late for Britain; maybe too late for America.  Maybe God’s word to us is as it was to Judah.  ‘Thus says the LORD to this people: “they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet.  Therefore the LORD does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now and punish their sins”’ (Jer. 14:10).  Who could complain if those were indeed His words?  But why not think another way?  ‘”For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.  With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer’ (Isaiah 54:7-8).  At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, let us continue to cry out to the Lord; ‘We have no power against this great multitude (of sin and lawlessness and false teaching) that is coming against us, but our eyes are on you’ (2 Chron. 20:12).  And let us preach the word in the power of the Spirit, ‘In season and out of season’- whether people want to hear us or not- and God will surely bless us in His own good time.

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Responses

  1. I certainly agree with you Pastor. What is making Zambia a christian nation is sadly the proriferation of heretic churches.


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