It is a sector that some witty people have tapped into to make ends meet, while the genuine fight is to save souls. On any given Sunday, despite the adverse weather conditions, many people make their way to these churches, with the hope of either being born again, healed or even acquiring riches.
The weather is by no means at all discouraging to the hordes of people that make their way to houses of worship. Many disembark from luxurious vehicles, some public transport, while others walk to get to church, where they are ushered to their seats, with the hope of seeing their messiah . . . the person they embellish as their spiritual leader.
Nonetheless, it is the antics some of these prophets practice that have drawn the attention of the world towards them.
Without wandering far from the country to South Africa, where many stories have made global headlines, talk about the prophet of “Doom” who was so audacious to claim that he could heal desperate congregants by spraying them with insecticide — Doom. In the same country another self-proclaimed prophet made people eat snakes and rats, while another made a whole congregation feed on grass and the one who ordered congregants to lie on the floor as he trampled on them to prove their faith.
All this happens in the world because people yearn for riches or to be healed and saved. One phenomenon that people from across dimensions have questioned is that of people either kneeling, crawling on their stomachs or laying down before pastors.
Many a time, in some Pentecostal churches, people kneel or lie down before the prophet, as a sign of respect, so they put it.
Sunday Life this past week sought to demystify this issue and spoke to a number of prophets. Founder and leader of Eagle Life Assembly Church in Bulawayo, Dr Prophet Blessing Chiza said the issue depended on the depth of one’s understanding about the difference between worship and honour.
“People confuse the placement of the two English words — worship and honour — or reverential respect. There is a big difference between worshipping and honouring someone in Greek and Hebrew. We worship God but we honour the God in a man. So when people kneel in front of a man of God, they would be honouring the God in the man.
‘‘It’s simply called reverential respect and honour; “Hadah” in Greek. Honouring a man of God is very godly and spiritual. Yes, worship involves kneeling, bowing and protesting but kneeling before someone doesn’t necessarily mean you are worshipping. Kneeling before a man of God greater than you in spirit, Hebrews 7 verse 7: For honour and blessings is an issue of spiritual revelation and understanding why it’s done,” said Dr Prophet Chiza.
He went on to say that for those people that didn’t understand the concept it would be advisable not to do so, as it was not a force matter.
“If you don’t understand it then just don’t do it. Never do anything you don’t understand. It’s not a forced matter in churches.
It’s very deep spirituality so the natural man can’t understand the things of the spirit, nor can he know them for they are foolishness to him because these things are spiritually discerned read 1st Corinthians 2 verse 14.
“These are revealed secrets of blessings by the spirit of God. Kneeling in front of a man of God. It’s about illumination and revelation. If you honour a man of God, God will also honour you. Blessings flow down a gradient in the spirit so when you humbly kneel in front of a man of God in honour it facilitates the easy flow of God’s blessings from his God to you. You don’t talk to a man of standing neck to neck, head to head like a peacock — that’s pride,” said Dr Prophet Chiza.
He added that people shouldn’t perceive men of God as their friends.
“A man of God is not your friend. He is God’s servant, sent to bless and deliver you. So you go down low and honour him in submission and respect and you get blessed. That’s not worship. We don’t kneel to worship a man. Read Genesis 48 verse 12 Joseph knelt and bowed down with his face to the earth in honour before his father, Jacob who was a man of God when he brought his two sons to be blessed.
“It was reverential honour of the Great God in the man not worship. He brought himself low for his two boys to be blessed. We worship God and honour man. This is an issue of the spirit of God and it’s not of this world. It’s revealed to us through His spirit for we have the mind of Christ and we do things with heavenly maturity and God’s hidden wisdom.
“The world can’t understand us, read revelations 4 verses 9 to 11. Worship is in Greek called Proskuneo or Shachah, which means to bow down or stoop or to prostrate oneself in worship or prayer and adoration as you eulogies Him and magnify Him( lift Him up high) in verbal homage/exaltation to someone High and is worship-worthy. It’s a bowing with lauding of someone High and Mighty, a Creator and everlasting read. That obviously can’t be a man of God,” he said.
“Worship is not enough without verbal homage or lauding in praise check Revelations 4 vs 9 to 11. They fall down and say something worshipful. They say “You are worthy, O Lord. You created all things. You are the Creator.”
But in churches it’s just kneeling in honour without verbal worship and eulogy. To honour a man of God in kneeling in Greek it’s called “Hadar.” To Hadar or Hadar like Joseph did means to kneel down or bow down in reverential respect to a man carrying a mission of God’s Kingdom, regardless of his humanness and smallness is crowned with God’s anointing/power and ministerial gifting’s for the saving, blessing, deliverance, healing of souls and humanity.
Another prophet who preferred anonymity concurred with Dr Prophet Chiza, saying that kneeling before pastors and prophets was a matter of paying homage to the God in them and not about worshipping them.