For prophets, is silence indeed golden?

Foreword:

This is not article per se; it is a lamentation – a petitioning lamentation for that matter.

My prayer is that God should grant Malawian women and men of God the courage to speak up when they see things going wrong or when they receive prophetic visions, rather than wait to preach after the fact.

In a way, it is an open letter to my old friend, dear brother, schoolmate, formerly Rev Fr. Mark Kambalazaza of the Roman Catholic Church, now called Bishop Mark Kambalazaza of Charismatic Ministries, a man I hold in high esteem.

I will be very pleased if all readers can desist from using this as a springboard to attack anyone or each other, and I will be even more pleased if the Bishop can take this as a necessary friendly rebuke in the spirit of our long brotherhood spanning from the time when he and I were kids – way back in the seventies.

Just as I always admired his faith, courage and zeal in spreading the word of God as youths; today I respect him very much for what he has achieved and is yet to achieve; for the souls he continues to bring into the heavenly kingdom.

TB Joshua: Predicted the death of Mutharika

Therefore, this is a letter from one brother to another, written solely ad majorem Dei gloriam (for the greater glory of God).

Prophet T.B. Joshua’s prophecy on President Bingu wa Mutharika:

It is a fact that the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika was predicted byProphet TB Joshua. No amount of debate, arguing, grumbling or reeling insults to Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua can change or dilute this fact.

For some people the prediction was a work of God:  a manifestation of God’s work in the hands of his anointed and for others, it was sorcery, a confidence act, an act of fraud and what have you.

Reconciling these divergent views is not the essence of this write-up because the fact is: what Prophet TB Joshua had had foretold on Feb 5, 2012; indeed came to pass on April 5, 2012.

Prophet TB Joshua, we all know, is based in Nigeria, his home country. And, as far as his many followers will attest, he is a man of God and since God is one; he serves the same God that many Malawians praise and worship.

When I initially read about the TB Joshua prophecy, several questions came up in my mind. And when late President Mutharika actually passed on, the questions increased. One of them was: why had God sent his prophesy “care of Nigeria” when Malawi too has several powerful prophets, men and women of God?

Bishop Kambalazaza’s lost opportunity:

This question, which has been bogging my mind, since TB Joshua’s prophecy and its subsequent fulfilment, has now been answered.

It has transpired that God had sent the message to our own Bishop Kambalazaza, almost a year before the revelation was made to T. B. Joshua.

Bishop Mark Kambalazaza has said, last year God told him that Malawi’s late president Bingu wa Mutharika would not last because of his statement that he was not Jesus. The founder and overseer of the Charismatic Redeemed Ministries International made the claim in an interview with the Nation on Thursday.

He said the words Mutharika uttered were blasphemous and he had phoned Mutharika twice to relay God’s message, but the former president rebuffed him on both occasions.

“There was a statement which was spoken by the late president saying that ‘I am not Jesus’ that when you give him a slap on one cheek, he would give you the other cheek to slap him. The Lord ‘said what is it’?

“That statement provoked certain circumstances because the statement had the connotation of blasphemy against God and God does not like that,” said Kambalazaza.

When asked in what form God delivered the message to him, he said God spoke to him through the inspiration of the mind.

All this is well and good.

Is silence always golden?

If the late president had rebuffed him – which was not unique and unexpected – why didn’t the Bishop use the public domain to send the message was the question posed by the Nation?

“It was difficult to speak to him at that time. The only thing [to do] was to pray. Prayer sorts out all the things.

“Sometimes, you want to use wisdom. It’s not good to speak provocative things, silence is better than speaking. Very often, men of God pray rather than speaking,” was the response.

He admonished leaders to respect God all the time, saying there are several examples of leaders in the world who perished after speaking against God.

“Speaking against God is deadly. Protection is taken away from you. Every leader needs to respect God. I am living because of Jesus who healed me in 1991 after being sick for 11 years from 1980 to 1991,” said Kambalazaza.

While I cannot agree more to the sure-fire need to respecting God all the time and to the fact that you and me are alive and writing /reading articles on the net ONLY through God’s grace, I have reservations with the Bishop’s assertion that in Mutharika’s case, silence was golden.

Silence, for prophets, is not golden:

Making shocking and unwanted but nevertheless necessary revelations, through out the course of history and through out the entire Bible (and even the Quran too); is a fundamental tenet in the job description of God’s messengers.

If I were to cite examples from the Bible, I would have to repeat the whole Bible, because causing controversy, calling a spade by its name, and indeed making wayward rulers uncomfortable, was to prophets, what planting and tiling the soil is to a farmer.

Moses and Pharaoh, Nathan and King David, Samuel and King Saul, Isaiah and Ahab, King Ahaz and his wife Jezebel, and John the Baptist and Herod – all these are stories of strong men of God confronting kings more powerful than the ones that walk the face of the earth today.

John the Baptist, for one, did not mince words: he publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done; at the pain of paying the ultimate the price.

I am not trying to insinuate that the Bishop was afraid of repercussions in whatever form they may have come, because I honestly believe that like the prophets of old he is protected by God. And further, that if the prophets are killed, like John the Baptist, it is because God has willed it that way for a higher purpose and for His greater glory.

It is therefore my belief and studied conclusion that for prophets and men and women of God, silence should never be an option. Silence for practitioners of this profession and for those favoured with futuristic visions by God is not golden at all.

If it were, why then does God avail them the gift of visioning future occurrences?

Prophetic admonitions and Malawi’s fragile democracy:

It has now become the norm for the Catholic Church (which trained and in a big way shaped and influenced Mark’s mission); the C.C.A.P., the Muslims and others to periodically issue statements and comments on governance issues as they affect the common man and woman – whose spiritual life they tend to.

It is will be very good, if our prophets too, mainly from the burgeoning pentecostal denominations were adorned with the fortitude to put their gifts of prophecy at the disposal of the nation.

While it is a plus that religion knows no boundaries and that TB Joshua (and others) can try to intercede and pray for our leaders, but it would be nicer if our own were more proactive, no matter what the prevailing circumstances are and if privacy fails with our leaders, they go for publicity.

In the least, as a result of the publicity, more people will join the prayer and the fasting for our leaders and behold: how good it would be, how pleasant it would be, to see Malawians pray and fast together in unity!

Epilogue:

To wind up my attempt at a theological excursion, I will say one thing: it is a mammoth task to find in the Bible, from Genesis to Malachi; from the works of John the Baptist to the Acts of the Apostles, a sermon which is not – if anything – provocative.

Our pastors should therefore not shy away from administering the truth on us, on our errant presidents and on our politicians in general.

May God bless Malawi, and bless our spiritual leaders (more so my brother Bishop Mark Kambalazaza) too; so that they can minister to us from the mountain tops to the valleys, free from fear.

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