Caught between faith, reason. . . prophet ‘turns’ snakes to ‘chocolates’ . . . ‘miracles’ galore



Christianity is pinned on the need to test everything towards the master of life. Christians must never fall for things that are not in sync with Bible teachings.
Blind submission to a honey-tongued orator is mere gullibility and not faith. It is ungodly to be gullible.

Religion has always been about faith, and at times, bizarre occurrences or miracles.

Of course, that is a trite point to make.


However, one could safely say that the world of miracles is getting bizarre by the day — just as the proliferation of charismatic churches fronted by young preachers.

Now, brace for this: Last week a Prophet Penuel Mnguni, the leader of the End Times Disciples Ministries in Pretoria, made his congregants eat snakes saying they would turn into chocolate. A month ago the same prophet made congregants eat a young woman’s “weave” or artificial hair saying it was food from God.


In both incidents, the awe gripped congregants obliged and did not ask what value consuming a snake would have to their religion.

Rewind the clock to a year ago another South African Pastor, Lesego Daniel made the headlines for making congregants eat grass as one of his miracles. Daniel was to follow up on that grass eating miracle by making church members drink petrol saying it would turn into pineapple juice.

Again church members obliged and drank the liquid. No one among the congregants questioned how drinking petrol would make them more Godly.



Another church is in the news after its pastor convinced his congregants to consume his semen, which he said was holy milk.

In November 2013 Zimbabwe was shell shocked to hear more than 10 church women recounting chilling sexual abuses suffered at the hands of RMG End Time Ministries leader Robert Martin Gumbura.

In Zimbabwe cases of prophets being hauled before the courts for fraud after conning believers to seed vehicles and money on the promise that they would reap a three-fold harvest are plenty.

Many more cases of sexual abuse, fake miracles to draw people to some churches such as weight loss and reduction in shoe size to defraud people involving man of cloth have made the headlines.

When this happens congregants accept it as coming from the Man of God and do not see anything wrong with it.


Though many people have read and heard cases of that nature, they still believe they are matters of faith and thus turn deaf ears to wise counsel.

The exhortation that, “touch not my anointed” is often invoked.

But others have put forth the question: Where does belief or faith separate from gullibility?

The Herald sought the opinion of various stakeholders to hear their views on the matter.


Pastor Clifford Chaukura of the Seventh Day Adventist Church said that some people were being duped into wrong fellowship because they were not reading the Word of God.

He said God provided all the answers to human problems, but it is only that people were not reading the Bible and were seeking answers to life problems in people. Lack of reading has made them gullible.

“If you are looking for something you don’t think. You will listen to anything that will solve your problems. Because of the current socio-economic problems our people have become vulnerable hence the so-called miracles and the many abuses we are getting in the churches.

“In fact these prophets and apostles are capitalising on the African belief that we need tangible things to solve our problems. These miracles are thus bait to a people who are seeking quick solutions to problems. This is the work of opportunists.


“People should be able to discern any prophecy. Everything must start with God and end with God so when any miracle points to an individual then people should see that it is fake.

Our Greatest problem is that people are not reading, hence are easily falling for the tricks. Mt 7v15 and Mt 24v3-4 actually warns us against false prophets and those who will come to deceive people. Only if we read the Word of God will we be able to discern. When we read as Jesus says in John 8 verse 32 the “. . . and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” he said.

Pastor Chaukura said the most critical element of dealing with gullibility in the church is to encourage people to read the word of God.
Bishop Trevor Manhanga said the problem was two-fold because of people who are ignorant of the word of God going to church, and of unscrupulous people who are masquerading as Men of God.

“People must read the Bible. Some of these miracles do not make you a better person. Do you need a miracle to have weight loss? You only need better eating habits or go to the gym to lose weight and no miracle. These miracles are not edifying to the soul, but publicity seeking stances and our people are falling for them.

“Our people are grabbing anything that they think will make their life better but unfortunately they are getting nothing out of it,” Bishop Manhanga said.



Rev Watson Furayi of Apostolic Faith Mission concurred saying people should read and used the word of God as the plumb line.

“As the Bible says any prophesy or miracles must lead people to God. Our God is a God of order and any miracle that hews confusion is unGodly. It is unfortunate that people in the church are failing to reason compared to those who do not go to church or read the Bible because they can see through these tricks.

“Imagine someone being given miracle airtime, miracle money or car. This is advocating laziness and that is unGodly.

“God actually blesses the work of our hands and anything that is not laboured for is satanic. These freebies are why people are praying to prophets and not God,” he said.


Rev Furayi said the advent of the US dollar in early 2009 had seen the birth of the miracle movement churches in the country, resulting in many people leaving traditional churches to this new ministry where the word of God is not prime.

The new brand of charismatic church leaders have unquestioned and undue spiritual authority over their followers who are made to do all sorts of things in the name of the gospel. This is not only true of Africa, but the entire world.

Thus writing in a column cutting edge Pastor Chuck Baldwin says today’s Christians appear to be among the most gullible. He said the upright strong Bible men of yesteryear: “Men who didn’t try to tickle ears and didn’t mind stepping on toes; men who were not afraid to call civil and business leaders to account; men who called a spade a spade” have been replaced by feel good and politically correct pastors.



“Today, the largest and most influential churches are pastored by fluff-daisies such as Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren: men who preach entertainment evangelism, political correctness, and feel-goodism. Today’s largest churches share absolutely nothing in common with America’s historic revival-style churches. How can Christians be so gullible to fall for these snake oil salesmen,” he writes.

Life Changing Ministries and Grace Unlimited Ministries co-founder Apostle Florence Kanyati said the period we are living in called for people to be watchful and read more because this is the time of false ministries and prophets.

“Our people must read. They can rely on the teaching of the pastor, prophets or elder. Because they are not reading they end up being abused and made to do unorthodox things that are not Biblical.



“These prophets and pastors is abuse of office and one day they will be called to answer for their sins,” she said.

Christianity is pinned on the need to test everything towards the master of life. Christians must never fall for things that are not in sync with Bible teachings.

Blind submission to a honeytongued orator is mere gullibility and not faith. It is ungodly to be gullible.

In Acts 17:11, Paul commends the men and women of Berea for their “eagerness to examine the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” but this is lacking today.

Social commentator Mai Chisamba said what is happening is a clear sign of lack of knowledge about religion.

She says if these people prophesy that they are Christians they should live like Christ with the bible as the manual.

“Our people want to be prophesied so much that they now can listen to anything.

“I don’t know what happens, but does going to church take away one’s ability to reason? They need short cuts, easy life like instant coffee and for that they are being abused. Life has to be earned, worked for and those who want cheap life will always get in trouble.

“Our people are being brainwashed. Where are these miracles coming from?

“It gives credence to the belief that devil worship is being brought to the church. Some of these miracles are actually things that are done in the cults,” she said.

Yet the debate will not die any time soon.


One can bet, neither will more bizarre “miracles” and instructions by charismatic individuals leading ministries see their end soon.




  1. his a magician not a phrophet,does our lord jesus take glory in such practices?brother and sisters and what’s the point of turning chocolate into a snake your eyes haven’t you noticed that there are no magicians on the streets nowadays they are now hiding in churches.careful especially my fellow sister you are easily convinced by thiz “men of God”

  2. I can not blame the people satan is using now, I blame u who move from home to meet satan @ his meeting place. Is the Bible difficult to study at home and follow a true church. my friends if u r waiting to see these pastors to command mountains to move as Jesus said it then continue following them, as for me that’s enough to tell u that u r in a wrong church. wake up.

  3. That thing calling t self man GOD is so evil i mean a snake of all things why nt use stones thats totaly bullshit People please wakeup
    u are even opening mouths receving demons awe if his a man GOD 4 real tel him 2 confront me fool he his.

  4. And people still wonder where the magicians that used to perform in the streets are now…right in the church… what have snakes and chocolate, petrol,clothes being turned into something else got to do with God’s prophecy and God’s power when there are many blind people in the streets, the disabled and sick that need healing…These are just things to get blind people flocking into their churches…wake up people..