DOES the Christian community believe that divine blessings are monetary, or if you don’t have money God won’t be able to teach or heal you through his prophet?
These are just some of the questions making the rounds on social media after reports emerged that one of Bulawayo’s charismatic prophets is charging between US$100 and US$150 for one on one sessions.
Prophet Mduduzi Dube popularly known as Black Elisha of a “spiritual padlock” healing which once took the city by storm and who is also the founder of Christ Life Generation Church torched a storm after some Christians said he has gone against the teachings of the Bible by demanding between US$100 and US$150 for a one on one session or consultation fee for an audience with him.
His “astronomical” fee for one on one sessions elicited mixed reactions with some people saying prophecy was a gift from God hence prophets were not supposed to commercialise it.
“I don’t think men of God are required to charge for one on one sessions but those who would have consulted and healed or blessed are supposed to give cheerfully, generously, and according to their means. Remember that payment is not a legal requirement to please God, but a voluntary act of worship,” said Nomsa Ncube.
Hardlife Mpofu said most people, particularly church members, don’t have personal relationship with God hence they usually rely on these prophets who charge for their one on one sessions for everything.
“Our worst fear is that some most people, particularly church members, don’t have a personal relationship with God hence they end up spending a lot of money booking for one on one sessions thinking that they are buying blessings from these religious leaders,” said Mpofu.
Tinashe Moyo defended Black Elisha saying: “Just like tithing, where Christians are biblically required to give 10 percent of their income to the church, I don’t have problems with someone paying for one on one session with a true man of God as that will not make him or her see the prophet as an ordinary person.
“Sometimes if you are not paying you don’t see and take these men of God and their healing sessions seriously even when they are speaking from the spirit realm”.
Contacted for comment, a seemingly evasive Black Elisha also defended his actions of charging his followers between US$100 and US$150 for one on one sessions saying it was for the advancement of God’s work.
“Some people can only cope with being broke, they can’t manage with being blessed. This is because if I bless you, after those consultations or one on one sessions your life will change immediately.
“Life is a battle ground and if you don’t create a strong atmosphere of prayers through one on one sessions with a man of God, you can’t access certain blessings because the kingdom of darkness is also interested in making those blessings not to get to you,” said Black Elisha.
He adds: “It’s just like asking why some people are patronising expensive restaurants. One of the reasons being the level of services being offered by those restaurants.
“From having bread crumbs dusted off the table to being able to signal the staff with silverware placement to the staff’s knowledge of the dishes.
“Presentation and the atmosphere are also some of the reasons. From how the table is set to how the food is placed on the plates. It displays a level of pride and attention to detail.
“Likewise as a true man of God who is blessing and healing people I should not look wretched as you will take me as a bogus prophet or not have faith in my work. That money from the consultation fees is used to help develop the church and some is used to preach the word of God and testify His goodness”.
Meanwhile, last year another Bulawayo-based prophet Bruce Edwards (real name Bruce Ncube), founder of Kingdom Empowerment Centre Church (KEC) also once courted controversy after it emerged that he had commercialised the “good news” by allegedly demanding US$20 consultation fee for an audience with him and US$6 a seat from congregants who want to attend his lunch hour services.