UNDERSTANDING THE MAKANDIWA SAGA
I have been following with keen interest the debate over Pastor Emmanuel Makandiwa’s appendage of his signature to the anti–sanctions petition, the latest in a chain of events that started with his decision to part ways with the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) and launch the United Families International (UFI).
|Prophet Makandiwa and wife, Ruth|
I think for a start, it is important to understand that God deals with people as individuals, and you can never be fully conversant with another person’s relationship with God, save for its outward reflections. Makandiwa’s decision to sign the anti-sanctions petition on March 2 this year, for instance, has become a controversial talking point in the public space. Personally, I don’t suppose that a spiritual leader of Makandiwa’s stature would just do something like that, fully aware of its consequences, without having consulted God. Unless someone can convince me that his decision was ultra vires God’s instruction, I will say there is nothing wrong with what he did.
Makandiwa may be regarded as a ‘public figure’ therefore subject to the court of public opinion, but that scrutiny needs to be only through the lenses of the Bible – from whence his ‘public’ office derives its authority – rather than carnal emotions and intellectual ‘reasonings’. It is also important to note that God’s wisdom is foolishness to men as highlighted in I COR 1:25, implying that while his decision may have seemed foolish to some people, God might not necessarily look at it in that way.
Let’s just say maybe you think whatever Makandiwa did – or is doing – is wrong, how would criticizing him help? Why don’t you pray for him if you are really genuine in your concerns? The worst thing you can do against yourself is to criticize someone called of God. You can read about what happened to Miriam and Aaron after they criticized Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman in NUM 2: 1-15. Then in God says:
“Touch not mine anointed,
and do my prophets no harm”
I CHRON 16:22
This is not a physical act. You can touch someone by your words! David understood the implication of such an act after King Saul, who had been after his own life, was killed. He asked the murderer:
“How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth
thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
II SAM 1:14, KJV
David knew by revelation that despite Saul’s weaknesses and failings and his murderous intents towards him, he was still anointed and people had to respect that anointing, even if they didn’t like the man!
In his book, LOVE: THE WAY TO VICTORY (1994), Kenneth Erwin Hagin (the influential Pentecostal preacher who is often regarded as the father of the Word of Faith movement) relates an incident in his past when he, together with other gospel ministers, was ministering in a particular area. Then one of the ministers made a serious blunder, which they all condemned. Later on in prayer, Hagin said God confronted him concerning the incident. I quote the passage verbatim:
“Who art thou that condemneth another man’s servant?” I knew it was the Lord. I said, “Lord, I didn’t condemn Your servant.” I knew immediately who the Lord was referring to. He was talking about that minister who’d gotten into trouble. The Lord answered me again by saying, “Who art thou that condemneth another man’s servant?” I repeated, “Lord, I never condemned Your servant.” Then the third time the Lord said, “Who art thou that condemneth another man’s servant?” I said the third time, “Lord, I didn’t condemn Your servant.” The Lord said, “Didn’t you say. . . ,” and then the Lord quoted what I had said about this minister……I said, “Lord, I was just quoting the district superintendent.” The Lord said to me, “When you repeated it, that was tantamount to your saying it. Who art thou that condemneth another man’s servant?” When the Lord said that, He just sort of knocked the props out from under me. So then I said, “I thought that minister was wrong. I mean, didn’t he do wrong?”
The Lord never told me whether he’d done wrong or not. But He asked me a question: “Whose servant is he, Mine or yours?” I said, “If he is anyone’s servant, Lord, he’s Yours. He sure isn’t mine.” The Lord said, “Well, if he is My servant, then I’m able to make him stand.” And, you know, the Lord did just that. The Lord made the man stand, and that fellow went on to become the most outstanding minister in that part of the state. He was very well respected, even though he’d missed it that one time in his past. (Pp144-146).
I have had opportunity to attend a UFI service and I also have a collection of teachings by Makandiwa. I have always told people to listen to someone before they condemn or criticize him. The most disconcerting thing about most the anti-Makandiwa maniacs is that most of them have never attended any of his services or listened to his message. Their criticism is based on hearsay. Over and over again, he emphasizes that all this is not about Makandiwa, because Makandiwa does not perform miracles and neither does he have any people. He always makes it a point to stress that this is about the One Who sent him.
I think the important thing for all those who have scores to settle with Makandiwa is to be concerned more about their own relationship and walk with God or better still - for those that are yet to be born again - to worry about their own salvation. Every man and woman, that includes you, will give an account of their own life at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s not going to ask you about Makandiwa. He’s going to ask you about you. Perhaps Makandiwa will say he took the gospel to the ends of the earth, led many to Christ, helped restore broken lives and prayed for others to receive healing. And what are you going to say about yourself? That you warned people about Makandiwa because you thought he was a false prophet? Think about it.