REVELATIONS by Evangelical churches in Zimbabwe that controversial Nigerian prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua is not welcome in the country torched a storm yesterday with several pastors and individuals opening up and expressing varying opinions.
Some callers said TB Joshua's teachings were "divination and more connected to occult practices".
Intercessors for Zimbabwe, the organisers of the National Day of Prayer, national co-ordinator Reverend John Chimbambo yesterday said the committee did not invite foreigners on national days.
"We have never done that in the past and we have never invited anyone to be a guest speaker. We strongly believe that Zimbabwean issues should be dealt with by Zimbabweans not foreigners. He (TB Joshua) doesn't know our problems and how can he solve them? The facilitators are local church people and any politician who wants to invite him should do so on a personal level," he said.
Rev Chimbambo said they would not allow any political party or foreigner to interfere with their operations.
"We were surprised to hear that Prime Minister (Morgan) Tsvangirai wanted him to be the guest speaker on the day of prayer yet the day is for praying and no one should address the crowd," he said.
He said their programme had no link with the prayer rallies PM Tsvangirai and some local pastors had been holding countrywide.
"We are not part and parcel of that programme and in our meetings we are going to invite political leaders from both parties but no one will be given an opportunity to address the gathering," he said.
TB Joshua, who heads the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria, was said to be guest speaker during the National Day of Prayer set for May 25 this year, at the invitation of PM Tsvangirai.
However, the evangelical churches argued that prophet TB Joshua's teachings were of no help to the country as they were judgmental, partisan and unorthodox.
Another pastor who phoned the Herald said working miracles was not a vindication of authentic Biblical ministry.
"For those who are taken in by this apparent supernatural ability by certain people, we would do well to remember that in the book of Exodus in the Bible the magicians of Pharaoh were able to duplicate all the miracles that Moses did yet they were not men of God.
"What we are witnessing in many instances is purely divination and is more connected with occult practices than authentic Biblical practice," he said.
A woman who only identified herself as Mrs Murwisi, said the evangelical pastors were "rational thinkers". "I wonder if the Holy Spirit is telling these men that TB Joshua is fake or their rational deduction thinks that he is fake. If it is the former then its good that they are informing people. However, if they are using rational thinking and
quoting him out of context then God will judge them too," she said.
Mr James Makonde argued: "This TB Joshua is causing confusion . . . just two weeks ago 20 people were killed in a church in his own backyard. He failed to see it in spirit and pray for the innocent souls yet he is busy prophesying the future of some individuals."