The rapid emergence of counterfeit churches and church leaders cannot go unchecked. This trend has undermined and brought shame to the people of SA, the Christian community and God. It has hurt citizens genuinely seeking spiritual upliftment.
Loosely defined, counterfeits are goods and services of inferior quality, packaged in another's brand name without the brand owner's authorisation, infringing on the trademark, patent or copyright of the genuine product.
Christianity is under attack in the same way with fake churches and pastors.
This trend has left a trail of destruction in society where unsuspecting, gullible and impressionable members of society have been robbed of their hard-earned money, their dignity and basic human rights.
The ongoing trial at the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth, where a "Man of God" and his co-accused are charged with rape and human trafficking, has given the Church something to reflect on. While the judicial process takes place, the Church cannot remain unmoved. For far too long as the Church we have had a passive approach towards the mushrooming of false doctrines and as Martin Luther King Jr said: "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice of it."
At this point one of the responsible things to do is to educate our citizens on the things to watch out for before becoming members of churches.
Here are a few signs of the gospel of deception.
Genuine churches led by men and women who dwell on the scriptures of the Bible and give Bible-based teachings to their congregants.
If the focus of a church is psychological manipulation, deviates from Bible teachings and concentrates on entertaining congregants with gimmicks, then it gives one reason to be suspicious. Counterfeit church leaders have made a concerted effort to lead people away from reading the Bible leaving them biblically malnourished and waiting for their next fix of miracles.