I watched the chilling movie for the second time, yesterday. It is a movie titled "Tight" which details the unscrupulous lives of members in a 'charismatic' church from pulpit to pew. I first heard about this movie at my friend,Sister Bisi's blog. After reading her review of the movie, I was determined to find it and watch it. And find and watch did I on Irokotv.com.
At the start of the movie, a pastor is getting ready for church service and he tells his wife he senses that the spirit of God will do great things at that Sunday's service. It is a " super Sunday mega healing service." As the camera takes us into the church premises, we see church members in lots of background conflict with one another.
Yet they all sing, jump and shout dramatically when the service begins. And when their pastor (the man at the start of the movie) comes into the service he is practically worshiped with members screaming, some wiping his shoes, some kneeling down for him to lay hands on them, etc. A scene that only reminds me of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Eventually, signs and wonders are performed in the service - including a blind girl being made to see and a mad man healed from his lunacy. The tables turn when the pastor tries to raise a dead girl to no avail in the congregation. His constant prayers, shouting, pouring olive oil on the girl and commanding her to rise reminds me of my own experience with trying to raise the dead.
The girl doesn't wake up because well unlike the other sick people who were actually normally people asked to play sick by the pastor's assistant, this girl is not playing dead. She is actually dead because the pastor's assistant arranged for a real dead person to be brought in instead of bringing someone to play dead. This is because he is mad at the pastor for not buying him a 'simple Toyota Corolla' he asked for while the pastor is building two houses (including 1 for his girlfriend) from money made from tithes and offerings.
This movie is chilling, to say the least. And by chilling, I don't mean relaxing. I mean it is horrifying. You know why? Because unfortunately, the happenings in the movie depict true happenings in some African churches today where there is a "papa" and "prophet" who lords it over a group of people called church members. A "papa" who walks in like a king into Sunday service and performs all sorts of "signs and wonders" some of which are mere manipulations, others which are arranged, some performed by powers of darkness.
A "papa" who sleeps with numerous "daughters in the lord" yet preaches on Sunday with boldness and charisma, without an ounce of guilt. It is chilling.
A "papa" who is clearly materialistic -attaching so much value to the cars he rides, the shoes he wears and inspiring his church members to do same. A "papa" who hardly points his members towards loving and seeking God more but rather towards how much more money they can make on earth, how much more breakthroughs they can receive from God, how much more "sweatless progress" they can achieve. I have witnessed these right before my eyes and it is chilling.
And yes, making money is important but the salvation of one's soul is the most important.
“But any prophet who fakes it, who claims to speak in my name something I haven’t commanded him to say, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.” Deuterenomy 18:20, Message Bible
"And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people." Matthew 24:11, NLT
Scripture tells us that false prophets will arise and they are here. We have to be careful so we are not misled by one of these men who speak in the name of Jesus but are actually serving the devil. We have to stay away from these native doctors wearing pastoral cloaks.
I love the end of the movie because there is the message of grace. God can forgive anyone - both the fake prophet and the church members living in sin. His grace is available if we come to Him and confess and accept him wholeheartedly.
In the end, the prophet is paralysed and his church members dessert him. I would say it is better to be paralysed while truly serving God than to be whole and heading on the way to hell.
"So if your eye--even your good eye--causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." Matthew 5:29, NLT
You guys, serving God is serious business. It is not a joke. It goes beyond going to church, shouting and being answerable to a papa. It is about how much you seek Him daily. It is about not conforming to the world. It is about following that narrow road that leads to life.
My prayer for you as you read this is that you will not be misled by a false prophet because scripture says they shall "deceive many". And also that if you are currently being manipulated by one of such prophets you will break free.