Another story is surfacing, in Cape Town, of gullable believers being hoodwinked out of their hard earned cash. The Burger, an Afrikaans newspaper in the Western and Eastern Cape, reports in an article, 'Piramide man steeds gesoek', that members of the Fountain Christian Community and Ravensmead AFM are looking for a man called, Mr Stanton Hermanus. According to his mother, seemingly the one running the operations in Cape Town, he is somewhere in Hongkong, trying to get investor's money back. The question is: why do we find so often, this odd mixture of sincerity in faith, greed and crooks amongst us as church people. The scandal that broke last year in Johannesburg and Durban, around JCC and a character called, Wayne Jones, is still fresh in our memories, yet it seems as if this is hardly the tip of the iceberg-there is more sleaze to come.
At a deeper level, it seems as if a time of deeper searching and listening to the word of God is critical on the areas of finance, businessethics and faith, and what role does the prosperity gospel plays in this, if any. The church has to play a key role, if not central in economic development and raising the quality of life amongst believers and the nations. The Abrahamic covenant speaks of being a blessing to the nations (Gen 12:3) Indeed, the Bible does speak of prosperity and wealth, of being blessed as being much more than simply spiritual-it is real and it does relates to our tithes and offerings. But equally so, we need to revisit the kind of values that we incalcate amongst our children, the children of the church, so to speak. In the much published investigation of Debra Patta, of 3rd Degree, it was mentioned time and time again, that the kingpin of the scheme was a sincere 'son of God'. It begs the question: what kind of 'sons' (children) of God are we raising ? These are pertinent questions for us to delve into, over the long term.
In the meantime, however, we can only hope that the members of these churches at least, get their money back from these dubious schemes and shady characters.
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