South Africa's mega-church of note seems to be reeling under the weight of personal and corporate calamity. A report by a sunday weekly suggest that a 'unchristian spirit' is taking hold of this once proud expression of charismatic spirituality and practice. Seemingly, the marital woes of founder and senior pastor still haunts the church. It has been argued previously on this blog, that maybe this should have been a 'time out' for Pastor Ray, a time of reflection, of review, searching the heart of God again. Seemingly, it was business as usual at Rhema, as the article recounts bitter leadership battles and fall-outs amongst senior ministry personnel.
How are we to interpret this downward spiral ? Some other blogger has suggested in general that the salience of the megachurch charismatic revival has reached his peak in the 80s and that 'interest has declined since then'. (Steve Hayes) Many would despute that suggestion, pointing to the more and more Rhema-clones that we find in Black, Indian and Coloured communities, all over Africa. The point is however that issues of concern like the question of accountability, discipline (in particular in the case of sexual and financial matters) are coming back to not only haunt, by wreck havoc amongst the faithful. Hopefully, this signals a new dawn of ecclesial accountability, but also pastoral leadership.
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- The role of Christians in secular South Africa
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