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Church and money redux

19 March 2008

A few months ago we had a synchroblog on The Church and money, and a few days ago Dennis Tshetlhane asked me to appear as a guest on the 180 Degrees TV programme to speak on the topic.

So yesterday I braved the traffic between Pretoria and Johannesburg and went along to the SABC studios for the programme to be recorded. It turned out that the focus was the “charismatic churches” who are perceived to be inordinately interested in money. That was a bit removed from what I had said in the synchroblog, but it proved interesting nonetheless. The other studio guest was David Thebehali, who is a pastor of a charismatic church in Soweto.

One of the interesting things (to me) was the apparently widespread perception that the charismatic movement was all about money. Thirty or forty years ago it was all about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts, but what seems to have caught the public’s imagination is money. Certainly one stream of the Charismatic Movement, the “Word of Faith” branch, associated with Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin in the USA, does seem to have emphasised money and proclaimed a “God wants to bless you and make you rich” message, but that was only one stream — or have all the other streams now merged into it?

The programme is to be broadcast on 180 degrees at 7:30 am on Friday 21 March 2008, on SABC Africa.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 March 2008 8:25 pm

    Ah Steve! Fantastic (both that you made it through the traffic, and that you were on the program!)

    I look forward to seeing it, so please post the info of when it will be broadcast when you have it!



  2. 19 March 2008 8:33 pm

    Actually, I have known at least three people who have moved from the charismatic movement to Eastern Orthodoxy. There is a real relationship between the two that I do not fully understand (as I am neither charismatic nor Eastern Orthodox). They simply tell me that many of their charismatic views are encompassed in the mysticism of the Orthodox church. I think the phenomenon is interesting, and I would like to see a further study done on this.

  3. 20 March 2008 5:18 am


    Yes, there is a link between the charismatic renewal movement and Orthodoxy. Many would say that the charismatic renewal movement was a rediscovery of some things that had tended to be neglected in Western Christianity, but which had been in Orthodoxy all along. I’m doing some research on it, though mine is confined to South Africa.


    I ended up going along the Krugersdorp Highway — 20 km longer, 20 minutes shorter!

  4. 20 March 2008 6:21 am

    When I experienced renewal in the Holy Spirit and the sheer wonder and joy of the charisms it was within a Church environment that both knew nothing about it, nor wanted to at the time. The one book, (apart from so much confirmation in Holy Scripture,) that reassured me happened with a small booklet entitled ‘Orthodox Spirituality’ by a Monk of the Eastern Church, a tradition I knew nothing about. Published by SPCK in 1968, it was a life saver!

  5. 5 June 2008 7:22 am

    looks like Copeland is fighting back with a website of his own. I can’t say that I blame him. This article recently came out in Dallas Star Telegram..


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