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Thursday, 20 December 2007

UNDERSTAND THE SIGNS OF THE TIME

Ecumenical Movement
http://www.understandthetimes.org/topics/ecumenical.shtml

FALSE UNITY OF ECUMENICALISM
http://www.gospelgrace.com/

Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days
http://www.understandthetimes.org/topics/romancatholic.shtml

Experience-Based Christianity
http://www.novalisbooks.com/cgi-bin/nov455/007689.html

Mark 13 And The Sign of The Times
http://www.yesumulungi.com/Commentary/Comment80.htm

A MUST WATCH: END TIME REVIVALS UNMASKED
http://www.cuttingedge.org/videoroom.html


A MUST WATCH: THE GREAT GLOBAL APOSTATE CHURCH
http://www.cuttingedge.org/videoroom.html


A MUST WATCH :NEW VINE OR BABYLONIAN VINE
http://www.christianreality.com/videos/vs-vid474.htm

Was the 'crippled' man really healed?

Benny Hinn in Kampala, Uganda

Was the 'crippled' man really healed?


http://www.christianresearchservice.com/BHinn35.htm


By Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

www.christianresearchservice.com

June 12, 2007



To the Reader: The following information details an encounter between Benny Hinn and a crippled man named Moses, who, according to Hinn's Kampala, Uganda Crusade Report and a This Is Your Day! telecast, had been crippled since birth.



This information is not meant to satirize, ill-treat, or ridicule Moses. It does, however, expose more incredible, in-your-face deception that permeates the most prolific false prophet, false teacher, and false healer of our day.



On May 18-19, 2007, Benny Hinn conducted his first "Holy Spirit Miracle Crusade" in Uganda at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Kampala. The following information contains direct quotes from Benny Hinn's website, and a word-for-word transcript of portions of Benny Hinn's Monday, 6/4/07 This Is

Your Day! Archive Show.



Beginning with the Uganda Crusade Report from Benny Hinn's website, the reader is informed that,

Nationally distributed newspapers proclaimed, "The lame walked, the blind had their eyes opened, the deaf heard, and the sick recovered at the first-ever Pastor Benny Hinn crusade in Uganda!" ("Crusade In Uganda Draws International Audience," http://www.bennyhinn.org/articles/articledesc.cfm?id=263 ).

The Crusade Report also shares "The Moving Story of Moses," which states in part that,

One of the most amazing stories that was shared with everyone was the story of Moses. At the close of the first service, the young man named came to the platform. Pastor Benny noticed that Moses was wearing no shoes. He quickly learned that Moses had been crippled since birth (emp. added).

"The Moving Story of Moses" goes on to state that Moses entered Hinn's crusade in a wheelchair, was accompanied by his sister, and that the 28 year old Moses took his first steps during the crusade.



The story contains two photos of Benny Hinn and Moses. The first photo is from the waist up. The second is full-length, where the reader will notice Moses' left leg, which is obviously bent at the knee and bowed inward.



Was the 'crippled' man really healed?



The following is a word-for-word transcript of a portion of Benny Hinn's Monday, 6/4/07 This Is Your Day! Archive Shows telecast of the "Holy Spirit Miracle Crusade" in Kampala, Uganda, http://www.bennyhinn.org/television/tiyd.cfm ).



At 11 minutes:28 seconds into the telecast, a conversation takes place between Benny Hinn, Henry Hinn (Benny Hinn's brother), Benny Hinn's crusade interpreter, and Moses the crippled man:



Benny Hinn: "He has been a cripple from birth!"



Henry Hinn: "His mother; he was born in 1979. This is Moses, born in 1979; paralyzed when he was born. He couldn't move! He couldn't move his body! He, this is his wheelchair. He was back there. I saw him back there; pulled his way out of the wheelchair, and just began walking."



Benny Hinn [looks at Moses and asks]: "You've been a cripple all your life?"



Interpreter: "He has never walked. This is the first time."



Benny Hinn: "Now, you've never walked?"



Moses: "No."



Benny Hinn: "Ladies and gentlemen, this young man has never walked. You understand? From his mother's womb he was born a cripple. For the first time tonight, he's using his legs."



At 12 minutes:36 seconds into the telecast, Moses struggles to balance himself on one leg, and says he wants to be saved. Benny Hinn raises his hands and thousands cheer.



Benny Hinn: "Listen. The man has just walked for the first time in his life."



At this point, Benny Hinn instructs the crowd to stand up, and begins quoting from Isaiah 53:5. Afterwards, Benny Hinn states,

And the man comes up. You know what it's like for me to stand here and listen to a young man who had never walked in his life, and tell me, 'I want to be saved'?

At 14 minutes:22 seconds into the telecast, referring to Moses, Benny Hinn states,

His legs. Life is coming back in his legs tonight.

At 16 minutes:55 seconds into the telecast, Benny Hinn states,

You know, I'm, I'm standing here next to this young man. We better never take this for granted; never forget the privilege.

At 18 minutes:05 seconds into the telecast, Benny Hinn pronounces Moses healed:

Here's a young man who says, 'I want to be saved.' He's healed. He's happy about that but he really wants to be saved. That's what he wants.

At 21 minutes:05 seconds into the telecast, the Kampala, Uganda segment ends and returns to Benny Hinn in his This Is Your Day! studio, where Hinn states:

What a Lord we serve. There's none like Jesus is there? To heal this young man, like this, a cripple from birth. And then for the young man to look at me and say, 'I want to be saved.' This, I, I'm telling ya; there's nothing like it. Nothing.

Towards the end of the telecast at 22 minutes:04 seconds, Benny Hinn once again reminds his viewers that Moses was crippled from birth, and that he stood for the first time in his life:

And then this, this young man. I mean, this is one of the greatest miracles I've seen in really a long time. We've seen wonderful miracles. But, you know, to see a young man crippled from birth just standing for the first time in his life--in front of me--and he stood with no shoes on, with clothes that weren't that nice.



But the next night when he came back, he had new shoes for the first time in his life. And he had new clothing. And now he is in a Bible school.

The video evidence



If a picture is worth a thousands words, then a video must be worth its weight in gold. Benny Hinn is no stranger to controversy and deception, and the video evidence of Hinn's encounter with Moses does not lie.



At 22 minutes:17 seconds into the telecast, Moses and Benny Hinn are shown together on-stage during the crusade. Moses is balancing himself on his right leg. His left leg is still bent inward at the knee.



At 22 minutes:29 seconds into the telecast, Moses is seen limping to the stage. As he approaches the stairs to the stage, Moses is assisted up the stairs by Henry Hinn. Two "catchers" are behind Moses at the bottom of the stairs.



As Moses slowly hobbled up the stairs, he uses the stair-rails to assist his climb. His left leg remained bent inward during his climb. When Moses finally reached the top of the stairs and onto the stage, he was not only assisted by his sister, he limped to Benny Hinn with outstretched arms.



Therefore, was the crippled man Moses really healed? No. Yet, he was pronounced "healed" by Benny Hinn.



It bears repeating again: Benny Hinn follows a counterfeit Jesus, counterfeit gospel, and counterfeit spirit (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Hinn's god is incapable of healing precious people like Moses.



However, Benny Hinn's god is capable of deceiving the masses into thinking a legitimate healing has taken place.



The crippled and lame: true accounts of healing



"One need not be a doctor or physical therapist to know when someone is walking abnormally and in pain. Most importantly, where in the Bible does it say that when Jesus healed someone, they remained partially blind, partially diseased, or walked away limping? It doesn't" (Bud Press, "MIRACLE IN TRINIDAD?" http://www.christianresearchservice.com/BHinn16.htm ).



One need not look to Benny Hinn and like-minded false healers for true accounts of healing. God's word records numerous accounts of legitimate healings of all types, including those who were lame and crippled from birth:



The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them (Matthew 4:24).



Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel (Matthew 15:29-31).



And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them (Matthew 21:14).



Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is

called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!" And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!" And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God (Acts 3:1-9).



For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed (Acts 8:7).



At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up and began to walk (Acts 14:8-10).



When Jesus healed the lame and crippled, they didn't get up, limp around, and struggle to maintain balance. When the apostles used their gift of healing through the power of God, there was no lag-time in between and no ifs, ands or buts. The feet, ankles, and legs of the lame and crippled were immediately straightened and made whole.



None could deny Jesus' miracles, nor could they deny the apostles' gift of healing through the miraculous power of God.



2,000 years later, although Benny Hinn is adored and idolized by his followers, he has once again clearly demonstrated his inability to heal the sick, dying, and crippled by the power of God. Indeed, the testimony of God's word proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Benny Hinn is a charlatan and a false healer.



To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20).



The God of the Bible forgives, saves, sanctifies, and redeems the unsaved. The God of the Bible also heals broken bodies--according to His perfect will, that is:



This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14).



Sometimes, God's perfect will for the believer includes incredible suffering and persecution, of which the apostle Paul endured in 2 Corinthians 11:18-30.



Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John wrote:



We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).



Those who listen to God and study His word will know the difference between truth and error, as well as the difference between a true and false healing.



God does not work miracles through hyper-heretical faith healers like Benny Hinn, because Benny Hinn and those like him are ...false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).



Final comments: To the skeptic and unbeliever



The situation with Moses is both sad and tragic. It not only serves as fuel for the skeptics and unbelievers to downplay Christianity, it serves to drive the unsaved deeper into sin and further away from accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.



Accordingly, a skeptic or unbeliever who witnessed the encounter between Benny Hinn and Moses may say, Benny Hinn proclaimed a "crippled" man healed, but the man continued to limp. If this is what Christianity is all about, then I want no part of it.



The fact of the matter is that individuals like Benny Hinn have been around for thousands of years. They do not represent true Christianity. They are, as the Bible warns: savage wolves (Acts 20:27-31); distorters of the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-9); false brothers (Galatians 2:4-5); enemies of the cross (Philippians 3:18-19); stumbling blocks to those searching for truth (Matthew 18:7); false prophets (Matthew 24:11); false teachers (2 Timothy 4:3-4); false healers (Matthew 7:21-23); and more.



This is why it is extremely important to trust in Jesus Christ and the truth of His word over-and-above the Benny Hinn's of this world. While Benny Hinn has a long history of controversy and deception, Jesus Christ will not lie or deceive you, for He alone is the Healer of souls:



Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30; KJV).



For additional articles and information on Benny Hinn, please refer to

Christian Research Service's "Benny Hinn: False Prophet" page at

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/Benny_Hinn.htm



Bud Press is the Director of Christian Research Service and a Christian Investigative Researcher. Christian Research Service is a discernment ministry that provides information, documentation and referral on a wide variety of issues to the body of Christ and the Christian news media worldwide. All correspondence is subject to public scrutiny.

Pastor rapes, impregnates his daughter

Pastor rapes, impregnates his daughter

http://www.ugandaobserver.com/new/news/news200712201.php

December 20, 2007

By Richard M. Kavuma
WEEKLY OBSERVER
A Kampala preacher who allegedly raped and impregnated his 16-year-old daughter says jealous pastors simply want to bring him down.
The girl produced a baby boy who made 6 months this week.
In a bizarre twist, the mother of his abused girl claims that she herself was forced into sex by the same pastor, resulting in the conception of Lucia (real name withheld).

Pastor Herbert Bugembe, 33, of the defunct Great Commission Christian Centre in Bweyogerere, is said to have raped Lucia, now 17, in Nairobi last year.

Lucia’s mother, Joyce, claims that she conceived her daughter after Bugembe forcibly had sex with her in 1989.
At that time, both Bugembe and Joyce were only 15, the same age Lucia was when she was allegedly raped by her father.

Under Chapter 14 of the Penal Code Act, both rape and defilement carry a maximum death penalty. Incest, which is sexual intercourse with a blood-relative, is punishable by up to seven years. If the person with whom the incest was committed is below 18, a culprit faces life imprisonment.

Bugembe this week calmly denied Lucia’s accusations in a two-hour interview outside his house in Mutungo, charging that some pastors were trying to tarnish his name. He said he had temporarily put his church on hold because of the problems associated with Lucia.

But this newspaper has seen signed documents where Bugembe admits that he “attempted” to sexually assault his daughter. In another document signed five months ago, Bugembe admitted being the father of his daughter’s child, who made six months on Monday.

The Weekly Observer has learnt that Bugembe was reported to the Police CID in Kampala by a child-rights organisation in September. But no action has been taken so far, reportedly because the case is complicated by the fact that the alleged crime was committed in another country.

Long story
Spanning two decades and two countries, the story starts in Jinja in 1989. Joyce was working as house-girl at the home of Bugembe’s elder sister, Sarah. Bugembe, then 15, was living with the family.

In an interview at her two-room rented home in Kayunga last week, Joyce said Bugembe forcibly had sex with her that year. By the time she found out that she was pregnant, she had lost her house-girl’s job and returned to Kayunga. She went on to deliver Lucia but Bugembe denied that he was the father.

On his part, Bugembe told The Weekly Observer that “like any young man then”, he “played around” with Joyce “about 20 years ago”. As to whether he was the father of Lucia, Bugembe said the matter would be resolved by a DNA test, which he was ready to pay for. He did not say why that test has never been taken.

Joyce, now a married mother of seven, says that Bugembe’s relatives, persuaded by a resemblance between him and the baby, accepted Lucia and lived with her at various times. Aged 7, she was taken in by Bugembe’s sister called Prosy who lived in Nsambya. It was not until she was 14 that she moved to Mutungo Zone 6, where her father Bugembe lives with his wife and six children.

Father’s care
What happened thereafter is not clear and depends on who you talk to. Lucia says she was mistreated by both her father and step-mother. At one point she ran away and went to live with her mother in Kayunga. On other occasions, she either took refuge at a teacher’s house or a Local Councillor’s home, because Bugembe allegedly wanted to rape her.

In response to these allegations, Bugembe calls Lucia a liar who has teamed up with rival pastors to bring him down. Asked to name and shame these jealous pastors, Bugembe said he had not kept their names, as that would create lasting enmity – something unchristian.

He also claimed that Lucia was being sponsored by her mother to make the allegations in order to get money out of him. To show how bad his daughter can be, Bugembe said that Lucia had gone to the extent of smuggling witchcraft – green leaves and tips of chicken legs wrapped in bark cloth – into his bedroom.

“But do you think [Lucia] can design witchcraft?” Bugembe said. “There is a force behind her. When you become a pastor, you have to be ready for any attack.”

However, the area Local Council leaders have a different story. The Mutungo Zone 6 Secretary for Women, Jane Nalongo Lugayizi, said she was aware that Lucia had run away from home several times, claiming that Bugembe was harassing her.

In March 2005, the girl sought shelter in a neighbour’s house and the neighbour took her to Nalongo at night. A meeting was convened that night involving local leaders, Lucia, Bugembe, his wife, and his in-laws. At the end of the meeting, said to have ended about 2 a.m., Bugembe wrote and signed a statement committing himself to be a better parent.

Taking responsibility
“I, Pastor Herbert Bugembe of Mutungo Zone 6… have accepted the claims and reports that were reported by [Lucia] that on the 20th of March 2005, I attempted to unlawfully have sexual intercourse with my daughter and upon refusing, I beat her and caused her to run away from our home… and it was the second time it was happening to the child,” Bugembe wrote in the statement dated March 30, 2005.

Bugembe further writes that the matter had been reported to Kitintale Police Post on March 27, 2005 by Lucia’s teacher. He ends by promising to put his daughter in a good boarding school and asking all present to forgive him.

According to Nalongo, the matter was then considered closed. But it did not end there. Bugembe says that last year, he had a mission to preach in 32 churches in Kenya and he took his family with him.
Lucia says that her father promised he would place her in a vocational school in Kenya. It was there in Mwimuto, near Nairobi, that Bugembe allegedly raped her.

“It was around 4 a.m. I was sleeping in the chair. I was wearing my night dress. He only had a towel wrapped around his body. Then I saw someone sitting on me and holding my mouth and I was struggling to shout… When he got off me, he entered his room and closed the door. I cried a lot.”
In the interview with The Weekly Observer, Bugembe repeatedly denied having had sexual intercourse with his daughter. He said he could not do such a thing both as a Muganda and as a born-again Christian.

Lucia says that a month after the incident, she developed sores and swellings in her private parts until she could hardly walk. Noticing the girl’s worsening situation, Bugembe later dressed her wounds using a piece of cloth, capsules and hot water.

According to Dr. Adrian Matovu, a medical officer in Rakai, if the sores and blisters were related to the alleged rape, it suggests that the girl contracted a sexually transmitted infection during the act.

Lucia says that once she missed her periods for two months, she knew she was pregnant. Despite the sickness and pregnancy, Lucia claims she did not get any help from Bugembe’s wife, who is said to have been incensed by the girl’s increased appetite.

Maid in Kenya

In January this year, Lucia says her father took her at night to a woman called Helen, promising to pick her up the next day. The next thing she heard, the Bugembe family had returned to Uganda and left her in Kenya. Apparently, she was supposed to work as Helen’s house maid.

“I just started crying. I was pregnant. What was I going to do? The woman told me that any Ugandan found walking on the road in the area could easily get killed,” Lucia said.

Bugembe admits that when the family returned to Uganda in January, Lucia remained in Kenya. He could not explain why he left her in Kenya. All Bugembe says is that he left her with a cousin called Robert in a house with rent paid upfront for two months. Then he adds that when he went back to pick the two children, he found that Lucia “had run away with men”.

Lucia’s account is that she got help from health workers at Wangige Health Centre, who also directed her to a doctor who bought her a bus ticket back to Uganda.
She went straight to her mother’s home in Kayunga. On June 17, 2007, she delivered a baby boy.

But because of cultural beliefs relating to incest, she is reported to have refused to breast-feed ‘her father’s’ baby, fearing it would die. The baby (names withheld) has since been taken to a Kampala orphanage following the intervention of ANPPCAN, the African Network for Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect.

Empty promises
ANPPCAN’s Information Officer, Joshua Lubandi, told The Weekly Observer that the NGO first learnt of Lucia’s case around May this year, when she reported having been raped by her father.

Lubandi said that Bugembe committed himself to maintain both children but had since reneged on his promise. The Weekly Observer has seen a document titled ‘Commitment to maintain and care for my child’, signed by Bugembe in the presence of APPCAN social workers.

“I, Bugembe Herbert hereby agree that I am the father of the child of [Lucia]. I therefore commit myself to care and maintain both the mother of the child and the child by providing for both of them food, shelter and clothing,” reads the July 15, 2007 statement. “I make this commitment without undue influence or coercion of any form and hereby append my signature to affirm this.”

Bugembe pledged to pay Shs 40,000 every month but ANPPCAN says he has not paid again since that July. About failing to pay, Bugembe explained that he had lost the contact of the ANPPCAN officials and did not know where their offices were located.

Both Lucia and Lubandi separately told The Weekly Observer that Bugembe was given a Post Bank Account number on which he was supposed to deposit the money.

But he failed to honour that commitment.
rimkav@ugandaobserver.com

ACCOUNTABILITY IN BORN AGAIN CHURCHES

Where do born again churches put the Sunday offerings?
Rodney Muhumuza

Sunday Monitor
http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/insights/Where_do_born_again_churches_put_the_Sunday_offerings.shtml

Insights | December 16, 2007

Many Pentecostal preachers could be diverting cash and other
donations to personal use. In the American case, as in Uganda,
preachers’ lavish lifestyles, flamboyance and sometimes deceptive prosperity sermons continue to make them fair game for critics

KAMPALA

American televangelists Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar are among four international preachers now on the spot over their failure to readily provide information that would be used in a federal inquiry into possible corruption within their ministries.

Both Hinn and Dollar were in Uganda a few months ago, and many Ugandans religiously watch their television shows. Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator from Iowa who has called for the probe, made his intentions clear in letters he sent to the televangelists on November 5, giving them at least four weeks within which to reply.

“I’m following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries. The allegations involve governing boards that aren’t independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces,” Grassley said in a statement posted on his Web site.

“I don’t want to conclude that there’s a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more. People who donated should have their money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code."

The lawmaker sent out long questionnaires to the six ministries, asking them to provide audited financial statements, compensation reports, records for ministry jet travel, and other documents. It turned out that the December 6 deadline was beaten by only the ministries of Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland, with the other preachers—Dollar, Hinn, Eddie Long and Randy White--either questioning the senator’s motive or asking for more time.

It is now a waiting game: Grassley could seek the backing of the majority of senators on the Finance Committee, on which he is the ranking member, to authorise subpoenas or call for hearings, potentially leading to very damaging revelations.

But Ugandan observers say that while the American story is on a larger and much more complicated scale, the basic similarities are not hard to see, most especially the suspicion that many Pentecostal preachers here are diverting cash and other donations to personal use.

In the American case, as in Uganda, preachers’ lavish lifestyles, flamboyance and sometimes deceptive prosperity sermons continue to make them fair game for critics.

Mr Solomon Male, a Kampala pastor who is known for his exposes on impropriety in the Pentecostals, says that churches for the balokole (born again Christians), despite making a lot of money, have boards that are not independent and members who are loyal to the pastors.

“Many of these churches have dummy boards. They handpick anybody to sit on their boards,” Male said in an interview last Tuesday, adding: “The pastors are not accountable to anybody.”

Most, if not all, of the local pastors preach that there is no limit to recruiting warriors for Christ, and churchgoers are normally encouraged to give as much as they can. But while congregations are given only general accounts of how and when the collections are to be spent, there are no tales of churchgoers asking for accountability because, as the pastors like to say, money will forever be needed to complete “God’s work”.

While the overall strategy may be brilliant -- ultimate accountability is purportedly made to God, the pastors insist -- the tactics have sometimes been controversial. In some ministries, notably the church of the Kampala prophetess Imelda Namutebi, churchgoers, long discouraged from offering coins, are expected to drop high denomination notes in offertory bags. And bullion vans seen outside Kampala churches on Sundays leave no doubt that huge sums are collected.

Yet it is difficult to know how many of these religious non profit organisations account to their benefactors or congregations.
Mr Martin Sempa, a senior pastor at Makerere Community Church, says there are some dubious pastors who have added “too much drama” to the character of the local Pentecostal community.

“There are two kinds of pastors: those who exist to create a name and wealth and those who exist to serve God and the people,” Sempa said. “But the bad ones have greater publicity.”

In recent times, local pastors have attracted a bad press, facing accusations that range from trickery to defilement, but there has been no public scrutiny of their financial dealings. A spokesman for the Uganda Revenue Authority, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the subject, said the agency has been “trying to sensitise churches, as they think that all things to do with a church are not to be taxed”.

“They don’t pay taxes apart from Pay-As-You-Earn if they are employing people. But they have to pay tax if they engage in any business activity,” he added. The question is: Do they?

Some city pastors are known to have companies, most particularly printing presses, which, in addition to making money for their ministries, also churn out the money envelopes used during services or the flyers that invite the faithful to miracle bonanzas “where they are expected to give”, according to Male.

Critics of the local Pentecostals also find fault with the alleged reinvention of the phrase “sowing a seed”, especially as some prominent pastors have led their congregations into giving away so much in the sometimes misplaced hope of receiving miracles.

Mr Sempa admitted that there were cases of “abuse of power, while Mr Male spoke of incidents where pastors remind their audiences that they can only reap in dollars if they sow in a similar currency.

“In that case, the minimum amount of shillings that someone would need to change at a forex bureau is Shs10,000,” Male said. “For a big church, if about 2,000 give that amount on average, that is a lot of money every week.”

It has never been in doubt that many of the revivalist churches make a lot of money through just Sunday collections, and a lot more through countless fundraisers.

Maracha MP Alex Onzima, who sits on the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee of the 8th Parliament, said they would only be concerned if the pastors were using the donations in a way that endangers national security, and not if the funds are being used to build lavish homes.
Rubanda West MP Henry Banyenzaki, who sits on the Finance Committee, said Parliament would only investigate if a complainant “presents a petition on the [bad] conduct of pastors”. But no complaint has come through, he said.

Interestingly, some of issues Senator Grassley had with the six televangelists are not far removed from what is happening with Ugandan pastors. In his letter to Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church, the lawmaker asked the preachers to confirm that they gave Bishop T. D Jakes a Bentley Convertible as a gift and to “explain the tax-exempt purpose of the gift” if it was purchased by a tax-exempt entity.

Some Ugandan pastors have been reported to give car and cash gifts to colleagues whose loyalty they wish to hold. Mr Robert Kayanja, for example, gave $10,000 to Meyer when she visited Uganda recently, while Namutebi donated a luxury car to Mr Joseph Serwadda, another of the prominent Kampala pastors.

Critics at the time said the donation to Meyer was immoral as Kayanja failed to appreciate that there were needy people in his community who needed the money much more. Meyer runs a $124-million-a-year empire.
“Meyer has never apologised for her financial success.

In the 2003 series, Meyer said everything she has — the $10 million corporate jet, her $2 million home, her family's fleet of fancy cars — were blessings straight from God,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on November 11. “Meyer preaches the prosperity gospel and uses blunt pitches to get her followers to open their wallets.”

But even when local pastors have been in conflict, which happens often, the results have been a spectacle. In August, for example, Moses Sekatawa, a Kampala pastor, was involved in a nasty conflict with the ministry of Joseph Serwadda, whose wife he accused of grabbing a donated car that he said was originally meant for him.

“Pastor Freda Serwadda refused to release the vehicle to me,” Sekatawa said in a letter sent to the National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches of Uganda (NAFBAPC), an umbrella organisation that brings together Pentecostal churches.

“I am always at pains trying to conceal the obvious truth so as not to tarnish her name whenever any of our church members ask me why they do not see me driving the vehicle I testified about.”

Sekatawa later confirmed that he had given up the car, a Toyota Liteace Station Wagon, by accepting a compensation fee of $2,000 from the Serwaddas. (Serwadda refused to comment, requesting for more time to study all the issues at hand).

Many more donations and other bizarre transactions go unreported, as there are at least 20,000 churches for the Pentecostals spread all over Uganda. Only about 1,020 subscribe to NAFBAPC, an association that does not have the mandate to regulate its members. In some cases, it has failed to investigate and arbitrate even those cases where there is smoking gun evidence of wrongdoing.

Officials at NAFBAPC insist there should be an independent agency that regulates religious organisations now that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Most Pentecostal churches register with the NGO Board at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Mr Warren Nyamugasira, the executive director of the NGO Forum, an umbrella organisation that has some churches within its ranks, said that while there are codes of conduct that would mandate the association to check for possible wrongdoing, “we have not received any complaints”.
He also said the NGO Forum was considering developing a code of conduct that “encompasses even those [NGOs] that are not our members”.