Ramson Mumba and El Shaddai:

Prosperity Teaching at its Most Brazen Has Established a British Presence...

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The Biblical Gospel is Definable, but El Shaddai Uphold a Message about

'the Whole Person; Spiritually, Physically, Socially, Emotionally

And Financially'

Should We Really Mix the Gospel with Psychology?

Pastor Ramson Mumba

Pastor Ramson Mumba

A very large new prosperity gospel organisation has come to London! The group refer to themselves as The El Shaddai International Christian Centre, and are led by Pastor Ramson Mumba. Exactly who are they?

'El Shaddai International Christian Centre' is a group of churches led by Ramson Mumba and his wife Linda Mumba. They apparently started their first church in 1998 in Bingley, West Yorkshire,UK which met at Bingley Grammar School, and then moved to the city of Bradford within two years. This group have been experiencing considerable growth in numbers. In 2004, the Mumbas moved to London to plant a church, and churches have also been started in Manchester, Birmingham, and now Cardiff.

In 2007, this group were able to purchase the Golders Green Hippodrome in London for an astonishing £5,000,000, and they also now have regular programmes on the (so-called) 'Inspiration' satellite Christian channel.

The Mumbas consider themselves as spiritual children of Creflo Dollar, and became affiliated with his organisation in 2002. This group are not subtle about their 'health, wealth and prosperity' message at all and conform to Creflo Dollar's amazingly blatant standard of virtually only preaching success and prosperity-focused messages.

UK Apologetics are going to make certain comments about 'El Shaddai' - we do not seek to judge pastors Mr and Mrs Mumba, about whom we know little, neither do we judge the sincerity of those who worship with this group, however, we do uphold the right to critique their teachings which are observable not only from their own website but from their somewhat frequent TV programmes on Inspiration.

On their website, under, 'Prosperity Bible Studies' one may click a link to 'The Power to Get Wealth.' Here are a few quotes from that article,

"For a long time now, most Christians have had the idea that it is not good for them to be financially blessed. Even the very thought that it is God’s will for them to have abundance is offensive to most them. Ironically, most believers seem to major in scriptures that say, 'prosperity will ruin the fool. Do not hasten to be rich because you shall not be innocent. It is much easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.'"

Hmmm! Later in the same article we have these astonishing paragraphs,

"The most dangerous person on the planet is a Christian with both a God given vision and money to finance it. Deuteronomy 8: 18b says, God gives you the power to get wealth so that He may establish the covenant that He swore to our forefathers, as it is this day. Notice how your financial prosperity has profound implications for the establishment of God's covenant with mankind. To not want to prosper, therefore, is to become a hindrance to the fulfilment of the covenant. Your unwillingness and shame of prosperity is a matter of life and death for someone else. The covenant will never be established in its fullness without prosperity. We all have to be determined to demolish all the arguments by rightly dividing the Word of truth."

The writer neglects to mention that probably every Bible commentator of note would point out that the Deuteronomy 8:18 comment was applicable to Israel and the Old Covenant alone, indeed the particular instruction only applied to the Levites.

The unsigned article, possibly written by Pastor Mumba himself continues,

"I am still shocked at the number of people who cannot see the pattern established in the Word of God that all those who were in covenant with God were extremely blessed, both materially and spiritually. The Bible calls this the Gospel that God preached to Abraham, saying 'in you shall nations be blessed.' If this is the full counsel of God, then having only preached salvation and both baptisms, we still have a big job to do. Haven't you noticed that all the people who had this blessing in their lives prospered? Abraham was rich. Isaac was rich. Jacob was rich. Joseph was rich and so were all the men and women who associated with them. Why, then, should it be any different for you seeing you are the seed of Abraham and an heir according to the same promise? Galatians 3: 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 27, 28 and 29. It is the same covenant and it is the same God. In fact ours is a better covenant, because there is no curse on it at all.

The blessing of Abraham is such a powerful thing. The Bible says in the book of Proverbs 10: 22 that, 'the blessing of the Lord makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it.' God's plan for prospering you is not only through your natural ability but also, and most importantly, through the blessing. If you are an heir according to the promise, then there must be an inheritance for you somewhere. Jesus said in Mark 10: 30 that you should receive a hundredfold in this life. The inheritance is not for when you die and go to heaven. Today is the day of salvation. This is the hour to receive your inheritance. If you have been baptised into Christ, the blessing, then you have put on Christ, the same blessing that empowered your spiritual pedigree to prosper."

The writer of all of this highly biblically-flawed prosperity gospel propaganda concludes with the call for all to personally declare the following:

"Go ahead and declare it, I am licensed to prosper. I am empowered to prosper. I have the power to get wealth. My money has a mission. The mission is to establish the covenant. I am God's distribution centre in the earth. Therefore, I will never be broke another day in my life. I am out of debt now in the name of Jesus. Make a demand on the anointing that is on me and this ministry because it is rightfully yours by exchange. Lay hold of your prophet's reward." (These comments taken from 'The Power to Get Wealth,' El Shaddai website).

Terrible Confusion About "Covenant" - And What is 'The Blessing of Abraham' Anyway?

In all of this teaching, there is much mention of 'covenant' but never any attempt to define it. The Bible mentions several covenants but makes it clear that Christians now stand under 'The New Covenant.' Perhaps because that particular covenant is so clear, this article purposely keeps things vague. The strong implication is that Christians are inheritors of "the blessing of Abraham" and that this is all about financial prosperity which comes to one for the sake of the (undefined) "covenant." In the 'positive confession' statement (the last quoted paragraph), we read El Shaddai's suggested statement for all new believers:

"...I am licensed to prosper. I am empowered to prosper. I have the power to get wealth. My money has a mission. The mission is to establish the covenant. I am God's distribution centre in the earth. Therefore, I will never be broke another day in my life. I am out of debt now in the name of Jesus."

Incredibly not a single word here speaks about what Christ accomplished upon the cross nor about any other spiritual matter. It is entirely concerned with the 'here and now' and the 'good things' of this temporary life. The teaching is that Christians today should employ positive confession in order to inherit 'the blessing of Abraham' and - thereafter - they should expect to be wealthy and never in debt. But is 'the blessing of Abraham' really all about wealth? The answer might surprise some: The truth is, 'the blessing of Abraham' is not about wealth at all! Actually, it is not even partly about wealth! Let us consider what Paul the Apostle (who, after all, should know!), says about this matter:

'Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are chidren of Abraham. The Scriptures foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.' (Galatians 3:6-9, NIV throughout).

But - wait - are we told what form this Abrahamic 'blessing' will take? This is important to pin down because El Shaddai and an army of prosperity teachers say this means that Christians today should be healthy and wealthy. Let us continue with our text, to ensure that we fully understand about this 'blessing of Abraham':

'All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no-one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.' (Galatians 3: 10-14).

It is clear that 'the blessing of Abraham' - which Christians have inherited - concerns their standing under the grace of God, without benefit of the Old Covenant: it is a spiritual matter unconcerned - I repeat: unconcerned - with financial prosperity. So we see that the great patriarch Abraham was not deemed to stand under any law: his faith, a divinely-granted faith, being deemed sufficient for him to stand in a gracious relationship with the Lord; in this sense, Abraham stood in a place which - since the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord - is now occupied by every Christian. Abraham tasted the joy of the New Covenant ahead of time. Through faith alone, he stood under God's grace. So this whole matter is a spiritual matter concerning the areas of law, faith and grace: financial prosperity and health are nothing to do with the 'blessing of Abraham' whatsoever. Now it is true that Abraham was wealthy (by the standards of his day, not by modern standards; we are only speaking of a few herds of animals here!), and today Christians may also stand in spiritual - I repeat 'spiritual' - prosperity before God since the keys of the kingdom have been handed to us. But probably every single Bible commentator of note of the last two hundred years has not considered that material prosperity has any connection whatsoever with 'the blessing of Abraham' - those blessings concern faith, grace and the Lord Jesus Christ: They are spiritual blessings!

An interesting secondary issue here is that Paul's central point is that Christian believers today do not stand under any aspect of the Old Covenant - yet tithing is quickly pulled out of that obsolete covenant and taught to every single prosperity church member, including members of 'El Shaddai' - and these sincere but naive people are taught that they are being unfaithful if they do not tithe regularly!

So we see that a failure to correctly understand the New Covenant and a willingness to simply repeatedly use the term "covenant" in a most vague and broad manner is a most serious theological failure indeed. I may say that I also found no Christian 'Statement of Faith' on the El Shaddai website when I looked (in mid-August, 2008), however, I did find a four-point 'The Vision.' This is El Shaddai's somewhat inadequate and vague 'vision' of their mission:

1. Our Purpose is to make God's name great.

2. The Means is the Uncompromising Word of God and the Anointing.

3. The Motivation to all that we do is Love.

4. The Result is the Restoration of the Whole Person Spiritually, Physically, Socially, Emotionally And Financially.

Regarding the first point, this sounds very nice but countless sects and cults would probably say the same.

With regard to the second point, again we find amazing vagueness, and what is meant by "anointing"? One feels that this probably refers to the strange and weird extremist-charismatic sense of 'anointing' (which numerous evangelicals would consider spirit-involvement), rather than the biblical sense.

The third point again sounds very nice but it is an emotional statement.

Finally, point four is very worrying because it is only the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (definable in several places including Acts 16: 30-31; Romans 4: 24-25; Romans 10: 9-10; 1 Corinthians 2: 1-2 and 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4), which has been delivered to the Church and only that message forms the subject of the Great Commission. In contrast (and in common with much of charismania), El Shaddai obviously, from their own 'vision' comments, has a different message, interestingly this plainly includes a financial dimension - which has no place within the biblically-definable gospel.

We do not seek to judge pastors Mr and Mrs Mumba since we know nothing of their relationship with God, maybe they are very new to the Faith, but we do judge extremist-charismania and the 'health, wealth and prosperity gospel' since it amounts to a most serious aberration of biblical teaching in general and certainly has no place within the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But should any who are comparatively new to the Faith, having never (apparently) studied the Word at any sort of deep level, set themselves up as leaders and then seek to influence thousands?
UK Apologetics, August, 2008.


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