Unkulunkulu waKwazizabantu! The God of Kwasizabantu!
The theological, spiritual, and religious fallout at this Christian cult in South Africa is a spiritual horror story. So many of us who lived and worked at this place have been thrust into a spiritual and confused theological and religious wilderness because of the current revelations around the religious-based practices of Mission Kwasizabantu (KSB). Although a core group of people today are still holding on for dear life to what they believe and have at the cult headquarters, the majority of members, spiritually confused and shunned by the Christians abiding in the cult, have disregarded the cult now. They left, clutching to their chests the Bible and a bag of spiritual “take alongs”, filled to the brim with their own revered “biblical” truths harvested from the KSB cult’s doctrines, teachings and practices.
The “god” of Mission Kwasizabantu is now clearly shown to all, the spiritual and secular alike, through the testimonies and experiences of hundreds of people associated with KSB through the years who are speaking out to secular commissions investigating the cult. Also, the doctrines and teachings of the cult is of importance to profile the KSB “god” in contrast to the true biblical God. Separation from the KSB cult plunges one into the spiritual and religious secular marketplace where many other gods are competing to take hold of one’s soul, heart and dedication. They vie for the confused and seeking ex-KSb members’ attention, now so wounded and vulnerable. And many of the disillusioned leave the faith rather than choosing the true God, for they have only known the one god, he is, “Unkulunkulu waKwazizabantu! The God of Kwasizabantu!”. And he turned out to be a false god. Their new dictum, “There is no god!”, sadly guides their lives outside of the cult’s spiritual boundaries.
The spiritual and religious marketplace is like a vanity fair in front of the entrance to the true Church, obscuring her from the view of the ex-KSB member. The more than 25 mainline and 6 000 independent denominations in South Africa alone, are all there! Seducing the eyes and the ears of the weary ex-KSB member with their spiritual wares all dressed up in the conservative or liberal biblical sales-talk; Bibles are everywhere, a multitude of Jesus’ are presented, and the holy spirit(s) are in an abundance. The booming voices of prophets proclaiming, “this is what God says”, echo through the air and the preachers proclaiming “the true Word of God” seems to be everywhere. If this is not enough, the ex-KSB member is implored to explore the rich and famous TV-evangelists and Youtube preachers in a very visual way. Therefore, the ex-KSB member caught up in this cacophony of spiritual availabilities many a time glances back with a deep yearning for the notorious truths in the direction of KSB just as the Israelites longed for the pots of Egypt in their pilgrimage to the promised Holy Land.
Entering into this maze of spiritual options to find the true God the ex-KSB member has to let go of the bag filled with “take along” truths and hang onto the one item all has in common, the Bible. For many ex-KSB members, the Bible represents something quite distant from their own customary spiritual walk as the Bible at KSB was an icon, habitually taken to church, yet interpreted from the pulpit for the spiritual bourgeoises. It was never used in any formal Bible study, never exegetically and expository explained, always read through the glasses of the orally transmitted doctrines of a distant 1966 Maphumulo revival, always subject to the interpretation and authority of the cult’s prophet(s) and to be proclaimed as God’s Law onto all.
The revealed lives of the spiritual KSB-politburo have shown the futility of their religion and a “do as I say, do not do what I do” attitude to all things spiritual. The high moral ground required from the religious bourgeoises is saturated by their own infidelity, adultery, sexual perversion, violence, thieving and licentious living. Like a Luther in the 16th century Reformation the dictum ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbi Dei (“the church is Reformed and always [in need of] being reformed according to the Word of God”) has to grip the heart of the ex-KSB member and force him/her into the Bible’s pages for an undiluted reading of God’s Word. Only there the wounded and confused soul will find rest, healing and the strength to face the religious marketplace.
Clutching the newly discovered Bible in one hand, the ex-KSB member becomes the truth-seeker in the religious marketplace of independent and mainline churches. So which religious make-up is worthy of the ex-KSB member’s commitment? There are so many – the Pentecostals, the Charismatics, the Calvinists, the Reformed denominations, the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox churches, the Watch Tower cult, the Methodists, the Seventh Day Adventists or the myriad of independent churches which abound in the religious marketplace. The mainline variety all have well defined and often old confessions of faith. But, on offer is also a very attractive and familiar religious gathering with tempting well-known, however watered-down doctrines, the ex-KSB religious congregation with no set doctrine or formal confession of faith. The old KSB truths and doctrines preached by ex-KSB co-workers like confession of sin, purity, holiness, religious attitude and conduct, communal spiritual exclusivity and the judgement of external clothing and observable aspects in religious context are truly inviting. But really, the true ex-KSB member does not fit any particular religious mould. The true ex-KSB puzzle-piece is a leftover piece in the whole puzzle of the religious landscape.
The time is at hand. Carpe diem! The ex-KSB member should “seize the day” and rethink God as an urgent correction for religious days, effort and commitment wasted. Like the Bereans of Acts 17 who were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so, the ex-KSB member have to study the Truth in the Bible. Not again accepting the interpretations of others blindly but guided by the Reformation principles by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone according to the Scriptures alone to the glory of God alone! These are non-denominational in their core and helped me to rethink God and find solace in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And He, God, is vastly different from the denominational gods for sale in the religious marketplace including the par excellence Unkulunkulu waKwazizabantu!
I do not believe any longer that God came down in 1966 in Maphumulo, for if He did, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered Him and not did what they did to God’s people! Living in hidden sin whilst demanding confession of sin, purity and holiness from God’s people!
I do not believe any longer that Lidia Dube died in 1973, spoke to the Lord Jesus in heaven and rose from the dead, for if she did, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered God and not did what they did to God’s people! She would have lived a life of truth having the same mind and attitude of the One she claimed to have seen face to face!
I do not believe any longer that the God of Mission Kwasizabantu is the God revealed in the Bible, for if He was, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered Him and not did what they did to God’s people! They would not have put the so-called 1966 Maphumulo revival on par with Scripture nor have elevated their cultural rituals to the level of biblical truths and enforced them with physical, emotional and spiritual violence.
I do not believe any longer that the God of Mission Kwasizabantu is the God revealed in the Bible, for if He was, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered Him and not lied, sexually abused God’s people, stolen the church’s money or denied the truth of their evil deeds.
I do not believe any longer that the God of Mission Kwasizabantu is the God revealed in the Bible, for if He was, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered Him and be prepared to humble themselves, acknowledge their sin and beg forgiveness with contrite hearts from those oppressed and abused by them!
I do not believe any longer that the God of Mission Kwasizabantu is the God revealed in the Bible, for if He was, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered Him and not did what they did to God’s people! Claiming to be filled by the Spirit of Truth, they would have discerned and acknowledged their evil deeds and not continue to lie and hide their atrocities as it became apparent through the testimonies of hundreds who suffered at their hands!
I do not believe any longer that the God of Mission Kwasizabantu is the God revealed in the Bible, for if He was, the founders and leaders and co-workers at KSB would have feared and revered Him and not did what they did to God’s people! The leaders and co-workers claim to be prophets, priests and kings in the household of God and yet they have failed dismally in upholding the three offices associated with Christ. If they have discerned Christ as the head of the Church, they would not have sinned with the congregants, did sexual immoral acts, lied about stealing the Church’s money nor enriched themselves at the cost of the people of God or defiled the Bible in their sinful processes.
There is salvation outside of Kwasizabantu Mission! And Erlo Stegen is not “….the last prophet before the Lord Jesus returns” as the cult’s member still believe.
Soli Deo Gloria!