Transformations or re-transformation?
A Paradigm shift for evangelism
pt.4 Transformation in Kiambu, Kenya
pt. 1 INDEX
Transformation in Kiambu, Kenya
We now go to Africa where the video covers the complete change in the city Kimabu, Thomas Muthee of Word of Faith Church is featured. “The Muthees’ knew to be successful they would need to identify and confront the source of Kiambu’s oppression.” He then describes Eph.6:12- “our problem was what is the Devil doing to the people. Why is he keeping them the way they are.” They then did diligent prayer and research (spiritual mapping) and after 6 months the spiritual power had been broken. Claims are the local bars were closed and modeled into churches.
One of the scenes from the African “church” is a film of their prayer walk around the city. We don’t want to judge how people may worship in foreign countries. The video does present some strange activities as they are marching and waving tree branches in and outside the church (they could be chasing mosquitoes away for all we know yet it does seem similar to animistic tribal celebrations as they use branches to drive out spirits and cleanse the area). One is blowing a whistle with a sign “Join The Winners.” another man is walking around with a sign that says he is intoxicated in the blood of Jesus. That is plain weird and certainly implies the new revivalism of being drunk in the spirit. Muthee whose Prayer Cave is featured on the video is a “Word of Faith” church, under the ministry of Rudi and Sharon Swanepoel. They teach Word-Faith doctrine as their church’s name indicates. On their website indicates that they have been influenced by the ministries such as Rodney Howard Browne who began the laughter movement. From what we understand his brother Gil Rudi is an ordained minister of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. They appear to support “drunkenness in the spirit.” The pictures from Africa have people on the floor slain in the spirit clearly showing they are involved in this kind of unbiblical extreme activity. Kenneth E. Hagin has also given his endorsement to this video saying “It is an excellent video, and a great tool to reach the cities and nations through prayer. What an awesome opportunity we have today as believers to exercise our authority over Satan in the Name of Jesus! As each of us take our place in Christ, we can and will, reach the multitudes for the kingdom of God!” This is significant that a word faith church is featured and Kenneth Hagin is endorsing the video. This shows the affiliation of Wagner’s apostle prophet and spiritual warfare movement runs alongside the word-faith movement.
Claims of the Transformation video- Thomas Muthee says, “ Because of the bad reputation of the town nobody wanted to come.” it was depressed, the churches in town were not growing. Crime rate was the worst in the nation. “They preach the gospel but the people don’t get saved.” All these things are presented as in the past and a radical change has taken place.
Kiambu, is described as a city of 60,000 in the video, which was steeped in witchcraft, has experienced church growth in the wake of prayer -- significant in an area where no church has ever grown beyond 2 dozen believers.
This Book review explains energizing a church through prayer by C. Peter Wagners “Praying with Power:” How to pray effectively and hear clearly from God. They quote Wagner, stating that Mr. Muthee felt God's call to start a church in Kiambu, Kenya. Kiambu had a national reputation as a murder capital with the highest crime rate in all of Kenya. Local churches remained small and persecuted.
With a great deal of reluctance to go to Kiambu, Mr. Muthee brought together a few prayer partners and prayed fervently. The church he started soon was known as “The Prayer Cave Church” because so much prayer happened and prayers were answered. Within one year, not only did the church grow to 4,000 members, but the Kiambu population of 80,000 saw their community transformed into a peaceful, non-violent society. (http://www.umr.org/July22/RVbk0722.htm)
Actual Facts – In reality, Muthee did not want to visit Kiambu when he was doing his spiritual research. He “did not so much as visit Kiambu, only ten miles from his home, during that period.” “I would not want to step my foot into Kiambu until the spiritual forces of darkness over the city have lost their grip.” (Global Revival News and Joel News International) http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/5147/apr99f.html) This doesn’t sound like someone having boldness from the Lord who told him to go there. How was he going to learn about the area and the people without going there? We find in this kind of spiritual warfare they receive from the Spirit everything they need to know.
The first discrepancy, which is it, a population of 60,000 or 80,000. Well once again there figures are inaccurate (both the video and Wagner’s) as they have been throughout the video, here’s the official report and it matches neither of them. Why is that?
Kiambu is a suburb of Nairobi, it is not a city. Kiambu is the fourth largest district in Central Province. According to the 1989 population projections, the district had the highest population of 914,000 persons and a density of 373 persons per sq.km. Nyandarua, the largest district in the province had the least number of people. It had 349,000 persons and a population density of only 99 persons per sq.km by 1989. (Economic Survey, 1991) The 1979 population census recorded a population of 686,290 persons in Kiambu District. This was an increase from the 1969 census figure of 475.576 persons, with an estimated growth rate of 3.7% per annum. It is estimated that the 1993 population for the district is currently 1,076,000 persons This figure is projected to increase to 1,189,000 by 1996. (Prof. J.O Oucho of the Population Studies and Research Institute - U.O.N. report of 1993). These numbers are a huge difference from what is presented. We see Kiambu is a district not a city and over a million and a half people live there now and when the Muthee began there in 1989 it was certainly not 80,000, more like 914,000.
Claim in the Transformation video- The video states “no church has ever grown beyond 2 dozen believers.”
Actual Facts –The narrator later says, “Not bad in a town where a congregation previously averaged only 30-40 people.” Which is it? Again we hear two different stories even from their own video, as the facts are askew.
Claim in the Transformation video- “In his first crusade at the end of
the first week more than 200 people had committed their hearts to Christ. Soon
healings and conversions were commonplace.”
Claim in the Transformation video - That no one was coming to Kiambu it was depressed. “Now that Kiambu has a good name people from Nairobi are flocking to get houses there. Population up by 30%.” The implication is that the town has been cleaned up from a being a destitute like area through their spiritual warfare technique. What was once depressed because of a witch is now prosperous all because of a witch named Moma Jane left town.
Actual Facts – “There has been a considerable migration of people from other parts of the country to the major towns in Kiambu District. Most of the migrants are attracted to those areas with industries like Thika and Ruiru towns. Generally, land for farming has considerably been reducing in size and this has prompted people to migrate to other areas to look for land. In densely populated divisions of Kikuyu, Kiambaa, Limuru, Githunguri and Gatundu, people have migrated to such areas as Thika, Ndeiya, Karai, Lane Rift Valley Province and Nyandarua District.
Unemployment has also influenced migration to Nairobi and other major towns
in the country in search of employment.” “Kenya- In the year 1992, money
supply grew by 35% compared with 24% growth rate registered the previous year.
During the same year, net foreign assets increased by 629 million. The Balance
of Payment recorded a surplus in 1992.” Actually it was the whole country
that had an increase it was not exclusive to Kiambu.
The slums are not gone and they have them like any other sizeable city. And I suspect the video shots were of the worst areas making it look like an incredible change took place.
Claim in the Transformation video – We are told the crime rate was the worst in the nation. “The entire atmosphere changed. Where once people used to be afraid to go out at night Kiambu now enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the country. Local bars have been closed and remodeled into church’s.” “ Favours, prosperity, that is what we are seeing now.”
Actual Facts- Has it changed? The entire atmosphere changed! Not even close! At least not according to Kenya’s own news and government reports.
This article tells us Kiambu to be taken over by killer gangs. (note: this article is not a study on why the violence or who is the cause, nor is it my intention of belittling those who are the recipients of it. The purpose to look at whether the claims of Muthee, Wagner and Otis Jr. are correct.) “ The fact that the so called forces of law and order have completely failed to function in Kiambu district. Innocent people are being killed left, right and centre by marauding gangs who operate with impunity, as if secure in the knowledge that Songok and the rest of the security machinery in Kiambu is pretty impotent. Can large gangs of 20 or 30 people take over sections of Kiambu every night and disappear into thin air after horrendous orgies of robbery and murder? (http://www.africaonline.co.ke/AfricaOnline/ereview/961202/perspect.html)
An URBAN VIOLENCE article was done in the mid - to late -1990s. Most of its produce is consumed in Nairobi. Despite its proximity to Nairobi, the town is not very developed in terms of physical and economic infrastructure. This is because most of the rich people and those who desire shopping do so in Nairobi and this has made Kiambu town to stagnate for a long time. The present planlessness and mismanagement of the urban sector is a result of individual greed where the rights of others do not matter. It is for this reason that public utility areas are being grabbed by the so-called private developers. Public schools, Parks, Community centres; Recreation places; Road reserves; Public toilets; Cemeteries etc… are being allocated to the so-called private developers. … This corrupt system even in our study areas has led to urban decay and urban disorganization leading to the mushrooming of urban slums. This aggravates crime and violence.
3.1.2. What is an urban area? About half of Kenya's urban population live in the uncontrolled settlements commonly known as 'majengo' or slums. Urban growth has grown from 8% in 1963 to fewer than 21% in 1990 (Obudho and Owour, 1994). In a survey carried out in the inner city of Nairobi, crime was shown to be on the rise. In the year 1990, 24,906 criminal offences were recorded decreasing to 24,281 cases in 1991 and then increasing to 24,972 in 1993 respectively (Obudho and Owour, 1994).
Kiambu District rates of violence are a reflection of the Nairobi crime patterns and trends. Up to 70% of Nairobi residents live in slums, 80% of the city population are low-income earners. The 20% of the population that are high-income earners occupy 60% of the city's land (Owour, 1993).
4.0. Nature of Urban Violence- More than 90% of those interviewed irrespective of their zone of residence ranked arm robbery as the most worrying and most serious. Respondents were further asked why they think the crimes of violence have been on the increase in their towns…. Some 22% of the respondents blamed the government for mismanagement of the economy to the extent that majority of the towns dwellers were living below the poverty line.
One respondent quips: “……these days we sleep with one eye open and one ear
open.” … in both Kiambu and Nyahururu, adults were often, in fifty fifty
chances to be victimised either by someone they knew or a stranger...the urban
elderly 75% indicate that they are afraid to walk at night in Kiambu Town.
(there has been a reduction in the incidence of serious violent crimes in Kiambu
during the first three months of 1997 but the people are still in fear).
“Cases of armed robberies murders, rapes defilement ,housebreaking, and
burglaries have been common in this district.” ‘in Kiambu in 1996, when
there were daily incidents of criminal violence that involved car loads of
Violent robbery incidents which became quite rampant since last year in Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, have spilled over into neighbouring Central Province districts, Thika, Murang'a and Kiambu. Heavily armed gangsters are making attacks on the homes and business premises of businessmen in the districts leaving terror bloodshed and death in their wake. “We are leaving in hell. Never has it been like this before. Never have thugs ruled the people like this here”, Mr S. K. Njuguna, the elderly shopkeeper says. The incidents of thuggery in the central Kenya districts, particularly Kiambu have increased as the year nears its end.
Kenyan police see the crime problem affecting the central Kenya districts, particularly Kiambu as a manifestation of social disparities in an elite district with a lot of city influence. Hoards of jobless idle and thus disillusioned youth who throng the shopping centres of the districts can be easily be distracted to crime as there are many rich business people and professionals residing in the districts especially Kiambu. http://www.peacelink.it/afrinews/9_issue/p8.html
The point is that violence and disparity were there when the video was made and it continues today, NO change. Yet we are told from an article adapted from Praying with Power by C. Peter Wagner “Economically, Kiambu is now prosperous. The crime and violence associated with the city in the national media has now virtually disappeared. Some of the most notorious criminals of the city are now saved and are members of The Prayer Cave.” (Global Revival News and Joel News International) It seems the only ones who know about this is the church.
Many towns have prosperity and low crime rates without certain persons doing spiritual warfare prayer. The problem with this claim in the video is that it has NOT changed as stated. What are these people trying to pull? It seems that reality does not match their facts, in their minds all these things occur but people who live in the real world don’t seem to notice. Here are other links to prove violence is still present and the area has NOT changed.
Claim in the Transformation video - The videos says they had to confront the source of Kiambu’s spiritual oppression. The problem was identifying what the Devil was doing to the people. The spirit of witchcraft was resting over the place. “At the end of 6 months we caught a assurance in our spirit. The spiritual power over the town had been broken.” Muthee then conducted his first outdoor crusade in which 200 people were saved the first week. “After he prayed within days Moma Jane was stripped of her power, within weeks she packed up and left town. Once this power of witchcraft the principality that was over Kiambu was broken then the presence of God started to hover around town.” “The entire atmosphere changed.”
The video further describes a thick depression descended upon prayer and worship services and remained until elders discovered Moma Janes handiwork outside the Church.” They show her in the video planting fetishes at the Church grounds, “Realizing they were dealing with demonic influences the believers took authority over the situation.”
Actual Facts- Muthee says it all pointed one woman Moma Jane. In his spirit quest to identify the ‘major principality over the city “They prayed and fasted and the Lord showed them the spirit of witchcraft.” This is no great revelation and one would not have to do spiritual mapping to find this out. Yet we find that they received a vision in which God told them that the major demon of Kiambu was called ‘Witchcraft’ and had many demons under him.
Witchcraft is very common in Africa and from what I understand of the Kenyan culture on numerous street corners one can encounter practising witches/ witch doctors. Momma Jane may have been the biggest witch but she was not the only one. Yet Muthee has all the problems blamed on only one person. Incredible, she sounds more powerful than the Cali cartel, only spiritually. Actually this principality according to Muthee held back God’s presence, this is why people could not get saved. I’m sorry but I don’t think God is that weak, do you?
In the video they showed a woman doing her spells, which we highly doubt is a Moma Jane the witch. Since witches do not allow themselves to be videoed doing their craft, we believe this is a re-enactment which is not told to us in the video. Mama Jane, the witch, is filmed as placing a fetish in their church structure which was powerful enough to affect the church. The video then says “a thick oppression descended upon prayer and worship services” from Momma Jane’s opposition.(according to the video this was after the spirit of witchcraft and principalities was broken already). If the spiritual power over the town was already broken and the oppression was due to Moma Jane, how is it she is able to bring oppression on the church? Can one witch do so much damage to the people of God? Even after her power was broken, really, how believable is all this?
The video says “within days Moma Jane was stripped of her power, within weeks she packed up and left town.” But the video shows her (the real one this time) being escorted by police and very unhappy (it appeared to us they got her on some legal charge and the police were taking her in).
To verify this we came across an article that was adapted from Praying with Power by C. Peter Wagner and posted by Global Revival News and Joel News International April, 1999. It fills in all the details that the video seemed to neglect. “For the first couple of years, however, the spiritual counter-attack was fierce.” So this did not happen as stated when he discovered the Witchcraft was through Momma Jane in 6 months the oppression was broken, it was over a period of years. If it all took place “After he prayed within days Moma Jane was stripped of her power” Why didn’t he pray this from the beginning?
It continues, “Every Saturday night Momma Jane went to Muthee's church site, performed magic and cast her spells and curses. She let it be known to the city officials that she could not help them with her fortune telling as much as she used to because this new church seemed to be “cutting her lines of communication.”
Praying 24 hours a day, Thomas Muthee and his members did what they could to counteract the demonic attacks. But the power of evil invaded the church to the point that they could hardly pray. One day it got so bad that they started a worship song and were never able to finish it! They went outside and found the remains of fresh sacrifices and rituals left behind by Momma Jane.” This is the reenactment we see in the video. We are not disputing that this did not occur. What we are challenging is how this is interpreted.
Muthee issued a public ultimatum: “Momma Jane either gets saved and serves the Lord or she leaves town! There is no longer room in Kiambu for both of us!” In plain terms, Thomas Muthee challenged Momma Jane to a power encounter, much as Elijah challenged the priests of Baal. “
We disagree; this is nothing like the biblical story. Elijah personally confronted 400 priests; Muthee did not challenge her personally. The article states she was affecting them more than they were affecting her at the time, and she was only one person. This is embellishing the story at best.
The video states something a bit different. “We just raised up our hands
one morning and we prayed Jane get saved or leave town.” “Within days Moma Jane
was stripped of her power, within weeks she packed up and left town.”
The article goes on to counter the video by stating some mysterious accidents happened where 3 young children were killed near her clinic. “The police were called in, and they entered her house to investigate. In one room they were startled to find one of the largest pythons they had ever seen. They immediately shot the snake and killed it. And that promptly ended the spiritual battle! Momma Jane was taken for questioning and later released. But she quickly and wisely opted to leave town for good.” He resorted to the law. Its not as advertised in their video. This article needs to be read to see what is not said in the video. ( http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/5147/apr99f.html) She was being blamed for some strange accidents that occurred, and the police put pressure on her to leave.
Claim in the Transformation video- “They preach the gospel but the people don’t get saved.” After 6 months of praying (doing warfare), the spiritual power over the town had been broken.
Actual Facts- Is the gospel no longer the power of God for salvation? Now it is warfare prayer that becomes the power. Here we find the intent of the video, to transition people into unbiblical practices. The video says spirits stopped the presence of God. This is plain superstition. What it does is attribute is the overcoming factor was their prayer and that God was too weak without it. This is expected from a Word faith Church.
The Kenyan pastor said, “Once the power of witchcraft was broken then the presence of God started to hover over the town.” What kind of concept of God does this man have? What he implies is that God was held back by the power of witchcraft. Muthee says “prayer generates a power” It was their prayers that did it all which is equated with power not only in this incident but all through the video. I’m not saying our prayers do no affect things. But we need to remember they go to God and He answers them the way He wants. This is not the impression at all in the video. While he says the right thing about prayer he also said, “prayer generates a power.” Again the pioneer article says, the spiritual atmosphere of Kiambu had been sufficiently cleared through powerful prayer.” This is an occult view and not a Christian view. Our prayer is not what has the power but the one we pray to. When we lose sight of this fact we then depend on ourselves to get the job done instead of God. This is not praying in faith. And this is what is being presented throughout the whole video, we need to do spiritual battle in the heavenlies for God to release his presence when God is already omni-present.
The concept is to create a climate for the gospel by first displacing the opposing spiritual powers. Muthee offers cassettes, in “one of his series is 4 cassettes with the theme “Holy Violence” which intercessors should hear.” No doubt fighting spiritual war against the demons over cities. The appeal of this kind of prayer is that it's easy to do, it makes no demands on knowledge of doctrine, there is no missionary expertise to learn. One becomes filled with excitement because they are using what they believe is their authority to battle the Devil and chase the enemy out of the city for God. They believe they are making a difference for the kingdom, when in fact they may be involved in a futile exercise. Fighting the principalities and powers, identifying that there was a spirit of witchcraft over the town, and that one enters prayer to fight the spiritual power over the town for it to be broken -- these concepts are totally foreign to the Bible. Yet such beliefs have existed for thousands of years in pagan and animistic religions.
This pastor also said, “Favours, prosperity, that is what we are seeing now.” Which implies that this all happened because of his prayers. This is completely untrue, as we have seen from the reports he is reading into it what he wants. Maybe there was a change in his church but to expand it to the whole area is just stretching it all into a good story that benefits their promotion of their spiritual warfare model.
Want to read an article on how contradictory and eccentric all this is go to: (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/5147/apr99f.html )