In the name of Christianity and courtesy social media, we are bombarded every day with every kind of nonsense masquerading as Christianity. On 10th December 2015, Joy FM carried a story titled “Pastor says it is wrong to preach Jesus Christ”. I was dumbfounded. How on earth could a Pastor have the guts to utter such blasphemy? Before writing anything further, let me draw three conclusions. Either this man is ignorant of what the Bible teaches or he is confused about the teachings of Christianity or he is a false teacher and a deceiver. Scriptures warn us vehemently against false teachers and their false gospel. Writing to the Galatian church, Paul issues a stern warning against false teachings. He calls it “another gospel”. Indeed many false prophets are on the loose and we must beware:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed(Galatians 1:8-9).
There are indeed many nuances to the Christian faith and we will not be able to unfold all during our pilgrimage on earth. But when basic, fundamental tenets of the Christian faith are violated, there is a just cause to cry foul. Seeing the number of erroneous teachings that makes the news, I do wonder sometimes if the media has any rules around reporting religious news. I guess absolute truth doesn’t matter anymore. If it is sentimental, put it out there and make news out of it. Sometime ago, it was Mzbel, an entertainer saying she doesn’t believe in the existence of Jesus. Then the controversy of Ofori Amponsah, an entertainer turned pastor turned entertainer again surfaced. Recently, I also wrote an article in response to Kofi Amoabeng’s (former CEO of UT) claim of unbelief in an afterlife while still claiming to be a Christian. I guess the devil is at work feverishly to discredit the gospel.
Myjoyonline reported “Prophet, Peter Anamoh of the Machaira of the Pneuman Foundation says it is wrong for people to preach about the personality of Jesus Christ”. This is very alarming and dangerous to people’s faith. If we are not to preach about the personality of Jesus, what and who must we preach about? To assert it is wrong for people to preach the personality of Jesus is to strip the gospel of its central theme. What actually got Jesus crucified was the claims He made about Himself. He was crucified because He claimed to be God. The central theme of what we preach is Jesus. We cannot preach the kingdom of God devoid of the person of Jesus Christ. Everything God the Father did and is doing in human history is centered around God the Son. To Christ Jesus, the Father calls us to listen to:
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold , the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”(Matthew 3:16-17).
We must indeed preach Christ because He is the only way into the Kingdom of God (John 14:6). The personality of Jesus is who Jesus is and we must proclaim Him to the world. Jesus is God incarnate. We must preach that (John 1:1, 10:30, Colossians 2:10, 1Timothy 3:16, 1John 1:1-7). He is the promised Messiah, the theme of the whole Bible; we must preach that( Genesis 3:15, 49:10, Isaiah 11:10, 53:1-12, Matthew 1:22-23, 2:5-6, Matthew 3:3, Mark1:1-3, Luke 1:30-33). He is God’s substitionary sacrifice for our sins, we must preach that (John 3:16, 1Corinthians 5:21). He died on the cross, was buried and resurrected the third day, we must preach that. He is interceeding on our behalf in heaven. We must preach that. He is coming back again to judge the world. We must preach that.
Further, Peter Anamoah is quoted to have said “Christ while he was on earth some 2000 years ago, did not in any way preach about himself but he chose to preach about the Kingdom of God”. This is complete ignorance of the Bible and the Christianity this man professes. Jesus did preached about Himself and it is a fact. In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus enters the synagogue, picks up a scroll, read about Himself and preached about Himself. When He had finished reading, we are told “…he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”(v20-21). Why did He say “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing? Because He had just finished reading a Messianic prophecy by Isaiah about Himself and He was saying something to the effect that, this reading is about me.
In what is commonly referred to as the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus charged the Apostles and “…said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” What are we missing here? That we shouldn’t preach in the name of Jesus, the Son? In Acts 1:8, we see who the Apostles will be empowered to be witnesses of-Jesus Christ: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you , and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
If indeed, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name[apart from Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12), where did this preacher get the idea we must not preach in the name of Jesus?
I am still struggling in an attempt to figure out how anyone can read the Bible and come out with the assertion Jesus never preached about Himself? What happened to all the “I am texts in the Bible”? “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35). “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51). “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”(John 7:37-38). “I am the light of the world . Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness , but will have the light of life .” (John 8:12). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). These are just about a few of the numerous “I am” texts that gives us evidence Jesus spoke about Himself.
One compelling text I can’t leave out of this point is found in John 9:35-39. Jesus heals a blind man. The Pharisees are not happy. They threw the blind man out of the synagogue and Jesus’ conversation with this healed blind man points us to the point that “Jesus preached about Himself”
[When] Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man ?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said , “Lord ,I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
Now, preaching the Kingdom of God involves at least two things:
(I) What Is The Kingdom Of God?
(II) How Do We Enter The Kingdom Of God?
These two are inseperable. They are not antithetical. They are mutually compatible. Where you preach one, one must necessarily follow. Jesus says to enter the Kingdom of God you must be born again. (John 3:3). To be born again is to have a renewed heart, repent from your sins and put your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins(John 1:12-13, Romans 10:10). Jesus is the object of our faith granting us entry into the Kingdom of God. You can’t preach the Kingdom of God and not preach Christ. It is blasphemy to put the Kingdom of God above the person of Jesus. He is the King of Kings in that kingdom and He must be preached. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me(John 14:6). It is for that reason we cannot preach a heavenly kingdom devoid of Christ. He holds the key to that kingdom.
In conclusion, I think Mr. Anamoah’s theology is warped and the conclusions drawn earlier still holds. Either he is ignorant or he is confused or simply a false teacher.
Beware of him!