Ghana-based pastor and teacher of the word, Dr. Mensah Otabil has said some testimonies people share in church are products of idolatrous practices which should not be encouraged.
He is the founder of International Central Gospel Church headquartered in Accra, Ghana. He is also the founder and Chancellor of Central University College, and CEO of Otabil and Associates, an executive and Leadership Growth Consultancy
Otabil in a message monitored on social media by AV1 News said he does not encourage such testimonies.
”You have to treat the Word of God properly, so that the faith of the people does not reside or remain in the man of God, but in the Word of God.”
He specifically mentioned people who share testimonies of miracles as a result of the pictures of their pastors.
He said, “Somebody says, I have your picture in my house and anytime I see your picture something happens. That is idolatry.”
Otabil explained further that the kind of testimonies that should be encouraged is the one that comes from people’s understanding of the word of God.
“The kind of testimonies I like is when people come and say, pastor when you preached last night, I went to search the word of God. And I just said Lord, this is what you have spoken in your word and now I believe it and God did it. When people say I believe the word of God and something happens, that makes my day. This is what it is supposed to be.”
Otabil says in the message that he does not encourage testimonies that promote the man of God more than the word of God.
“There are people who know me, I don’t give those things value because Christ is the centre of our faith. Any testimonies that do not reference Jesus should not be encouraged,”
He said further, “Even if people come and say they came to this church and their lives changed, I say no. I came to Jesus and found Jesus and my life changed. I heard the word of God and discover the promises of God and the promises worked for me. That is how it should be.
“We have to bring the people back to the rock, Jesus Christ, and take ourselves out of the equation. We should let Christ be at the centre of the faith of the believer”
Otabil said too many preachers have taken the place of Christ. “Too many of us have taken the place of Christ. We like the praise and adoration and the hurray of men. ”
He said the congregation are the worst offenders, adding, “You make gods out of men. Instead of giving glory to God, you give glory to human beings.”
While noting that it is good to respect people and honour them, he said, “Always draw the line. The praise goes to God, the worship goes to God. The faith should be in Jesus and His word.”
He expressed confidence that as people build on the word and the rock, they will begin to discover Jesus by themselves.