Durban Christian Centre EXPOSED!
Friends, as Christians we should rebuke those who are doing wrong; be it unintentional or deliberate. I was trying to write this piece earlier, but the introduction was so detailed that it became a sermon in its own right; so if you have an issue with the exposure which follows, please read the sermon “Rebuke!” first.
I used to live in Pinetown, which is about 16km from Durban’s beach. Whenever I drove on the N3 highway between Pinetown and Durban, there would be a large crucifix alongside the highway with an electronic scrollbar, occasionally displaying the message “Jesus cures AIDS”. I thought this was a very irresponsible thing to do in the province with the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Jesus could, but we can’t yet! But otherwise I thought nothing of it.
Update, 18 September 2012: I was in KZN last month, drove to Durban a few times in the week I was there. I carefully looked, but the cross is gone from where it used to be. I'm glad it is gone now - during the seven years I stayed in Pinetown 2001-2008, it was always there.
This sign belongs to the Durban Christian Centre (DCC). It is a “mega church” and recently had to build a massive new building called the “Jesus Dome”. I always just thought it was a charismatic, Pentecostal church, and have not thought anything of it – until coming into contact with witness accounts relating to it. And that is why I am writing to expose the DCC!
After hearing some witness accounts of some serious apostasy, I decided to investigate some more. I went to the DCC’s website but in all honesty couldn’t pick up on anything that was wrong with their claimed core values. The only thing I did notice was that the famous TBN televangelist from America, Creflo Dollar, was scheduled to visit their church. Creflo Dollar teaches some very incorrect and heretic doctrine; for more information on him, click here. The fact that DCC would allow this proven heretic to speak in their church should already cause alarm bells to go off.
Still, the presence of Creflo Dollar does not prove an entire church to be apostate. But as I give you the accounts which are about to follow, you will see for yourself that it gets far worse.
Durban Christian Centre has housed other TBN evangelists too, such as TD Jakes and Benny Hinn. Besides TD Jakes being a large wolf in sheep’s clothing, Benny Hinn even gives apostates and heretics a bad name. For DCC to allow such people to preach their false gospels, they either have to agree with it, or are ignorant of it. Assuming they are not stupid, they would have to agree with it. It would be correct to say that by actively accommodating preachers which subscribe to the damnable Word Faith Movement, they also follow it themselves.
But how does a church in Durban attract such megastars? The answer is obvious – with money! And lots of it! The church’s tithes and offerings are used to bring them to South Africa. And do the large donations of the congregation mean that these so-called Men of God share their teachings for free? No! You have to go to Computicket and buy tickets! Friends, when somebody is charging money to tell you about the Word of God, be very skeptical. After all, our very salvation is a free gift, so why then would you pay to get it?
Romans 5:14-18 - Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Alas, people can be misled. Just suppose I were to tell you this directly:
Friends, Jesus loves you, He died for your sins, accept Him as your Lord and Saviour to be saved, now give me your money!
You would say: “No way Matt!”. And you would be right to do so. But oh so often can we be manipulated to do things we would otherwise object to, using time, brainwashing, desperation and frenzy. When I worked with timeshare many years ago (forgive me, there was no other work at the time!), I heard accounts of people who were subjected to ten hours (!) of brainwashing, unable to leave the room, who signed a large deal just to get away. Or, when you consider the degrading TV and music of today, it would never have been allowed 50 years ago – the decline is the result of decades of small changes and the breaking of small taboos.
A friend of mine (who thankfully knows better now!) testified that this happens at DCC during services. If you were to be asked before the service to give a large amount of money to receive nothing in return, you would laugh. But at DCC, the service will last quite a while and the audience is whipped up into a frenzy. So strong is the frenzy that when it comes to giving tithes, offerings and donations, you will gladly give your hard-earned money to them.
But now comes the bad part. According to witness accounts, the preacher at a recent DCC service made the claim, in front of his congregation, that you must give tithes to the church, and failure to do so will send you to Hell. He even called out the names of members of the congregation to name-and-shame them for not giving DCC enough money! Can you imagine the humiliation those people felt inside?
Firstly, look at the issue of calling people by name to lambast them for not giving the DCC enough money. Besides this being wrong in so many ways, no church should know what anybody gives them! And when you give anything to anybody as a donation, you should never tell anybody, lest you get the glory rather than God:
Matthew 6:1-4 - Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
So, already the DCC ignores what Jesus said here, otherwise how would they know who gives what?
Secondly, the act of giving as much as you can does not bode well for the churchgoers. True to human nature, those who can afford to give a lot of money will boast about it. One churchgoer bragged of donating ZAR 30,000 to the DCC, donated purely so that Benny Hinn could fly to South Africa and preach for an hour or two. Besides being a total waste of money - Benny Hinn has two private jets so can surely afford to fly to SA himself – she bragged about it. There is only one motive for telling other people that you did something good – pride. And God detests pride! Even if that huge donation was for a good cause, simply boasting about it has destroyed God’s glory – because now people will say 1) “Look at that person, how wealthy and fancy they are!” and 2) “Look at that person, how good they are for giving a large amount to church!”. Friends, when you violate Matthew 6:1-4, God doesn’t give one fig whether you gave ZAR 1 or ZAR 1,000,000 – He is not getting the glory, you are. God would far more prefer that you give ZAR 1 in secret than ZAR 1,000,000 in public. Glory be to God!
Thirdly, the idea that giving money, or not giving money, determines your salvation is an absolute heresy. Those who teach that you must tithe or else your salvation is lost will often quote this passage:
Numbers 18:26 - Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
Look at the first sentence. This only applied to the Levites. Through Deuteronomy it shows how the Jews would tithe to keep their Levite priests fed, and the Levites tithed a tenth of that. We are neither Jews nor Levites. How many of the preachers today will shave their heads, which Levites were commanded to do too? Tithing is also not found in the New Testament.
See also this great explanation on how unbiblical tithing is: here
Nay, it is your faith and faith alone that gets you saved:
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Titus 2:11 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
Romans 10:13 - For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
What this wolf preached goes hand-in-hand with Lordship Salvation. This is the commonly taught heresy that although you are saved by your faith, you can lose your faith if you’re not a good person. They will say that, before you get saved, you have to stop sinning altogether, and after salvation you must lead a sin-free life. This is not Scriptural! It is also impossible – for no human that lives, has lived or ever shall live can be perfect, with the exception of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Besides being not Scriptural, the problem is that this teaching gives ample scope for abuse. If you must be sin-free, you must also do good deeds. This now becomes salvation by works, which goes against Ephesians 2:8-9. This teaching came from the Catholic Church, though surprisingly many Christian churches teach it as well. But especially these money-hungry con artists! Because with that teaching, they can easily translate that into making their congregation believe that by giving as much money as possible to the church, they can somehow guarantee their salvation just that little bit more.
There are also various cases whereby the DCC charges money for blessings. Again, this is a practice which was scraped from the barrel of Catholicism. Friends, no genuine Christian will ever charge you for a blessing. Not one! Yet, my friend gave ZAR 2,000 for a blessing to find her a job. It didn’t work and she took two years to pay off that money. In another case, someone paid an insane ZAR 120,000 for the healing of a friend’s deaf baby – the baby, sadly, is still deaf.
Friends, it becomes clear how people can be so gullible for charlatan churches like the DCC. Such are honest churchgoers who love the Lord, but are weak in the faith. If they would read the Bible for themselves, they would never land up in a church like the DCC. Alas, they did. The preachers will twist and mutilate the Word of God and few, if anybody will actually bother to read the Bible for themselves to see “wow, he is wrong!”. Such is the frenzy in such services, that the congregation will be too usurped in the preacher’s performance, that they won’t be sitting down and checking if what he says is true. Many people, as in many other churches, will also not concern themselves with checking for themselves if the preacher is right – “he’s a Man of God so he must be telling the truth!”. No, they are also mere humans just like you and me:
Romans 3:4 - God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;
Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The accounts are very saddening. Even the effects are sad; in one case a decades-long friendship was broken because a DCC churchgoer took offence to their friend for daring to forward an e-mail from me regarding tithes. Had that DCC churchgoer stopped giving donations in vain and opened their Bible, they would have seen what Jesus had to say about this:
Matthew 5:23-24 - Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
In closing; with all the above, I have exposed the goings on of the Durban Christian Centre. All of the above is the result of witness accounts by people who either go, or have gone, to the DCC; or have direct dealings with churchgoers in the DCC. If you are reading this and you are in the DCC, I hope you see it for what it is and run like the wind from the DCC. Via the contact page on my site, you are welcome to ask me further questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. If, however, you decide that I’m the nastiest man in the world for having told you all of this, that is fine as well – Jesus said in Matthew 5:11 it would happen:
Matthew 5:11 - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Though, if you are reading this as a DCC churchgoer and you realise that all the above is true, I can perfectly understand how dismayed you can feel, having given them so much money and fallen for their false doctrines. If you decide to leave the DCC and seek a proper church, know that your folly is in the past; it’s done and dusted. You’re healthy, maybe wealthy; you’re alive and ready to worship God as you should. Move on from it and take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, God has your back:
Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
Also: DCC suspends a former Hindu Pastor for criticising Hinduism!
Sources: I have given the link to the DCC website for you to see who they are. The claims are all made by former and current DCC members who have testified to me, but remain anonymous for their protection.
Update, 28 October 2012 - I was given the link to an interesting extra article, explaining more about the prosperity gospel movement (not directly related to the DCC, but seeing how they host TBN people - here.
Update, 30 November 2012 - TV Preachers Exposed! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?