Misuse of Religious titles by self-proclaimed spiritual leaders: Prophets, apostles, and popes in South Africa

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Thinane, Jonas Sello
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In the world of religions, different religious officials are given different titles. Christianity as a religion in the world and in South Africa particularly, has been severely attacked by self-proclaimed spiritual leaders who perform false miracles and abuse titles that have been respected by traditional mainstream churches for decades. These self-appointed spiritual leaders make utilization of these titles either through self-propagating or by accepting them when utilized upon them by their followers. This paper argues that self-appointed spiritual leaders' mere use of these revered religious titles cannot be justified within Christianity's framework. This paper offers a closer look at the literature regarding the use of religious titles such as Prophet, Apostle, and Pope. These religious titles remain very respectable within the Christian religion and are used to honour the role played by both biblical and contemporary Christian leaders. This paper makes three arguments; First, the age of the prophets was washed away by God's written Word in the Holy Bible, so those given this title should be pressed to prove the truthfulness of their prophecies beyond doubt. Second, apostles were those who were eye and ear witnesses to the teachings and resurrection of Jesus. Contemporary apostles must be compelled to defend their apostleship, as is the case in 2 Corinthians 11.Lastly, the title of Pope is traditionally bestowed upon the Catholic Bishop of Rome, the head bishop of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and other leaders of traditional ecclesial communities. In its entirety, this paper deals with the scientifically neglected aspect within the larger question of the regulation of religions in South Africa.
Religion, Christianity, Bible, Abuse, Titles
Thinane, J.S. (2021). Misuse of Religious titles by self-proclaimed spiritual leaders: Prophets, apostles, and popes in South Africa. Pharos Journal of Theology, 102, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.46222/pharosjot.102.035