A HARARE based prophet who made headlines early this year that he had had lunch with God at his home in Sunningdale has gone a wild step further grabbing news headlines by claiming last week that he is the fourth influential figure after God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The radical prophet, Talent Madungwe, further alleged that the biblical angels, Michael and Gabriel, come after him.

With a sizeable following, he claims to be a self-appointed advisor to God.

The controversial prophet also stated that there were only 60 righteous people in Harare in the month of April on God’s righteous city chart which ranked Paris bottom with 25 people.

Many have been outraged by Madungwe’s claims which he has vehemently defended, likening himself to God’s messengers who were not understood by people of their generations.

His utterances have once again brought into the arena questions of whether anything can be done to quell religious extremes.

His comments, to those with a firm grasp of the scriptures are precisely what is called blasphemy.

Madungwe, a tough talking leader of the modern prophetic movement alleged on national radio that God was his personal friend and that he had been to Heaven.

Of late, very weird proclamations by the modern age prophets have dominated the Christian movements.

The polemical prophet further declared that only a few of the country’s popular clerics were among the righteous.

He also claims that he has been told when the world will come to an end. “God told me that if all people repent, the world will come to an end in 300 years but if it is not the case then it will be 100 years,” he said.

He said he has been tasked to be God’s monitor on the earth.

“As I have said, I’m God’s advisor and I will have a meeting with Him to tell him if people are repenting. This will be in five years,” he said.

Madungwe who claims to have seen God 20 times went further described what Heaven look like.

Many Zimbabweans share the view that something ought to be done against such extremes but it appears the freedom of worship right bestowed upon people by the Constitution puts the view in a quandary.

Efforts have been made to protect people from religious fraud and charlatans but it is difficult when adults willingly follow frivolous things.

The level of gullibility shown by some people is shocking in the least. This is so when one realizes that such prophets command huge followings.

A number of African countries have struggled with the prospect of legislating against religion.

The South African government, in particular, is moving closer to the unusual prospect of possibly having to regulate or legislate against some religious practices in the face of an unrelenting detestable prophetic movement that has invaded Africa.

Calls have grown louder in the southern African nation following a litany of religious practices by professed prophets dabbling in odd healing sessions that even put congregants’ health at risk.

I have always noted with an emphasis that the intensity of abuse and claims by some religious leaders would sooner or later bring us to the objectionable place where legislation interfaces with the freedom of worship.

While legal interference poses no harm coming in the form of requirements for churches to adhere to a country or city’s by­laws, it is difficult when the State tries to interfere with spiritual matters.

The amalgamation of the State and the church is a huge turn off for many who understand the history of the Dark Ages.

Where the State prefers a particular brand of religion over another the consequences have always been fatal.

No one wants a repeat of the Dark Ages where people were slaughtered for their religious beliefs with the formidable and cruel combination of church and State.

However, events of nowadays indeed place authorities in a very difficult position; to legislate or not to legislates against religious practices? This is a real dilemma.

South Africa is among a host of African countries currently in the grip of deciding how to deal with the blasphemous practices.

It is even pointless, coming back to Madungwe’s case, to try and draw from the Bible that practices by such prophets are ungodly.

Madungwe’s case is one of hallucination. One does not even need to have depth in scriptures to see the deception.

To begin with, how does a sinful mortal being become more than the angel Gabriel? The Bible states that no man can see God and live but these prophets trivialize heavenly things.

In their quest for fame and glory the prophets continue to mislead many by their hallucinations but the truth must be said unreservedly: the claims we have heard from these new age prophets that God speaks to them through cellphones and visits them for lunch are just a fallacy that deserves to be condemned by all well-­meaning Christians.