Where does the Apostlic faith go in your Biblical timeline. Have you ever heard of the Vapostori group of people in Zimbabwe? Is their religion based on the Old Testament? Is it similar to Judaism? Sincerely, mshioura
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Summary: The religion was founded in the 1930’s by Johane Masowe after a religious experience that led him to believe he was another John the Baptist and led to preach in Africa. The religion is based on the New Testament; specifically on the scriptures on the Holy Spirit. It is not similar to Judaism.
Apostolic, Latin Apostolicus, plural Apostolici, a member of any of the various Christian sects that sought to reestablish the life and discipline of the primitive church by a literal observance of the precepts of continence and poverty. The earliest Apostolics (Also known as Apotactici, meaning “abstinents”) appeared in Anatolia about the 3rd century AD on the Bible Timeline Chart. They were extremely austere and renounced property and marriage. In the 12th century certain groups of heretical itinerant preachers called Apostolics were found in various centres of France, Flanders, and the Rhineland. (100 of 291 words) Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Vopostori, Madzibabas or Masowe Apostolics of Zimbabwe
The founder Johane Masowe
A man named Shoniwa Masedza founded the Friday Masowe Church in the 1930s after having a transformational encounter with the Holy Spirit, which led to a name change. The newly christened Johane Masowe, or John of the Wilderness, became the self-proclaimed John the Baptist of Africa. This history has tremendous resonance for the particular Friday congregation … the Juranifiri Santa (meaning “place of healing”). http://www.practicalmattersjournal.org/issue/3/reviews/a-problem-of-presence accessed Jan 20, 2011 Johane Masowe was born in 1914 or 1915 in Gandanzara village in Makoni district of eastern Zimbabwe, the second of six sons and a daughter born to Jack and Efie Masedza, of the Manyika subgroup of the Shona people. His parents named him Shoniwa Masedza Tandi Moyo, but the change of name to Johane Masowe came about through the religious experience that launched him into an itinerant preaching ministry from 1932 until his death in 1973.
Police records from the white colonial regime of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) indicate that Johane Masowe first got the attention of the authorities when he was arrested in 1932 for traveling around preaching without proper documents. In the police interrogation, he explained that he began having severe pains in the head that culminated in a dream that he had died. After that, he heard voices saying that his name was now John, which he interpreted to mean John the Baptist.
This new name carried a mandate to preach to the African people. His commission came from spending forty days in prayer on Marimba Hill, near the town of Norton, during which time he did not sleep and survived only on wild honey. A voice from a burning bush told him, “I have blessed you. Carry on with the good work. Tell the natives to throw away their witchcraft medicines, not to commit adultery or rape.” After these experiences, his headaches ceased.
He told police, “I really do believe that I have been sent from heaven to carry out religious work among the natives. I think that I am ‘John the Baptist,’ as the voice told me so. No human being has guided me in my teachings” . Masowe’s commission, as described in his own words, resembled that of Moses, John the Baptist, and Jesus in spending time alone in the wilderness, hence the name Johane Masowe, meaning “John of the wilderness”. http://www.dacb.org/stories/zimbabwe/johane_masowe.html accessed January 20, 2011
The Apostolic Church of Zimbabwe
According to a 28 October 1996 AP Worldstream report, the Johanne Masowe Apostolic Faith is an apostolic sect founded by the late Johanne Masowe. According to a 23 October Africa News report, it is based in Eastern Manicaland province. AP Worldstream reports that the faith has a shrine, the Johanne Masowe shrine, located about 120 miles east of Harare (ibid.). The faith has reportedly split into two factions, one led by Johanne Masowe’s widow, and the other by his son, Magaga Masedza (ibid.). Violent clashes between rival factions reportedly broke out at the shrine. This source further states that cars and a bus were damaged, four people injured, and 380 rival followers were arrested during the clashes (ibid.). According to the Africa News report, the sect is purist and is “notorious for its total rejection of any form of scientific medication,” which has resulted in the death of many of its adherents. (from the Canadian Immigration site) Beliefs of the Friday Masowe Apostolics From the book A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church by Matthew Engelke The Friday Masowe apostolics of Zimbabwe refer to themselves as “the Christians who don’t read the Bible.” They claim they do not need the Bible because they receive the Word of God “live and direct” from the Holy Spirit. In this insightful and sensitive historical ethnography, Matthew Engelke documents how this rejection of scripture speaks to longstanding concerns within Christianity over mediation and authority. The Bible, of course, has been a key medium through which Christians have recognized God’s presence. But the apostolics perceive scripture as an unnecessary, even dangerous, mediator. For them, the materiality of the Bible marks a distance from the divine and prohibits the realization of a live and direct faith. A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church by Matthew Engelke
From a member of this church comes this response to belief on a discussion board:
The thing that makes us (madzibaba nemadzimai) unique is the holy spirit. We have the power of the holy spirit in our blood which is a blessing that was shunned by the white people not knowing that the power we shall behold it our blood. http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=134425595340&topic=11425 accessed January 20, 2011
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