Our societies have been invaded by new churches – faith groups mushrooming everywhere, disturbing the tranquility of our beautiful neighbourhoods. The evil that men do lives after them. This is how one can describe some of the so-called pastors who have subverted our societies and have caused havoc to unsuspecting and vulnerable multitudes. Paradoxically, some of these supposedly men of God disguise themselves in the biblical sheep’s clothes while they are actual wolves that later pounce on innocent victims.
There have been stories of the horrendous acts of some these pastors – asking congregants to eat grass or snakes or drink some detergents in order to show their faith and be healed. These and other bizarre acts have instead caused some illnesses of various sorts to the followers. One would ask: how can normal people really believe that eating grass or a snake can bring them closer to God? Equally, how can drinking a toxic detergent cleanse a human being? The answers lie in religion and faith.
Man, being a religious being, is prone to all the bad things that come with religion.
The belief in the supernatural being is what makes people vulnerable to the different pranks of some of these pastors.
Also, the rhetoric that these pastors use in their shenanigans is so powerful that the congregants’ reasoning is short-circuited. What the pastors say is followed without questioning; the results are disastrous.
Some people have committed all their salaries to their pastors in the hope of getting more in return. Others have voluntarily bought their pastors expensive cars while they commute to work. They are told that you must give in order to receive. They give in faith and trust that one day the heavens will open up for them, and they will lead a good life after receiving blessings. However, all the hope disappears like a mirage – nothing comes their way except more suffering. Meanwhile, the men of God continue with their tricks using the Bible and they receive more from their charges. They preach with more fire, as they say. More fire to destroy the reasoning of their congregants and win their souls – winning their souls by hook or crook.
That is the order of the day. Some of the pastors come with all sorts of goods that their followers should buy in order to receive blessings.
The wares include bangles, bottles of ointment (in most cases ordinary cooking oil), bottles of ‘holy’ water, T-shirts, caps, cutlery – a lot more. These make the worshippers feel that they are protected – they give identity and guarantee faith in and allegiance to their church and their leader.
Some pastors go to the extent of asking their homeless followers to buy a brick from them at an exorbitant price, lying to them that such an act will make them get a house from the municipality or whatever authority. Buying one brick for N$200 a brick in order to get a house; and no house in the end – but the gullible followers still attend the same church. Faith, faith, faith – is the problem. This is the reality. It appears as if the followers have been hypnotized by the preaching of their pastor. They see no evil in all his shenanigans. The pastors continue to woo more followers until he has a groundswell of them – multitudes and multitudes who make him a billionaire! The wood-winked followers make the pastor richer and richer as they become poorer and poorer; theirs is the Kingdom of God, they are told.
Some of these pastors have claimed supernatural powers. They have claimed that they can heal people suffering from various ailments. They have successfully stage-managed these healing sessions. All this to wood-wink their followers and would-be followers. They have even said they possess power to make barren people conceive and bear children. In most cases this has led to divorces after the pastors have been involved in some serious scandals with married women. From a scientific point of view, all these are false claims.
People should reason before they join some of these religious groups. Most of these groups are there to dupe you and to make a lot of money out of people’s desperation. Some foreign infamous preachers advertise false miracles in the local media and come here and rack in millions of dollars from the unsuspicious public. As I see it, people should be protected from all unscrupulous pastors who prey on our people. There must be a law that prohibits wolves in sheep’s skin from ravaging our innocent citizens. Our citizens must also be encouraged to make informed decisions before they commit themselves to some of these fly-by-night churches.
Glory be to God!
- Professor Jairos Kangira is the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Namibia. He writes on his own accord. Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org