Can someone tell me, please – where does a so-called man of God get off eviscerating fellow men of God by calling them stupid arrogant rubbish (sorry, alogant labish) people. This had me fighting for air between laughter and disbelief. The audacity to stand in front of a packed church and spend several minutes verbally abusing people is beyond comprehension. I was even more surprised that nobody got up to tell him to shut the fuck up – such is the kind of power these men of God wield on their followers. The good news is, there is now a new wave of memes and funny videos on how the man of God butchered the English language by inventing a whole new vocabulary. This episode reinforced the need for more people to talk about the plague that has enveloped most of Africa in the name of bogus preachers.
The thing I don’t get is how these men of God have managed to convince the average person that somehow, they [the preachers] have a special connection with God. Is it because we, [majority black people in Africa], do not question the existence of God as loudly as many in the west? How do people follow them blindly and unquestionably when asked to do ridiculous things bordering on madness – like eating grass or selling everything they own to give their money to these men. How do people allow to be humiliated in the name of proving the power of God through these preachers? Is it a desperate desire to know and believe there’s a conduit between someone and God? Or the believe that no-one can lie using the name of God so these preachers must be the real messengers of God and not con men relying on the desperation of many to get rich and mighty. These things feed the narrative that Africans are barbaric and gullible – it’s time to bring to an end to that.
In the last few months, I’ve watched, on social media, several clips of pastors doing incredibly crazy things to their followers or demanding they do comparably crazier things to themselves. Check these out:
- In one video a pastor is sitting on a high stool and worshippers or followers queue in front of him. Then, they hand him 2 bottles of what looks like coke and fanta. The pastor then pours the contents over their heads as they wash their bodies with the sticky mixture.
- In another video the pastor is seen washing his face and feet over the head of worshippers. I assume he must have told him that his dirt carried some special powers that would be passed on to them through this ritual. The queues were long too.
- Another video was of a pastor claiming to get phone calls from God to pass messages to people. This was more comical than spiritual enlightenment. Once the pastor ‘got’ the phone call and claimed that God had a message for some woman, the congregants went ape shit – they started speaking in tongues and throwing themselves on the floor. I have no idea how a group of people could be so gullible, but then again there was once a guy called Jim Jones who made a whole bunch of people commit mass suicide, or was it murder?
- In yet another clip or snapshot a group of young naked women bend over and let a preacher insert his fingers in their vaginas because he’d told them that God wanted him to do that so that they could be blessed with good husbands. Truly the things I hear beggars belief.
- An undercover reporter in Kenya called one of these bogus preachers who claimed to have the power to suck out demons and evil spirits from women through their breasts. I don’t even know what can be said about that – this level of overt sexual exploitation is beyond malevolent.
- Others included a pastor arriving at some village driving a car larger than the beast as his followers prostrated on the streets.
In a place where majority of people (a BBC survey) trusts their religious leaders more than any other leaders, shouldn’t religious leaders be a source of comfort and not blasphemous hooligans with delusions of grandeur and superior attitude?
The sad thing is that there are good men of God out there whose sole purpose is to enlighten people and help them in their spiritual journey, but their good name is being dragged down the gutter by these bogus preachers. These bogus men who take advantage of people’s reliance on the church to guide them during times of crisis and desperation. They take advantage of the poor and/or the unemployed who in most cases would believe just about anything if it promises to take their misery away.
If someone wants to believe that God is a white dude sitting on some cloud above earth judging and condemning earthlings that’s their prerogative; but for someone else to come and blackmail that person into believing that they are the missing link between them and God then that is pure evil. I personally think God is all powerful, awesome, kind and mighty and everyone has a direct link.
Does anyone else feel that churches should be regulated? Almost every imaginable profession – doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, researchers etc – are highly regulated and held accountable for their actions. Can the same be done for churches or does freedom of religion somehow exempts them from accountability? In almost every society there are more vulnerable members than others, who due to pressures of life or illness might believe just about anything – e.g. being told to eat grass and walk around naked so God can bless them. For the average ‘normal’ person that would be absurd but for a desperate and gullible person that might sound reasonable. Men of God should be accountable to someone else other than God.
In most constitutions, freedom of religion permits anyone to start a church as long as its within the law, but there should be at least a certain standard by which they should operate and the wellbeing of the followers should be the backbone on which that bare minimum standard is judged against.
Food for thought – is having no faith better than having false faith?
- the few videos and photos I’ve seen were mainly from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. But being African myself I am entitled to say Africa when I mean a few countries from Africa – get over it!!