Freedom Mutanda Post Correspondent—
In light of recent events in the kingdom of God, the writer asked himself whether the age old saying ‘’religion is the opium of the people’’ popularized by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels is still relevant today. Some of the doomsday spokespeople aver that the end of the world as prophesied in Matthew 24 is nigh; 2Timothy 3:1-5 further buttress the notion that we are living in the last gory days.A week ago, ‘’Tilda live’’ a talk show that unravels the controversial topic of the day unmasked a prophet’s shenanigans much to the chagrin of the Christian community. Obviously, there are adherents to the Christian theology who steadfastly say that it is impudent to question the authenticity of prophets because that is a matter for the almighty God to rule as judgment.
Some years ago, the newspapers were abuzz with allegations that a prominent blind musician had raped a woman with disability; their bone of contention was it was inconceivable for a blind person to perform such a heinous act. Therefore, in the court of public opinion, the singer was innocent. Subsequent investigations resulted in the singer being convicted and served time in ‘’college.’’
So much has been written about religion but there is an element of deep seated fanaticism that visit people when the ‘’man of God’’ speaks to them.
Of late, there is seeding that has become synonymous with Pentecostal churches and those prophets who say getting rich is a matter of faith. They are called prosperity gospel prophets who have suddenly gained currency in the last twenty or so years. They fill stadiums and one sociologist said when there is an economic downturn, religion takes centre stage as people hope against hope to find respite as the biting economic challenges hit them.
The story is told of a drowning man who clutched at straws to save himself. As he continued to drown, he saw what looked like a tree stump and clasped it but it was a rolling tree stump that hastened his demise.
Are the people who seed their money in expectation of plenty modern day people that are drowning? It is no secret that some prophets talk about the magical number 7 and go on to say that a person can seed money in multiples of 7 and they will see that by the end of the year, their fortunes would have grown by leaps and bounds.
Let’s go back to the story of George Washington that I read in ‘’The Day by day English course’’ in Grade 5 where an American conman visited a community and convinced it that he had magical money making powers; he could double or even quadruple money that they gave him. He said in the US of America, there were many millionaires largely because of that uncanny ability to make money grow. Indeed, the natives saw it happen, not once or twice and they grew optimistic that their wealth would increase four fold. Thus, when he encouraged them to come to him with all their monies, they didn’t hesitate. As they say, the rest is history; the American went away with everything and the people were left clutching thin air.
As mere mortals, we are not qualified to delve into the spirit realm but how is it that the majority of the congregants wallow in poverty while the suave prophets wear designer clothes? Does God segregate? From time immemorial, we have heard and read that God is just. As a God of justice and love, how can he allow injustice to take root in the house of the lord?
Some years back, I penned a piece on wolves that do their jobs but they’re in sheep’s skins. It was that time when a cleric who happened to be a polygamist was subsequently sentenced to almost four decades behind bars due to raping his congregants. Trust is important in any endeavour. Can husbands entrust their wives to these marauding pastors and prophets when their adventures are in the public glare like that?
The media must continue to expose these wolves who continue to prey on ‘’innocent’’ women but isn’t it high time the media must interrogate the psyche of women who continue to fall into the trap of these lecherous men who are not ashamed to be exposed as long as their victims believe the prophet is doing what he is doing for their own benefit.
Tilda Moyo ‘ambushed’ the prophet and even as he spoke, his shaky voice belied his guilt. It is abundantly clear that the man is repentant for his voice breaks as he attempts to explain the reason why he had to say ‘’I love you’’ to the congregant whom he calls ‘’mwana wangu.’’
When a woman is told by a prophet to undress as she does when a medical doctor asks her to and she does that, can we blame the prophet? She is under the influence of the prophet and at that moment, she may not be in her natural senses. Why? Someone may ask. She has been told about the ailments she suffers from. Maybe, some yarn could have been made about the history of her spiritual sickness and it borders on the truth. Who is she to dispute the further orders that the MOG (man of God) goes on to give? Accordingly, the much publicized saying, ‘’religion is the opium of the people’’ is brought to the fore.
If you have interacted with people who smoke marijuana or opium, you may see that they may have mood swings; they smile at nothing in particular or eat huge mounds of sadza that they might not consume under normal circumstances. Ben Johnson ran an unbelievable 9.79 seconds in the 100 metre dash in 1988, a world record at that time. It was a massive run which was later nullified as the officials said he had run under the influence of drugs.
By the same token, we can’t crucify the woman who had multiple sex encounters with a prophet ostensibly to get rid of a spiritual husband. She is a victim here. That prophet invoked the woman’s fears for his own benefit. She genuinely believed that once she sleeps with him, her problems would disappear. She gets the shock of her life when she realizes the prophet has used the same modus operandi to seduce her friend. She wonders how many women in the church have been duped in the same manner. That is when her eyes are opened to the chicanery at play but it is too late to back down because she has been immersed in sin by the same person who was supposed to help her out of it.
It does not mean women are unaware of what prophets can do to them in the privacy of the prayer room. Many stories are splashed in the media and social media on how pastors, madzibaba, priests or prophets can be the angels in Noah’s time who envied the human girls and went on to take them as their wives resulting in giants who were very strong since they were hybrids.
However, when they are faced with a similar situation, they seem powerless to fight the lustful person.
The prophet -cum conman does the abuse with the victim seemingly unable to say ‘’stop!’’ one victim agree that she received inducement fee to the tune of several hundreds of dollars and much later, she cries ‘’wolf.’’ She claims she has been raped. At the time of the alleged rape, she had consumed opium in the form of religion and wasn’t aware of the abuse until the fumes and their effects wore off.
That is the naked and undisputed truth.
Can you blame the person who has been conned or you direct your arrows at the ‘’smart’’ man who was able to make a person buy a broken part of a green bottle thinking that it is an emerald? That would be cruel.
One area that Christians have to work on is reading the Bible on their own and see how prophets of old conducted their duties. Eli’s children abused their authority at the temple and they paid the ultimate price for abusing women. That shows God frowns upon men of God who abuse their positions.
Recently, in South Africa, a traditional healer raped a 16 year old girl ostensibly to cure her and the head of the traditional leaders there said sperm can never ever be a cure to an ailment. In the same vein, prophets must always tell their congregants that if he was to suggest a sexual remedy for any illness be it spiritual or physical, then she must run because it is the devil who is saying that.
The need for an aura of invincibility to pervade their ministries make the prophets to be demi-gods whose instructions are omnipotent; thus, one prophet actually sleeps with married women after telling them that they will conceive.
Sheer madness but the poor woman cannot say ‘no’ for fear of ‘dire’ consequences that would visit her.
Our members of parliament ought to craft to craft laws that criminalize any rape or otherwise perpetrated by a Man of God. In the teaching profession, any teacher who fraternize a school child is sent packing.
The child looks upon the teacher as her/his parent and places trust on the teacher; then, the woman/ man abuse the trust bestowed upon him/her by the parents who knows the teacher is in loco parentis. The Man of God has seriously treaded on devilish ground by feasting upon ‘innocent’ women whom he calls ‘mwana’ wangu. Is he practicing incest for occultic purposes?
On the other hand, women have to wake up from a deep slumber. Some men always take advantage of situations.
Men of God happen to be humans who have feelings as well.
How can a woman strip naked in front of her ‘father?’ Yes, a medical doctor is allowed to perform a body ‘view’ in attempt to diagnose one’s illness and put forward recommendations. Now, prophets perform body views and go a step further.
They do that in the name of what?Are we headed for Armageddon? It is high time the church must have a regulatory authority whereby for a church ministry to be established, the authority has to put a stamp to its being there.