Know the belief system

Alph Lukau
Alph Lukau

To understand the supposed problem of fake pastors properly, the social and belief systems in South Africa must be known.

If it has to be considered that our Constitution is hailed as the best in the world, although no country adopts it, then it means that the fruits of its jurisdiction speak louder than its rights and responsibilities.

Other countries, which have adopted a wait and see attitude, do not see the benefits of adopting the sweetest Constitution in the world because of its sour fruit.

Since the days of colonialism, most black Africans have found it difficult to choose between Christianity and ancestral worship.

Some have tried to do both, only to reap very deep spiritual retribution for their experiment.

Doubtless, for many black people, Christianity remains the religion of the oppressor, which is anti-African. This is an unfortunate assumption but understandable.

For many white people, Christianity is what brought light to a dark continent and people. This, again, is unfortunate, but true because it took Christianity for Africans to finally speak in one voice.

Add to this confusion the contrasts offered by the Constitution, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The result is a confused nation always experimenting for a lasting social and belief ideology which will make everyone happy. However, this is an impractical fantasy.

Concerning these stories about fraudulent pastors and prophets, the greatest tragedy is the failure in separating those who indulge in criminal behaviour from religious fanatics.

This failure is, of course, very comforting because these charismatic pastors tend to preach the gospel in a raw and honest manner.

Unlike in the traditional churches where preachers spend a lot of time reading academic articles rather than the Bible, pastors in these churches aim to emulate Jesus.

The question is, should the Bible be read academically or spiritually?

If we now say religion must be regulated, is it not to betray the spirit of the reformations which empowered the laity to read and interpret the Bible for themselves, rather than rely on priests.

We have seen horrendous crimes committed in South Africa, like the use of body parts to make muti and killing of albinos. These acts are committed in the name of a belief of some sort.

But very little noise has been made, since these belief systems do not offend the human will. Regulation or no regulation, Christianity will prevail and subsequently conquer the system.

South Africa is a developing country where many people do not read. Implementing the academic and theological principles of developed countries will not work.

The government must fulfil its mandate and empower the people economically instead of threatening churches.

The greatest danger is limiting the faith of individuals in a democracy because the Christian message is a stumbling block to the human will.

Regulation will mobilise Christians and influence them to enter politics. This is how, in most instances, extreme and militant religiosity begins.

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