COULD the world be nearing a critical point of no return? Because how else does one describe the wicked behaviours being exhibited by some of our so called men of God today?
A day hardly passes in Zambia without hearing of a pastor, a bishop or prophet being involved in depraved activities while holding the Bible in their hands.
These stretch from illicit sex, money laundering, witchcraft and plain larceny, to mention but a few and yet these people continue to walk around with their heads up without an iota of divine shame.
It is also not a surprise that many people called men and women of God today have stopped preaching salvation and are immensely concerned with activities of the dark world.
While it may be fair to say that most religious groups are not trying to bamboozle innocent people, but no one should deny that it is momentous to stress God’s standards. God’s way is always the best and only safe course in religion.
Another familiar catchphrase is ‘prosperity theology’ in which a good number of church leaders claim that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth.
Elsewhere it has been reported that Evangelical churches are failing to protect victims of sexual abuse among their members during which leaders are said to have dispensed lecherous comments, unsolicited kisses and invitations to hotel rooms.
While Pentecostal churches derive their growing reputation in large part from their ability to combat witchcraft in society many have argued that Pentecostalism itself is an alternative form of witchcraft discourse because it falls prey to the same uncertain relationship between power, success and social obligation that witchdoctors and politicians must face.
Take the current issue of a Kitwe pastor who sparked a riot on Monday in which more than 50 people of that city’s Chamboli Township were arrested after he claimed that a member of the local Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) was involved in witchcraft and was keeping an Ilomba (mystical snake) at the unit’s offices at Mogadishu Grounds.
Copperbelt Police Chief Charity Katanga confirmed that 59 people have been arrested and detained in various police stations in Kitwe after they were involved in a riot sparked by a prophesy by a well renounced pastor.
Ms Katanga said in the ensuing riot, 15 vehicles including two belonging to the police were damaged at the CCPU offices after the residents accused the members of the CCPU of hiding the Ilomba.
“Yes, I can confirm that there was a riot in Chamboli Township in the morning between 10:00 hours and 11:00 hours after a pastor prophesied that a member of the CCPU is keeping an Ilomba at the CCPU offices.
“The residents went to the CCPU offices, but could not find the Ilomba. Despite not finding the Ilomba, the residents became riotous and accused the CCPU members of hiding the charm,” she said
Ms Katanga said it was sad that pastors were making prophesies which incited or ignited riots or hatred in the communities instead of making those that could help the nation deal with various challenges.
She supported the government move to regulate activities of pastors because some of their actions only served to incite hatred and divisions in communities.
“I now see why Government wants to regulate these pastors. You cannot have a pastor working like a witch-finder accusing people of practicing witchcraft. No, that is not a prophecy. A prophecy is not supposed to incite or spark riots. No.
An Ilomba is believed to be a mystical snake created by a sorcerer supernaturally to attack targeted enemies or bring wealth.
Some people say it appears as a regular snake then turns into a normal person but when it sets its mind on any desired target, its head begins to take shape of its creator.
Once fully developed, the Ilomba allegedly begins to feed on the bodies of human beings.
Its eyes allegedly paralyze its owner’s chosen victim or victims with fear and bite them, suck their blood and devours their flesh to double its size.
If this man of God, presumably with a small ‘g’ can be proud to be associated with witchcraft and cause such mayhem, there is nothing that can stop anyone to believe that we are already living in our end times.