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See conmen at pulpits for what they really are

A family I know recently moved into a new house. According to the Christian faith, entry into a new house ought to be preceded by a serious prayer session, to expel any evil spirit that may be lurking in the house’s nooks and crannies.

And so a priest was invited to pray before the family moved in. But something strange happened. The family priest, a woman who is usually responsive and reliable, was untypically evasive and slippery.

When the day finally came for the family to move in, the priest was still nowhere to be found, even though she lived just 10km from the new house.

The family decided to take spiritual matters into their own hands; they prayed in the absence of their trusted priest, and settled into their new house.

This episode kept nagging away at the family, wondering what had changed in the relationship with their spiritual keeper of many years.

When the family investigated, the whole thing turned out to be a strange joke.  The disappearing priest, who is a tad advanced in age, was simply scared to leave her house because of Covid-19. But the priest did not have the courage to tell the truth.

For many years, this priest stood every Sunday before her congregation, encouraging congregants to fear nothing. She told her followers there is no disease that God cannot heal.

It was even customary for the priest to invite to the front those who were suffering from any kind of physical ailment. She laid hands on people in the name of Jesus, assuring them that their faith would heal them.

Every Sunday grannies who suffered from such typical diseases as high blood pressure or sugar diabetes never missed the opportunity for the priest to lay hands on them, even as they continued to take their prescribed medications.

Very frequently the priest cited Leviticus 27:30, which reminds Christians: “A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy.” Accordingly, the priest’s followers always gave a tenth of their salaries to the Lord, via the priest.

If one were to calculate how much money the family had given to the Lord (via the priest) over the years, it would be easy to understand why the priest lives in a double-storey house that her average follower does not have.

All along the assumption had been that members of the priest’s church must give to the woman of God so that the Lord can protect them from all manner of evil, including disease.

Alas, the priest disappeared exactly when a faithfully tithing family needed to flush out evil spirits from their new house, exactly when the Lord’s protection was needed most.

Fortunately, the gospel was too rooted in members of the family’s hearts. They did not lose faith in the Lord, which is why they decided to talk to the Lord directly when they were disappointed by their trusted priest.

The problem, though, is that this whole episode planted a seed of doubt in the family. It made them wonder if, after Covid-19, they should continue to believe their disappearing priest when she tells them there is no disease that God cannot heal, and that they must fear nothing.

If it is indeed true that there is no disease God cannot heal, and if they must therefore fear nothing, why was the disappearing priest scared of Covid-19?

This brings us to another crook who now languishes in jail, a young Malawian conman who has been marketing himself as Prophet Shepherd Major 1 Bushiri.

This crook became super-rich by, inter alia, selling “anointing oil” to thousands of gullible black South Africans who believed that his hocus pocus liquid contained some supernatural power.

Instead of using his “anointing oil”, Bushiri went to buy the real sanitiser that contains alcohol to protect himself from Covid-19.

Maybe we must thank Covid-19 for exposing the lies of the crooks who have been masquerading as men and women of God.

When the virus is finally gone, anyone who will give money to religious crooks must be declared a conscious idiot.

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