All hail the prophets of Doom!
What’s that smell? Sniff… sniff… I think it is Doom spray!
Doom has received exceptional free marketing in the past two days. The company has paid millions of Rands to market their product over the years, and suddenly, here comes this tjatjarag young man who gives them free publicity. Limpopo prophet (alleged), Letsebo Rabalago of Mount Zion General Assembly, has been in the news over his claims that God had instructed him to use Doom to heal them and exorcise spirits from his congregants. According to Rabalago, this common insecticide often has “healing properties.”
His argument is that God can use anything to administer healing and cast out demons and evil spirits. Apparently this Doom healing is now used for anything and members of the public have been cautioned to keep away from Doom. Apparently now some people going for job interviews doom themselves while those writing exams doom their books. I understand that even those whose machines don’t work in the sack are now spraying them with the hope that they will awaken from their slumber! Back in the day, we knew that Tiger Baba, also known as tshasatshasa, was a makgonatsotlhe but it appears that Doom has taken over. Psssssht!
Understandably, this particular pastor has come under fire for his practice, which is said to have detriment effects on people’s health. After all, Doom is an insecticide, which means it has chemicals, including dichlorvos. Insecticides are known to cause respiratory problems including asthma, if inhaled, and can even cause skin damage.
Over the past few years, many pastors and prophets, particularly of the new-age charismatic churches often referred to as “fire,” have been going to town with the miracles. Preaching and spiritual upliftment have taken a back seat and miracles have become the order of the day. I thought we had seen it all - what with congregants eating grass, while others ate snakes and said they taste like chocolate; and others still drank petrol and semen! We have seen women fondled under the belief that they are being exorcised of demons like spiritual husbands. Now it is the season of dooming.
The sad part about this new culture of “miracles” is that the poor, largely women, are often subjected to these strange acts due to the tough economic and life conditions that they are battling with. It is easy to deceive a person who is struggling because chances are that they are not thinking properly. The obsession with miracles is not necessarily a reflection of human stupidity but desperation; governments and other social institutions have failed people, and some people have failed themselves, and so they resort to desperate measures to try and put their lives into perspective.
Most of these pastors and prophets take advantage of people’s needs and desperation, and that is my contention with them. I have reservations with this fashionable culture of miracles, but other people have the personal freedom to make their own decisions about their faith. However, we should be intelligent and proactive in our faith. God loves us and that is why he blessed us with a brain and two hands. We should use them. We should not be overzealous in our faith lest we harm ourselves. We do not need miracles to reinforce our faith or heal. Human existence on itself is the miracle we need to realise that God is amazing.
If these healing practices were any useful, there would not be people in hospitals battling ill health; most of them would be healed, don’t you think? Why is it that these miracles are only carried out in certain places, have you wondered? Pardon the sceptic in me, but I don’t smell Doom but hypnotising and witchcraft in the name of the Lord. The level of blasphemy often committed by some Christians themselves often leaves a lot to be desired. I can bet that if God could take human form He would sometimes stand before us and boldly exclaim: ‘Nnyaa, bagaestsho, ke a akelwa jaanong!’ The rumblings of the tummy have pushed people to do absurd things for glory and money.
It is unfortunate that nowadays religion, particularly Christianity, is now an easy way to earn a quick buck by capitalising off congregants’ gullibility. Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry is a pastor or prophet, and they all seem to have a “miracle” under their sleeve. The way these things are going, next time they will be munching on cockroaches and saying they taste like popcorn.
It is such a strange world we live in, where it is no longer ‘by fire by force,’ but ‘by doom by force.’