Tuesday 14 August 2012

Opinion: Miracle Cures and Against Religious Abuse of the Vilest Kind

Where I stand
There are some things are really get me seriously agitated and they pertain to rights and abuse. In the body of work I have produced over almost 9 years, I think these particularly stand out - human rights, injustice, child rights, women’s rights, sexuality rights, child sexual abuse, sexual violence, cultural and religious abuse.
There is no doubt that I also cover very controversial issues; it is just my nature to tackle those as passionately and objectively as I can.
Too vile for words
This morning I found myself on a Twitter soapbox dealing with religious abuse of the vilest kind. A church had concocted a cocktail of fruit juice and olive oil then marketed it as a cure for cancer or HIV; the prayer component of the product making up about 50% of the price.
People with chronic and terminal illnesses are desperately in need of succour and hope; they are vulnerable to the machinations of those who portend to offer palliation or cures for their ailments.
Hope like greed is easily exploited and nowhere is that best manipulated than in churches where the leaders with ethereal provenance and esoteric rituals that could border on the macabre but pass off as spiritual hold sway.
Your church as a ghetto
These churches serve as both communities and places of worship but the community aspect almost turns the congregants into members of a ghetto that project practices very different from the wider communities in which they exist. Like Nigerians in the United Kingdom doing only Nigerian things.
People need to feel comfortable wherever they go but to be exploited in this way is unforgivable.
There should be a number of inalienable facts that people should have when attending these churches which on closer scrutiny are more like sepulchres of despair engaged in commercial activity for the aggrandisement of the church leaders.
Rather than minister to their flock, their flock ministers to their every greedy need for ostentation and hedonism which they suggest are the fruits of service to God – they are not shepherds but wolves conducting assemblies with grandiloquent names that will be redolent of B-movie thrillers.
Miracles are free
Now, miracles do exist, but never for a fee, the best example of a miracle was when Jesus raised Lazarus who was 4-days dead petrifying and decomposing in a tomb for free. Neither did he charge for converting water into wine at the wedding feast where one would have expected at best a donation. It is implausible that those ministering in the name of Jesus will then demand some payment directly, by gimmickry or through the sale of potions to offer healing to those still alive but with terminal illnesses. Miracles are free, every time and always.
People should be very lucid about the function of the church and the function of medicine. They are not mutually exclusive. Using medicine is not a sign of the lack of faith; in fact faith and medicine can make the medicine more efficacious.
My testimony is that I had cancer and went on chemotherapy, according to the oncologist and nurses that came daily to dress the cancer lesions, it took up to six months for lesions as mine to dry up and disappear, but in my case, the lesions were all gone in 8 weeks. The doctors considered my response to medication and the result miraculous.
The church and healing
The church should not replace your hospital neither should your pastor replace your doctor. They have their roles. If your pastor does say to you, you are healed; you have the right to a second opinion, a medical opinion to confirm you are healed.
In all cases where Jesus healed lepers, He told them to go and show themselves to the priests, this, I believe was to fulfil all righteousness as they’ll say in religious parlance – or commonly, to ensure all boxes were ticked to allow their re-admittance into society.
Ultimately, if you are paying for any treatment and it is not to a professionally accredited medical practitioner, to a hospital or to a pharmacy for medicine, you have been swindled by a confidence trickster impostor masquerading as a pastor when they are in fact no better than bush witchdoctors.
Your pastor is not your doctor
Your pastor should have nothing against the use of doctors, hospitals or medicine, not everyone exercises feats of faith that at an instant will manifest as lightning bolt miraculous cures. Any assurance of healing should include the advice to have the medically competent confirm the change in physiology indicating healing – it is NOT a sin to do so.
As I have written many times before, never ever discontinue your medication without first consulting your doctor and only on the advice of the doctor and no other. If the pastor did not prescribe your medication the pastor does not have the authority or capacity tell you to discontinue your medicine – do not had your pills over to be destroyed as if you are attending a magician’s show – medications should be properly disposed of by pharmacies or given back to hospitals to be used by those less fortunate than yourself.
Just be wary of those who take advantage of you in the religious space, demanding always but never giving, selling goods and snake oil remedies not independently validated by the authorities and whose rituals defy explanation whilst not informing of other reasonable choices or options you should have in this amazing vibrant world we live in today.

1 comment:

James Bernard said...

You failed to go all the way, mr Akin. there is nothing like a miracle. Lets stop spreading these baseless fairy tales

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