I have always been intrigued by fickleness of people who subscribe to the concept of religious miracles. The recent video doing the rounds on social media with regards to the “resurrection” of an apparently “dead” man, while again piquing my interest, it also invited my distaste to the idea of these charlatans who pretend to hold some metaphysical power ordained by some god. The very idea of religion is arguably based on a system of beliefs.
In many ways, it could well be described as a world of fantasy – and without down playing anybody’s right to believe, or pray or subject themselves to this world, reality becomes a very able counterpart that is often ignored when in debate. When we are born, more often than not we are subjected to the ways and beliefs of our parents.
As we grow older such beliefs either become ingrained as a way of life or they become a matter of questioning. The parochial view that religion must not be questioned stems from many factors – fear being a prominent feature. The very fact that this belief system is reliant on a concept of an invisible and an intangible being with an imperium that is infinite has led many sycophants to exploit it for material benefits only for themselves.
Alph Lukau of the Allulia Ministeries International Church, who performed the “miracle” of re-inventing the life of a “dead” man, which was the subject of the video on social media, reflects irrefutably the poverty of the human mind when it comes to blind faith. The congregants who were so duped by this false prophet are not alone.
Every religion has such charlatans, who convince millions of unsuspecting and feeble-minded people that if one does not follow or adhere to the gospel they preach, then they will burn in hell or some unbeknown evil will befall them because of their contumelia. What is worse, they fleece millions daily of their material wealth, while ironically preaching the idea of a sense of spirituality – an intangible concept that is in itself drenched in belief as well.
My view is that religion – any religion – is a personal matter and at best it is a route for personal solace. It cannot be doubted that the influences of one’s formative years impact significantly on how one perceives, practices and promotes one’s religious beliefs, but we must be acutely aware that whatever such practices entail, it relates to a world yonder and as yet unseen – a world steeped in metaphor – but a world that one is expected to enter once earthly reality ceases.
Organized religion, the world over, has succeeded in converting impressionable minds that one’s actions on earth has repercussions – good and bad – when one departs the province of earth, depending on how one conducts one’s life on earth. This is something we will never know.
As a result of this ideology, the so-called god men and women, miracle workers, prophets and the like have seen opportunity to use and abuse the naivete of innocent but willing slaves of such ideology, to their exclusive and material benefit. Whether one believes in a god or not, the reality exists that the sun will rise in the morning and the moon will appear at night – that the seasons will turn – that the tides will ebb and flow – and that when life begins it does eventually have an expiry date.
Many people that succumb to the “greatness” of a living being who lay claim to to any act that defies what is natural are not only victims of those they succumb to, but they also become the victims of themselves. How many people, who have yielded to a particular religious leader, have the temerity to contradict or question the apparent “wisdom” of such a leader, when acts that are committed by the leader become discordant with their own morality, ethics and views?
Rituals that are performed with gay abandon and that have long past their expiry date in terms of worthiness and meaning; pagan beliefs that reinforce the mediocrity of thought and ideology that do not justify rationality are practiced with impunity – until of course, when one begins to question such acts. Due to the nescience of many people, the chicanery of these so-called men and women of miracles, leads such people to the most irrational actions imaginable.
it would be unfair to the rights of people who fervently believe in some form of religious intervention in their lives, to make a blanket condemnation – their right to choice, I believe is sacrosanct. But I am firm of the belief that once we apportion cogent and rational thought to these so-called acts of miracle that are purported in the name of religion, we may come to realize that life will happen – no matter what – and death will ensue – no matter what – and no living person will alter, prolong or sustain such life.
These pastors, preachers and priests who seek fame and fortune must be stopped in the instant. The people who yield unconditionally to them, as if they are indeed the hand of god, must be educated that no matter how much they believe, or how strongly they believe, that any subservience or reverence to these charlatans, is a peccant and parlous act, that is bound to disillusion and disappoint. So the next time when you are in your temple, church, mosque or synagogue and you are told that a miracle is about to be performed, remember that is only a miracle because you want it to be one.
Narendh Ganesh is a former member of the Democratic Alliance. He is also a community and civic leader in KZN and a Science graduate(B.Sc) from the University of the Western-Cape.