Not only am I worried about the commercialisation of religion, of the mushrooming ‘FIRE FIRE CHURCHES’ which have without doubt put a strain on the main stream churches; I am mostly worried about their intruding in social gatherings, particularly funerals and memorial services. This has become too much to condone. Such churches have made traditional social gatherings platforms of the many self anointed Pastors, Apostles, Preachers, Prophets, Bishops and all other titles which they deem marketable enough to pull off advertising stunts.
These clowns, after anointing themselves with all sorts of titles, flock to our traditional social gatherings to seek glory and centre stage. These clowns sadly leave behind their churches mostly made of their wives, children, brothers, sisters, cousins and the many concubines and come to try and ‘preach’ the word of God our Lord to us at funerals, confusing us for lost souls they left behind. They forget the main thing that we all gather there for. We don’t gather at funerals and memorial services because we don’t know the geographical locations of their commercial gatherings trading as churches. We gather at funerals and memorial services to honour, pay respect and bid our last farewells to our beloved friends, relatives and colleagues.
These self anointed clown preachers do not even bother to remember that we are gathering at such places because of our beloved who have departed this world. They go astray and talk about themselves, their silly congregations and why we should join their churches, largely because they are running short of concubines and church donations to steal.
They see us gathered at the funeral and memorial proceedings and see in us possible commercial tools and see our sisters as possible wives and concubines. In the process they neglect the main duty expected of them or rather the main purpose of them having forced themselves into the funeral and memorial programs as is often the case!
They forget that we gather to mourn, pay respect and honour our beloved who have departed this world. We do not gather to listen to self praises.
Some of these self anointed clown preachers are so worse in petty talking that you could tell just by listening, that they are trying to work on their low self esteems by trying to present themselves as much closer to God than the rest of us. This is a social ill that must be condemned from all angles.
That they have not been able take life advantages and do something for themselves should not be blamed on those of us who gather in love of our beloved ones who have departed this world. They tend to always believe that someone is trying to compete with them for prestige yet they are the only ones with thoughts of upgrading prestige in their minds whilst the rest of us are gathered there for the honouring, mourning and paying our last respects to our friends.
Just this past week I listened with pain and anguish as one such self anointed apostle at the memorial service of a very close of mine, deviated and derailed from the purpose of our gathering. He went on to start talking about how people should not buy from shops owned by Hindus and Muslims as those are not African Religions. He talked at length as to how we should disassociate ourselves from the United States of America they are imperials. He went on to proclaim that he will be instructing his church members not to buy from certain shops because such shops are not owned by people of Christian origin and sell expired groceries.
He was confident to proclaim that all other religions other than Christianity must be banned from Botswana and Africa.
This is where we say; little education is more dangerous than none at all. The self anointed clown preacher went on to mention races that he views not pure. That people should stop buying from non Africans particularly Asians and Arabs because they are Muslims and Hindus. I felt sorry for the commercial gathering that he calls his church. I felt sorry for children conceived under such auspices and who will be raised by a social and commercial gathering led by such a clown. I even felt sorry for the wives, concubines, brothers, sisters and children of the denomination.
Here I was, having left the peace of my house to gather in respect and honour of my late friend; Mogale ‘Rush’ Masala (May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace). I sat there, firstly not necessarily because I am a Christian, but largely because of my African tradition and practices.
I sat there, not for anything but to honour and cherish the memories of my late friend and yet, for all most the whole hour that I sat there; all this self anointed clown preacher could do was display in public his extreme intolerance. He preached hatred, nothing else but hatred.
Here I was sitting at the yard of my late friend, who was a very tolerable man, a man who saw first in people just that, human beings.
And now here I sat at his memorial service, listening to a self anointed clown preacher that sees in people skin colour. A man whose only interest was clearly to persuade us to join his social and commercial gathering called church so that donations and concubines could come in handy.
I still wonder how the society allowed people to self anoint themselves as Apostles, Bishops, Pastors. Whilst still the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Minister Lebonaamang Mokalake once said that; we are a very relaxed nation “haobona motho atla ka ditlhako tse ditshweu di lebile ko godimo aapere shutu, atshotse briefcase aipitsa moruti omosala morago”. Minister Lebonaang Mokalake was right; the situation is getting out of hand.
This whole concept of hosting churches at funerals and memorials of people who in the first place did not attend such churches is utterly a disgrace to societal norms. We lived in the society without these ‘FIRE FIRE CHURCHES’ and we had no problems we are encountering now.
Though pretending to be of high moral and ethical standards than the rest of us, these new ‘churches’ are always on the headlines for wrong reasons; impregnating young children in their churches, sleeping with married women, stealing donations, looting, selling drugs, human trafficking and all other horrible crimes that you can think of. We have unfortunately as a country become a safe haven for this churches, our local lads have also began self anointing themselves as Bishops, Pastors and Apostles.
We must all rise up to the occasion. Part of the reason why people don’t attend to funerals or simply attend and group themselves for chats at cemeteries is because this self anointed clown preachers derail the initial purpose. The reason why on the night of the funeral people group themselves to socialise and not attend the last memorial services is because we can’t really stand being confused for a church led by these self anointed clown preachers.
Those of us who are not necessarily Christian feel the pain more. Those of us who are not necessarily Christian feel the intolerance more. Yet back then, when Christian was simply aligned to the mainstream churches, this was not a problem. We did not mind mingling with our Christian friends for they never confused us for their Church mates. With this new kind of ‘FIRE FIRE CHURCHES’ the situation is getting out of control. Botswana must remain a secular state as enshrined in the constitution.
The Journey Continues!