As a Christian I'm offended by Bushiri's fanatical followers

11 February 2019 - 06:11
Supporters of cult leader and self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri are giving Christianity a bad name, says the author.
Supporters of cult leader and self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri are giving Christianity a bad name, says the author.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

It's hard being a Christian. It is particularly hard to be a black, South African Christian living in SA. But this past week it's been extremely embarrassing, thanks to Bushiri and his "children".

There is no easy way to write this because it will be a bone of contention for some people no matter what I say or how I put it.

Side note: I am committing a sin just by penning this piece; because it will definitely read as judgement of others and we (Christians) are not allowed to judge.

But like I said it's hard to be a Christian, so I'll just go into it.

I have been so offended by the stupidity I felt was being displayed by Shepherd Bushiri's followers since his church blew up, but particularly this past week after their "mighty papa" got arrested.

I watched in utter shock and embarrassment as grown men and women cried and shouted 'fire!' at Hawks cars. How was this okay to them? What was going through their minds?

I'm all for losing your mind for God, but never for a "man of God".

Bushiri's people made me wish I wasn't a Christian because then I wouldn't be so directly affected by the shenanigans they were pulling. It has upset me because they were giving spectators (I mean the woke people, non-believers etc) a reason to mock something that is so sacred to me.

Being Christian means different things to different people. In trying to describe which category I fall into, let me just say I read my Bible, I pray and worship and I fellowship with people who believe in the same Christ as me.

Church for me is not a building or a person, pastors hold no "special" status in the relationship I have with God. I respect them as the "anointed of God" but that's about where it ends.

In 1 John 2:27 it  says: "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you."  And that "you" applies to everyone. That is why watching the whole Bushiri circus that happened outside the court in Pretoria not only embarrassed me but made me angry.

I won't beat around the bush — the way I see it, is that Bushiri is running a cult. One of the definitions of a cult is: A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular thing. And hey, cults are fine, as long as you label them as such and stop confusing the other kids.

Criminals remain criminals whether they go to church or not, and sometimes they are even pastors. As far as I am concerned Bushiri (alleged thug and fraudster), Omotoso (on trial for rape), Nikki Shange (a trigger-happy and often misguided Christian extremist, I believe) and the rest of the squad are ALL huge problems and paint such a bad picture of Christianity.

It is not only the charismatic pastors that are a problem. It is EVERY PASTOR that has elevated themselves to God's status. They think they have more access to God than other humans and want to be treated as superior to the people they share the word with.

Others have described the guy in Moria and another one out there in the KZN mountains in the same light. I wouldn't know. I follow neither.

Now as a Christian in 2019, I've come to realise that the spirit of discernment is the most important thing you can have. I've heard that people believe the Bible is the first problem. I can see why they'd say that because the book is as contradictory as they come (especially when context is ignored). But that book is where my faith begins and ends.

Now I could give you scriptures for everything that is wrong with churches such as Bushiri's but that would need a whole book so I'll only give you this. "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge."

"Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children." - Hosea 4: 6.

It's not okay that we are watching men and women suffer at the hands of a 35-year-old who believes he has God on speed dial or is some kind of demi-God himself.

It's not okay that people are giving money they don't have to a man who has convinced them that God is exclusively accessible to him and believing in a mere man for the impossible.

Even non-believers know that God is for us ALL … So why don't we know it?