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A case for Bushiri and fire churches

I am temporarily off Facebook. Beware. Facebook consumes precious time better spent on real relationships. This week I almost reconsidered though. I am missing out on Major 1. Look here; the man is a phenomenon.

I am told that he pulls a capacity crowd every service in an auditorium more spacious than anything you have ever seen with thousands waiting outside.

To be honest, I was almost fine with Major 1 at some point. Then came that video clip where he purported to have soared inside his mansion. I was disgusted and took to Facebook crying “hoax”.  Hear me out, I am a Christian. I believe in miracles and in prophecy. The video clip, however, self-evidently belonged in the same library section as anything about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Of course I was pelted, as I will be, with the usual, “touch not God’s anointed, don’t speak ill of the man of God”, and epithets of a particularly contumelious nature. Someone close tearfully lamented that he would assassinate me with his flying powers. So, when the visa furore broke out, my beloved sisters called and decreed that I shall keep my big mouth shut. Cognizant of my mortal limitations, they didn’t want me to attract the fury of a flying prophet.

But why are the authorities picking on Bushiri? Well, as with every other question for which Government cannot give an honest answer, national security was molested as the reason. The restriction, we are told, was necessary in order that when he takes his maiden flight outside his mansion, into our open skies, he could be monitored. But why monitor him? He is not Julius Malema. Bushiri never threatened to send a platoon of swearing fanatics to overthrow Botswana’s “military junta”. Make no mistake about it, 10 Major 1 Facebook fanatics can insult Uncle Bob out of government. Further, I never understood Bushiri to be allied to the opposition like my former lecturer’s friends. Remember the support cast that sought to embarrass the BDP’s Indian merchants with their Hollywood pocket change. Does he sell crack? Is he supplying guns to assist a MELSian armed struggle? Is Government purporting to protect the public from massive financial exploitation? If yes, how is the exploitation different from that of our genuinely airborne friends who buy their medicated beverages from a hilltop somewhere south? Didn’t Archbishop so and so purchase a private Jet from medicated coffee sales? When did financial exploitation of willing congregants become a national security issue? Why would Bushiri visit for mischief when he knows that Government would be snooping on him? Why is Government so keen to meddle in ecclesiastical matters? The reasons for restricting Bushiri are as devoid of credibility as his jet-man claims. Absent a logical explanation we must look

to the circumstances.  There is a turf war going on between “fire churches” on the one side and the “traditional turf owners” on the other. Not long ago, quotas were fairly settled.

Churches grazed flocks together with hardly any significant wars between them.  Then came fire churches promising anything from instant presidential office to miracle money. The migration was massive. Now grannies read hymnals to empty pews, youth groups have vanished and church coffers echo the sound of every coin. What more? Tithes and offerings belong to high libido Rolls Royce prophets permanently surrounded by twenty something hour-glass figure intercessors anticipating their every want.  Fire churches have redefined local Christian demographics and offended hitherto settled interests. Everywhere you go it is, ‘dikereke tsa fire, prophet this prophet that, ba jela batho madi”. It’s all a case of sour grapes.

When T. B. Joshua visited some years back he was demonized and spurned by these settled interests. Some forbid members to attend while others warned them to attend at own risk. And guess what? It’s these interests that have the ear of Government. If Government had its way, “fire churches” would be outlawed. Government has waged a war on “fire churches”.

Until about two years back there was a complete moratorium on church registration, local or foreign. I know because I have acted for fire churches struggling to register. Not long ago Government endeavored to proscribe them by prescribing ridiculous requirements for church formation. Their flashy foreign prophets have been shipped out on one way tickets. Their case has not been helped by phonies who can’t differentiate between homosapien and flying insect. Bushiri is a victim of a proxy war between fire churches and settled Christian interests enjoying Government’s ear.

The visa is a proxy bullet

It is not that fire churches are generally bad. Many are headed by humble and selfless men after Gods heart. They live modest lives, take care of communities and care about the poor. They live clean, believe in the resurrection of Christ, prophecy, miracles and deliverance. Yes, members give pricey gifts to the church leader. So what? Almost all “born again churches” preach that. Only, fire churches believe that their prophets can literally fly and that through the medium of bracelets, water and stickers, Gods healing and protective powers can be transmitted to ailing and vulnerable multitudes. But that’s not their ultimate strength. Fire churches have a massive draw with the African flock because for once, missiles dispatched to members can be redirected back to un-expecting senders with catastrophic consequences. Yes, My Lord.

Chief On Friday



Purging the DIS

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