Social media went agog recently when a video surfaced of a pastor seemingly “raising a man from the dead”. For dramatic effect, he was brought into the church in a coffin and laid at the feet of the pastor. It’s hard to tell which the was the greater miracle, the “resurrection” or the amount of food he was able to chug in such a short space of time.
Here’s where it gets interesting. South African company, Kings and Queens Funeral Services, has said it will take legal action over the ‘damage to its reputation’ after a South African pastor, Alpha Lukau, used their hearse while he performed a stunt in which he claimed to have resurrected a dead person.
“We would like to distance ourselves from the supposed resurrection of a deceased man by Hallelujah Ministries who allegedly was at our mortuary.
“We were approached by alleged family members of the deceased who informed us they had encountered a dispute with a different funeral service provider and would like to use our transport services which we offered them. We did not supply the coffin neither did we store the deceased at our mortuary nor was any paper work was processed by Kings and Queens Funerals.
“As a Funeral Services Provider we do not offer services without documentation,n neither do we repatriate bodies without any paper work. We are in the process of taking legal action for this malicious damage to our image,” wrote Kings and Queens on their Facebook page.
During a Sunday service, the high-flying minister known for his lavish lifestyle, encouraged congregants to keep praying for their miracles.
A woman then shouted that a family outside the church was about to repatriate a corpse to Zimbabwe and pleaded with the church leader to go out and see.
The pastor went outside, then asked the workers to take the coffin out of the hearse.
He asked the workers to open the coffin then made some prayerful gestures and seconds later, the man in the coffin rose.
The incident has invited various responses, with many on social media dismissing it as an attention-seeking stunt.
Others have come up with information that seems to corroborate the Kings and Queens’ version.
Now a bunch of South Africans have started a #resurrectionchallenge on Instagram and other social media platforms.
It gets worse. Another headline reads, “Woman 'raised from the dead' by pastor in Emalahleni”. Congregants of the Volle Evangeliese Kerk van God in Emalahleni (Witbank) are convinced that they witnessed a woman being raised from the dead by a pastor, Rapport reported. The incident reportedly took place two weeks ago.
Tracey Forsyth, who is described by Rapport as “elderly”, and who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, reportedly had an "incident" during the service that left her lying breathless on the church bench.
Is this the start of a growing trend, more religious powerhouses attempting to bring people back from the afterlife? What does that say about us as a people? Are we now so gullible that anything at all will fly? This is not unconnected with the brand of Christianity that exists in Africa, where there is (undue) emphasis on signs and wonders, and the doctrine of prosperity holds sway any given Sunday. The scourge of poverty which cuts across many African countries make it easier to look to the church as a beacon of hope, clergymen know this, and that’s the reason phonies posing as men of God resort to gimmicks to fleece an unsuspecting congregation of hard-earned funds. Tithes and offerings must be paid, or “God would withhold his blessings”. Little wonder, then, that controversial On-Air Personality Daddy Freeze (who, by the way, has taken up his own #resurrectionchallenge), keeps calling them out.
This is not, by any means, an attempt to sneer at the concept of miracles. Those who wholly believe in God have reasons to do so, and events happen in the lives of humans that defy logic, but when people begin to skew the narratives to facilitate the operation of their selfish and fraudulent schemes, then something has to be done, and fast. People should not be deceived to sign up for church, and theatrics of this nature only serve to insult human intelligence (the “dead man’’s mouth was moving in the coffin for crying out loud!)
As long as we keep searching for signs, actors will do their thing, and that’s a fact!
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