This weekend, some gullible Christians will be paying R25 000 to attend a gala dinner with “Prophet” Shepard Bushuri. Picture: Facebook
Johannesburg - "There is a calling to enter the palace, to feast at the table with the King.” Those are some of the lyrics of a song we used to sing at church, and the artist is not known to me. Usually, when Christians utter such words, they are referring to their Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

But this weekend, many gullible Christians will be at a gala dinner, sitting at the high table with one mortal man, “Prophet” Shepard Bushuri, also known as Major 1. This comes with a price tag of R25 000 a head.

Read more: Uproar over price to dine with #ShepherdBushiri

I have learned this, the more rich or more money you have, the closer you sit to the “Lord”. I had always thought that prayer, healing and anything else that comes from God requires no penny.

Perhaps the modern church is too modernised because not only do people have to pay to be closer to the “master”, but because a gala dinner requires one to wear fancy clothes too.

The first time I heard of the Major 1, was in December 2015, back home in Pankop, Mpumalanga.

People were raving about “Major 1”. Young and old people were taking their 13th cheques, organising transportation to make their way to the Pretoria Show Grounds just to be at his services.

They all believed that their money problems would disappear, they would get healed and that there was nothing too hard for Major 1.

In January, these people had not bought any new school uniforms for their kids, nor did they have transport money to go to work. They were broke, broken in spirit and left with major financial problems. But that did not stop some of them from travelling to Pretoria the following year.

I still cannot blame the man who has organised a gala dinner a set a price tag of R25 000 a person for those willing to sit with him at the high table. There is nothing wrong with gala dinners, but there is everything wrong with exploiting naive desperate people.

Our desperation to make money, to be closer to God, to find healing and to be recognised should never cost an arm and a leg in God’s name.

Also read: Inside Prophet Bushiri’s home

Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that people should pay for healing. But even the educated fall for this. But I cannot blame Bushiri. South African Christians are really too desperate for miracles in their lives.

Money doesn’t grow at churches. We must learn to work for money, unless you know people in high places in government who can give you a few tenders. Then there is just corruption to deal with.

The desperation and the ignorance of Christians is the beginning of all this evil.

From people who ate grass, those who drank petrol and those that ate snakes they just don’t see anything wrong in indulging in such activities, and that is worrying.

These are the people referred to in the book of Hosea: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Unless they read the Bible, they will continue to be exploited.

The South African Council of Churches is toothless. They are either late to respond or they do not take any action against those who exploit the poor in the name of God.

People must learn that they don’t need pastors to have a relationship with God. They do not need to pay a single dime to be recognised by God. They should stop idolising pastors.

If you believe in the almighty God, you will understand that being almighty also means that his presence is omni. It does not need any fancy clothes, any exorbitant money to heal you, comfort you and bless you.

Sadly, many naive South African Christians are convinced that access to the highest power of God, needs one to book the highest table at a gathering. That is the highest form of gala-ability”.

* Kabelo Chabalala is the founder of the Young Men Movement. E-mail: [email protected]; Twitter: @KabeloJay; Facebook: Kabelo Chabalala.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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