The New Year greets us all with news of a new church pastor feeding his members with a vehicle engine cleaning fluid during deliverance service.
The Daveyton pastor, generally called Prophet Theo Bongani Maseko of the Breath of Christ Ministries, reportedly asked his congregants to drink a vehicle engine cleaning fluid to be saved and healed.
According to the news report from The Star, the clergyman forced his members to take turns drinking the chemical last week as he laid hands on them to receive healing.
In an interview with news reporters last week, Maseko confirmed he had made his congregants drink the chemical in order to “demonstrate the power of God”
“When we pray over anything, its poison dies. So it can’t harm people. Nothing happened, no one has been to hospital,” he said as he further noted that those members who took the vehicle engine cleaning fluid had been “saved, healed and delivered”. He backed up his claims by citing Bible verses.
“Jesus spat on the ground and made mud. He took that mud and smeared it on the eyes of a blind man and, instantly, that blindness was healed. Mark 16 v 17-18 says ‘in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover’,” he quoted.
Maseko’s new method marks the latest in a series of clergymen who used controversial methods to “cure” their members. This has also raised concerns about how far people could go in putting their lives in danger in the name of religion.
Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Religious, Cultural and Linguistic Communities chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, who confirmed the latest incident, called on religious leaders to rally together and bring an end to what she described as “reckless” abuse of Christianity.
She also urged pastors to allow their churches to be regulated as this would bring an end to such life-wrecking incidents.
“A lot of people are going to die one of these days; we are fortunate that has not happened. A lot of people’s lives are at risk here,” she said.
“Doctors have a peer review body, so do lawyers, so they know they can’t do anything unacceptable. Why should it be different with them (pastors)?” she asked.