Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Divine Delusion - A Bishop’s Tour of Heaven

Once again, Jeff Koinange has given me a reason to watch K24. It usually takes a bit of prodding. Many times, I come out more knowledgeable about great Kenyan personalities and usually with a refined opinion of them. Yesterday, 25th October 2009, it was Pastor cum Politician, Margaret Wanjiru on the Capital Talk hot bench. As expected, I did come out with further knowledge about her but this time, the rose carried quite a crown of thorns. I have reason to believe that she may be delusional.

Anybody who hears Margaret’s story of how she rose, as a single mother, from being a toilet cleaner, rising through various marketing and managerial assignments, to becoming a successful business woman cannot help but stand in awe of her. All this she did while educating herself and taking care of her children. She is an icon not only of woman empowerment but living testimony of equal opportunity success. The reward for hard work, persistence and determination. But it is her spiritual journey, or bits of it that have me questioning the self-titled Bishop’s clarity of mind.

Having been saved from a life of what she calls “Satanism and witchcraft” Wanjiru was called into ministry. She was a street preacher shouting for attention on Aga Khan Walk like the many I have seen time and again and wondered if the activity does not border noise pollution or public nuisance in the least. But hers was no ordinary star. Her big break came when her pastor was to leave the country and in her time of devastation and desolation that Jesus appeared to her to clarify her future in quite some details. A fabulous story about opportunity hidden in crisis. The one conceived by the Holy Spirit was to be the mid-wife of her Jesus her Jesus Is Alive Ministry.

My conviction about her delusion however is about the details of her burning bush moment. I felt like I was watching a documentary about Schizophrenic Anonymous or a graphic episode of Supernatural, as I listened to her talking about her visitations from The Risen One. Yes. She saw Jesus. And He did not do it only one time, He appeared to her the whole of two times! On His first visit, the Son of God appears to the pastor and, smiling, waves the penalty of seeing God face to face which is sometimes death. He then proceeds to write on the wall, quite similarly to a certain tale in the book of Daniel. He prescribes the name of her ministry and even draws the cross in its logo that magically, no, miraculously, turns into gold!

A while later, the Nazarene reappears in the Bishop’s living room, conveniently when the children had gone to school and takes her to heaven for the whole of nine hours! It would be just enough to be back before the children return from school and find their mother missing. Jeff asks in between her narration what heaven is like. The Bishop says quite excitedly that it is wonderful! “You would not like to return if you went there,” she adds. But she adds that the story is quite long and that she will only afford us a summary. I agree that we may not have nine hours to receive the minute by minute playback but it still leaves me more questions than answers.

Many people in history have claimed, amidst doubt, to have seen God, Mary or Jesus. In fact, Mary herself saw Gabriel before her immaculate conception. Even Muhammad saw angel Gabriel during the revelation of the Holy Quran. Apostle John, in the book of Revelation provides the most detailed account of visionary communication by God in History. The truthfulness of their accounts, like many others, remains subjective and entirely dependent on the school of thought in which one is enrolled and/or their endowment of faith.

While it may only be my jealousy that Jesus did not extend His courtesy to my sinful self, I had great difficulty believing as Margaret went on to describe how in a later meeting, the son of God came to take her on a tour of The Good Place. Jesus came at a moment when she was lucid enough to tell the time – 9am in the morning I think she said! He went ahead to take her on a tour of the streets of the Father’s City in the Skies!

At this opportune and privileged moment where the rest of humanity would probably have been too awe struck to notice the details, Wanjiru kept an account of finer points like Jesus sitting her on a rock and teaching her from the Bible. It made me wonder if the All Knowing did not have his verses memorized. And as the source of the inspiration to write the book of Nehemiah and Luke, I wondered why he had to refer to the human accounts as opposed to dishing out some fresh prophesy or clarification that the rest of us left on earth could not acquire by ourselves during Bible study.

Margaret proceeded to report that Jesus went ahead to show her an A5 size journal of her life whose content, she protested, was yet to be inserted. She is instructed that her role will be to fill in the details. Again, I wonder out loud: If He gave us the knowledge to create tapes, CDs and DVDs, flash disks; couldn’t it be easier - or at least more interesting - to keep record of Margaret Wanjiru’s life on such a technologically superior platform? But maybe am now stretching.

Again, I may be jealous of such a person’s unique encounter with higher deity as to ridicule the account. On the other hand, I may only be one of wanting faith. Very unlike a child. But I am not the first. Thomas did it only a couple of days after the resurrection. The Doubting One had to touch the scars to believe. Many who have heard, or will hear this account, even if they may be unable to demand proof like Thomas, will wonder. So I beg the Bishop to indulge the Thomasian disbelief of a mere mortal like me, on behalf of such as I, and help us toward the path of faith. As the Good Book says, one blind man cannot lead another.

Dear Pastor Margaret,

If your trip was not a nine hour hallucination, please provide me the following details about your trip to the City in the Skies that you may not have been afforded the time to share during the really short interview by Jeff:

  1. Does Jesus still wear a white kanga type cloth and leather sandals like we see in the movies?
  2. On earth He was a Jew, but is He really white or has He no race?
  3. Did you really not see anyone else for all the nine hours you visited heaven? Were Moses, Elijah, David, Enoch, St. Paul and all the rest still sleeping?
  4. Were you not introduced even to a close family member like the Holy Mother or the Carpenter Patriarch?
  5. What was the mode of transport used to go to heaven? Rocket or just, well, “POOF”!
  6. Your trip lasted 9 hours. You say you counted. Is there time in heaven or is heaven timeless?
  7. During the day long duration, did Jesus listen to or answer the prayers of the rest of the faithful who may have been praying at the very time or was His schedule marked off only for you?
  8. Did Jesus appear to you to advise on the delicately controversial issue of your near marriage to the South African? If so, what was His opinion?
  9. Do you think Jesus, using your connections, could also take the Mungiki on a similar tour, maybe even shorter – maybe an hour?
  10. Did you see your mansion under construction or was it already finished?
  11. The Bible that Jesus read with you, was it zipped and leather bound? Were the verses He read in Nehemiah highlighted?
  12. Except what I can read for myself in Nehemiah, was there any word to the sons of Adam that the Son of God gave in encouragement, chastisement or prophesy that you can share?

I suspect that my frankness here may come across as rude, insensitive or ignorant. That is not the intention. If it does, please bear with me like Jesus bore the ridicule of the Pharisees. Do not be offended. Your mission, given to you personally by the Son of Man is to convert all of Africa to Christ. I am African. Some of these clarifications may help me on my path to Damascus.

I await your response.

Yours truly,
The Tin Man.


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