After a long hiatus from church, I was welcomed back to the fold with the most disturbing testimony I had ever heard. The visiting pastor was on a mission to raise funds for the completion of the half-built church and decided to share two mind-blowing testimonies. I’ll be sharing them with you and will like to know your thoughts on the impact of such testimonies.
The pastor regaled us with the story of a lady who was attending a branch of his church in Abakiliki and suffering from severe ‘fiblods’ (read about Fibroids here), she decided to enter a covenant with God and committed a particular sum every Sunday towards the building of the church. The same night she made the commitment, she had severe abdominal pains and went to the toilet to defecate, the faeces came out with two giant fibroids.
The church was thrown into shouts of excitements praising the name of the Lord.
I couldn’t exactly think up any logic behind the miracle as I try to do whenever I come across one. The closest that I could come up with was the spontaneous expulsion of a submucous fibroid (which I stumbled across during a google search after I shared the story on twitter). I, however, didn’t think it would be a common occurrence and with the pastor saying the fibroid masses came out with faeces it sounded very concocted. I had to cut him some slack because patients can be shifty with medical history and even medical professionals need to take extra pain while teasing out, for example, bleeding from the vagina vs anus. So, he gets a pass. (tongue-in-cheek)
He then went ahead to add another story of someone’s son getting raised from the dead after she committed to paying a particular amount for the church building in another location. This kept the church hyped up, riding on this hysteria he quickly made a call to the members of this church to come and key into this blessing by committing a specific amount every Sunday to the building of the church and everyone in the working class age pyramid in the church trooped out to make a commitment that they figure will cure fibroids and raise the dead, I think.
I understand these antics and don’t blame the man or the naive congregants who decided to make a commitment entirely based on the stories. It has been established that a very effective way of getting money from a group is to appeal to their emotions and that is exactly what the preacher applied and got his results.
The main issue I have with this particular situation is the effect it will have on the public’s health-seeking behaviour. I believe these kinds of stories will negatively affect the way people understand illnesses. I don’t think it is proper for someone to hear about disease conditions in this type of religious situation where a lot of embellishment, exaggeration, and maybe outright lies are propagated to further an agenda.
My thoughts are not yet fully formed on this issue as I understand there may be limitations to my understanding because of my belief system.
I will like to know what you guys think in the comment section. What may be the impact of such testimonies on the health-seeking behaviour of people in 3rd world countries? I remember a friend on twitter saying he would walk out of the church. Would you do the same or would you ‘unlook’ and come write a blog post about it like some people who will want to be kept anonymous?
featured image: Photo by Milada Vigerova