Friday, September 01, 2006

Evangelist Drowns Trying to Walk on Water

An evangelist who tried replicating Jesus' miracle of walking on water has reportedly drowned off the western coast of Africa.

Pastor Franck Kabele, 35, told his congregation he could repeat the biblical miracle, and he attempted it from a beach in Gabon's capital of Libreville.

"He told churchgoers he'd had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus," an eyewitness told the Glasgow Daily Record.

"He took his congregation to the beach saying he would walk across the Komo estuary, which takes 20 minutes by boat. He walked into the water, which soon passed over his head and he never came back."

- WorldNetDaily, 30th August

Someone please tell me this is a joke. Are these "born-again" Protestants really so starved for media attention that they take on one outrageous stunt after the other? I am reminded of a similar incident last year in Taiwan, when a man jumped into the lions' enclosure in a zoo, shouting "Jesus will save you!".

I really am quite speechless. However, Mike the Geek over at The Waffling Anglican, has quite a few words to say:

Okay, one more time. Let’s get this right. We’re not Him! It’s not “What would Jesus do?” It’s “What does Jesus want me to do?”

The answer is probably not “pretending that I’m Him!”

This “if I just have enough faith” bilge is causing more grief to people that can be measured. Folks are actually being told by some of these word-of-faith preachers that whatever bad happens to them is because they lack faith. Got cancer? Your faith is weak. Your daughter died of an overdose? Your faith is weak. Halitosis? Forget the Listerine; you gotta have faith, man! And people actually seem to buy it – probably as the result of decade upon decade of really bad catechesis.

Where did this nonsense come from? I first encountered it watching big-hair, pancake-makeup, hollering nut jobs preaching on the cable channels, and thought it was just another wacko fad that would disappear faster than you can say “Holy Inquisition.” Instead, it seems to be spreading. I’ve actually heard variations on it from Episcopal and even Catholic sources.

Faith is faith in the cross, and faith in the cross is acceptance of the cross. If faith makes you healthy and wealthy, then where the heck are the apostles? What’s that you say? Oh yeah, except for John, they were martyred. And John got exiled.

Guess they just didn’t have enough faith.

Sorry for the rant, but really, now! The ghost of Charlie Darwin lurks around every corner, waiting to naturally select the unwary out of the gene pool. That’s pretty insensitive, I suppose, and I hope the Rev. Kabele is in the presence of the Lord, but I also hope his congregation learned something from the demonstration. Remember, the same Lord who said our faith could move mountains also said, "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble." (Luke 17:2, NASB). Sometimes, the millstone seems to be optional.


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