by mpandashalo mwewa.

It’s sad to note that some pentecostal churches have, once again, prioritised cash over sharing the truth. Cholera is not a spiritual issue but an infectious diarrhoea disease caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. In simple terms, its continued existence is an indicator of inequity and continued lack of social development. Pray as you may, if you have poor waste management and do not have access to clean water, if the bacterium Vibrio cholerae strikes, expect cholera to spread like wild fire.

Researchers have estimated that each year there are 1.3 million to 4 million cases of cholera and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera. Cholera kills people irrespective of their religious affiliation. In fact those that chose to look at the disease as a spiritual issue are likely to die during such epidemics.

Anywhere cholera has stricken, there have been sanitation issues not spiritual ones. During the 19th century, cholera spread across the world from its original reservoir in the Ganges delta in India. We all know how faeces would mix with drinking water in that delta. Six subsequent pandemics killed millions of people across all continents.

Enlightened church leaders approach social problems facing their congregations with practical social solutions not through irresponsible prayer. When they discover that illiteracy is at the centre of such social issues, they offer education to encourage literacy by building schools or partnering with local authorities to improve education standards.

How many times have we learned with shock that some pentecostal churches hold overnight prayers for examination classes? Is that not testing God? Once a solution to any known social challenge is known, praying for a miracle before applying such a solution is nothing but asking God to prove Himself and God detests that [Matthew 4:7 – 10]. We are to accept God’s Word by faith, without requiring a sign [see Luke 11:29]. God’s promises are there for us when we need them; to manipulate situations in an attempt to coerce God into fulfilling His promises is evil.

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. ‘Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.'” – Hosea 4:6.

In the late 1900s, cholera in the USA was conquered not through prayer but by ushering in a period of interventionist sanitary reforms that equally embodied a radical shift to secular conceptualisation of the disease, making cholera a social problem rather than a spiritual one. Why should we, in the 2100s, be trying what failed in the 1900s?


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