According to eNCA the family of a man who a Johannesburg pastor claimed to have raised from the dead is facing possible legal action from the funeral company because they allegedly robbed the hearse driver.
The funeral parlour also pointed out that they didn’t get to see the corpse before the ‘resurrection’ – distancing themselves from the miracle, saying all they provided was transport.
EWN reports that the ‘miracle’ occurred at the Alleluia Ministries International church, north of Joburg, lead by Pastor Alph Lukau.
Questions were immediately raised, such as why the man looked so healthy after being two days dead, where his death certificate was, and why weren’t any medical professionals tending to him?
Lukau is one of those pastors who claims to be able to cure HIV/AIDS, TB and other illnesses.
Anti-retrovirals work by killing the HIV virons – reducing the viral load within the sufferer, this makes it much it harder for the disease to spread. If people stop taking their medication, they can end up infecting their significant others because of the increase in viral load.
It is not unusual for pastors who want to perform miracles to pay people to play sick. In 2018, the Daily Dispatch reported on a ‘miracle’ by one Pastor Jay Israel. He had claimed to heal seven people who had been ill, paralysed and wheelchair-bound for many years.
Which was particularly odd considering three of them had been spotted being quite upright and mobile right before entering the service in their wheelchairs. They’d apparently been paid R500 each to fake it.
Lukau’s miracle looks pretty clearly faked. Mortuaries do quite a lot to a body to try and make it look as close to life as possible.
For example, when you die your muscles start to deteriorate, so your eyelids contract and your eyes naturally open. A mortuary, knowing that this is pretty upsetting, will generally do something to keep those eyes closed.
In other words if you were to be resurrected after three days of being dead, you wouldn’t just pop your eyes open, because there would be something in your eyes to stop your body doing that naturally.
Throw in the fact that the funeral parlour claims to have received no paperwork, and in fact to have been robbed by the family of the ‘deceased’ – and this isn’t exactly a credible story.
And yet there are a lot of people who believe this, or that other pastors can do similar things. We are in the 21st century, we have access to every benefit of modern media, we have access to scientific education that even the best geniuses of a few hundred years ago couldn’t compete with – and yet we still have large quantities who fall for this sort of scam.
Which makes you realise how tenuous miracle claims from the ancient times really are. There isn’t really all that much to separate this story from the story of Lazarus from the Bible, and yet to accept that as a miracle would not be considered unusual.
Miracle claims are by their nature incredibly dangerous. I feel that pastors who claim to be able to cure diseases like HIV/AIDS are scum, because they are fine with spreading diseases in order to rake in just a little bit more money from the gullible.
This is not something we can fix with legislation, just because you make a law doesn’t mean people obey it, otherwise we wouldn’t have to have police, courts or various elements of our justice system.
And we can’t police people’s heads, nor would we want to – because if I were to dictate what everybody should think is true, I’m not omniscient, I don’t know everything and nor does anybody else. We all make our mistakes, and we all have to be free to learn from them.
So regulation in cases like this won’t really do anything because how would we even begin to enforce it?
If we are to solve problems like this, the only real path is to deal with what makes pastors like Lukau so attractive – and that’s largely that people are desperate for what they offer, cheap, easy hope in the midst of a life that seems hopeless.
People feel their issues are so big, so intractable that it would take a God to solve them, so they want to believe in miracles, and so they’re primed to believe in fakes.
But the thing is it doesn’t require a God to fix most of our problems, it requires us to do it. We’re not able to fix everything, we’re not able to solve every problem, but we can do the best we can.
As we do that, as we make genuine progress towards improving things for each other, the phonies will become less prominent as our problems stop seeming so daunting, so big, so out of our reach.