When the Bill Cosby rape charges first hit the media in 2014, I was reading some comments on a news page, and was surprised by how many people were blindly defending him. They dismissed all the charges with the race card and maligned his victims. Later, when more evidence and victims surfaced, the charges became more lurid.
The sort of thinking that compels people to defend a public figure even in the face of damning evidence is a bit worrisome. To conclude that a celebrity like Cosby couldn’t be a rapist because he made us laugh and gave to charity is as silly as saying Hitler couldn’t have been evil because he loved his kids. The truth is, many people have their dark sides which the public may never see.
When you get to the point where you exalt a fellow human being that to you, he can never sin, never err and never fail, what you have there is a guru and this is a problem both in the world and the church.
People have made someone a god in their hearts; they have given him a throne and a mantle of infallibility. He is their final authority. He thinks for them and controls their personal lives, and they are obliged to always defend him as spotless.
Of course, we are disgusted at how Catholics lick the dust off the shoes of their pope. We are aghast at how Jehovah’s Witnesses prefer to die than to receive blood transfusion because of a twisted verse by some men in New York. We are baffled at parents who strap explosives on their own children all because of the sex paradise teaching of a 7th century Arabian desert man.
This is the face of guruism – blind loyalty to fallen man. As Christians dedicated to truth, we need to guard against this tendency in our lives.
Raising a large army of religious slaves is not always complicated. Sometimes you just need to convince a group of people that their lives are in your hands. Make them believe that you are their God, that their prosperity or healing and even the keys to the gates of heaven are in your hands, and you will see them do anything you command them to do in order to save their skin.
Valdeci Picanto in Brazil learnt this secret and with it he made his congregants give him oral sex. “Reverend” King in Nigeria reared sex slaves among his members with this line. It was the same tactic used by Lesego Daniel in South Africa to make his congregants munch on grasses like a bunch of cows.
John de Ruiter in Canada, a mere shoemaker, has made Professors and respected CEOs crawl on the ground like slugs with this same line. This man defiled two young sisters and their parents were excited that “God” was having sex with their daughters. Mindless slaves.
As Christians, each one of us has a personal responsibility before God to have a good understanding and knowledge of His Word by ourselves. One big trap we must avoid is to elevate those whom we admire unduly, fear them or allow them think for us. God has given us a brain to use, a mind with which to reason and His Word to learn the truth.
Every religious group that forbids you from using the Bible to test what you are being taught is a dangerous one. Any set of beliefs that prohibits you from using your God-given reason or lens of history in critically investigating its claims or arriving at truth, but compels you to defer to a putative divine mouthpiece is a deception.
This is a wake-up call to every Believer. Check and test what you see and hear. Only God is infallible. We are not to blindly follow any man or any teaching. Do not blindly surrender your mind to any guru or pope – whether Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal or self-made. And I ask that you do not make me your guru or blindly accept what I write on this blog. Please research on your own before accepting them.
Bow only to the supreme authority of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible. “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men” (1Cor. 7:23)