On the 7th of July 2015 a 45-year-old man Osayande Ekhator die duridng a deliverance section in a church on Okwanga Street around Uselu Quarters in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. He was said to be suffering from an undisclosed illness and was taken to the church by his family members to get cured through deliverance/prayers. According to Pa Ekhator the deceased father, things went weary when his son was thrown to the floor with his arms and legs bound as part of the process.
Mrs. Isoken Ekundaye the Resident Pastor at the church, denies the claims made by the family. She is reported to have said, “We don’t kill here. We don’t beat here. If they bring insane people, we heal,” She has been arrested by the police and investigations will be carried out.
This story brings me back to the central point of a previous post “Disabled not dehumanized,” as a nation we must learn to treat the feeble amongst us with respect. A disability whether physical, mental or emotional can only cripple or incapacitate an individual depending on the individual and societies attitude to the disability. Based on this premise I fear Nigeria has a long way to go and the fate of the disabled is still bleak.
I am a strong believer in the healing power of faith, but there are certain things that just naturally don’t add up and should be clear to all. In the Bible the story is told of a mad man who roamed the tombs often chained, shouting and cutting himself. But when he met Christ the chains, shouting and cutting came to an end at his command. If indeed the church the deceased met his demise in was a church supposedly rooted on the message of the Bible then it has woefully misinterpreted and misrepresented the Bible.
However, I must say that this practice is not unique to the church in question and several other misinterpretations of biblical practice have been used by faith healers to deceive the sick and needy in society. For example, back-to-back days of fasting cycles to cure an ill person or a stubborn child, midnight prayers on the mountain, midnight baths in rivers wearing white, red or black, to name a few. I have no right to tell anyone how to manage the sick or disturbed in their family neither can I tell you who to turn but I can say this:
- The Bible does not approve of a lifestyle riddled by rituals or regiments, it encourages faith.
- The Bible does not encourage blind follower-ship it encourages us to seek out God and to validate every message/practice by ourselves through prayers and studying the scriptures.
- The Bible does not promise instant results and answers rather it promises constant support through every situation.
- Our refusal to accept disabilities as things that just happen and not as a consequence of our past actions or a punishment or a life destroying weakness will continually make its proper management and prevention impossible.
- Whilst we can trust in God, we must not forget that God won’t do for us what our government or leaders should do for us. Balance is key.
Faith without (the right) works (and direction) is dead. (additions made by me.)
Source of the story Daily post