IN the wake of an avalanche of healings, signs and wonders in the spiritual world today, conceited efforts must be made to dispel the dangerous claims by some members of the clergy regarding their capabilities to treat ailments brought before them.

The world in general, and Africa in particular, has been invaded by a number of spiritualists, necromancers, pastors, apostles and religious figures who continue to make outrageous claims about curing specific diseases.

There has actually been an onslaught on conventional medicine especially by the new crop of preachers who make their congregants believe that they can cure all manner of illnesses, including chronic conditions.

On the other extreme, local tabloids are awash with foreign traditional healers alleging they can cure virtually any disease.

Claims have been made to the effect that H.I.V, cancer, Blood Pressure (BP) and Diabetes can be cured with devastating consequences to victims as some clergymen have notoriously told people to halt taking medication. It is tragic.

Given their profound influence on congregants who treat their word like law, these religious leaders must be responsible. We have heard testimonies, rather misleading testimonies of cured diseases.

Below I quote verbatim a testimony given on a popular Gospel TV channel a few days ago: “The brother standing here is leaving testimony of the power of God over H.I.V. For six years he had taken medication.

For six years he had the disease in his blood. But today he can attest to the power of God ­ the power of prayer. He has been declared clear of the disease.”

This testimony was made amidst ululations and ear­piercing screams from the huge crowd. Even the man later gave testimony.

This is just a drop in the ocean of similar testimonies. Resultantly, many desperate people have embraced the poisonous advice, in the process courting early death.

These kinds of testimonies are truly deceptive. While it should be appreciated that clergymen are desperate to win congregants and stand tall, they must be made to understand the potential ruin in their ways.

There is a well-known clergywoman in Harare who has almost turned blind after abandoning diabetes medication. Many people have spoken on different forums about how these testimonies have led to the needless loss of lives that should have been prolonged. It is becoming increasingly clear that, in their quest for popularity, some clergymen are now shedding innocent blood.

In fact, one prominent church leader in Harare often chides congregants that they only turn to him after medical doctors fail, instead of them coming to him first.

This message of disregarding the practice of medicine has also caused quite a lot of agony, with infants dying in some apostolic sects where conventional medication is shunned.

The same message has now come through contemporary churches who actually mock doctors and hospitals, instead emphasizing the use of anointing oils and all sorts of religious paraphernalia.

Do Christians doubt their God? The logical question, therefore, from religious critics, in view of the fact that Christians must uphold conventional medicine is: Do Christians doubt their God? If God is all­powerful as Christians uphold, then they must shun conventional medicine and simply turn to their God, they argue.

Now, it must be clear that the teaching against conventional medicine is entirely wrong and unbiblical.

The practice of medicine and the knowledge used in medicine is a gift from God himself. It was God who bestowed the knowledge on humanity to treat and heal.

Just like Albert Einstein said, “Ours is simply to uncover that which the Creator has made”. Scientific knowledge (excluding mischievous theories like Evolution) is actually a gift from God which should be encouraged and utilized to “uncover that which the Creator has made”.

Put simply, a doctor’s knowledge does not come from the devil; it’s not evil to take medication.

The body of knowledge used in scientific medication is nothing but a product of God’s reservoir of knowledge.

Back to the Bible, a number of God’s own people suffered various ailments yet God did not heal them at the material time.

Apostle Paul suffered from a debilitating disease which he equated to a thorn in the flesh yet God let him live with it.

Timothy who helped Paul a lot in evangelism had a stomach ailment yet even Apostle Paul did not heal him but advised him to take “a little wine for your stomach’s sake”.

Jesus Christ himself suffered physical abuse unto the point of death yet God did not move to restore or heal at the material time.

Clergymen of today must not try to equate this era with the time when Jesus Christ temporarily banished disease from Palestine by performing an avalanche of miracles. It was God’s design, after the fall of man, that human beings shall fall sick.

It does not mean that those who fall ill are ungodly. Every one born of a woman will surely die; that’s the reality.

These religious figures must stop the charade. Governments, in my view, have a role to play towards safeguarding lives.

We actually need a gospel against these dangerous practices. Emphasis should therefore be continually put on educating the public that conventional medicine is itself a gift from God. Do not be deceived.