At What Point Does Faith Become Folly? | South African Congregation Drink Petrol Because Pastor Claims to Have Turned it Into Pineapple Juice

3 min


I often marvel at the tenacity of Ghanaians when it comes to matters of faith, and for the absurd levels we are willing to take our belief in a supreme being. We place too much trust in our men of God, we interpret everything through the lens of religion and superstition, and we are willing to do anything so long as we are sure it enhances our chances of one day ending up in heaven.

It’s a problematic mindset that as much as we hate to admit, remains at the root of most of our ills as a society. We often place too much trust in faith to the detriment of hard work and innovation, whilst we spend fortunes keeping pastors rich whilst we remain in our lives of dilapidation.

South African pastor Lesego Daniel, of the Rabioni Centre Ministries, made his congregation drink petrol because he claimed to have changed it to pineapple juice. It was an exercise modelled on when Jesus turned water into wine (See the video above).

Blind faith as demonstrated by this South African congregation is very worrying. When people slip into mindsets like this, they can be asked to do anything and they would so long as they believe it is in the name of their religion.

I am sure we can all see what problems such a mentality would breed. Blind obedience to a person or deity breeds fanaticism, and fanaticism breeds far worse problems we should all be familiar with.

I don’t think it would kill anyone to mix a little rational thought into their faith, since we insist on remaining the most religious continent ever. If God existed, I’m pretty sure he gave us these brains for a reason; and I fail to find where it is written in scripture that you cease using them whenever you set foot in a church.

Worse of all, the pastor in question has proven to be a deluded maniac in the past already. In January, he directed members of his congregation to eat grass, to prove that anything God created can nourish his creation. There were congregants who vomited and had stomach upsets after that exercise, yet this guy still commands a large congregation who hang on his every word, and who he has led into another absurd experiment.

Shouldn’t South African authorities be doing something about this? You cannot have such a maniac with delusions of grandeur endanger public safety whenever he feels like it.

I’m trying to come up with a scenario where I would drink petrol willingly, and I keep coming up blank. Yet these people did it without as much as a blink of an eye, and if that is not problematic I don’t know what is.

Faith can be a wonderful thing for those who believe, but you veer into blind faith and you’re slipping into absurdity.

It’s an age of rationality, though we insist on keeping religion relevant. If so, it should be mixed with a little rational thought; or we stay mired in this backwards mentality that breeds results like this one.