By Malama KatulwendeIn an incident which can safely be described as most bizarre and fantastic, Kayula, 40, and his wife, Bwalya Maggie Chintakwa, 35, of Kasenga resettlement in chief Luchembe in the Mpika district of northern Zambia, starved their child to death as they prayed and fasted for days in the belief that the world would come to an end.
This was after the couple saw an eclipse of the moon last year in October.
The two formed a family church called “Busesemo”. In the iciBemba language, “Busesemo” means “prophesy”. The doctrine of this church was based on the idea that a dead person should not be buried because God would bring the deceased back to life.
The event of the eclipse of the moon made the “Busesemo” church absolutely certain of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. For this reason, therefore, the church members, who were eight in number, fasted and prayed for many days – often sleeping in the cold night because they fervently believed that the earth was coming to an end and that Jesus Christ would make His Coming a reality.
The church treated non-“Busesemo” as “unclean,”. They discouraged their children from going to school and eating other people’s food. Members of the family were not involved in any gainful activity such as farming but simply prayed and fasted. They believed that God would give them food.
Now during these fits of prayer and fasting one of their children, Kingsley Kayula, whom they starved to death, was wrapped in a blanket and the body was kept in the house. In fact, the couple shared their matrimonial bed with the body of their dead child for over a month despite the stench of the decomposed body.
This incident, surreal as it is, gives an indication of the depravity of some extreme form of Christianity in Zambia. Not very long ago, a German couple attracted media attention by going around the city of Lusaka and preaching that Jesus Christ was coming soon. They urged Zambians to sell their houses and other property and prepare for the coming of the Son of Man.
Now in the case of Kayula and Bwalya, their ‘’sect’’ reminds us of the Lumpa Church of Alice Lenshina, also of northern Zambia, whose beliefs were unorthodox.
Established in 1953 by Alice Lenshina Mulenga in the village of Kasoma, in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) the Lumpa Church [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpa_Church] was an independent Christian church which promoted a mix of Christian and traditional religious values and practices, including a belief in the role of women as spiritual mediums.
Strongly opposed to polygamy but rumoured to have drunk urine and believed that bullets could not harm them, or that they could fly if they jumped from rooftops – the Lumpa church members rejected all earthly authority. The church set up its own courts and refused to pay taxes or be registered with the state. This led to a showdown with the state prior to Zambia’s independence, in which over 1000 members of the Lumpa church were killed by the Zambian soldiers. Alice Lenshina was arrested. Over 25000 of her flock fled into the Congo. Ironically, though, much of what Alice Lenshina and the Lumpa Church espoused – such as music and dance – have since been incorporated in Christian Churches such as the Catholic church.
This incident, however, is not peculiar to Zambia. In 2008, for example, the world was shocked to learn of a mass suicide of Christians in Uganda who could not wait any longer for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Such mass suicides were often encouraged by other suicides elsewhere – such as the deaths of the Solar Temple sect, a Vietnamese fake artist, an injudicious Mexican pastor, David Koresh, and of course the People’s Temple, led by paranoid U.S. pastor Jim Jones in Guyana, 1978.
Ever since the beginning of the 19th Century, the Christian world has been flooded with pseudo-science, Eastern religion, prophecy, faith healing, speaking in tongues, and all kinds of other occult beliefs. Scores of new cults, pseudo-Christian cults, New Age cults, and all types of apocalypse gibberish which had infested many older Protestant denominations – including much of what makes up the religious right and New Age religion today (including Satanism cults) – have since sprung up.
In another wacky sort of behaviour some groups of Christians have been gathering to await — or perhaps escape to — the next world since before the advent of mass Christian suicides. To be sure, Christianity has never been far removed from error in apocalyptic teachings that have continually made a fool of Christian expectations and turned Jesus Christ into some crude joke. You might ask: when will Jesus Christ come again? Like the Mpika couple, much of the answer to this question has roots in the confusion over the interpretation of real biblical Christianity.
Let us take some more examples. Elesha Coffman , in an article called “Heaven Can’t Wait” writes that in the second century A.D., when it was clear Christ’s coming had not gestured to the pending end of the world, early theologians started speculating about concepts like the Millennium, the Antichrist, and the Second Coming. Most, like Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165), acknowledged the theories were just theories: “I and many others are of this opinion, and believe that such will take place … but, on the other hand, many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.”
In the early 200s, a church leader in northern Asia Minor predicted Christ would come again within a year and told his followers to prepare. When this did not come to pass, “The virgins got married; the men withdrew to their farms; and those who had recklessly sold all their possessions were eventually to be found begging.”
According to Elesha, thoughts of the end resurfaced in 303 AD, when the Roman Emperor Diocletian (believed by some to be the first beast of Revelation 13) began the Great Persecution of the church, but the thoughts largely subsided when Emperor Constantine began restoring the church in 312.
“The year 1000 seems to have passed with relatively little millennial fever, probably because anno Domini dating was fairly new and most people didn’t know what year it was. However, all manner of events during the Middle Ages were assigned apocalyptic significance: attempts at church reform, plagues, wars, martyrdoms, and the ascendency of a new ruler. All of this turbulence, roiled even more by the Reformation, set the stage for one of history’s most gruesome failed kingdoms, initiated in 1530 by the fiery Anabaptist Melchoir Hoffman.
“Hoffman declared Strasbourg to be the New Jerusalem, and though he never advocated violence, he was deemed a threat to society and imprisoned. But his ideas had already spread, and they were soon taken up by a Dutch baker named Jan Matthys. Matthys, proclaiming himself to be Enoch (the second witness in Revelation) adjusted the New Jerusalem site to Munster and declared it a “city of refuge” from the coming destruction. As Anabaptists filled the city, Matthys took despotic control, fortified the city heavily, and prepared for battle with Munster’s Roman Catholic bishop. When the battle finally came, on May 25, 1535, the bishop’s army slaughtered the Anabaptists. After two days, the pile of bodies filled the cathedral square.”
In the nineteenth century, reports Elesha, a New England farmer William Miller, relying on prophecies from the book of Daniel and cosmic chronology supplied by James Ussher, predicted the end of the world between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Miller’s preaching drew enormous crowds, and more than 50,000 people believed him. As 1844 began, he wrote to the “second advent believers,” asking, “Does your heart begin to quail? Or are you waiting for your blessed hope in the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ?” When March 21 came and went, Miller confessed his error, but one of his followers found in other verses a predicted “tarrying time” that adjusted the date to October 22. This, too, came and went, prompting a “great disappointment.” Many people became bitter and disillusioned with Miller, who died a forgotten man. A small group reinterpreted his prophecy and organized themselves as the Seventh-Day Adventists.
Ever since this time, there has been a number of apocalypse predictions about the end of the world. Notable among these was by the Christian doomsday prophet Harold Camping.
The 89-year-old Californian preacher and radio host had prophesied that the Rapture would begin at 6pm May 21st 2011 in each of the world’s time zones, with non-believers wiped out by rolling earthquakes, as the saved ascended into heaven.
Like his earlier doomsday prediction of 1994, this “rapture” did not take place.
Judgment Day Believers Proclaim May 21 Is Day Of Armageddon
Indeed, the world has known a chronicle of foolishness and folly in the past. To take a quick glance at the events:
• 1654: Archbishop Ussher of Armagh fixes the date of Creation as 4004 BC (26th October at 9 AM), and the End as 1997 AD (6000 AM of the Great Week) when the Millennium begins. He claimed to know when the earth was created (4004 BC) and is still quoted by fundamentalists today.
• 1774: Ann Lee (tongues-speaking Quaker) founds the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers) as the Millennial church in America (promoting celibacy). She declares herself to be the reincarnation of Christ and female aspect of God’s dual nature. The Shakers win the admiration of many for their inventiveness (the circular saw, screw propeller, rotary harrow, etc.), model farms and their orderly prosperous communities.
• 1800: The Millennium does not arrive. New prophecy nuts come out in droves.
• 1802: Prophetess Joanna Southcott in England begins ‘sealing’ the ’144 000′ elect for the End. Her thousands of followers include some Anglican clergy.
• 1825: Britain’s Rev Edward Irving predicts that Christ will return in 1864 (the Irvingites are the origin of the Catholic Apostolic Church, and today’s New Apostolic Church. The Old Apostolic Church is a South African break-away from this group).
• 1835: Latter Day Saints Founder, Joseph Smith of America, prophesies that Jesus Christ will not come until he is 85 years old. Joseph died (1844) without Jesus coming.
• 1845: The ‘Seventh-day’ Adventist movement, helped by Mrs Ellen G White as prophetess, develops the doctrine of the ‘mark of the Beast’ as Sunday-worship by a papal Antichrist in explanation of Christ’s so-called ‘delayed’ Return.
• 1914: Jehovah’s Witnesses’ predicted return of Christ fails, but they now change their teaching to an invisible Coming known only to true believers.
• 1965: July: self-styled prophet, William Branham, declares in response to California earthquake: “The Scripture reader or even a–a believer knows that we are now at the end of the history of the world. There will be no use of writing it, because there won’t be anybody to read it. It’s at the end of the time. …”
• 1992: The Tami Church based in Seoul, South Korea, under pastor Lee Jang Rim, distributes the visions and prophecies of its world-wide membership indicating the Rapture will happen 28th October 1992. (The Millennium will begin 7 years later in 2000 AD).
October 28th: 20 000 members of the ‘Mission for the Coming Days’ (Tami Church), spend the afternoon waiting for the Rapture, resulting in great public humiliation to Christians and the amusement of the world.
In short, there are thousands of such examples of failed prophesies and predictions of Jesus Christ Second Coming.
We, however, leave it to you to decide whether it is still sensible to ask whether Jesus Christ will come back into this world or not? If your answer is yes, what will He come to do here and what will become of our airports, governments, industries and trade?/