Bible punch­ers won’t be knock­ing on my door again any time soon Re­turn to church fails to ex­or­cise demons

Sunday World - - Viewpoint - Vusi Nza­pheza

Ihaven’t been in church in two decades. The last time I graced a place of wor­ship, my in­ten­tions were not holy. I went there be­cause this lady I was court­ing had asked me to. Al­though I grew up in church, I bailed out as soon as my crit­i­cal fac­ul­ties deigned I was be­ing fed mumbo-jumbo. How­ever, I re­tain own­er­ship of the black book and oc­ca­sion­ally thumb through it, de­pend­ing on my mood. I par­tic­u­larly like that verse where Je­sus turns wa­ter into wine.

So, I dressed up and ac­com­pa­nied Mau­reen to one of those charis­matic churches with an or­gan­ist. I did not know a sin­gle hymn so I hummed and smiled like an id­iot when ev­ery­body raised their hands and swayed with the spirit. The pas­tor, dressed to the nines, re­galed us with sto­ries of how an­gel Lu­cifer was once a trusted sergeant in heaven and a con­duc­tor of heaven’s choir. Lu­cifer’s wings, he said, were made of strings that he would strum to make mu­sic. That was un­til he went rogue and tempted Eve with an ap­ple and be­lieved he was more pow­er­ful than God.

Trou­ble started when the pas­tor wel­comed those of us who were in the house for the first time and asked us to stand. A few souls stood up while I re­mained glued to my seat de­spite Mau­reen’s el­bow dig­ging into my ribs. Later, when the col­lec­tion plate cir­cu­lated, I threw a pinkies (R50) but quickly re­trieved R40 change de­spite dis­ap­prov­ing stares. Forty bucks can buy two beers and I am pre­pared to risk em­bar­rass­ment for two quarts any day.

At the end of the ser­vice, I grabbed my lady and made for the door but the pas­tor was al­ready stand­ing guard to bid be­liev­ers farewell. He caught me by sur­prise when he lunged at my of­fered hand and hugged me.

I used the op­por­tu­nity to ask him to put Lu­cifer’s tracks on a USB. My lady was not amused and it would be the last time I go to church.

Be that as it may, bible punch­ers have found their way to my doorstep.

Three Sun­days ago, I was wo­ken up from a bab­bal­ased sleep at 9.30am. I al­ways frown on any­one who wakes me up be­fore 10am but the knocker was in­sis­tent. I hauled my­self out of bed and stag­gered to the door in my un­der­pants.

Two ladies and a guy stood on my doorstep with their books as I screwed my eyes with­out my spec­ta­cles. The ma­tronly woman in­tro­duced her­self and apol­o­gised for wak­ing me up. She was bring­ing me the word of sal­va­tion but my gaze was fix­ated on the yel­low bone whose eyes were fixed on my crotch as my head con­tin­ued to thump.

I told them I only had beer to of­fer. They gig­gled with em­bar­rass­ment when I in­vited the yel­low bone in­side to save my soul. They beat a hasty re­treat, leav­ing me in sin as I walked to my fridge to get a cold one.

“I used the op­por­tu­nity to ask the pas­tor to put Lu­cifer’s tracks on a USB”

/ Carolyn Cole / Getty Im­ages

These con­gre­gants who are clearly over­come by emo­tion dur­ing wor­ship in church, a place the writer vows he’ll never re­turn to.

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