Pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie asked his followers to fast until they-die-and-see-Jesus. They responded accordingly. Several news outlets reported a death toll of over a hundred people. Whose bodies were discovered in shallow graves in the Shakahola forest, near Malindi, Kenya. The story of Beatrice ‘Betty’ Ajenta Charles is one of many tragic tales. She reportedly quit her job, sold her land and donated it all to Paul Mackenzie before fasting to death. The pastor is now in legal trouble because he is on trial for alleged criminal activity. This sad story provides fodder for those who believe that mankind would be better off without religion.
For every Paul Mackenzie, there are millions of pastors, bishops, and patriarchs who are doing a good job. Religious leaders who have given up personal ambitions to teach others how to live in peace with one another. How to lead holy lives in order to increase their productivity on Earth. Many terrorists, sadists, and mentally ill people are able to use the power of religion for evil. But religion has also brought about a lot of good. So religion cannot be a problem in and of itself. Religion, according to the Apostle James, can be pure and undefiled (James 1:27).
Your religion should make you fruitful on earth, heaven-compliant, and give all glory to God. You must be mindful of your religious beliefs, or lack thereof. While some religious beliefs are beneficial and positively transform us. Other religious beliefs are pointless and impede our ability to live a God-honoring life. First, we must examine history and our own personal motivations. We will come to the same conclusion that many others have: having a religious identity is good. Then, never be afraid to question and cross-examine every religious belief you hold dear. Don’t fall for a charlatan like Paul Mackenzie.