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Bible fundamentalists & pubs engulf the suburbs

KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN | Supported by the Phil Fitzpatrick Writing Fellowship

Sil BolkinONE WONDERS WHETHER they have inhaled heroin or cocaine to be so high with energy.  Your ears are assaulted on every street corner into which you turn in Port Moresby where a street preacher stands.

Most of them will be skinny with no muscles and their bones sticking out of their skin. Obvious signs of hunger and unemployment.  But that doesn’t hinder them from being charged with absolute energy.

Yet most of their theories about metaphysics will not stand up to scrutiny and one can clearly see that the poor preacher is half-baked, let alone a student of theology or philosophy.

A few of them are obese and you can tell that they have successfully manipulated their followers with skill and have taken advantage of them by milking every penny for their own hungry stomachs.

You will even see kids as young as five preaching on the street corners of Port Moresby.  Oh dear, what does this kid understand about the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament?

Some of these preachers do not understand the Gregorian calendar and get it all wrong with the creation story and think that the world was created 6,000 years ago and we are working toward the seventh and final millennium.

Others interpret the bible literally, not knowing that the scriptures were originally written in Aramaic and were later translated into Greek and Latin and that our bible today has been changed and diluted.

These preachers also do not know that the scriptures have to be interpreted within the context of a Jewish culture that was infiltrated by, among others, the Romans and Greeks.

None of this logic ever dawns on these preachers and their adherents when they go to their forums or podiums to yell and shout.

One can only assume that hunger, poverty and unemployment have driven these poor men and women to turn to preaching to attract the God-fearing multitudes so that they might donate their last coin or share a plate of food with them.

Some parents even force their kids to go out on the streets armed with a bible to preach anything they can think about the deity while they hide behind the crowd watching the offerings basket. In that way they might get some cash and kind to see them through to the next dawn.  

Most of these cheating preachers won’t stand up as real men or women and take a spade and go to the garden. If they take a spade and dig the ground they might wither and die within the hour. That’s what they reckon anyway.  Perhaps their parents failed to coach and mould them to be productive members of society when they were kids.

The perception of every Christian donor and or sympathiser is that the Lord will bless them tenfold for feeding the preacher. Unfortunately, the God-fearing multitudes are simply feeding the preacher’s laziness.

In other words, the multitudes are encouraging these idlers to waste their time and energy trying to tell people how to live their lives when they have never even tried it themselves.

If instead of wasting their time waiting for passers-by to drop a coin into their box they went out and practised what they preached they might end up making money for themselves. By ploughing the land and reaping the milk and honey they might discover a heaven here on earth. They forget that life will give them whatever they ask for if they are prepared to work for it.

The Lord has given mankind all the skills and abilities needed to make ends meet in an honest and decent way every day.

Free handouts from Christians will simply seduce other potential preachers to ply their trade too. And already the kids are putting their hands up everywhere in Port Moresby.

The other problem that needs flagging is the sprouting of church buildings in residential areas in the settlements and suburbs. The biblical fundamentalists and sects have made inroads into the suburbs and residential areas and have erected their halls.

Almost all of them have live musical instruments and the poor residents in some areas cannot get any peace while the shouting and yelling goes unfiltered almost every week day evening and weekend.

I live in Morata II and we have more than 10 such groups who have erected sheds and have settled in permanently. They play live music and sing and yell at the top of their voices in an attempt to drown out the rival sects at the other end of the hills.

The noises mingle with the drunks and music coming out of the plethora of pubs in the vicinity. Folks, the people you see coming out of the settlements to engage in informal activities in the city are all emerging with their brain cells still boiling red hot with noise.

Caveat! One has to be careful when he or she deals with people with such a frame of mind in the city. They can be dangerous to mingle and chat with.

Once in a while you greet someone coming out of these blighted suburbs and you will be surprised when they just ignore you and walk off. These are signs and symptoms of noise fatigue and unstable minds.

The residents fear the Lord Almighty so they will not stand up and ask these sects to lower their voices and the volume of their live music.

Everyone has a right to peace and tranquillity in a residential area but they are reluctant to ask the yelling pastors and their psyched up congregation to render them that peace and stillness.

A question to ask is that if these preachers did not do well in school and after dropping out cannot make a decent living what sort of good experience or success do they have under their belts that the multitudes can draw from?

Anyone following one of these vagrant preachers is a blind man following another blind man.  Wouldn’t they be better off listening to successful people like Sir Dadi Mahuru Toka, Janet Sape or Fr Phil Gibbs PhD rather than some psychopath who knows nothing about what they are talking about?

We called the National Capital District Commission and the Investment Promotion Authority for some kind of explanation about how they allocate different suburban sectors and land for developments like churches and pubs.

The National Capital District Commission’s phones kept ringing without anybody answering.

Meanwhile, someone at the Investment Promotion Authority said they give out business registration certificates to any entity that has a section and lot number written on their application form.

They just don’t care whether a business tycoon will build a pub or one of these crazy sects will build a church in supposedly quiet residential areas and suburbs. 


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Lithiana Nondebia

I live Port Moresby and the number of beggars has increased. Seriously, it is annoying and I hate beggars begging when I'm in town.

Using God's name for no good reason to make money is bullshit and a shameful thing to do.

I as the preacher preaching and you as the God-fearing multitude helps me with a toea without knowing that I was actually using God's name to beg for money - shameful and annoying.

And how would you feel later on if you heard from somebody else about the real reason for this preaching?

What are they trying to prove? As a proud Papua New Guinean I don't want to see PNG ending up like that in the future.

Talsha Bannick

Seriously, no offense everyone but I for one dont like the idea of street preaching. It's more like they are using the word of God to make money for themselves and we can considered them as beggars.

For instance, if they want to save the unsaved souls then the God's word should be free because refering to the bible the disciples didnt try to make monkey by preaching the goodness, they did it for free.

It is also stated in the bible that everyone has to work hard to earn their living. Instead of using the Lord's name to rob others.

Someone has stated that if you want to be a millionare overnight, all you have to do is come to Papua New Guinea and preach the gospels.

That indicates that since we are a Christian country, as long as someone is preaching the gospel, we accept them without questions. It might be better if we started criticizing things before doing something.

Jeff Febi

In POM, some Churches are great noise-makers.

If noise-making is a sin I am pretty sure churches will not see the light of heaven - not even a glimpse.

It is as if we've not heard enough of noise from drunkards shouting, gunshots,and etc.

Drunkards, and churches are noise-makers...they are in the same group unfortunately.

Peter Kranz

Sil and Michael, There's plenty of this stuff around (some a lot worse), but see what you think of this as an example.

The Filipino missionaries are proud to boast of their AoG 'indoctrination' classes. And note their 'enemies' are the Lutherans.

I reckon Ole Martin would be turning in his grave.

Jesus, I think you've got some 'splainin to do.

Michael Dom

Actually David I believe at that time Paul was almost the equivalent of a PhD holder. It's partly the reason God chose him to take the Good News to the Gentiles.

David Gonol

I have comments to make. About noise pollution, the Christians should be considerate, lest their actions grieve their neighbours.

In terms of preaching, I'd rather be happy that my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being preached to every creature & in every street corner.

Despite the preachers' motives, the big thing to me, I say again, is that Christ Jesus is being preached. No wonder the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:13-8,

“As a result, it has become clear to the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that I am in prison because of Christ.

"Moreover, because of my imprisonment ,most of the brothers have been made confident in the Lord to speak God's word more boldly and courageously than ever before.

"Some are preaching Christ because of their envy and rivalry, while others do so because of their goodwill. The latter are motivated by love, because they know that I have been appointed for the defence of the gospel.

"The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition and without sincerity, thinking that they will stir up trouble for me during my imprisonment. But what does it matter? Just this, that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and because of this I rejoice. Yes, I will continue to rejoice…”

Further, the Apostle Peter was not a PhD holder and yet God saw fit to use him mighty.

Yes, some failures may resort to preaching out of bad motives but not all. We should be careful as to what we say because some of them are genuine servants of God.

The judgment part of it belongs to God alone! Lest we judge others and be judged ourselves.

Michael Dom

Kela, I share your sentiments exactly and to me you've expressed the issues here perfectly.

After being woken up every Sunday at 3 am I finally cracked and put a mumu stone on the roof of the 'church' next door.

They not only had speakers but a public address system, so it was as if someone had stepped into your bedroom every morning.

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