In this new church, the Holy Spirit comes in bottles & cans

In this new church, the Holy Spirit comes in bottles & cans April 22, 2018

Around eight months ago ‘Pope’ Tsietsi Makiti, above, launched a church intended to be a haven for boozers.
Yesterday an AP report said that Gabola Church is gaining in popularity, and it quoted Makiti as saying:

We are a church for those who have been rejected by other churches because they drink alcohol. Gabola Church is established to redeem the people who are rejected, who are regarded as sinners. We drink for deliverance. We are drinking for the Holy Ghost to come into us.

But Archbishop Modiri Patrick Shole, director of the South African Union Council of Independent Churches, expressed horror.

Gabola has nothing to do with the word of God. Those are not church services. They are using the Bible to promote taverns and drinking liquor. It is blasphemous. It is heresy and totally against the doctrines.

He said his organisation intends to see that authorities close Gabola for breaking municipal regulations that say churches should not be located near bars.
The condemnation by Shole and other Christian organisations did not bother the 30 worshipers attending a recent Gabola service, held in a bar in the sprawling Orange Farm township 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Johannesburg.

This photo, taken in mid-April this year, shows ‘Pope’ Tsietsi Makiti preparing to baptise newcomers to his Orange Farm church bar. Photo by Denis Farrell/AP
A pool table served as the altar, adorned with bottles of whiskey and beer. Six ministers at the altar solemnly blessed the chilled jumbo bottles of beer bought by most churchgoers. A few drank whiskey, brandy or other beverages, all of them similarly blessed. The congregation sang hymns praising the positive effects of drinking.
Three new Gabola members were baptised with beer sprinkled on their forheads. And a newly invested priest is given a double tot of whisky.
Gabola means “drinking” in Tswana, one of South Africa’s official languages.
Makiti said:

Our aim is to convert bars, taverns and shebeens into churches. And we convert the tavern-owners into pastors.
People in other churches say they are holy but they drink by the back doors, in secret. They think God does not see them. But the Lord zooms in on them and can see them. We drink openly at our services. We do so in peace and we love each other.

Gabola’s leader said he encourages people to drink responsibly and emphasises that alcohol will only be sold and blessed to people who are 20, two years older than South Africa’s legal drinking age.
The rousing hymns praising the effects of alcohol brought church members to their feet and they enthusiastically stomped and danced in a circle, often around a beer bottle. As the three-hour service progressed they became louder, more animated and sloppier. Some dozed off during the sermon.
Said Nigel Lehasa, who explained scripture during the service and described himself as Gabola’s professor:

Nothing is as happy in the world as people who drink. There is no fighting, no arguing. We have nothing but love.

About 80 percent of South Africa’s 56 million people profess to be Christian. In addition to Catholic and Protestant denominations, there are small independent ones with unusual practices like handling snakes. One pastor recently was found guilty of assault for spraying Doom, a popular insecticide, into worshipers’ faces, which was supposed to chase away evil spirits.

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  • Rob Andrews

    Why not!
    Native Americans use Peyote cactus, legal in Arizona… I do also!
    Dionysian cult in Ancient Greece used wine.
    Rastafarians use marijuana.
    Sacred plants are used by many other people that I don’t even know of.
    So why not alcohol. I disagree with the”no fighting”, statement though.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    RC priests guzzle wine during mass. Why is that acceptable and not this church?

  • Matthew Carr

    If the NT were opposed to drinking then Jesus would have turned wine into water.

  • Broga

    Preferable to the RCs eating flesh and drinking blood, I suppose. There is no accounting for taste.

  • barriejohn

    Some dozed off during the sermon.
    Just your regular church service, then.
    “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” (Matt. 11:18-19 KJV)

  • John the Drunkard

    A strange implication that churches in SA seek locations away from bars. In the U.S. zoning laws are used to force bars, or ‘adult’ businesses away from schools or churches.

  • L.Long

    Great a church that like to enjoy the fruits of gawd’s labors!!!
    Where does it say no booze in the buyBull??? and if it does so,then the xtians believe that jesus was a blasphemer as he turned water to wine, and boozed it up at the last supper.
    And gawd told Adam that all on earth is for his use!! That includes bacteria & yeast shit, which is what alcohol is!

  • Gaurav Tyagi

    This is a Church, where I would love to go just to enjoy the booze 🙂

  • barriejohn

    I prefer it to this:
    I remember Christians speaking about being “drunk on the Holy Spirit”, and Billy Graham used to talk about “getting high on Jesus”. It’s not so far from the reality, as fanatical religious belief produces effects similar to intoxication and removes the ability to reason properly, to which fact I can testify personally.

  • 1859

    I’ve just established The Church Of The Magic Mushroom, so I get to be Pope. Right, the membership fee is one magic mushroom of your choice, plus $50 paid into a special account the number of which will be given once new members have delivered their mushroom. See you all in outer space!