Kampala. Pastor Aloysius Bugingo of House of Prayer Ministries in Makerere Kikoni, a Kampala suburb, stunned Christians last Monday, when he torched Bibles on claims that they are ‘misleading’ and cannot be a dependable source of the Gospel.
Pastor Bugingo, whose feats have been despised as “stupid”, “ignorant” and “intolerant” by fellow leaders in Christ, is however, reported to have burned King James Version (KJV) and Good News Bibles – which he collected from his 6,000-strong flock on Easter Sunday – because they bore the words ‘Holy Ghost’ as opposed to ‘Holy Spirit.’
Bugingo’s followers quoted their leader, telling them before overseeing the burning of the Bibles that King James Version and the New Testament, were tampered with and that some verses were omitted without explanation.
For instance, Pastor Bugingo told his flock that the lines talking about the Fasting and Lent, were deleted through unclear circumstances and that the word “Holy Ghost” appears 99 times yet the word “Holy Spirit” appears only seven times. To Pastor Bugingo, the defects in the Bible were the handiwork of “devil worshipers” and should, therefore, not be allowed to confuse Christians.
Pastor Bugingo claims that the devil worshipers want people to worship ghosts and that is why they call the Holy Spirit the Holy Ghost. Mr Bugingo is quoted by his followers as saying, “Satan is trying to twist the minds of those that think are learnt. There is no word used by Satan that is used by God. You will hear their agents – they call themselves pastors here in Uganda – rising up to fight what we are doing.”
The pastor, who owns Salt FM and Salt TV, also announced plans to build a printing house that will produce ‘verified’ bibles” and in response to his fellow pastors, who condemned his act of burning the Bibles, his answer was unequivocal. “If what am doing is wrong, then am ready for hell.”
But the more the photos of burning heaps of Bibles went viral on Social Media sites, the more the anger kept spreading. Although there were no street protests, religious leaders in the country have, however, come out to condemn the Bible burning incident as “a blasphemous abomination” and asked God-loving people to denounce what some Christians have described as “the warped teachings” of Pastor Bugingo.
Sunday Monitor’s efforts to talk to Bugingo were futile as he did not answer our phone calls nor did he reply to recurrent text messages. His assistant [Pastor Francis Victor Mutawe] declined to speak on behalf of his boss.
Holy Ghost Vs Holy Spirit
English Language. It is only in modern English translations of the Bible that ‘spirit’ has replaced ‘ghost.’ However, the KJV retains ‘Holy Ghost’. In 1611 when the KJV was published, a ghost meant the soul of a living person, while a spirit meant a demon or a dead person. As English evolved, the word ‘ghost’ took on a different meaning and newer versions changed ‘Ghost’ to ‘Spirit’.
Theology. Theologians also believe the difference came when some writers translated the Greek phrase hagion pneuma as Holy Spirit, while others translated it as Holy Ghost. Both Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit refer to the Third Person of the Trinity – God the Spirit.
What they say...
“That pastor neglected to consult those who have been in the pastoral ministry for a long time, he acted out of ignorance. We would have counselled him. If you have a jigger in your foot, do you cut off the whole leg?”
Bishop David Kiganda, Christianity Focus Centre
“It is at such times that my heart sinks for the ignorant followers, who even don’t read their Bibles but rely on listening to their pastors. An undiscipled Christian is a dangerous one!”
Robert B. Mutyaba, Bible Readers Network Uganda
“The burning of the bibles is a sign of intolerance. I condemn such ignorant and stupid acts,”
Father John Mungereza, parish priest of Our Lady of Africa Mbuya Church
“The Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit are the same There are many spirits, but the difference is that while others are evil, only one is holy. It is narrow-minded of him (Bugingo) to say the Holy Ghost is evil,”
Rev Jasper Tumuhimbise, All Saints Cathedral Kampala.
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