Is it possible for ancestral worship and religion to coexist?
Presenter Eusebius McKaiser facilitated a debate between people with two opposing views.
Pelokazi Madlingozi (sangoma & Christian) and @mwmashua (@RaviZacharias ministries in Africa) are discussing the relationship between ancestralism and Christianity.@Radio702 @CapeTalk pic.twitter.com/f3GCKvAMct— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) September 6, 2018
Pelokazi Madlingozi is both a sangoma and a Christian. She believes that spirituality goes beyond the constructs of religion.
Madlingozi self-identifies as a spiritualist and says spirituality should not be limited by human thinking.
She grew up in a staunch Christian home and says that her own insights from her spiritual journey have challenged her to question common beliefs.
On the other hand, Mahlaste Winston Mashu is a Christian pastor who believes that many aspects of ancestralism and Christianity are not compatible.
He says that elements of ancestralism, such as communicating with the dead, are not in line with Biblical Christianity.
The pair share their individual experiences and their divergent understanding of the Bible, Christain faith, and ancestralism.
I choose to call myself a spiritualist because I don't like being confined within a box.— Pelokazi Madlingozi, healer, prophet Christian and physiotherapist
As much as the scriptures defined what I understood to be spirituality, I started to realise that spirituality goes beyond religion.— Pelokazi Madlingozi, healer, prophet Christian and physiotherapist
Religion is not the only thing that defines spirituality. Spirituality is broad, and religion is just one aspect of it.— Pelokazi Madlingozi, healer, prophet Christian and physiotherapist
The ancestors are very integral in my life.— Pelokazi Madlingozi, healer, prophet Christian and physiotherapist
I don't think that Biblical Christianity is compatible with the deep core issues of ancestralism.— Mahlaste Winston Mashu, Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Africa
If I'm going to use the Bible as a lens, I'm going to say that it's not the ancestors who are calling you because the concept of the ancestors, according to the Bible, is problematic.— Mahlaste Winston Mashu, Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Africa
Listen to the intriguing debate on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:
Here are some of the responses to the discussion on Twitter:
Excuse my ignorance but if God says we mustn't consult the dead, should we not pray to Jesus as well since he also died?— Nduduzo Nyanda (@Nduduzo86) September 6, 2018
Sadly what most Christians follow is biblicalism and not a personal relationship with God. God is a living Spirit & the Bible can't continue being some dead Word/text but has to come to life as we pursue relationship with God, being responsive to who we are as individuals in God.— Nyameka Mahlangeni (@cwenga09) September 6, 2018
We did have a relationship with God through African Prophets before the coming of missionaries. Our ancestors communicated with God through Prophets because they are God's mouth pieces on earth.— sam langsta (@samlangsta) September 6, 2018
That's nonsense you can't be both. There is a difference between the Spirit of God and ancestral spirits. No wonder Apostle Paul and Silas in the bible rebuke the spirit of ancestral in that girl who was try to associate with them.— Gift Mkhwanazi (@giftmkhwanazi) September 6, 2018
Ancestral belief is misunderstood by many Africans because of lack of spiritual wisdom. Spiritual acknowledges ancestors but does not worship them. There is nothing wrong in acknowledging the ancestors as long as we do not worship them.— sam langsta (@samlangsta) September 6, 2018
There's no ancestral worship...Nobody worships ancestors— Mduduzi Makhoba (@mdubadoo88) September 6, 2018