Many congregations start the New Year with fasting and consecration. Many adhere to the Daniel Fast eating fruits, veggies, nuts, that sort of thing. Yet never, to public knowledge, has anyone ever commanded their congregants to literally eat grass in order to "be closer to God." This is what South African Pastor, Lesego Daniel, located in Garankuw, South Africa has done.
But Pastor Daniel didn't stop there, he also stamped on them. Possibly to teach them submission as well? This man and his unorthodox methods are no stranger to criticism, but he insists on the results produced by these acts.
A 21-year-old law student claims to be healed of a sore throat she'd been battling for the past year. Another young woman, Doreen Kgatle, who suffered a stroke a couple years ago says that after her meal of grass, she started gaining strength and an hour later, could walk again. The pictures of these precious people are displayed openly on the Rabboni Centre Ministries Facebook Page which currently boasts 13,738 likes.
When asked why they eat grass, one congregant stated:
Yes, we eat grass and we're proud of it because it demonstrates that, with God's power, we can do anything. (Rosemary Phetha, congregant)
Pastor Daniel has a very strong hold on his congregation which is further illustrated through such statements as:
We do not believe in having committees or church board, because in the past many churches split and/or board members create unholy friendships and become religious thusfought with the vision by not producing the fruits of the spirit because of planning and strategising. (Rabboni Centre Ministries Facebook About Section)
Never sin against any of your Fathers, Leaders, etc., no matter what....Do not loose your blessing because of how you behave.... Keep your loins guarded, do not find yourself with the unfaithful. If you find them (unfaithful), you are one of them. Even your boss, do not sin against him because God uses them also even if they are fallen. ("Teaching for Servants/Workers," by Pastor Lesego Daniel)
Even his ministerial About Page places Daniels in the same category of the Prophet Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and William Branham. One would have to wonder that if the congregants are eating grass while their pastor literally walks on them, what else is being done at this ministry?
Despite the supposed results, many congregants have suffered at the hands of these manipulative tactics. Multiple images of people grasping their stomachs as well as retching into toilets and trash cans can be seen. There has since been a incoming flood of online complaints such as:
God created animals to chew grass and made human beings to dominate over animals. Any person who reduces human beings to animals is definitely not of God.
Why is he stepping on people? This is inhumane. Shocking.
Daniels boasts proudly of his control over people. The Times Live reported that at a services of his approximating about 1,000, the man yelled "sleep" and just as would happen at a hypnotist show, six people dropped off. Attenders were ordered to slap the sleepers who remained completely unresponsive until he ordered them awake.
You can leave them like this for six months. I love this, I don't want to be bored. You can even make police go to sleep when they arrest you. (Pastor Daniels)
And continues to state,
God is at work and His people are testifying right now [at] the farm. TO GOD BE THE GLORY. (Daily Mail UK)
The manipulation exhibited by this man over those who trust him is staggering and the Bible presents no small judgement for these unrepentant acts.
The congregants will likely recover from eating the grass, but I fear the spiritual effects will be more lasting.
Unfortunately, it is very likely that Pastor Daniels will continue in his controlling ways and interpret articles like this as "persecution" and a hallmark of a true and godly ministry.