Hallucination is a mental condition, which could manifest in hearing voices, seeing or smelling things that do not exist.
It is distinguishable from delusion, which is a consequence of false belief that appears real, but is not.
While hallucination is sensory-driven, delusion is mind-rooted. Anyone is susceptible to hallucination.
However, it is particularly damaging when it inflicts a cleric because it could potentially cause him to alter the course of his ministry in deference to the voices.
And because it is difficult to determine the source of the voices, he could take millions of people away from the “right path.”
Believe it or not, I am a Christian and I try to practice what the Holy Book prescribes with the grace that the Almighty bestowed me.
In addition, I have very deep respect for the clergy as “fellow servants” of the Most High.
I used the phrase “fellow servants “with all responsibility because I am equally a fellow servant; at least the Bible says I am.
As much as I respect the clergy, I am also critical about the way some of them use their position to advance their personal views especially when they say, “And God told me.”
From my experience and observation, some of their interpretation of the scripture and their conduct oftentimes is colored by chauvinism, egocentrism, lack of sense of history, and the result of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed mental condition.
Each day I pray, I am reminded to ask for God’s extension of His blessings to the genuine and selfless workers in His vineyard.
Indeed, the genuine workers provide great services as the custodians of the spiritual and moral light that guide our paths.
Equally, I pray that the nexus between my heart and my head be guarded to discern the thieves in cassock who use the Holy Book as a pretext to gain access to my wallet as well as those who will not hesitate to tell me, “Thus says the Lord.”
Furthermore, I believe that a cleric should be free to express his opinion on anything.
As much as his vocation majors in the ethereal, he is as much a part of our reality.
We are not in heaven yet and the policies of our government affect him just as they affect the rest of us.
For instance, a cleric’s sustenance, especially if he is “full time” (whatever it means), is contingent on the willingness of those of us who warm the pews each Sunday morning to open up our wallets.
When a cleric makes the case about how God promised to supply all his (Cleric’s) needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, I understand him to mean that he hopes and prays that those of us listening to him will be successful in our endeavors in order to ensure his steady supply of food, provide him with a new car, or build him a befitting parsonage.
The idea being that the “man of God” should enjoy a modicum of comfort to continue the divine mandate of extending the work of God to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Thus, a government’s policy that frustrates our economics justifiably should concern him.
The divine mandate is to preach the good news and make disciples of all people.
However, the spreading of the good news does not include collection of money (taxes) from unsuspecting congregants to build schools that charge extortionate tuitions, neither does it include setting up a cleric’s economic empire, which ultimately goes to his sons, daughters, wife, or even girl friends in exceptional cases.
The good news does not include a life of riotous spending or flamboyance that are demonstrated in the acquisition of material possessions such as expensive toys that are used to oppress the very creation of God they profess to shepherd.
It does not include exchange of “holy water” for money, the origin of which I have been at pains to locate in the Holy Book.
It does not include taking advantage of the economic circumstances of the poor and the uninformed for pecuniary gains.
I mean the gospel that declares, “Freely you have received, freely give.”
I apologize for the detour. In any event, free speech is the prerogative of every human being including members of the clergy.
It is a fundamental right principle that provides that everything that has brains; thinks rationally or irrationally, and verbal or non-verbal could hold any opinion and disseminate it within the bounds permitted by law.
The beauty of free speech is that I could disagree with anyone on any issue and still defend the person’s right to challenge my position, including the right to poke fun at me.
I have learned that if I sat idly by and watched government violate another’s right to free speech without challenge, my own free speech was under threat.
I consider free speech as one of the greatest gifts, which every right-thinking human being should embrace.