Repent, or you will enjoy the pleasures

Luís de Jesús Miranda.
Luís de Jesús Miranda. Fotografía de El Tiempo.

Maybe I’ll be condemned to eternal flames for revealing your secrets. I’m sorry, Jesus, but the temptation is greater than the faith I have in you. I’m not referring to Our Lord Jesus Christ (I’m a non-practicing Catholic), but rather to Jesus “become man” who walks preaching the word of the apostle Paul with a verbosity approaching Satanism and threatening right and left to bring earthquakes, desolation and death to whoever does not believe in him. 

I have to tell you that I know who he is, because many do not know. His name is José Luis de Jesús Miranda; he is a man in his sixties; he dyes his hair to hide his age; he was born in Puerto Rico and he has dedicated almost his entire life to preaching the Christian word. He was a thief, addicted to heroin and cocaine; he has married a couple times, and in the last 20 years he has undergone a singular transformation: first he said he was an angel sent by God, then he said it was the spirit of the apostle Paul who entered his body; a few years ago he announced that it had been the very spirit of Jesus Christ resurrected who entered him and now he preaches that he is the Antichrist himself. My hair stands up just thinking about it.

He had a few followers of his mark the “dark” symbol 666 on their body. But don’t be scared. This is part of a strategic advertising campaign to make his sect known. I’m sorry for the naive individuals who marked themselves and I wouldn’t like to see their faces the day they awake from their hallucination.

De Jesús Miranda offers succulent bait for fish hungry for new things in the mighty river of spiritual confusions. According to his interpretation of the epistles of Saint Paul: hell does not exist, neither does sin, and one should live in opulence: “I should be rich, you should be rich, we should all be rich,” he told me. Smoke, drink and make love when you want and with whomever you want. Your church is teeming with pretty and even provocative women. How did this not occur to the Pope in these times of losing so many parishioners! What lack of imagination!

José Luis de Jesús Miranda is an intelligent man, without a doubt, and very smart. He makes masterful use of the media and of journalists like me looking for new stories. We showcase characters like the “Antichrist” so that people can be entertained watching television.

When I interviewed him for the program where I work, I asked him simple things: Why was he sweating so much and why did he look nervous? “Because I’m made of flesh and bone.” Good answer! Giving him the benefit of the doubt, the real Jesus, before being crucified, sweated and bled. Then I asked him another question: What wonders can he perform? What power does he have? He answered: “I transform ignorance into wisdom. I turn the most humble people into great theologians. I did not come to make signs. I came to educate and to console and to edify the church.” Finally, what intrigued me most was what was going to happen with the spirit he has inside his earthly body when, due to natural or unnatural causes, he dies. I say unnatural causes because I’m worried that some fanatic may be willing to kill him, if only to show that he is not Jesus on Earth. Are you going to die? “I cannot die; I’m going to be transformed.” That’s what he told me before he was transformed into the “Antichrist”.

You’ve got to hand it to this “Antichrist” that his strategy is excellent. He has garnered the attention of Central American presidents, who take a break from their official duties to talk about him. He has captured certain sectors of the American press (me included) and has awoken the rage of Christians of all levels, including his own brother, Carlos de Jesús Miranda, Christian pastor of an Evangelical church in Hialeah, Florida, who helps him, without meaning to, to be even more famous.

That’s what is looking for, media effects, and thus to attract disciples who are perhaps lost in their faith.

Although, as I said at the beginning, his verbosity approaches Satanism, it is only with the intention of receiving attention. I did not find any message in his sermons that could worry God or favor the devil. I attended several of his conferences in his church in Miami, and except for who he says he is, his preaching is similar to that of many Christian pastors. He does not promote evil, but rather prosperity and wellbeing. He is a man of flesh and bone with excessive ambitions. I was struck by the excessive tithe that his parishioners give, the boundless happiness bordering on comedy and the profound gaze, which prevents one from seeing his pupils clearly, but I’m sure that it’s only because of the captivation of believing that he really is accompanying God in his new coming to Earth.

His message does not contain anything dangerous. On the contrary, it is full of positive ideas concerning the value of humanity, but due to his saying that he is God being so far from reality, it causes more laughter than it has effect. People would believe him more if he said he is His messenger. We would even stand that he claims to be an apostle, like he did at the beginning, but to say that he is “Jesus Christ become man” is truly comical.

P.S. If you read this opinion column, I have defeated the first threat by this “Jesus become man”. He prophesized my end. According to him, his power allows him to end anyone’s professional career and bury him forever in the dark cave of silence. God free me from such punishment!, although in reality I would like to be exiled to a deserted beach and enjoy some of the pleasures he offers. Amen.

Raúl Benoit
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Raúl Benoit

Periodista y escritor colombiano de origen francés. Se ha destacado en televisión latinoamericana, como escritor de libros y columnista de periódicos del mundo.

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