Sin has camped in the church

2 min


kenyan preachers congregation

It used to be that when one wanted to see proper sin, one headed to a bar, a brothel, or one of the other dens of iniquity that litter the city like so many pebbles on a riverbed.

There, one was guaranteed to run into Kenyans — and a few foreigners — engaged in all manner of debauchery, from binge drinking to other, more interesting ways of wasting money. But matters slowly changed, and it began with the liberalising of the church sector in Kenya in the 1990s.

Back then, church was a sombre affair. Sunday — or Saturday — arrived, you dusted down that lovely Christmas outfit from last December, went to church at 9am, paid Sh10 of sadaka, and left for home by noon, arriving just in time for lunch.

Christianity those days, was largely about a personal relationship with Jesus, and most people went to church and prayed almost subconsciously, without ever stopping to think about it.

But then the 1990s arrived in Kenya, and with them came satellite TV.

Thanks to images beamed from the great business empire that is the United States of America, Kenyans suddenly woke up to church not as an expression of religious belief, but as a business.

Our innocence was gone forever! Country bums who first came to Nairobi in the late 1990s would have been shocked at the commercialisation of religion, especially Christianity, which the capital city showcased like a jewel in its crown.

Senator Amos Wako, then Attorney General, once quipped that there were 10,000 registered churches in the country — with another two applications being received every single day.

At the time, the AG’s chambers had a backlog of nearly 7,000 applications for new church registrations, most of them single-pastor outfits with a keen eye for the glib worshipper’s shilling.

These ‘churches’ are nothing to do with religion, or with Jesus, or indeed with the Gospel.

Nairobi wags will tell you that these are little more than well-packaged businesses, whose first priority is in fact the acquisition of properties like real estate, and then the catapulting of their owners into political office.

This is not too bad, either Kenyans are a poor people, and churches and preachers that encourage working hard and acquiring material prosperity must be a good thing.

In so doing, our churches have firmly turned against the Biblical notion that blessings, when received freely, should be given out freely.

Brethren, nothing is free in these places of worship people pay through their noses to ensure pastors live comfortably.

But there is a trend that has to worry the average churchgoer.

As if moving from being religious organisations into businesses wasn’t enough, churches moved first into politics and fund raising, and now they are evolving into proper dens of sin and licentiousness.

Hardly a day goes by without an FM station ‘busting’ yet another pastor engaged in anything from stealing the offerings at his or her church, to downright sexual peccadilloes with their churchgoers.

A couple of months ago, one radio station trapped a particularly insidious pastor, whose pick-up line for the ladies of his church is a simple one; he is the “blessed” one of the Lord, and he has to “dip” into the ladies for their wombs to be blessed!

His church, it turns out, is full of female, married worshippers — one might wonder why!

via Standard.

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