I didn’t get to watch this week’s episode in totality; I did watch half of it though. I’m gonna speak up my mind and thoughts with all due respect. I was drawn by the heated debate that was on this week’s NTV #Sidebar hosted by Ken Mijungu. It is a weekly series that highlights some of the contemporary topics that affect Kenya in particular. Well, this week’s topic involved the church, and a number of Kenyan pastors were on the panel alongside a Nigerian Apostle. The discussion revolved around the donations politicians give to the church that has drawn massive criticism from the flock and other stakeholders. Also, there was the question about a politician being accorded much time and airplay at the pulpit at the expense of normal church service routine. Everything was fine with the discussion, until when our Kenyan pastors decided to embarrass themselves. The basic question by Ken Mijungu was, “Why are you allowing politicians to give looted money to the church?”.
As usual, just as you would have guessed, our Kenyan pastors took turns to defend themselves and the politician’s generous handouts. I will not go into details of who said what; but I was personally perturbed by the fact that of the 3 Kenyan pastors, none of them used the scriptures to ascertain the bottom-line of their sentiments. All they did was utter theological gibberish every now and then whenever defending the politicians. At one point, House of Grace Bishop, in a gist of pride, said that he cannot stop a politician from donating stolen money if he doesn’t have proof that the money is actually a loot. This, in particular, brought so many points of view as far as the spirituality of our pastors. Ananias and Sapphira, in the book of Acts 5, lied. Apostle Peter didn’t require evidence. He knew in the spirit that they had lied. So this Bishop from House of Grace, they ought to be more spiritual and less physical. Elias Otieno from PCEA Limuru on the other hand, I heard him say that, even though they are not quoting the scripture, they know it. This was after he was unable to define the meaning of the Church according to the Bible. What’s the point of knowing the Word if you will not apply it in such a critical discussion?
On the panel, there was one Nigerian Apostle Richard Takim who seemed to disagree with the Kenyan pastors. It was evident on how much the Kenyan pastors despised him, ganging up against him every time he tried to articulate his point. It got so heated that it almost got personal with the Kenyan pastors. In his sentiments, Apostle Takim pointed a finger at our Kenya counterparts for entertaining politicians because the politicians had so much to give. This rattled the Kenyan pastors pretty much. This point really threw them off the radar since from that point onward, they had nothing meaningful to say! It was no longer about the scripture anymore, rather just innuendos. Apostle Takim put it across in simple language, that as far as we are receiving handouts from politicians, we will never stop having these conversations. You want to know what I saw and heard in my perspective? Here it is:
Theology is not necessarily Spirituality
A degree, masters or a doctorate in theology doesn’t qualify you to a calling. The three Kenyan pastors just proved this to me. I could see how much our pastors were struggling to respond to questions tossed to them by the Nigerian Apostle. He was speaking from the spirituality point of view, challenging them on why their spiritual roles had failed the church. There was no single Kenyan pastor who used the scripture in their descriptions. It made me wonder how pastors, leaders of the flock and ambassadors of Christ couldn’t use words from Christ to defend their views. It was even awkward when the Nigerian pastor directly quoted the Bible leaving them agape wondering how to respond. From the Bible, spiritual leaders could see beyond the actions and the intents of their flock even before the flock acted. No wonder they decided to gang up on him, claiming that his faith was baseless. I mean, he is talking from the scripture and you on the other side are talking from logic and your own understanding. Whose faith should we question?
One point that the Nigerian Apostle made that was superb was, you can know the type of tree you have by the fruits it bears. As such, if our churches have these corrupt politicians, it means that the church itself is questionable. If the fruits are just corrupt individuals, the pastors should be questioned as well. These are some of the perspectives that really angered the Kenyan pastors.
It is in the voice, for them
I think it’s common to find a Kenyan pastor twisting his voice to sound commanding and divine. You know, the “blesh you” kind of voice. And “thish plashe” gimmick. To the Kenyan pastors, it is in the voice. To the Nigerian Pastor, it is in the scripture. Thus I realized no matter how much the voice sounded deep and commanding, it is was just in vain whenever challenged in spirit. Thus says the Bible, you need to test every Spirit. Because not every one of them that “bleshes” you is in Spirit. I could particularly see how House of Grace and Redeemed Bishop struggled to push through theological perspectives by unleashing the typical Kenyan pastor tone. Is it time our pastors worked on their spiritual realm and not on their voices? I think it is. I always believe that you really don’t have to shout to drive a spiritual point home.
No longer gospel ministry, but an industry
For a while now the gospel realm has taken different paths with gospel artists and pastors being on the receiving end. This discussion unveiled to what extent pastors can go to defend the hands that feed them. It is no longer about Christ but about the excellence of our religious institutions. At one point one of the Kenyan pastors boasted on how many followers his Church has that he doesn’t not have an account of his flock. He failed to understand that Christ never marveled in multitudes. He was concerned with the few who were there for the right purpose. It was shameful on how a discussion that was supposed to be based on the scripture ended up shaming our men of collar. Nowadays it is about who can excite the crowd the most. That’s why they will always preach what the crows wants to hear. Not really what Christ would teach. But anyway, is it my business? It is none of it.
Lastly, does this explain the shambles in our country?
I will refer to a verse that got my attention and that absolutely blew my mind. Honestly, our country is not in such a great state. Things are happening left right and center. Could it be due to something we did or something that we comfortable with? Do our spiritual leaders really understand the spiritual context of the quagmires that are in this nation? I bet not! They are busy munching; they have their mouths full. An excerpt from Joshua 7
7 The Lord had said that everything in Jericho belonged to him.[a] But Achan[b] from the Judah tribe took some of the things from Jericho for himself. And so the Lord was angry with the Israelites, because one of them had disobeyed him.[c]
I will skip to the verse 4
4-5 Joshua sent about three thousand soldiers to attack Ai. But the men of Ai fought back and chased the Israelite soldiers away from the town gate and down the hill to the stone quarries.[e] Thirty-six Israelite soldiers were killed, and the Israelite army felt discouraged.
6 Joshua and the leaders of Israel tore their clothes and put dirt on their heads to show their sorrow. They lay facedown on the ground in front of the sacred chest until sunset. 7 Then Joshua said:
Our Lord, did you bring us across the Jordan River just so the Amorites could destroy us? This wouldn’t have happened if we had agreed to stay on the other side of the Jordan. 8 I don’t even know what to say to you, since Israel’s army has turned and run from the enemy. 9 Everyone will think you weren’t strong enough to protect your people. Now the Canaanites and everyone else who lives in the land will surround us and wipe us out.
10 The Lord answered:
Stop lying there on the ground! Get up! 11 I said everything in Jericho belonged to me and had to be destroyed. But the Israelites have kept some of the things for themselves. They stole from me and hid what they took. Then they lied about it. 12 What they stole was supposed to be destroyed, and now Israel itself must be destroyed. I cannot help you anymore until you do exactly what I have said. That’s why Israel turns and runs from its enemies instead of standing up to them.
Pay attention to what the Lord said in verse 10. This is what the Nigerian Pastor has been trying to prove all along; while our Kenyan pastors were busy bashing and opposing his point of view. Our pastors have disregarded this. It is either they know, and assuming it whatsoever, or else, they are not in spirit at all. I think the latter applies. From the points I noted just above, it is very clear that our churches are missing the point and missing it by far. If this nation is to get healed, we ought to listen to the Lord and not to our “pastors”. We ought to follow what the Lord says. We can only hear of Him in spirit. It is time you asked your pastor of they are in spirit. Because if they are not, then you have been financing a business empire; and God might not be so pleased with this. Whatever I saw on national television was shameful. Honestly, I think we need an overhaul of these theologians. They are typically the ones who shouted “Give us Barabbas” (Mathew 27:20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.)
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