Kenya church leadership must retrace ethical steps
The silence of the Church regarding the moral defect in our country is hard to miss.
The church should be the moral guardian in society. But the Kenyan Church seems to have forgotten this role.
Today’s Church leaders are a faded shadow of the pioneer leadership including Reverend Timothy Njoya of the Presbyterian church of East Africa, Anglican Bishop David Gitari, Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a'Nzeki of the Catholic Church among the many others who stayed true to their pastoral calling.
These clerics preached the true gospel, defended the weak and spoke truth to power.
Today, the church is guilty of more than just silence and turning a blind eye to the ills facing our nation.
In 2020, the Anglican Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit, flanked by several members of the multi-sectoral initiative against corruption declared that fundraising by politicians in churches should be banned.
“I urge all the bishops not to allow partisan politics in the pulpit. Let us not allow harambee monies to be a subtle way of sanitising corrupt leaders,” he said.
Senior politicians, including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka have claimed that churches have become avenues for laundering money.
While these are claims that are subject to confirmation by the relevant institutions, that such a statements are being made about the church shows that it is no longer the respected institution that it should be.
The church should be seen to stand for what is right. Corruption is rampant in Kenya and politicians are the biggest players.
We have had senior politicians named in questionable dealings that have led to loss of billions of taxpayers’ money.
These politicians flock to churches at the slightest opportunity carrying loads of money.
Church leaders have the moral authority to question the source of the donated money.
If that is done, the church will be sending the message that God only accepts giving from clean-acquired wealth.
The younger generation and the congregations will understand that giving should be clean, and not that giving cleanses.
Instead of blindly receiving donations, church leaders should speak boldly against corruption and aid investigative agencies to fight the vice where necessary.
The original teaching of Christianity is that good moral values such as honesty, hard work and humility are rewarded by God.
Most religious leaders today run what can be termed as psychological extortion centres in the name of houses of worship.
There are television programmes where pastors do not preach anything outside the message of giving.
Believers have been made to believe that by giving, one will stumble upon riches as a reward. The correct message should be that after hard work, remember to tithe.
Many people are lamenting how congregants give but continue to languish in poverty, while the church leaders are swimming in wealth.
There have been exposes showing how some churches stage “miracles” with an aim of attracting members and money.
This is psychological extortion because the episodes are accompanied by calls to pay a certain amount of money to receive a certain miracle.
When millions of jobless poor are assured of a financial breakthrough in a few days, they will readily part with their last coin and wait for a miracle.
The most effective way to change society is to correctly guide the heart of human beings. The church and other religious bodies should take that as their main role.
By restoring order, dignity and respect to the house of God, they will guide society in the right direction.
That way, young people and society in general will take the church and its teaching seriously. — The writer comments on topical issues —[email protected]