Passing on to posterity: It’s time to regulate religious organisations
Come Sunday, millions of Kenyans will troop to various churches in search of communal worship, just like they did this week. It is a religious tradition that majority of us were born into, and are passing on to posterity.
However, unlike during years gone by when the solemnity of Service or Mass was revered, attending Church today has become an empty ritual. Our behaviour does not reflect our apparent piety, both as individuals, and as a society.
Generally, the body of Christ and its congregants has become more carnal and materialistic than those who profess other faiths, including atheists. In fact, some of the most ‘holy’ souls in the world do not profess any religion.
Some of the most suspects of corruption are also supposed pious Christians. In a display of utmost sacrilege, these dishonest leaders pontificate from the pulpits every Sunday, wearing a holier-than-thou, and straight face.
Our hitherto sanctuaries of grace have turned into dens of iniquity. Recent clips of a notoriously controversial bishop in Nairobi going round on social media are a testament to the rot that pervades our churches. The bishop, who has been in and out of court for serious felonies, is seen mistreating his congregants in ways similar to a cult.
We are witnessing members of the clergy being arrested and jailed for serious crimes. In the name of God, they are stealing, killing and raping. The shepherds have become worse than the wolves they are supposed to protect the sheep from. The Church in Kenya has lost its moral compass, and led the pilgrims astray.
Clearly, we do not want to reach a situation where one day we will wake up to a chilling scenario similar to “Jonestown”, Guyana, where 918 people of the Peoples Temple died from cultism-induced cyanide poisoning in November, 1978.
It is time to lift the veil of deception, and admit that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. Since the Church is now behaving like any other going concern, the government should regulate it, so that we have structures that keep these institutions on the straight and the narrow.
It is said that the rich also cry. According to screaming headlines on one of the recent Sunday papers, the taxman is on the case of some of the country’s billionaires, who have made a fortune stealing from the government.
A classic example happened a couple of weeks ago, when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), descended on the billionaire couple-directors of a big indigenous brewing concern.
This DPP was not going to be deceived by the perennial cries of wolf by one of the directors of the local company, who has perfected the art of deception for years. Apparently, he – the DPP - finally saw the lofty claims of patriotism and victimisation for what they are.
Never mind that some of these “Made in Kenya” companies are known for both poor remuneration and denial of employees’ basic rights.
In any case, let us not hide behind the fact that everyone is doing it, or we are a source of livelihoods for thousands. As the Bible advises, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
—The writer is a communication expert, and public policy analyst