Should Kenya Government Tame Pastors? Yes
A close friend of pastor Nganga claims that the reason why he gets into controversy is to keep him popular. The outrageous behavior is all for show to keep himself relevant in a competitive Pentecostal populism gospel that has nothing to do with the Cross of Christ. This analysis is not without merit given the need for pastors in Kenya to get rich. Even popular pastors like Allan Kiuna are screaming to their congregants about a ‘god’ who does not exist. Amazingly, it is this ‘god’ that people seem to be drawn to; a god who demands that they spend an hour listening to nothing of substance but screaming and shouting. A ‘god’ whom, like a witch doctor is seduced through offering of chicken and goats!
Walk along Koinange Street every Sunday and you will hear these preachers. They have the speakers so loud and distorted guaranteeing that one does not understand what they are saying. And they are right because many of these screamers never went to any bible college or seminary to study the Word. Jesus demanded that His disciples study. He believed in this principle so much that he dedicated 3 years of His earthly life to teaching the twelve disciples the way of the Cross. And before they graduated from His theological seminary, he demanded that they do practical theology.
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.” Luke 9:1-6
There are those who argue that for one to be pastor, one just have to wake up with a massive headache and jumping up and down narrates a dream where he or she was appointed to be a minister of the gospel of Christ. They then start screaming and shouting in some rented room and collecting money through MPESA. However, Jesus Christ who is the foundation of the church gave his followers a manual. This manual includes the demands that those who become ordained pastors or those who stand up on the pulpit be men who are taught. Paul laid out the same principle requirement (2Timothy 2:15)
The clergy in Kenya today have become political operatives who are not only used, but also seen by politicians as loud speakers for political discourse. Many pastors in Kenya have no understanding of the role of the church in society and they have erroneously made the gathering of believers a baraza for politicians to spout out satanic prophecies. The pulpit should be a SACRAD place where the priest opens the Bible and teaches members of the body of Christ the word of God. But because of ignorance and the fact that the church is a business, politicians are constantly given the sheep of Christ as audiences. It has gone to the extent where deputy president William Ruto suggested that after his political career he is to open up a church and become a pastor. He forgets that the priesthood is a calling not a political program!
The government has allowed churches to be registered as businesses. It is here that the government is wrong. Churches must be registered as societies because within the society, the public entities that are registered members have oversight over the institution. In fact, most of the groups taking advantage of Kenyans under the umbrella of worship are these independent businesses. They should not be allowed to transform Christian worship into business enterprises. Churches should not generally be registered given the spiritual nature of worship. However, since Christ authorized the giving to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what belongs to God, we can legitimately and biblically call on the government to enforce the societies act in Kenya and close down any church which is registered as a business.
If Nganga’s church is not registered as a society, meaning that its operation has a purpose for the community, ecclesiastical, then it and all other churches like his must be forced to register as societies. This will give the congregation power to oversee the code of the operation to guarantee that it is not embarrassing the CROSS of Christ and making a mockery of our glorious faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
However, what Githu Muigai was advocating was not a principle of safeguarding the legitimacy of the Church, his was an effort to suppress and oppress the message of the Cross believing that the Church should be eliminated from Kenya. That is why the church rejoiced when he was removed from the position of Attorney General.
The sad thing however is that many of the independent business churches are lead by political pastors who even the president visits for blessing with oil!
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
Diaspora Messenger Senior