When you get men of the cloth making headlines more frequently than they did in the past, all for the wrong reasons, it could be fulfilment of the word that they profess to preach.
Pastors are human, they are not perfect but pastoring a flock is a major responsibility, a calling, hence deserving of reverence.
We believe this reverence, the fear of the head of the church, is wearing thin nowadays, what with the rising number of wayward preachers and prophets, that are ever ready to tell anyone that cares to listen that they are “of God”.
Recently we carried an article of a Madzibaba, an apostolic prophet that was caught pants down with a married woman. In this edition we carry yet another prophet/healer in Bulawayo that has been exposed by a married client for pestering her for sex.
It usually starts as a whisper in corridors that a church leader, or a man of prayer has gone rogue but gradually degenerates into a chorus before that explosive exposure that shakes followers that would have invested so much faith in the leader.
We are aware that many Christian believers in this age tend to follow the leader of a church more than they follow Christ, the head of the church, sometimes. It is important to follow a leader of a church, but they should be followed as they follow Christ, not when they lead the flock astray.
We raise this because apart from giving the church a bad name, wayward pastors and prophets are shipwrecking many followers’ walk of faith. Can you imagine how a follower of a prophet caught with someone’s wife feels, and what their view of church leaders is likely to be, and the decision they could take regarding their faith after their “disillusionment”?
The church is crying out for real men and women of God. This is not to demand perfect leaders, but leaders that are aware that God will hold them to account, and that theirs is a great responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
We believe the church structures should be set up in such a way that they can deal with such transgressions and bring such bad apples to book.
We are aware, as we pointed out earlier, that some whispers go on for too long within church corridors without action being taken, hence giving the church of God a bad name.
We realise that there are no strict legislative guidelines on establishment of churches and leadership thereof.
Morality cannot be legislated, as Martin Luther King once pointed out.
In academia there is peer review, professions councils play an oversight role in some occupations and it is our view that our people need protection from wolves in sheep’s clothing.
If the church leadership fails to act they should not cry foul when the world eventually imposes its standards on the church. May the church remain as the church, that place of refuge, and show the light, even to the stumbling leaders.