By Sandra Wekesa.
She gets into a tiff with her husband. Next stop? Her pastor’s office. After all, pastors are among the well-respected members of society, with God on speed dial.
People revere them as servants of God who should, ostensibly, help, counsel them and offer spiritual nourishment.
But lately, pastors are increasingly hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons. When they are not using the name of God to enrich themselves, they are involved in all sorts of immoral activities making it impossible to tell them apart from heathens. Take the recent case of the man from Kiambu who accused a pastor who presided over his wedding of eloping with his wife.
Anthony Mwangi aka Pastor Tee, says women need to know that pastors are not God. “A pastor is just a man like any other out there. God calls ordinary men.
“However, this is not a ticket to engage in sinful acts and hide behind the fact that the flesh is weak, says Pastor Tee, of Life Church International in Limuru. Considering the office they hold, men of the cloth, he further adds, should be people of integrity, of virtuous character and should live the word they preach.
“They should be purpose driven knowing they are called to fulfil a God-given role, have a deep love and burden for people and have an empathising spirit, among other characters,” says Pastor Tee.
However, challenges set in when the supposed shepherds allow the desires of the flesh to reign over them, which vanquishes the spirit of God in them.“The devil attacks individuals, then ‘offices’.
Pastoral work is an office, but the battle is on individuals first. The lust of the flesh is a battle that doesn’t seclude pastors and you win it by crucifying the flesh daily through accepting Christ and living by Christing tenets,” he says.
According to Gladys Nyachieo, a sociologist, many women trust pastors easily. “Men don’t share their pains. But women will open up to those they trust,” she says.
Also, pastors tend to give a listening ear. Since women are known to be more emotional than men, they wouldn’t mind to have someone who listens to them and console them. One thing leads to another and that is how some married women end up falling in love with their pastors.
Another issue could be lack of a husband’s attention. “In most cases, you will find a pastor is more available than a partner. He is there when she needs him. He will offer his shoulder for her to lean on.
At the end of the day, she believes that her pastor is better than her man and may even seduce him. If the man of God is not strong in faith, he may easily fall into temptations,” she says.
The fact that women run to their pastors when facing difficulties at home and elsewhere is one avenue that presents them with an opportunity to fall.
Women pour their troubled hearts out to these men of God telling them the deepest of secrets that usher pastors as third parties into their marriages. The act of sharing with a man with a willing-listening ear subconsciously creates a connection, known as a soul tie.
“A soul tie is difficult to break as it binds two souls together in a deeper sense. This is an emotional connection that comes when people share personal matters that are deeply rooted in their hearts; either through sexual intercourse, vows and sharing of deep secrets,” Pastor Tee explains.
Also, the fact that many pastors are self-ordained means they are not trained to handle psychological and social issues. And with leissez-faire evangelism where anyone can set up a church as they wish, power has pervaded the lives of some pastors who end up behaving as demigods, which sees them commit all kinds of sins that sets many of them on a path of destruction.
Other places of worship are cults disguised as churches. Cults often control their members and keep them prisoners by use of threats and coercion. Here the leader demands absolute, total control and decrees curses on members who disagrees with him/her. Other pastors have weak faith and are full of hypocrisy.
Reverend Agnes Mulli says a man of God should be built on no other foundation than that of Christ. She adds that there are three categories of pastors; those chosen by people, those who begin to preach out of their own calling and those who are ordained by God.
According to Rev Mulli, these pastors could be lacking foundational teachings on doctrin and self-control. She further attributes such vices to over sexualisation in the churches.
“We have changed everything on how we do things in church. From music, dancing, our way of dressing, and how we conduct the services. Christians are called to be separated from the world. But now we have brought worldly way of doing things into church.
With this, it is difficult to draw the line,” she says. However, Rev Mulli says there is no excuse in sinning. “We urge these pastors to come out and say the challenges they could be facing as they serve God,” Rev Mulli says.