AFRICANGLOBE – Disgraced pastor Robert Martin Gumbura is an embodiment of the Sodom and Gomorrah our churches have become.
His chronicled sexual impropriety is a watershed for the church’s degeneration as clerics have become what Jesus described as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
As Gumbura languishes in prison, he needs to take solace from the fact that he is not the only wayward cleric; many of his ilk are still masquerading as pastors and prophets.
As I see it, if ever there was a moment the church needed someone to stand in the gap, it is now.
Given the wholesale rot that has set in, in churches — be they traditional, evangelical, pentecostal or even under tree ones — there is a worrisome trend of deceit in general, and itchy palms in particular, among clerics.
As congregants continue to be taken advantage of, it never ceases to amaze me that one cleric had the audacity to auction his clothes, including under garments, in a ruse passed on as ministering to the flock.
Recently my journalistic instincts impelled me to endure a day-long church service held at a Mount Pleasant home where congregants were made to collect soil and water, ostensibly under the belief that the water and soil were holy. True to Jesus’ analogy of sheep without a shepherd, congregants have become susceptible.
Clerics inherently have power and influence over congregants.
All things being equal, the power and influence is meant for social good and cohesion but, of late the generality of clerics are contradicting the very esteem and trust society has for them as did Gumbura with his salacious sexual escapades.
Ill-omened indications of the prevalent rot within churches have always been plenty. Yet, as I see it, it is stranger than fiction that congregants, including respected leaders in various spheres of life, zipped their mouths and closed eyes amid the ensuing decadence. They feared to be labelled ungodly.
Over the years, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches has become so ineffectual that it is as good as defunct.
It has lost all semblance of its former self. It long lost its role as the delta at which churches converged, hence the “do as I please” trend with which clerics are conducting themselves.
Christianity’s role as the salt and light has resultantly been sacrificed on the altar of obsession for clerics’ pursuit of material affluence.
Scripture has it that it took a then insignificant shepherd, David, to confront the menacing Goliath. My tabling for public debate the afflictions congregants are suffering at the hands of clerics is in more ways than one, symbolic of David’s bravery to free his kinsfolk from menace.
Gumbura scaled to social infamy on the back of his insatiable appetite for women. However, his fellow clerics have a diametrically opposite insatiable appetite — comfort and convenience. They are so addicted to cosy lifestyles that they trade scripture as if it were earthly literature like the degenerate Julius Caesar.
Show me a church in which the pursuit of money has not yet superseded gospel promulgation and I will show you a manifestly gullible person.
Used car salespeople were once regarded as unworthy of trust, however, compared to the brazen manner in which clerics are driven by gratification, used car salespeople pass through the eye of a needle, as Jesus puts it.
Clerics’ unbridled love for money has grown to cancerous proportions. Their itching palms have become so anti-social that some people, especially the ones hard up for money, no longer go to church for fear of being ostracised. Stories of people who lost money, cars and houses at the instigation of clerics are clear evidence of the magnitude of unorthodox love for money that has taken centre stage within clerics.
There is evidence galore that clerics who had clerical calling are now a rarity. Like gold nuggets, they are few and far between. As the current breed literally stampedes for money, spurred on by an overt obsession for comfort and convenience, they are en mass forsaking reverence for sponging.
It would be akin to aiding and abating the rot if I were to stand idly like a laid-back bystander while clerics, like pickpockets, help themselves from unsuspecting congregants; hence my standing in the gap on behalf of my fellow lumbered laity.
I am resolved to dig my heels deep and grit my teeth in defence of congregants.
It is my objective that the proclivity for comfy lifestyles among clerics be halted. If they so wish, they must work with their own hands as Apostle Paul did. It is about time clerics went back to basics and preached more about God than gold.
By: Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana
Pastors And The Money Gospel