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Clergy must divorce church from politics

Saturday May 25 2019

CHURCH AND POLITICS

Political leaders attend a prayer session at PCEA Kasarani West Parish on March 10, 2019. Politicians use the hallowed pulpits to hurl insults at each other. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

TOM OSANJO
By TOM OSANJO
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Envisage this situation: You and madam are not on the best of terms because of one of the 1,001 issues married couples go through; the principal at Junior’s school has called saying the teen has been caught twice behind the school toilets smoking some things that can attract the interest of DCI George Kinoti, meanwhile in the office a retrenchment is coming and you are not sure if you will survive the guillotine.

Come Sunday and you pack both your madam and your troubles into the jalopy and drive over potholes going to church hoping that perchance this time the good Lord will listen to the plea of your heart and take all these cups away from you.

On reaching church and even before you settle in your seats, there is a tumult — a gang of politicians has arrived amid all manner of din.

Their dressing is as assorted as themselves — some wearing designer clothes coming straight from the stores of Europe while others are comfortable in bent shoes and suits that look like they had been slept in.

DONATION

The pastor, almost falling, greets the chief priest of the politicians with such reverence you would think Jesus Christ himself has joined you for worship.

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Then the drama proper begins. The pastor invites the honourables — starting with the least in rank — to ‘greet the congregation’.

The man looks like he was in some illegal ways of earning a livelihood before joining politics, and he immediately launches a tirade against politicians from the other side of the divide.

This sets the tone for the rest of potentates who will promise fire and brimstone on the heads of their opponents who are corrupt, thieves, looters and generally people who cannot be trusted with the very difficult task of running this our great nation.

Before they leave for the next church function, the waheshimiwa hand over a healthy donation to the church kitty for extension of the Sunday School.

By the time the pastor takes the microphone for the day’s sermon, your spirit is already so low that you can hardly follow anything.

LOST MANDATE

Humbly, you go back home with your troubles intact.

The scene described above might appear fictional but, unfortunately, that is the situation of the church in Kenya today.

OK, the majority. Politicians have simply taken away the pulpit from a clergy that seems just very happy with the status quo.

Turn to the TV news each Sunday evening and the script is the same, only different cast and different stages.

Politicians use the hallowed pulpits to hurl insults at each other and our pastors are doing nothing to stop the rot.

If our pastors were careful to read their bibles, they might have stumbled on the story of Moses and the burning bush, where God told Moses to remove his sandals for where he was standing was holy.

PEACE

I want to believe that by the virtue of having been consecrated, the pulpits qualify to be holy grounds.

How then can it be that our church leaders allow the politicians to stand on the very same holy grounds to engage in political posturing and verbal fights?

I can tell our religious leaders for free that a good number of Kenyans really don’t care where the political class do their daily duels, but for God’s sake let us have our spiritual nourishment in peace.

What I want — and I am sure I am speaking for many — is to go to church, commune with my God and go my way.

Otherwise you might see many opting to stay away or even preferring to gather friends and family at home, have a service then break bread. Just as it was in the early church.

The writer comments on topical issues; [email protected]

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