Pastors trade Bible for sin

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A number of cases involving pastors walking off the pulpit and leaving behind their Bibles to ‘preach satanic verses’ to defenceless women in secret or ‘to cut’ unorthodox deals have left many Christians with questions concerning these men’s otherwise noble calling.
Although early evangelists such as Paul the Apostle were thrown in jail for their audacity to preach the gospel in intolerant heathen societies, some of their latter-day versions have however decided to chart their own paths.
Reported incidents of men of the cloth who have been hauled before the courts to answer rape charges could just be a tip of the iceberg, as many such cases are perhaps swept under the carpet.
The pastoral call is part of the five-fold ministry expounded in Ephesians 4:11, which also includes the ministry offices of apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers.
Several people yesterday had no kind words for pastors who violated the fundamental principles of the very gospel they preach.
Robson Machaka of the Avenues described such a development in the church as “tragic” and out of line with the pastoral calling.
He observed that when such things begin to take place many Christians – especially those who have not yet matured in the faith – can easily backslide, “and their blood would be upon these so-called pastors”.
Although long back, the call to be a pastor was often looked at with disdain nowadays, there seems to be a fashionable hue to it, with so many self-proclaimed pastors abounding everywhere.
Charles Runyanga, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, said the problem was that many people were literally forcing themselves into pastoral roles when they were not called into that office.
“One of the problems is that ‘pastor’ is just a title. When someone goes to study theology at Bible school, they start to call themselves pastors,” he said.
He however also observed that someone could be functioning in his calling as a pastor and the possibility to fail is there especially among those who begin to walk in pride, a vice that would eventually short—circuit the power of God in their lives and make them prone to the attacks of the devil.
Against this backdrop, it becomes imperative for men of God to be prayerful and avoid temptations that would not only mar their calling, but would also compromise the integrity of the church, according to Reverend Maxwell Choto, the chaplain of a local college.
The chaplain noted that the pastoral call was loaded with monumental obligations and God provided “the sufficient grace to enable the person who is called to function effectively in that ministry calling”.
He added that when a person forced themselves into an office, it would show because the grace would not be available for that person.
Angeline Musona, who is Catholic, said people had to be wary of the many new churches that were mushrooming, as some of them were just being used by some individuals as channels of making money.
Recently, there was a story about a pastor arrested for fraudulently selling off a stand to a member of his congregation.
Musona accused such pastors of “preaching about gold rather than God.”
For so many years, the church across the world has seen its fair share of impostors who have departed from the true gospel to preach what people wanted to hear.
These ravenous wolves in sheepskins have led many astray and caused others to depart from the faith.
Rudo Chipato of Highfield said pastors were endowed with great responsibility and it was imperative that they be exemplary, adding that abusing the office was detrimental to the church as a whole and to the culprit’s own spirituality.
“These people need revelation as to what the body of Christ (the church) really is. It’s not just an institution. It is Christ’s spiritual body,” she said, adding that men of the cloth who violated the gospel would give an account of their actions to God.
A senior pastor with a local church who preferred anonymity said when one is called to be a pastor it means God has made them a shepherd of the church, and they had to function like that, caring for and ministering to the believers that God had given them responsibility over.
He said that as a pastor, he was the spiritual father of his congregation and he had to function like a father in his interaction with the members of the church.
He added that pastors within his church were encouraged to be married so that they would not be carried away by temptations or have improper relations with members of the congregation.