Few weeks ago, all the local dailies in the nation prominently covered a ‘Man of God’ who was involved in a road accident scandal that left one person dead and another seriously injured.
I do not want to comment on this matter, it is already ongoing in court, lest I find myself in a hot soup and taken to court for sub judice. But as a trained journalist, i know why the great prominence given to the Pastor by media coverage meant in shaping public opinion or setting public agenda, about Pastors and ‘Men of God’!
The WHO factor was key in the story…A pastor! A Man of God! The fact that he was a Pastor elicited discussions making it a news story! Media houses set the agenda by placing the story as the banner headlines in the newspapers, making it the top story and giving it much airtime in the News bulletins in both Television and in Radio.
I remember last year when one of the Investigative Journalists in the country exposed one of the theatrical services of a certain Pastors, or do I say a Word Peddler, it became a hot debate to many for many weeks. To him he wondered and had this to say during an interview thereafter, “Why should a whole National TV in a country with pressing needs that require media coverage concentrate on a High school (Form 2) dropout for hours?”
In the recent past, we have read stories in our newspapers and seen in our screens numerous clips and camera shots of Pastors caught pant down in lodgings with ladies who are not their wives. In fact, in one occasion or another, we have helped disseminate this information to many of our friends.
I personally get maddened by the clips and stories exposing these pastors and treating them inhumanly. To be sincere, I am always sympathetic with them. A friend once told me that many of us do sin, just as they do, only that we are lucky and have never been caught!
These exposures of Pastors reminds me of the sinful woman caught in the act of adultery by teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and brought to Jesus as recorded in John 8: 1-11 (and its parallels in other gospels). The accusers of the woman were themselves sinners, and Jesus knew it. He allowed the righteous to stone her, interestingly, none condemned her! All, starting with the older ones, had fallen short of the glory of God!
Every time I see a Pastor exposed, one question that I usually grapple with is,
‘Are Pastors or ‘Men of God’ Superhuman?’
Though the responsibility of the Pastors to the society is immense and of high regard, we need to realize that this does not make them sin proof! They are all prone to sin just like me and you. They have emotions and desires just like we are! Pastors have feelings just like we all have.
Instead of condemning them, Pastors who has fallen should remind us of horribleness of sin! It should help us look inward again at our life and say just like the Psalmist, “Search me, O God.” (Ps 139:22)
When you approach your Pastor to share with him or her concerning your education, your financial crisis, crumbling relationship or marriage with your spouse, your disappointments in life…name them…do you ever ask yourself, whom do the Pastor share with similar problems? Just remember this, they also have their issues and thus need your prayers too.
Ron Edmonson[i], a Pastor and church planter says that pastors are held more responsible in the eyes of God for how they lead in the church, but they aren’t any better-or more equipped-at living a victorious Christian life than any other Christian.
It is sad that we live in a society that regards pastors as saints. Only few of us take our time and pray with them or even pay them a visit at their homes. We usually expect them to be perfect in all and with all.
In his blog, Pastor Eric McKiddie[ii] of Chapel Hill Bible Church says that it is important for churchgoers to understand that pastors are not a special class. They are normal people in the following four ways that he gives that I am really thinking about aloud;
- Pastors face the same temptations as everyone else.
- Pastors have the same spiritual requirements as everyone else.
- Pastors know more about the Bible than they can apply.
- Just like you, Pastors can’t grow outside of community.
As I pen off, I challenge all of us who are shepherds of God’s flock, as either pastors or preachers to live the Word. We need not to preach water and take wine! Paul challenged the Jews in Romans 2: 21- …you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery…?
I remind you this again; your pastor is not a superhuman. He or she is a normal person, Susceptible to sin just as you are. Please take your time and pray with him or her!
By: Kenneth Irungu
iServe Africa Apprentice
Links you can read:
[i] Truths about pastors who disappoint their flocks http://ministrytodaymag.com/leadership/persoanl-character/20847-8-%20Truths-about-pastors-who-disappoint-their-flocks.html
[ii] 4 Things you should know about your Pastor’s Spiritual life http://www.christianity.com/church/church-life/4-things-you-should-know-about-your-pastor-s-spiritual-life.html