Migori county clergy has rejected the move by state to regulate churches following the religious extremism that has led to the death over 200 believers in the nation.
Speaking at Maranatha Faith Assemblies in Migori during the meeting with the national taskforce on the same, Bishop Charles Otigo of Deliverance Church said that the church should be left to regulate itself.
“Like any other entity which have a system of self-regulations, the same should apply to churches because we also have our doctrines and avenues to use when punishing one,” said Otigo.
The Bishop said that the work of church regulations should be left for the umbrella bodies under which every church falls as they have a deep understanding of how the churches and clergy should operate.
Otigo however said that the church doctrines should be aligned with the laws of the land and that anyone who goes extreme should be held individually accountable.
Otigo’s reactions followed the Shakahola Massacre where believers had been hoodwinked by Pastor Paul Mackenzie into fasting to death as a way to heaven.
Otigo on the other hand refuted the academic qualifications by one before being ordained as a pastor, saying that anointing is done by the Holy Spirit.
“As much as we really value education, it should not be a yardstick or a measure for the clergy to hold ministerial offices,” said the clergy, adding that the work of the spirit is not done by academics.
He however, encouraged members of the clergy to make efforts to get academic qualifications saying that it is from this that they expand their levels of understanding and Bible interpretation.
Otigo’s sentiments were also supported by Bishop Esau Jobando of Caring Africa Outreach Ministries who thanked the clergy for speaking out their mind and having one stand.
On his side, he said that the academic certificates should not be used to devalue and disregard the anointing of other clergy members which is done by the Holy Spirit.
“As a scholar, I support the academic certificates but that should not be used to devalue the anointing and the clergy that have founded their ministries through the same,” said Jobando.
According to Bishop Jobando, the government should let the union of churches in Kenya to select a committee that will be tasked to deal with any case of religious biasness.
He however accused the government of being ignorant and letting the extremism that led to the death of believers in Shakahola, saying that it should be able to hold anyone accountable to criminal acts.
“On the same note, I want to call out the government to tighten the rope and mend all the loopholes that led to the happenings in Shakahola which we greatly condemn,” added Jobando.
On the other hand, Jobando cautioned the church leaders to strictly follow the church doctrines to enable them keep to the lanes of ministering.
The government had formed a task force to collect recommendations and memoranda to enable it find a way to regulate the church and church leaders.
Chaired by Sheikh Abdi Salaam, the regulatory task force said that the recommendations will enable them find ways of ensuring that will enable religious bodies promote spiritual wellbeing of everyone.
“As we move around, we hope that the recommendations will enable us get ways of ensuring that the religious bodies promote the wellbeing, safety and health of our people,” said Abdi Salaam.
He added that the taskforce will come with mechanism that will ensure that the church is not muzzled and that the freedom of worship is also guaranteed.