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When pastors divorce


IN THE good old days of religion, divorce, fornication, adultery, immorality and the promiscuous lifestyle among pastors and elders meant the instant demise of a pastoral career. But these days, reaction towards pastoral divorce seems to be softening.

ZENOYISE MADIKWA of Sowetan reports “We have read with disbelief stories of alleged fornication and divorce about charismatic leaders such as Rhema Bible Church Pastor Ray McCauley, Malibongwe Gcwabe, Jabu Hlongwana, Xola Nzo, Prophet Mboro, Benjamin Dube and Keke Phoofolo among others. And it is business as usual for them.

International televangelists who separated from their spouses include Benny Hinn, Paula White, John Hagee, Noel Jones and Clarence McClendon among others. Their ministries are still strong.

Has the church gone soft on sin?

Pastor Vusi Dube, senior founding pastor of the Ethekwini Community Church, says when a pastor or elder fornicates, they should step down from the pulpit.

He says marital infidelity and divorce among the clergy was growing at an alarming rate and pastors were getting away with sin.

He attributes this to the lack of accountability in churches and the public’s softening stance on divorce.

“Unlike in the traditional churches where the clergy is accountable to a senate, charismatic church pastors are only accountable to themselves. In this kind of setup, pastors hand-pick elders and these elders usually do not have powers to discipline the pastor because the church is presumably his.”

He says people have forgotten that the church belongs to God and pastors are just servants.

“The problem with this model is that elders are scared of challenging the pastor and fear losing their positions and power. In some cases, the elders are friends or relatives of the pastor so accountability is non-existent.”

He says pastors must realise that people in their church are watching them.

“Pastors are supposed to set an example for families. You are supposed to set the example for your church members. You can’t be like the parent who says, ‘do as I say, not as I do’. You have to lead by example. As leaders, we must set examples for our flock.” Read Full Article