By Collins Mambwe
Government must quickly come up with a serious legal frame work and form a legal body to guide the operations of churches and the clergy if people are to be saved from manipulation and inconveniences.
This body must carry out an integrity test that must be introduced so that we may have genuine clergy.
Under this same legal frame wrok anyone purporting to be a clergy must have a renewable practicing license issued by this same body before they are allowed to practice as pastors.
This body must have legal status similar to Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants, Teaching Council of Zambia, and Medical Association of Zambia with names of eligible clergy published in the press from time to time.
The idea of renewing license after a certain period is to ensure those found wanting can have their licenses suspended and stopped from practicing as clerics. I’m not calling for academic testing but integrity tests.
A lot of false prophets have flooded the world knowing through manipulation they can quickly become rich at the expense of the poor souls they manipulate and hide in the name of ‘don’t touch or talk ill of the anointed’ whenever they are found wanting.
We must be careful as a nation because at the rate we are going people will lose respect and confidence in this very important branch of Gods ministry called the church which is supposed to be the pillar of social justice, moral uprightness and oasis of wisdom including conflict resolutions.
This is not possible if we have clerics with questionable dealings. Prevention is better than cure before we wake up one day with a sycophants who will give our unsuspecting citizens poisonous substance as a ticket to heaven.
Mushrooming of churches must also be checked and ensure they are located in habitable places. For instance we have churches now in homes playing pianos and key boards throughout the day or night while neighbours secretly complain but they are scared to launch complaints because they will quickly be labelled as not being Christians.
In such places one wonders if a question of sanitary conditions do not arise. Like how many toilets should be there to accommodate how many people. Is the issue of men’s toilet and women toilets not important? Of course Inspectors are scared to move in because they will quickly be labeled as not being Christians.
In order to assist such churches, local authorities need to give them land so that they quickly put up standard structures.
In the past we had order where town planning seemed to have been working, hence we had areas for churches, schools, shops and bars. But today you have a school next to a bar, a church next to a bar. What kind of confusion is this?
I believe God is a God of order so we need sanity. For instance those currently operating churches in houses can be guided by giving them a particular temporal practicing license as they wait to build own churches.
While we all love our lord Jesus Christ, playing key boards loudly throughout the day or night can be disturbing to others. Such people being affected may not complain for fear of being accused that they are witches or Satanists scared of prayers which may not even be the case as they belong to other denominations in most cases.
Sadly even people from local authorities who are supposed to monitor are scared to be labelled unchristian.
The bottom line is we are a Christian nation but let us create sanity in God’s ministry before a lot of people are misled, harmed or even led to their premature deaths.
Surely if FAZ can demand integrity test for one to be president, accountants, teachers, doctors have practicing licences renewable why should we leave anyone to just wake up and start misleading people in the name of prophet while we fold our hands and watch.