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Political & Social Empowerment

THE CHURCH HAS LOST ITS MORAL HIGH GROUND IN THE KENYAN SOCIOPOLITICAL SPACE

In Scriptures deemed sacrosanct by the Christian faith is chronicled a story of the 7th King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel called Ahab. He would never by any stretch of the imagination make the ‘roll of honour’ on any parameter as a distinguished ruler. Cynicism and idolatry were his only forte. In due course, he espied a neighbouring vineyard in the vicinity of his palace in Jezreel. The petrichor that wafted from the soil to the corpulent harvest that issued from therein, all seemed to arouse covetousness from the supremo of the day. The vineyard belonged to a man of modest means named Naboth. The king wanted the prime piece of real estate for himself to grow herbs ostensibly for his table. The proximity to the palace made the land irresistible, the King even being forced to summon the owner to a tête-à-tête where he was willing to bend over backwards for the sake of his subject. Naboth respectfully declined the request giving reasonable justification for his stance. This was the family heritage that he had received from his forebearers who preceded him in ownership. The Lord also forbade the transfer of the land outside Naboth’s family. King Ahab favoured asking for the land instead of forceful acquisition and was willing to pay a premium for the place adjunct to giving land elsewhere to Naboth if it would please him. The man could not budge. Eventually, the two parties went their separate ways with the King heavy of heart. When he arrived home; his wife, Queen Jezebel almost instantly picked up on his trepidation. She knew of the foregoing and suspected all had not gone as planned. This literal ‘femme fatale’ almost immediately schemed to have Naboth’s existence vitiated in a conspiracy that had the King’s name. When Ahab heard the plan he voiced little by way of opprobrium. Soon trumped-up legal proceedings were brought up against Naboth on treasonous sedition at odds with the crown and blasphemy against God. The sons of Belial who had been well coached and remunerated by Jezebel, came up as witnesses to corroborate the egregious charges brought up against the person of Naboth. Who was the arbiter for the case you may ask? If vested interests was ever dressed up in royal garb & a diadem, then it was on full display that day. It was King Ahab! Naboth had good opening and valedictory arguments but what justice can a mouse ever get in a courtroom presided over by cats? He was convicted on both charges and sentenced to death by stoning. In no dissimilitude to what the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe once opined of God’s case, there was no appeal! The execution was to be carried out immediately & before dark, lest the spectacle be roiled by bad light. Naboth was frog-marched to the edge of some cliff and subjected to lapidation pursuant to the judgment pronounced until he was bereft of life. Soon the adjacent land became part of the regal holding. God was severely displeased with this abomination against an innocent man and sent Prophet Elijah to chide the king for his transgression. Elijah suffered fools to a minimum on that material day and lambasted the king with an immeasurable torrent of scorn and castigation for his iniquity. Palaver was most certainly taboo as words were not spared with Elijah the mouthpiece for the Almighty’s polemic against this blackguard of a king. Among the sanctions put against the King was a three-year embargo on rainfall in that jurisdiction. Elijah averred in no uncertain terms that in the fullness of time, as hounds licked Naboth’s blood they too will lap up Ahab’s in equal measure at the same venue. Additionally, his lineage was condemned and would be cut off like his forefathers Jeroboam and Baasha before him. Ahab had some residual reverence for the Lord of hosts and in harking to the thrust of these sentiments almost immediately fell to his knees, rent his clothes & wailed a plaintive cry of lamentation. He put on sackcloth, fasted and lay sobbing in supplication for his forgiveness. His cry of repentance was judged authentic by Yahweh and he was given a reprieve. Most of what was promised would come to pass in his son’s reign but not the section on ‘licking of the blood.’ He probably offered the Queen’s menses as recompense but Jehovah is not the deity for stand-up comedy! Gruesomeness aside, is there still left a true man of God willing to speak the truth to power in Kenya today? This is the riddle our post seeks to decode.

Quintessentially, the disparate nation-states occupying the jurisdiction currently known as Kenya each believed in their own version of a Higher Power. Each community had its own name for this manifestation which ensured the cohesiveness of society as gave it a sense of identity. Belief that divine punishment would result from contravention of communal lores held many a community in good stead. The audacity of hope then was that in life after death, those who lived in harmony with their kinsmen and eschewed perversion would forever exist in glory and their essence would be reincarnated as a thing of beauty for future generations to marvel upon. In post-colonial Kenya, the Church became the moral compass directing the steps of the fledgling republic to its due North. In the turbulent albeit restive epoch after the botched putsch of 1982 and the declaration of Kenya as a ‘de-jure’ singular-party state, the Church became the voice of reason that put checks and balances to the excesses of the state. From their pulpits, true Men of God had the fortitude of heart to castigate rampant corruption, detentions without trial, Nyayo Torture Gulags, attempts at grabbing Uhuru Park & Karura Forest merely for vanity projects, the mortification of building Hydroelectric dams on seasonal rivers merely to ‘set carts before horses’ in sentiments reminiscent of ‘The Bull of Auckland’ talking up the Turkwel Hydropower project, the sham ‘Mlolongo elections’ (1988), the assassination of Cabinet Minister Hon. Robert Ouko among many other acts of ignominy with the requisite impartiality. The reasons for why the aforementioned ‘Bull of Auckland’ whose passport bore the name Nicholas K. Biwott acquiesced this unsightly moniker were among the litany of quandaries that kept the church awake at night. Indeed Rev. Henry Okullu while serving as a provost of the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, a congregation of the Anglican Church of Kenya once chided a section of the clergy permitting carte-blanche to be misused as a conduit for ethnic balkanization and profiteering in the guise of paying obeisance to Caesar! “The Church need not be transformed to an ethnic ghetto merely because its leaders try to be politically correct,” Rev. Okullu thundered in one of his homilies.

Push back from state was hot and heavy (Courtesy of Kenya News Agency)

This cohort of religious leaders was well-versed on the foregoing in Eastern Europe that at the end of the Cold War reformed as unitary states which collapsed under totalitarian regimes majorly because of silencing divergent, progressive voices while charging that the Ruler of the time, unsurprisingly too the Chairman of the ruling party was anointed into that position by God. Then folk of the cloth in Kenya existed in the sagacity of the Serenity Prayer where they sought the serenity to accept what they could not change, the courage and strength to fight for reform and the wisdom to decipher scrupulously the existence of the two scenarios. Needless to say, the names of great paragons of righteousness like Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a’ Nzeki (Catholic), David Gitari (Anglican) and Timothy Njoya (PCEA) became synonymous among the iterations of the 4th Estate then as warriors for Social Justice, Civil Liberties and Multiparty Democracy. The latter was once clobbered in Kenyan parlance ‘like a mburukenge’ by our repressive security apparatus, for being part of the Saba Saba rally to exert pressure on the government to open up the political space for multiparty democracy. He not only lost his spectacles but also a perfectly good pair of trousers over & above sustaining fractured limbs in the heinous onslaught against free speech.

Rev. Timothy Njoya clobbered soundly by plainclothes police. Democracy In Kenya was purchased by the Blood of Brave & Honourable Clergymen who unlike their counterparts of today prized Kenyan Civil Liberty above personal comfort [Credit: Photo by Sayyid Azim / AP / Shutterstock (7224027a)]
Heartwarming tales are today regaled of how Catholic Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth adjunct to giving the Moi government hell, was also instrumental in sneaking one of the preeminent heroes of the 2nd Revolution in Kenya; Rt. Hon. Raila A. Odinga, out of the country via the Ukweli Pastoral Centre in Kisumu dressed as a Catholic Priest through Lake Victoria into Uganda and onwards onto exile in Norway when the instruments of state were hell-bent on clamping down against all political dissidents resisting the kleptocracy, incompetence, tyranny and hypocrisy of H.E. Daniel Moi. Tragically, some paid the ultimate price like Bishop Alexander Muge of the Anglican Church in Eldoret who had also styled himself as an absolute thorn in the flesh of his tribal henchman. Threats were soon forthcoming, none more menacing than from Hon. Peter Habenga Okondo, then Minister of Labour and an MP in Busia. He was so wound up by the member of the clergy that he warned him bluntly never to dare set foot in Busia or he would ‘see fire’ and depart in a hearse! Muge being forthright in countenance, retorted that were he to meet his demise by the hand of Okondo, then his blood would forever haunt the politician. Muge then proceeded to visit Busia but as presaged, the return trip ended in tears and great melancholy as he was killed in a highly suspicious road accident! That was Kenya then when the Church was run by true vanguards of the interests of the mwananchi.

Pantheon of sandpaper – Clergy who kept the state on tenterhooks rubbing them the wrong way from the pulpit. From Left: Reverends Ndingi, Gitari, Muge, Okullu & Okoth

Christianity by its very definition is a religion that emphasizes obedience to the Christ-like virtues of Holiness, Repentance, Truth, Love and Justice. It is a monotheistic religion. The premises for congregation of the faithful to conduct praise and worship is called a Church.

Today the Church has been inundated by literal louts, rabble-rousers and touts devoid of an inkling on Divinity, Theology, Doctrinal knowhow or even actual grounding on Christian Religious Dogma. I had purposed not to go down the rabbit hole of castigating the Church but at a juncture when asininity is being mixed in and passed off as religion to the naïve & gullible; in the sentiments given life by the 1994 Hip-hop track by Warren G & Nate Dogg, I will have to speak out to ‘Regulate’ this absurdity. Religion is often an emotive issue as it is the opium and only recourse of the downtrodden masses. You have no doubt seen guys who were previously roasting maize on the street corner decide to have a career change one morning and taking up a Bible and going to the street. They will claim to have slept and had a dream where the Holy Spirit told them to start ministry unto the gentiles and preach the gospel to the nations of the world. Without missing a beat, you will decry them on your streets starting to minister the word unto you. You will also see them boarding buses and giving thinly-veiled threats to the travelers of some unspecified consequence should this contraption that is a ‘creation of the quirky hands of man’ start moving before being committed to orison by Mr. Preacher-man here. The simpleton will start trembling and get rapt as a short sermon is delivered. Predictably, there will be the session of giving where an offering will be asked ‘kuendeleza huduma’ with the service terminating almost as soon as no more money can be cajoled out of the partakers of this odyssey. Almost like clockwork, they move to the next bus and the sequence is replayed.

A Forced congregation for bus pastors who peddle terror among passengers if the conveyance dares move without their ‘prayers’ (End goal: Offering)

The tragedy of this entire fiasco is that the service of the Lord has been converted into a cash cow to be milked by this erstwhile revivalist. Soon they will buy iron sheets and nails to build a ‘permanent’ sanctuary unto the Lord. In half a decade’s time, TV cameras would have been bought to televise the church proceedings to all and sundry. Social media channels will be opened with YouTube Live, Facebook Live among other streaming services acquiring utility. What ensues is a fanatic following to the word of the preacher. The cult of personality & ludicrousness has now been instituted. The next stage in this metamorphosis is the celebrant publically abandoning the strictures of the ‘Holy Book’ and engaging in unchristian-like activities. Adherents are now slapped and insulted ostensibly to drive out evil spirits! Men & women who ordinarily can’t tell the difference between the crack of their derrière and a hole in the ground, now purport to see ‘visions’ and boast a healing touch. My sincere commiseration with all the ‘daughters of Eve’ who have suffered the ignominy of getting fondled & desecrated in front of multitudes by a supposed clergyman purely out of desperation because of interminable struggles with getting a child! Some may have inborn ailments that have defied all medical science and can only be committed unto the capable hands of the Lord for divine intercession. That’s the dastardly pastor’s avenue for profiteering, but I digress. I would be remiss if I failed to observe that documentary evidence has come out clearly in social media pages showing renowned spiritual guides reveling at local ‘watering joints’ and brothels on Fridays with the same bloke avowing the most austere of piety presiding over Holy Mass on Sunday! When the frontier between ethereal and terrestrial matters gets blurred, that is a clarion call for serious reform.

Jesters for Pastors all over & No Voice of Reason in sight!

Instructive to note is that from my 10 years’ experience learning the Christian Religious Education (CRE) subject in school supplementary to attending Pastoral Instruction and Catechism classes, I surmised that if a man has the Holy Spirit, then most assuredly that will come with its gifts and fruits. A few of the gifts I can itemize are Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Reverence for the Lord. Most salient among these gifts is Wisdom and the ability to discern good from evil. Wisdom as the experts will chime in, is the ability to exercise proper discretion for the effective utilization of acquiesced knowledge and natural intelligence. The season of the Covid-19 viral contagion has unfurled to all and sundry the fickleness of most enterprises putting up a façade of success, most especially the Church. A decrease in revenue streams has brought untold apprehension among many congregations and even exposed some merely as scams and temples of mediocrity. Some have even brought their own very tabernacles into disrepute by their actions after lockdown. Many were the spiritual fathers and mothers that reportedly offered divine healing but in the sight of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, it has been left unto conjecture whether they were actually Christian celebrants or probably motorcycle spare part dealers! I am on record avowing in no uncertain terms in my earlier posts that Medical Doctors are the vessels through which ‘Divine Healing’ is propagated unto the multitudes. This is an instance of empirical wisdom. The resourceful among the Ministers have adapted to the demands of the day by taking advantage of advancements in information technology and use of M-Pesa.

I would be remiss if I failed to opine that Wisdom & good judgement are preeminent Gifts of the Holy Spirit. That entails a Primate exercising the discretion to accurately pick the right attire and in what state to step onto the pulpit of the Lord. My question is if Ministry would have ceased had this Lady-pastor stayed out of the game till post-partum? (Courtesy of @paungata)

Today in Kenya, more than ever before has been witnessed a proliferation of churches in numbers greater than the responsible authority’s ability to oversight the actual ideology they preach to their faithful. According to the Book, ‘The Failed Presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta’ by Irungu Thatiah – In Mlolongo (a new sprawling peri-urban region of the Nairobi Metropolis), there are 40 times more Churches than Schools & Hospitals! Allow that to seep through. Churches are built firmly on top of bars and hovels in red-light districts, but who cares? The same population demographic is served by both these amenities. This is a horrendous state of affairs that portends absolute desperation, so we trudge on. Blind religious devotion is a form of psychosis and indeed a plague that only death can dissociate from its victims. In many of these divergent ‘Christianoid’ sects, little remains of the morphology of teaching by Christ which is what is regurgitated to the adherents. Yes, the name of Jesus will be invoked, but the archetypal reason for the existence of these establishments is as a cash-cow for the convener of the enterprise. A distant second is to pay rent for the use of the real estate where the congregants meet. This downhill slalom into depravity started in earnest in 2012 when the two ICC-indictees united to contest the Presidency in Kenya. In stratagems reminiscent of how Judas betrayed ‘the son of man’ to Pontius Pilate, crisp banknotes were used to grease the palms and throats of owners of pulpits all over the nation. Many were the Sundays when the ‘two brothers from other mothers’ kneeled and prostrated before Bishops, Provosts, Overseers and Vicars to be symbolically anointed for the battle ahead all the while their virtues extolled to the none-the-wiser attendants of Church service. For those not in the loop, one of the two characters here was indicted at the International Criminal Court for among other charges orchestrating the rounding up of ethnically dissonant members of the Church in his vicinity, locking them up and setting the entire edifice alight with human beings therein. The cries of agony of fellow Christians meant nothing to the ice-cold perpetrators of these demonstrably preposterous acts against compatriots. This is of course a script reminiscent of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994; where to quote the distinguished legal mind and gifted orator, PLO Lumumba in one of his fiery speeches to a Church congregation before the 2017 Kenyan General Election, “In the Churches of God, Priests Killed. The Blood of Ethnicity is Thicker than the Blood of Christ.” Crimes contiguous to both include Rape, Murder and Forceful Transfer of Populations from their habitations. This is the grime that was to be sanitized from the public image of the two ethnic figureheads specifically and ostensibly from the memories of the undiscerning public at large who also suffer selective amnesia and are ill-tooled to contravene the words of the Spiritual overseer.

This downhill slalom into depravity started in earnest in 2012 when the two ICC-indictees united to contest the Presidency in Kenya.

The irreverent alliance between Politics and Pulpits is the raison d’etre of my piece today. There are supposed men of God who use their platform merely as a stepping stone to greater things which in Kenya loosely translates to the incursion into ‘Politics’. Alleged ‘pilots into heaven’ find themselves with oodles of cash after hosting political leaders which in all certainty is expended in the nearest car dealership to buy the sleekest SUV on offer for the errant ecclesiastical. There is no want of Christian sanctuaries that sprawled out for the sole reason of making hay from this new-found gravy train. These new creeds are the hotbed of open favouritism to specific political players and of course the melting pot, an agora of sorts for ethnically resonant artistry. Here tribal henchmen to the predicant are venerated as the best thing since buttered bread all for a small pecuniary reward. A practice of profiteering and gate-keeping is emerging among pulpiteers where politicos who pander to the putrid dance of contributing to these ‘cults of the bizarre’ after their escapades selling narcotics, raiding public coffers, embezzlement of exchequer funds, highway robbery, human trafficking, ‘black-widow tingz’ and tenderpreneurship are exhorted greatly during sermons no matter how slovenly of character they are. Here Virgin Mary may be adjudged more sordid than the aforementioned Queen Jezebel. Political players who have actually sacrificed their creature comforts, life and limb for the sake of social amelioration but whose purse strings are not loosened to the shenanigans of any Tom, Dick & Harry are oftentimes labelled negatively with the utmost of venom and cynicism. Tags of ‘Devil Worshipper’, ‘Mganga’, ‘Vampire’, ‘Mshirikina’ among many others have been watermarked upon actual heroes of the 2nd liberation in Kenya which is utterly unconscionable of any true Christian evangelical. Canon Sammy Wainaina, provost of the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi has recently joined this dastardly bandwagon. As a hard-boiled Catholic myself, I must state here unequivocally that the outgoing Head of the Catholic Church in Kenya, John Cardinal Njue immured himself in too much infamy for comfort during his see. This is due to his imposed blindness to the transgressions of ex-President Mwai Kibaki and outright ignominy of the Kenyatta 2 Presidency. Unconcealed ethnic contempt, malevolence and intolerance especially towards our Premier (Emeritus) Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga is not a good look for anybody that pays homage to religious piety. Idiomatically, if you want to kill a dog, give it a bad name. Nefarious connotations of the other man are especially effortless to peddle to the uninitiated as I was reminded reliably a few days ago watching a CNN Interview on TV. The outgoing American President choreographed albeit clumsily a ‘troglodyte’s insurrection’ against Democracy. Here I learnt that deceit travel 6 times faster than facts due to the greater allure of convenience by eschewing any fool-proof and incontrovertible fact-checks to convince the ordinary man of something or other. What essentially works can easily be supplanted by what sounds good at the click of a button. Social media and its creation of needy clout chasers exacerbates this quandary infinitely. This has become a conduit for what American Economist & Social Theorist, Thomas Sowell bemoaned when he asked plaintively, “How long do politicians have to keep on promising Heaven and delivering Hell before people catch on and stop getting swept off their feet by their vacuous rhetoric?” It becomes easy to believe when it is said in your itinerant Temple of Worship alongside your Spiritual Dad or Mum!

In sunnier days for one Dr. Miguna Miguna, the Nairobi Gubernatorial contest would have been an ideological joust of great funfest and pageantry. He actually suffered few fools gladly. This is in lieu of his abhorrence for intellectual charlatans and political bandits canvassing as men/women of God infiltrating the race invoking self-imposed titular designation of ‘Doctor’ all the while they cannot even state the title of the Dissertation that they authored in partial fulfillment of the award of their Doctorate Degree. Today we have a supposed rector of her own denomination who is adept at dishing curses instead of beneficence upon those who stand in her path to conceited goals. This lady, Anne Kananu has the inalienable right to seek to be vetted by the Nairobi County Assembly for the posting of Deputy Governor. However, a power-hungry bumpkin canvassing as a Theology savant pronounced divine judgment upon this law-abiding citizen, sugarcoating it as the power of “maombi ya watu wa Narobi.” What balderdash?

In the prelude to Dr. Miguna Miguna being adjudged ‘Canadian’, the Nairobi Gubernatorial contest was an ideological joust of great funfest and pageantry. He actually suffered few fools gladly, especially those with fake academic titles! (Courtesy of KTN News)

In similar token, we have rabble-rousers and extortionists who were run out of the proscribed criminal sect ‘Mungiki’ by Former Internal Security Minister, Hon. John Njoroge Michuki’s shoot to kill edict in 2009. Today Mungiki turncoats are the pristinely-rebranded clerics in town which is a bait no right-thinking Kenyan should ever take hook, line or sinker. Moreover, an architect of the financial impropriety so grand that it bankrupted our national coffers, regressed our economy & single-handedly devalued Kenyan currency in the multi-billion dollar Goldenberg scandal; one Kamlesh Pattni, today claims to have turned over a new leaf and is presiding a sanctuary of prayer. Why should the Church allow such off-shoots of malfeasance to rear the ugly head of Baal into the inner sanctums of our religion? Next on my hit list are daylight fraudsters like Kanyari & his mother the faux-prophetess Lucy Nduta who take advantage of human struggles with physical infirmities & disease to present fake miracle cures. The wench Nduta was a guest of the state, cooling her heels for two years consequent to propagating fallacious paradigms on curing HIV with a rascals touch! To bolster this thesis, she also set up fake ‘HIV-Testing facilities’ to hoodwink the anguished souls of being cured. Consultation fee was 1000/- additional to the fortune the forlorn subject paid excited at the fake ‘prognosis’ before discovering they had been ‘Hustled.’  Her son Kanyari’s rapsheet is as long as the mighty Zambezi River paying credence to the saying that the fruit seldom falls far from the tree! We all were treated to the theatre of the absurd by the Potassium Permanganate party, ‘Panda Mbegu 310’ and the ‘Majengo’ courtesan he pile-drove then enlisted as a prop for his simulated miracles.

For all those who invested in the ‘Panda Mbegu 310’ scam, on the table lies your investment.

My sincere commiseration with all who were duped, most especially the distressed damsel; the gospel songstress, Betty Bayo for falling prey and now tidally-locked to this ‘brood of vipers’ who are now Father and Grandmother to her progeny. Adjunct to myriad others, in the crosshairs of my remonstration today is one Paul Kuria alias Man Kush. There is a time for everything so comedy has to be distinguished from the matters of the spirit. Few transgressions are more iniquitous unto the Lord than charlatans who run enterprises elsewhere deciding to trifle with & add to their entrepreneurial portfolios, shepherding the Lord’s flock. Christ once uttered, “I will not allow my father’s house to be converted into a den of thieves” before fashioning a whip of reeds and whipping traders soundly, chasing them in full flight out of the temple. My chagrin with this scoundrel avowing faux-piety is in his mischief & indeed predilection to play to the public gallery of the ignorant, gullible and naïve in antipathy to correcting their misconceptions. This is archetypal of men/women who are actually bloated on baloney looking competent merely because they are populist chatterboxes whose hogwash resonates with the sentiments of the uncultured.

The Church is no place for stand-up Comedians & Clowns! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etWGZGGUfUc)

Last on my chopping block are Parsons who fall prey to carnal sin. The human flesh is fallible and amenable to err. However, we expect that a shepherd of the flock should subscribe to a higher moral code than the average Joe. Expectation is rife that a Vicar of the faith is girded with the belt of truth albeit chastity/faithfulness and the breastplate of righteousness as per the precepts of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 6. Even the Vatican today is seriously inundated by accusations of sexual impropriety among its clerics. Kenyan media has in the past been awash with stories of lecherous shepherds who gormandize members of the flock without any qualms. When you run your religious enterprise adjacent to bars and brothels then actual misdemeanours relating to illicit & utterly irresponsible sexual conduct by the erstwhile shining lights to the faithful will follow suit. Excuses and witch-hunts will be adduced all of which will fail the simple test of plausibility.

Spiritual PPE as per Ephesians 6 (Courtesy of truthunedited.com)

Now that I have attained notoriety as some sort of know-it-all blabbermouth, a few will ask me how a true church of Christ should be run. Let me take this chance to tip my hat to those who have remained strong in maintaining ministry as a calling as opposed to being some run-off-the-mill trade. Approbation be with Yee, all that have kept to the straight and narrow by maintaining the virtues of Holiness, Repentance, Truth, Love and Justice as the lynchpins of how their establishments are run.

  1. A Church should be built as a centre of the spiritual, mental, emotional, moral, social, physical all in all holistic development of not just the human being who is an adherent of the church but also the surrounding community in general. The prerequisites include a sanctuary for the congregation of the faithful to hold service and communion with one another.
  2. Existence of affinity groups cannot be gainsaid. In the Kenyan Catholic Church they are called ‘Jumuiya.’ This is a communal unit where men and women who live in proximity to each other and are members of the same congregation periodically meet to pray, worship, read the bible and try to make sense of scripture together. Elsewhere, it is regarded as Bible Study. This could entail even their children who imbibe spirituality from their parents and other adults because they are the seeds for the future. Having these groups ensures that spirituality is not merely a garb you don on Sunday and cleave from at the Church’s exit at the end of service but is something you carry with you home and into the marketplace.
  3. A Sunday School unit is pivotal. This is the place where the moral foundation of faith is laid down unto the fledgling Christians. This is in appreciation of the sagaciousness outlined by King Solomon in Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach children in the way they should walk and even in their old age they will not depart from it.”
  4. Compassionate and Social Justice Ministry. A church does not exist in a vacuum. There is the ambient community around it who is behooved by the Ordainer of the Faith to be the ‘Salt’ & ‘Light’ of the world and revel in service. This is Kenya and there is most certainly suffering all-around any small church unit. There are people with all sorts of medical conditions without any means to get medical treatment. There are the geriatrics abandoned by both their offspring and state after years of ceaseless toil and natural attrition. There are babies who find themselves abandoned by parents who sired them but lack a means for their sustenance. There are victims of domestic abuse and the rank and file of human problems. Most egregious is the rampant case of students who lack access to education pertinent to their parents/guardians lacking the means to pay for the same. Then there are orphans and widows who find themselves destitute after the loss of the family’s breadwinner. A good church is one that is compartmentalized into several ministries to cater to these societal obligations.
  5. The Enterprise facet. Why is it that in most of the ramshackle cults avowing the name of Christ out here, adherents are brainwashed to fundraise generously to a spiritual father trying to buy the latest SUV purportedly to accentuate the brand of the church but a young man trying to buy a simple bicycle to enable him to start his small courier business is instead told to ‘humble himself & wait upon the Lord for his blessings’? Rather than dabbling in this vain hypocrisy, wouldn’t it be a better prospect to use strength in numbers and mobilize funds to build each other financially? It is a perilous path to take because Faith and Lucre are not the best of brothers but if the guiding principle at inception is one of integrity, honesty and forthrightness in dealing with each other, it is possible and the prudent already have this model to their benefit. If Politicians use your multitudes for their parochial agenda why don’t you also ride on your numerical strength for shared financial prosperity?
Karura Community Chapel

In this regard I want to apportion adulation upon Karura Community Chapel located along Limuru Road, just before the Two-Rivers Mall on the boundary between Nairobi & Kiambu counties as one of the congregations that has taken the responsibility and stood in the gap where others have been found wanting. They are actually an edifice of modest means but have done so much with the little dealt to them by the hands of fortune. During the 2007/2008 Post Election violence in Kenya, this congregation wholeheartedly gave their sanctuary and grounds surrounding it to host many families of Internally Displaced Persons additional to catering for their basic needs. In the face of adversity, they did not shrink but went out to embrace their brothers and sisters in the edict given by the Lord Jesus to love not just our supreme deity with all our hearts but also our neighbours as ourselves. Kindness is indeed one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This in my enlightened & conscientious eyes is exemplar of how an authentic Christian denomination should be run.

As per the strictures of Jeremiah 6: 16 – We should return to the old paths which were good so that we can find repose for our souls.

By dennismukoya

I am a consummate thinker of new solutions which I passionately endeavour to implement.

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