Men of cloth are going overboard in their zeal to convert our hearts

Every Sunday morning, my neighbourhood comes alive in unattractive manner - when the churches decide to spread the gospel. I am convinced my neighbourhood has the highest number of churches per square foot and I hope this will translate into more folks walking through the pearly gates of heaven. While we might have to wait for the afterlife to determine if these efforts will bear fruit, we are presently suffering.

It usually starts at about 7am with an annoying cacophony of guitar and mic tests, then by 9am it is a roar of a hoarse sounding preacher threatening fire and brimstone before the day is taken over by loud boisterous singing. While I believe we should worship the Lord for he is good, I think churches have gone a bit overboard in their zeal. I therefore think churches could benefit from a few simple rules that will make matters religion a bit more palatable.

Proposed regulations

SEE ALSO :We are slowly sliding down the path of the Pharisees

The proposed regulations need to set some ground rules when it comes to the names given to churches. I find it somewhat disturbing that most of the new churches have names that are full names and, in some cases, entire paragraphs.

To make matters worse some of the churches have tongue twister words such as Mechidezek; others even include non-biblical words like helicopter and anaconda.

Just saying these names can cause tongues to bleed and to need divine intervention to come back to circulation.

I think all church names should only have at most three words - anything beyond that is a torture to the human soul -plus we all know that when it comes to marketing and being memorable less is more and simplicity is better.

Once the name thing has been sorted, we need to decide about location and density. I can tell you that in some parts of this country, we simply have too much church going on. In some neighbourhoods, you have a church per every 100 metres with each of them promising to save souls and to deliver miracles.

SEE ALSO :When you lose all in the name of God

Ordinarily such devotion to the Lord would be most welcome but sadly modern-day worship makes this virtually impossible. Every church usually comes complete with its set of blaring speakers, loud music and overnight keshas that almost always include long sessions of spirit inspired speaking in tongues.

Sometimes all this can lead to a system overload especially in households with infants, or with folks trying to recover from certain over-indulgences.  Therefore, perhaps someone should set up some decibel quota in certain hoods so that this over-exuberance for the word does not lead to ruptured eardrums and cranky sleep-deprived households.

We also need to have some regulations about general musicality and vocal displays that have become a staple in most churches. I am sure the Lord in heaven takes great delight in seeing and hearing his people.

I am willing to bet that maybe he shares my view that in some instances he wishes that certain people would opt for silence, or they would rather take their gifts elsewhere.

This includes those people who have voices that sound like a cross between murram and sandpaper, yet they still in leading praise and worship.

You have others who seem completely incapable of delivering the right melody in the right key the first time round and end up subjecting hapless humans in the church environs to endless testing... testing sessions. After what seems like eternity, these grating sounds pave way for the men and women of the cloth to preach to the congregation. It seems that there are certain vocal rules and codes that are passed on to those who aspire to become preachers. From what I hear most Sundays, it seems that the code dictates that those preachers really shout into their microphones, which baffles me since simple physics tells us that once you have a mic you need not shout.

It also seems that this same code dictates that the preachers deploy hoarse and dramatic sounds which I imagine are meant to create mortal fear of hell amongst congregants. All I can say is that the overall effect is not pleasing to men and women who are trying to just have a normal quiet Sunday. Tunaomba serikali to intervene and perhaps help us manage these catastrophic Sunday sound effects.

I have heard many times that the Lord’s ways are not like oursand He sometimes chooses very unlikely people to do his bidding.

Yet based on the proliferation of self-declared apostles and prophets and given that many of these people access ourhard-earned legal tender and claim to speak to our minds and vulnerabilities, I think government needs to intervene.

The low barriers to entry into this sacred profession has seen all manner of charlatans and cons duping gullible citizens with promises of eternity laced with selective interpretation of the Bible.

It is my view that if you are going to lead people to the Lord, you need some level of intellectual basics like being able to read and write, speak in full sentences but most importantly manage church finances. Recent events have led some of us to believe that sometimes the best way to become a memorable preacher is to be a pugilist and to occasionally spew out a few scandals.

Do not get me wrong: I think we all do with spiritual guidance and nourishment. However, some regulation is needed for what we have around us often ends up vexing not soothing our spirits. - [email protected]

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ReligionChurchesResurrectionSouth Africa Preacher