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When pastors divorce

By Zenoyise Madikwa | Jan 10, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 384 ]

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.

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.

"It is also important to realise that not just our church members are watching us. The outside world is watching too, and they are all too ready to point fingers."

Biblical scholars have for a long time disagreed about divorce, with each side pointing to conflicting scriptural passages that seem to forbid or show compassion towards divorce.

Most people, like Pastor Dube, agree that the Bible allows for divorce in cases of adultery or violence, but agreement seems to end there.

But a divorced pastor, who wished to remain anonymous, said some pastors were too judgmental and self-righteous about divorce. He blamed divorce on spiritual warfare and "the devil's temptation".

He said fornication and divorce was caused by the burdens loaded onto the backs of pastors, their wives and on poorly-allocated time and attention on them and their families.

"The higher your call, the more attacks the devil directs towards your direction. Pastors are not perfect; they are human beings like you. There was only one who was. His name is Jesus," said the pastor who has since remarried.

Could this be a sign of moral decay in our churches?

Andile Magwa, whose ex-wife allegedly had an affair with a well-known pastor, says the church has lost the principles if Jesus.

He said he had lost confidence in pastors and the church system.

"Church is supposed to be a place of high morals, but today's pastors can't even keep their pants up. Christians are hypocrites who can't follow the Word of God.

"Pastors are supposed to be the leaders in morality and character in their churches and behind closed doors. They are supposed to be the prime examples of holiness. But they misuse their office to confuse and destroy families."

According to Prophetess Nomvume Maphanga, a church marriage counsellor and ordained pastor, the number of divorced Christians mirrors the rate of non-Christian divorcees.

She says only 35% of unions survive an extramarital affair, while 65% of marriages break up because of adultery.

She says one in five unfaithful people end up marrying their lovers.

She says many couples who have extramarital affairs end up staying together for the sake of their children.

She says the real test begins after an affair ends.

"In my years of marriage counselling, I have learnt that men are less forgiving of affairs than women are."

Pastor Dube attributes this behaviour to the general make-up of a man.

"Men have large egos by nature and that is why it is difficult for them to forgive a spouse who had an affair.

"This is sad because it gets in the way of God's forgiveness, redeeming love, reconciliation and restoration, which should be the main focus, instead of divorce," Dube said.

COMMENTS [ 384 ]

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When a pastor devorces satan is throwing a party/bash......and all of you blogger leberekela satana.

Jan 10, 2012 1:51 | 0 replies

Tabza325is
@MGEEZ,"The Bible is the inspired Word of God from Genesis to Revelations, that is without a doubt and indeed that is not a subject of debate here"

The fact that many out there still debate the authantisity of the Bible, research is available to dispute claims made in the Bible also claims made by many ignorant christians out there, your above statement is backed up by nothing but the self conviction that without any proof of christian claims the bible has no room for error or correction and that everything in it without real evidence is the truth and should be taken as such. The Bible is a book compiled by man like you and I under the order of Emperor Constantine to unite christian factions at that time as part of governing or bringing order into the devided society at that time, Constantine's mother was burned during the conflicts caused by the devision withing those christian faction at that time as such to bring order he saw a need to unit those christian faction under one religion or church, Constantine himself was not a Christian but believed in the messiah of that time Apollo the son of Zues.
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And your point with the statements above being what exactly??? What evidence do you have of your claims above??????????????????

Let God arise and all His enemies be scattered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 10, 2012 2:4 | 0 replies

@4biko,When these come together the brain will then have these electrical impulses. At that moment there is the conscious and the unconcious. When he dies - the body separate from the spirit and the impulses stops. He ceases to exist.

if you read my comment I point out that the mind can be separated from the body, were does intiution, dreams and our sixth sense come from and who does it exist, by understanding the dynamic relation between the consious mind, subconscious mind and the super unconscious mind you will understand the dynamics involved into the human mind process, if you study the quantum nature of the mind and how electrical impulses leap from energy to solid state during the electric or energy phase of our thourght process the possibility of an object or particle, in this case we can say the possility of thought materialising at one point in space then menufasting at the deferrent point in space are there, meaning a particle can appear in space at one point and appear in another point in space, this is the phase of separation were one can separete the body(brain) from the mind( energy in thought form to solid form, quantum leap).

Jan 10, 2012 2:5 | 0 replies

The world is ending on 21st December 2012. All pastors can swap wifes instead of divorcing. We will not hold it against them, pinky promise !? Are there an hot MmaMorutis out there ?

Jan 10, 2012 2:7 | 0 replies

@Word,
like i said, ignore my comments cos they are clearly not meant for you and others who are anti-christ. i repeat, they are for those who are seeking God and He will definitely guide their steps. i don't understand why would you be talking about someone/something you don't believe in. direct your interest on people like Anton LaVey and others who are like him.
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But this is a forum whose primary function is to allow Sowetan’s readership to comment and share ideas on topical issues yet you’ve turned it into a platform where you impose yourself on everyone and have appointed yourself the resident pastor so you need to be exposed.

I would have no problem with you preaching in your prayer meetings but by imposing yourself on us like you do on a daily basis you have made yourself a target for those who know otherwise, it is not a simple question of just ignoring you lest you show me that you were invited to share your daily sermons.

It strikes me as odd that someone as fanatical as you are cannot debate a subject you have passed yourself as an expert on. I don’t want to pick a fight but at the same time these things need to be said as your posting can sometimes be an irritation especially when people are debating a topic of interest and then you just drop your daily bombshell without warning or excusing yourself first. You assume you know better than most, surely it is only fair that that assumption is put to the test.

Jan 10, 2012 2:8 | 0 replies

@Mzabalazo,
it is not the stories we believe -- it is the reality and the power we have come to know that keeps us loyal Christians. Personally, i have seen God/Jesus/Yawheh whatever you call him do wonders and miracles in my life. He exists, he listens, he answers and i will not subscribe to any other dogma

Jan 10, 2012 2:8 | 0 replies

Shredder

He was a lamb indedd, no wonder he thought he once lived in heaven. To claim that you will die and arise in three days and also claim that you will come back with fairies(angels in Jewish myth) and the people you preached to, who saw you when you were alive will see the end of the world signified by you coming back on earth can only come out of a lamb, a very unrealistic and mentally unstable person.

Jan 10, 2012 2:10 | 0 replies

uJabu Hlongwana tlitlitltlitlti ubhebha esontweni

Jan 10, 2012 2:13 | 0 replies

@Tebza325i

I would say that the mind electrical impulses will differ based on the emotions, also its state (con and subconcious). Are we agreeing on that. Or you are saying that the mind is independent on the body and spirit and can coexist on its own.

The reason why i gave this explanation of a man stems from a comment made by "Bipolar" where he was qouting Tolle writting - talking about the "spirit man".

Jan 10, 2012 2:13 | 0 replies

@MGEEZ, And your point with the statements above being what exactly??? What evidence do you have of your claims above??????????????????

Let God arise and all His enemies be scattered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again the evidence is they in libraries, it's there in modern research of theology, you can even read a biblical study book from high school it's an introduction into scholar thought of the bible and how it came into existance, I first read about Constantine from a grade 11&12 biblical book, the problem is evidence is there in abundance, christians out of fear of punishment choose to ignore all the knowladge available to them and read the same book every year with knowladge of how it came into existance, I always ask christains this, why was the name of the messiah changed from Yeshua in Hebrew to Jesus in latin and they alway give senseless answer like because it's the word of god and it's the truth.

Jan 10, 2012 2:14 | 0 replies

@Mzabalazo- heaven is not a location - but refers to the inner consciousness and earth is reflection of the state of your inner being in the physical form.

Jan 10, 2012 2:14 | 0 replies