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Fake Money: ‘Dirty’ Business Pastors Reprimanded

The world’s turbulent economic situation and free trade opportunities has seen most clerics pursuing business interests for self sustenance...

The world’s turbulent economic situation and free trade opportunities has seen most clerics pursuing business interests for self sustenance.

Some have become highly entrepreneurial, thereby firmly establishing themselves in various industries.

However, this has ignited debate on the kind of businesses that pastors can engage in vis-a-vis what they preach.

A recent media report stated that Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe president and Faith Ministries senior pastor, Shingi Munyeza, runs News Cafe – an upmarket bar in Borrowdale.
Pastor Who Owns Tarvens and Gambling Houses 

The question is, is there a line to be drawn between the kind of business that is deemed appropriate and inappropriate for the men of cloth? Pastor Munyeza feels this is a tired conversation.

“I’ve had enough debates and discussions on this and I believe that this is a tired conversation which I don’t want to get involved in. Besides, it does not help those suffering.

“There are more pressing issues that can be discussed, like how pastors should be involved in getting our economy out of the current crisis,” he said. Another pastor who preferred anonymity argued that pastors are trained in theology and other disciplines.

“Our God is not limited to space or time. We take opportunities as they come. Let us not limit theology. “What is the problem if a pastor farms tobacco or owns a bar? We say Christians should not smoke, yet men of God are cultivating it,” he said.

However, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian pastor Gibson Botomani said it is difficult for pastors to speak from positions of authority when they participate in such business ventures.

“How do you rebuke evil? Imagine this, you run a bar and a couple comes through for counselling on issues emanating from alcohol, how do you handle that? Bars only operate like a secret sin but God is watching. He is going to judge.

“Paul was a tent maker, he was not selling alcohol. Businesses that do not compromise Christians are available, they should venture into those,” Pastor Botomani said. Entrepreneur Mr Forget Chigede said Christians’ businesses should be ethical and morally upright.

“Pastors should follow God’s commandments and their actions should turn people from darkness to light. Pastors as agents of God should act and show good direction to their followers. Those who operate compromising businesses are fake pastors who pretend to work for God while in actual fact they are acting for the kingdom of the devil,” he said.

Tiri Nheweyembwa chipped in: “While the current economic condition has not spared anyone, the men of cloth included, some businesses pose problems as they are contrary to the word of God.
“Morally and ethically, it is at variance with the teaching of the Word of God. 

One cannot run a brothel and then preach about sexual immorality when they are promoting it.” Another believer stressed that all Christians should be righteous and stick to ‘clean’ businesses.
“Wearing that church uniform is an oath to live a morally upright life. The men of cloth are no exception when it comes to breaking such oaths,” he said.

Mr Shingirayi Gwete highlighted: “Imagine on Friday night, a pastor who owns a bar prays that God blesses his business to record high sales. Come Sunday morning, he preaches from 1 Corinthians 6:10 which states that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

“He calls for his customers to repent (to stop taking alcohol) and at the same time he prays for his bar to prosper. Can a man serve two masters?He hates one and loves the other.

“The issue boils down to the love of money which 1 Timothy 6:10 says is the root of all evil. What is evil is not money in itself but the love for money. The moment one is prepared to gain an extra dollar at the expense of their own salvation or the salvation of others, then that is evil,” he said.

“People will always drink alcohol, they will always engage in gambling, they will always sell their bodies, they will always engage in various evils, but woe unto that person who causes or supports other people to engage in such activities.

“No matter how profitable the business might be, one needs to ask himself this question, ‘For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matthew 16:26),” Mr Gwete said. - The Sunday Mail 

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