When a church seeks to control every vestige of existence of its members through doctrinaire dictates and pedantic strictures it is no longer a household of faith as conceived by the early Christians in Antioch, but a cult.
In the 1970s, churches built around personalities were popular. Jim Jones was a striking figure in the US at this time. He had founded the ‘Peoples Temple’ in the 1950s as a “Bible Church”, but then as the church grew he introduced his own divergent rules. He was larger than life, and anything he said was law.
The Peoples Temple became Jones and Jones became the Peoples Temple. His followers had already taken in too much of his doctrinaire barbiturate; hence could not save themselves.
On November 18, 1978, at Jonestown in Guyana, Jones, an ordained “Disciples of Christ” pastor, led 900 of his followers to their death. They ingested poison because he asked them to.
Sadly, today we still have churches built around personalities and not on Christ, and are led according to the whim and caprices of their founders and heads.
Why do I need to divulge my personal business to a church because I want to get married? Why do I need to strip myself of all dignity before my church because I want to get married? Only my would-be spouse is entitled to know my medical records and all other details, because I am not getting married to the church.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God’s demand that intending couples do genital examination, as one of the pre-qualifications for getting married in the church, is fascist. It is an exercise of maximum control, and smacks of deliberate arrogance.
Many marriages and relationships have collapsed because of the dictatorship of the church in general. The church must let people live within the boundaries of the principles of Christ, and not on the hunch and foibles of general overseers.
Fredrick is a writer, journalist and media entrepreneur.
He can be reached on Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo