Leaders of the church are being called out for sex crimes. The Jamaica Observer has spoken to multiple church leaders that have said that they are considering the term limit and decision making for the government to find those pastors degrading the church.
Multiple churches have refused to relate with Umbrella Groups and insisted on staying independent, these churches are considered to be mistrustful and ostracised. However, others want to see continuous advising and proper training of these leaders and pastors to help to keep them in check.
Dr. Peter Garth, who is the Chairman of Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches (JUGC) said yesterday that all churches in Jamaica must be registered or corporate by the Act of Parliament. The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches speaks for most of the Christian people in Jamaica
Dr. Peter Garth said “I am very nervous when churches do not want to be registered and want to stay under the radar, and doing it in the name of religion, We need to take a serious look. I would rubbish any argument that being registered impinges on religious freedoms. We must put ourselves in a position where we can be scrutinized.”
Many churches feel as if the Registration of the state law passed down is a way for the Government to impede the happenings of the church including the taxing of the offerings and tithes.
He outlined that the church leaders who are to provide proper care for others especially the children are the ones causing the shame and sexual abuse. Rev. Garth says one abuse case for him is too much. Churches that refuse to join the JUGC are the ones committing these abuses on children. He continues to push for a change by adding: As part of the solution, I am thinking that leadership and laity must speak up and speak out when they see signs of any form of corruption.
Dr. Garth Explained that most of the pastors just open a corner church on the road with little or no knowledge, he also expresses that, they break away from regular church after claiming that they got a vision. He also mentioned that anyone nowadays can call themselves pastor.
The head of Jamaica Pentecostal Union Apostolic (JPUA) is in full agreement with all churches being registered and Pastors being fully assessed in keeping with the proper doctrine, social and spiritual behavior.
In the interview with the Observer, he went on to outlined that if they are registered under the JUGC The Pastor/Leader will tread carefully knowing that they have limited time to stay in office. Because most times persons who are pastors stay there for a long time, they tend to get comfortable and complacent and may step out of line.
On the other hand, Church of God in Jamaica executive chairman, Reverend Adinair Jones shares how his church attains responsibility He said they have a system of credentialing, a system of monitoring, and supervision. When there is a report of misconduct, or even gossiping regarding the character of one of our pastors or leader in the church, they respond immediately.
He further told The Jamaica Observer that he has good reason to believe that the person may be culpable, whether by admission or otherwise hence we have to implement proper discipline. When someone is in the wrong he/she should be removed from their position immediately or placed on probation.
He believes we need a good program in which the country can have a good standard for healthy churches in the environment.