Denomination replies to defectors' accusations

It is all lies, say church leaders

The Daily Nation/January 19, 2000
By Kaplich Barsito

What does the church leadership say about the accusations of high-handedness levelled against it?

"It is all lies," says the Rev. Rutivi. "These are people who have left the church and you can expect them to justify their departure."

The fact that Musau has started his own church, says the Rev. Rutivi, is clear testimony that he left because of other ambitions and not because something was wrong with the church. The Rev. Rutivi says it is not true that his church claims to be the only one sheltering the people of God.

"We have never said so and we cannot preach it because God has called different churches for different reasons. Each church is called to fulfil a particular purpose," the clergyman says.

Clement Kaula, the spokesman for the Gospel Assembly, is firm that the church has no unseemly practices.

"You have talked with me for the last half-hour, do I look or sound brain-washed?" he asked after an interview at Utalii Hotel.

He admitted that people have sold property and even taken loans to give money to the church "But out of their own persuasions and conviction and not coercion of any nature.

"We tell the members to pay their tithe (10 per cent of their income) which is compulsory according to the Scriptures. They can also give a free-will offering of whatever amount they desire," he says.

Kaula says each time there is a need in the church which requires money, like the putting up a building, members are asked to make donations.

On allegations of doctrines which have destroyed marriages, Kaula says a woman has an equal right to determine her place of worship as a man. "If a husband decides to leave the church for whatever reason, the wife should not be forced to abandon her faith to follow him." v Kaula says they do not match-make for those who want to marry. "Unless, of course, someone is shy and asks a church elder to assist in approaching a young woman in the church, then that will be at a personal and not official level."

The claims that the church is out to wreck marriages is false he says, because sustaining strong marriages is at the core oft he church's teachings.

Gospel Assembly does not control people, cutting them off from relatives, according to Kaula. All that the church does is to give them spiritual nourishment. The strong attachment they have to the church is a show that they are happy, the spokesman says.

He admits, however, that marriage certificates are not issued on time due to administrative flaws in the church.

"We normally do not issue them on the wedding day because we like to type them nicely, so we tell people to come for them after a week. Sometimes they come and find them not ready."

He says it is not true that the church uses the absence of certificates as a way of controlling marriages.

Couples who have since left the church are free to collect their marriage certificates, Kaula adds.

Webmaster's thoughts:

I'd like to comment specifically on Ritivi's quote:

"It is all lies," says the Rev. Rutivi. "These are people who have left the church and you can expect them to justify their departure."

What Alois Ritivi fails to note is that this is a commonplace occurrence for the Gospel Assembly Churches, yet it is NOT commonplace for other churches. In other words, most people that leave a church do not accuse it of being a cult, or using controlling tactics. For example, how many Lutheran ex-members or Methodist ex-members or [insert almost any church here] ex-members do you know that have accused their church of being a cult simply to "justify their departure"?

When one examines the logic of Rev. Ritivi's statement, it is easy to see that it doesn't add up.

The bottom line is that usually where there's smoke, there's fire.


To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.