More and more Kenyans are getting irked by modern day evangelical pastors conferring many tittles on themselves. Even without being officially ordained, many of ‘men of God’ – who should know better about humility – insist on being addressed as Reverend, Bishop, Prophet, or Dr, among others.
In some instances, a pastor could even squeeze all the aforementioned tittles into his name, making it a mouthful. Currently, the most abused tittle is ‘Dr’, with every Tom, Dick and Harry who preaches, insisting on being addressed as such.
Some argue it is a mockery to those who – in all reality – are actually doctors. And that it leaves a lot to be desired about those believed to command highest moral credentials.
“I know the guy at the hospital is a doctor. I also know that a pastor calling themselves ‘Dr’ is either delusional or up to no good,” Njogu Njoroge, a Nairobian, says.
The urge to prefix one’s name with ‘Dr’ is a phenomenon seen with Christian outfits of recent days.
In the good old days one had to choose between the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and a few Baptist congregations.
Thanks to freedom of worship, the modern Christian has thousands of bizarre options – from ‘Beard of Christ Church’ to ‘Feet of fire Deliverance church’ among many other church names.
“Often, pastors in these churches call themselves ‘Dr’. Yet some have never seen the inside of a lecture hall,” says Dan Opiyo, a graduate of History and a lover of Philosophy.
Margaret Wanjiru, founder of Jesus Is Alive Ministries (JIAM), has first-hand experience of what it feels like to be outed as a fake ‘Dr’.
Post 2008, when Wanjiru first became MP, her church referred to her as Hon Bishop Dr Margaret Wanjiru.