Reverend Morris says the church has failed retrenched workers and Barbadians in general
An outspoken Anglican cleric says hundreds of the churches in Barbados should be shut down, as he accused them of spreading false messages and failing to respond adequately to the state’s retrenchment of thousands of public public sector workers.
Reverend Charles Morris told Barbados TODAY some of the teachings have no place in the 21st century and are merely aimed at driving fear into citizens.
“I feel 60 per cent of the churches in Barbados want closing . . . and right now I’m being conservative with the sum 60 per cent because they are keeping our people back,” he said, charging that some priests were more concerned with titles than Barbadians.
“They find some sort of solace in the Book of Revelations, which has nothing to do with burning in hell and the end of the world. They drive fear into people’s hearts by telling them that God is soon coming and they know that is not going to happen in the way that they are saying.”
It is not the first time the cleric has spoken out against the teachings of the church, having taken the controversial stance that pre-marital sex is not a sin and is simply part of human nature – a position he maintained in today’s candid interview.
Morris persisted in his harsh criticism of the teachings of some clergymen whom he accused of preaching fallacies regarding healing services and prophecies.
“The great lie of the church is these healing services they have . . . They know they’re not healing these persons yet they continue to glamorize it and I’m saying that the church, in that way, has become irrelevant to our society,” he contended.
Insisting that God works through nurses, doctors and others to heal people, and prayers for healing can be said at home for any individual, the priest added: “I am saying, without any degree of hesitation, these healing services do not work. They are lies. That’s a falsehood of the church. I believe healing is done through prayers, but not the way it is done here.”
“You have all of these services and they come and tell you ‘you must pay tithes’, and they make you feel that you’re breaking some religious law if you don’t pay tithes. Tithing does not mean just some monetary donation. You can tithe of your time. If you go to a church religiously every Sunday and beautify the church by fixing flowers, that is your tithe,” he added.
Another bone of contention for the cleric is the church’s perceived silence on the layoff of thousands of Government workers earlier this year.
He said it was time for the church to become a force for change in the island by speaking out on political matters.
“The church has failed in its ministry during this economic times. How often have we heard the church condemning what is going on? The church has to become political . . . Check [the Bible]; the prophets were political, they appointed kings and [removed] them. The church should challenge leaders to resign; if you’re not doing the right thing, go!” he added.
When contacted this evening, representatives of the Barbados Christian Council and the Barbados Evangelical Association deferred comment.