Jamaica Evangelical Alliance says events at Pathways International were evil and demonicSunday, October 24, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Evangelical Alliance (JEA) has described as “demonic and evil” the series of events at the St James-based Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries on October 17 that left three people dead and the disgraced pastor Kevin Smith and several members of the organisation in police custody.
“If we are true to the word of God, we must admit that the religious ritual in Montego Bay is not Christianity. What went down is evil! It is clearly demonic and the Christian Church has a responsibility to confront evil with the help of the Holy Spirit and the word of God,” the JEA said in a statement.
It is also critical of Church leaders who it said seek to exploit their congregation for personal gain.
“It is extremely sad that under the guise of Church, the misuse and abuse of authority has taken a very devastating toll in broken lives and congregations. It is unfortunate that there are incidents where some pastors end up feeding off people, using them to meet their needs or make up for their vulnerabilities. This behaviour is condemned in the Bible…,” the alliance noted.
“We firmly believe that this incident represents a very serious and disturbing development in Jamaica. The fact that three persons were killed and three others hospitalised in the name of religion, is enough to send reason reeling,” it added.
According to the JEA, there is an urgent need to examine the widening Christian culture in Jamaica, with its temptations toward fame and status, feeding into the problem of abusive church leaders.
It reminded that the way the Bible depicts the church, Christ is the head “and we are part of his body”.
The alliance explained that “This means that there is a system involved, but the system is a system that is supposed to follow its head. The congregation has some responsibility for keeping the system healthy, mainly by worshipping Christ and him alone. The church also needs to pray for its leaders, that God will uphold them in godly leadership; not for the sake of gaining the material and reputational blessings that some have come to love so much, but for God himself to be honoured above all.”
Meanwhile, the JEA has commended the members of the security forces who it noted responded promptly to the incident thus preventing further disaster.
It said it remains committed to doing all it can to educate people concerning deception and warning signs of cultic practices.
“We also pray for the unfortunate members of the movement, who have been traumatised and for those who have lost their loved ones,” it said.