By their zeal to be patriotic, some Zimbabwe Christian churches have forgotten their prime responsibility, which is to love God, comfort the widows, the orphans, and the indigent in the gate.
I speak and write from within the church, our mission in everything we do, is to draw men to Christ.
Our brothers, particularly in the indigenous churches have forgotten to separate themselves from political parties. They cannot be churches, convert themselves to be an arm of a governing party and retain their prophetic role.
Yes, we understand that the prophetic role is unique to Israel, as the priests of Baal were salaried by Jezebel and King Ahab. Therefore, this left only two priests, Elijah, and Elisha, to play the prophetic role.
There is a lot of good done by Zanu PF over the years, but the prophet must condemn the way it was done.
Despite all the pitfalls, Zimbabwe is still top of the list in education, beating Australia, New Zealand, and the UK itself when measured by standardised examinations set by Cambridge and London universities. Give the sinners their due.
The land policy was the righteous thing to do, but was done wickedly to the extent that the advantages may have been erased.
There is a simple explanation. European countries suffer from homelessness because the poor do not have ancestral habitats where they can grow mealies and sweet potatoes without paying rent to a wicked landlord.
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Politicians are by nature crooks; that is what they do for a living. The prophet or the spirit medium served as checks and balances.
In the story of the Gold Mafia, evangelist Uebert Angel tried to juxtapose the two, keeping true to the gospel of Christ while trying to serve political ends. He came out as a liar, a cheat, a seeker of “facilitation money” to introduce some entrepreneurial sinners (gold diggers in the literal sense) to Zimbabwe’s president.
We love sinners so that we may bring them to Christ, but as Brother Angel learned to his great cost, a cozy association with sinners in fact brings the gospel of Christ into disgrace.
But the church cannot keep silent in the face of wrenching iniquity. The Methodists, who have over the last two centuries become the conscience of the nation, in the UK and in the US, are now paying a heavy price for being champions of social gospel.
In England they persuaded women of class to reject sugar in their tea, if the sugar came from slave plantations.
In the US, they made such a stink of slavery that they were denied access to weddings lest they spoil joyous occasions by throwing away tea and sugar grown by slaves.
When I represented Zapu in the early 1970’s, we could always get an audience from Methodists, Roman Catholic liberation theologians like Bishop Hilda Camara of Nicaragua and Revered Dr. Beyers Naude of the World Council of Churches in South Africa.
I was asked to entertain Bishop Abel Muzorewa when he visited South Carolina both to refresh his energy and his spirit after his battles with the white settler regime in the referendum in 1972.
But the price we have paid for this activism is heavy. Norwegian Bishop Ole Bergen described us as follows. (1983).
“We have almost imperceptibly moved to a position which, drawn to its uttermost consequence will end up in a socially defined humanism where faith concepts are used, but where man himself is the acting and redeeming agent.”
That is theological speech. Our Baptist brothers laugh at us social activists and they ask in contempt — Where is your belief in Christ if you spend all your days trying to perfect human behavior? Dost thou not know that man is by nature sinful and that he cannot be redeemed or perfected on this earth?
Over the last fifty years, the Methodists have lost five million members. Social activism, it appears, does not bring converts. The Methodists were well ahead of sister churches in ordaining women pastors and bishops. Women make up 60% of the clergy. It brings into the church people with weird hairdos, inclusive sexual habits and those outcasts who are by nature rebels.
Should I mention that such kind of company, if we keep it, does not enrich our benevolence treasuries. Even as we speak, the Methodists are working with the lowest budget in fifty years.
Embracing and taking ownership of the social gospel did not grow the church. It is possible that a predominantly female clergy brought a special gracious perspective towards the gender wars.
The gender wars.
Johns Hopkins University psychologist Dr. John Money (1965) convinced the Reimer family to bring up their twin boy son David, who had lost his manhood during circumcision, as a girl. The Frankenstein psychologist believed that gender (male/female) could be humanely and socially engineered. At age 15, David realised he was a boy in a girl’s clothes. At 35 he and his twin brother committed suicide.
Nevertheless, since 1965, the General Methodist Conference was presented by a question of whether to accept practicing gay clergy. In 2019, the general conference decided enough was enough, voting by 584 to 534 bishops to affirm that gay life is incompatible with Christian doctrine.
By this time, the Barak Obama administration had accepted gay marriages and a corrupt Supreme Court had concurred. The church hierarchy did not raise their voices.
From gay marriages came trans-gender children fulfilling Money’s theory that gender was a human choice rather than in-born. In 2019, as many as 300 000 US children opted to change their birth gender. At this time, some evil-minded doctors at Vanderbilt University were sucking their lips in anticipation of buckets of money they could make by this gender affirmative surgery. (source-leaked memo).
The bishops, elected for life, and who are supreme when the state conference is not meeting — wanting to receive high honors among sinners and the rulers of the earth, joined in the gender chorus, imagining them to be oppressed by mean spirited exclusivist pharisaic church members.
Ever keen to adopt any new social gospel of the marginalized, the now spoke of inclusivity in the gospel of Christ, grace that that is forgiving unconditionally and “Reconciling Missions.” All the studies before us show that the membership is basically conservative and seems to interpret the Bible literally. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. God created them, man, and woman. Gay life is incompatible with Christian doctrine.
The episcopal leadership, the seminary professors, and board and agency leadership had long departed from the well-known doctrines of the church. Two Methodist bishops are openly gay and other practices have been allowed within the body of Christ.
The issue I am raising is that the clergy have a duty to be prophetic, to condemn evil policies of government, but not to affiliate themselves with any party.
If you do, you exclude from worship those who do not belong to that party. Playing politics kills a church.
- Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. He writes from the US.