We need to wake up, stand up, speak out-(08-02-07

BY SIHLANGU TSHUMA
"Too heavenly minded, you of no earthly good," are the lyrics of an old country song. It makes reference to Christians who are absorbed by the thought of the "Sweet by and by", while turning a blind eye to the realities about them. They pretend they hear no evil and s


ee no evil. It is not a secret that Christians are the largest religious group in Zimbabwe. Christians both devoted and syncretic claim a 75% slice of the population.
This props the church on a vantage platform and gives it a pre-eminence that Zanu (PF) would have to kill to achieve. The potency of the Christian body has is undeniable, yet its force lies dormant behind the pulpits. Our silence is not only deafening but lethal. It affords the despotic Mugabe and his cronies a false feeling of exoneration.
It is not my intention to denigrate the covert service of selfless Christian men and women who pray and labour where the Government has gone AWOL. I pay tribute to many unsung heroes who look after the AIDS orphans and perform a manifold of humanitarian acts. These men and women go about their altruistic errands quietly with no pay, hoping that the one who sees in secret will reward them on that latter day. They do their best to keep clear of the politics of the day, while the masters of tyranny do their best to trash the nation. How long shall these dedicated individuals shall be made to clean someone else’s mess?
Christians have always clung to the cliché, politics is a dirty game. But when ambulances are requiring people to provide their own fuel, it ceases to be a game. When the parents watch their beloved son bleeding to the point of death with the hospital refusing to do anything without the admission fee it transcends the realm of politics.
The Zimbabwean situation is now a moral issue. Hubert H. Humphrey says ” the moral test of the government is how that government treats those in the dawn of life, the children; those in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life, the sick and the needy.” Our Christian folk need to wake up and smell the stench of death in the air and stand up to this self-indulgent government.
We ought to have read the lips of Christ when He prayed, “Father I pray that you do not take them from this world; but keep them safe.” Although He had earlier promised to come back and take them to His paradise home, he nevertheless was pragmatic about the time frame of the whole process. Christ knew that His followers would have to occupy the earth for some time. He however had deep concerns about their safety while they remained with so many tyrants around them. But He also expected them to be influential when he likened them to salt. Most celebrated biblical characters were statesmen who influenced the course of history. Therefore while we are still on earth we need to utilise the influence that has been entrusted to us.
A generation is fast disappearing while “good people” fold their hands and watch. Let us be warned that if we do nothing we are guilty of sins of omission. Christianity is a fully spiritual and a practical religion. Christ saved people from their spiritual challenges as well as their physical circumstances. No sensible Zimbabwean can suggest blood-letting as a solution. Christians can do it without the might of the sword or gun.
I cringe at the thought of the subsequent generation asking, “what did the church do?” The people will lament like Ian Smith, “We were never beaten by our enemies, but we were betrayed by our friends.” I want to be there when history books shall be written about how the church stopped the oppressor in his tracks.
It is not by chance that Christians form three quarters of the Zimbabwean population. We can liberate Zimbabwe, because the masses can subdue any establishment.
I draw much inspiration from Christians who stood up to be counted. William Wiberforce, MartinLuther King, Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, just to name a few. Pius Ncube will not do it alone.


What this dying world could use is a willing Man of God
Who dares to go against the grain and works without applause;
A man who’ll raise the shield of Faith, protecting what is pure;
Whose love is tough and gentle; a man whose word is sure.
God doesn’t need an Orator who knows what just to say;
He doesn’t need authorities to reason Him away;
He doesn’t need an army to guarantee a win;
He just needs a Few Good Men.
Men full of Compassion, who Laugh and Love and Cry-
Men who’ll face Eternity and aren’t afraid to die-
Men who’ll fight for Freedom and Honour once again-
He just needs a Few Good Men.



Post published in: Opinions

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