What has been observed over the past centuries has shockingly been a sickeningly distorted, or even perverted and bastardized version of the original teachings and principles, as espoused in the Holy Bible.
Henceforth, Christians were now associated with wars, empire-building, brutal persecution and repression of people who were regarded as ‘unbelievers’ (through barbaric Crusades, and Inquisitions), slavery and colonialism, as well as flagrant corruption intended for the enrichment of those in authority.
The focus on greediness and serving self-seeking interests took centre stage.
All of which were in brazen violation of what our Jesus Christ stood from – whose teachings were founded on love (even for our enemies, forgiveness, and not fighting back when attacked), tolerance, the fair and equitable distribution of wealth (with the poor and needy being considered ahead of any one else).
Yet, tragically, this continued willful violation and bastardization of the Christian doctrine has never abated or ebbed over the course of history – but, actually has worsened to shocking levels – as both Church leaders and their followers have become entranced by unparalleled greed for worldly pleasures, arguably to a far greater extent than those whom they accuse of being ‘worldly and sinners’.
Which explains why Christians have nowadays become a laughing stock – with reports of them being reduced to performing the most bizarre and outrageous acts, often at the hands of their pastors, all in the hope of some worldly riches.
It is embarrassing seeing how today, most Christians view being ‘blessed by God’ as more to do with receiving financial and material gains – than, a life of purity and holiness, through Christ Jesus.
In fact, as an avid and devout Christian myself, most people who have asked me which ‘church’ I attended, have been left speechless, after the answer they received was a resounding and emphatic, ‘NONE’ – since, I had lost faith in any of the Christian organizations that I know of – who, are no different in the manner in which they do not religiously stick to the words of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, as written in the Bible.
I would rather pray and study the Word of God alone (or, with my family) – whilst, being directly guided by the Holy Spirit for the ‘teaching of all things, and leading into all truths…with wisdom, understanding and knowledge’.
Such glaring weaknesses in institutionalized Christianity is why they are so easy fodder for malicious brutal and even murderous political elite and the powerful – who have had their way in manipulating, at will, some church leaders and their congregants, into supporting their nefarious agendas…from slavery and colonialism, to dictatorial and kleptomaniac regimes.
No wonder, we in Zimbabwe, watch in utter bewilderment and disgust, as the country’s ruling elite – whose track record is marred by the disgraceful looting of national resources, as well as barbaric attacks on the citizenry’s fundamental human rights – being overwhelmingly embraced by some sections of the Christian community, as our ‘God-chosen leaders whom we should support’.
Well, as much as the Bible does implore us to submit ourselves to those in authority, and pray for our leaders – it never says, we needed to support them in their savage blood-thirsty quest for power and self-aggrandizement.
Let us be unequivocally clear with each other here – for those who may not know this – I also pray for our leaders, each and every day, for wisdom to govern fairly and lovingly, both at local and national level, as well as for those in authority in companies, public and private institutions, and non-governmental sector.
In fact, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s flight path passes over my house in Redcliff – as such, whenever he rambles past, I take the time to lift my hands towards his helicopter in prayer, for Jehovah God to provide him wisdom to lead in love and justice, and protection from all forces of darkness that may misguide him.
I similarly, pray for the people of Zimbabweans, wherever they may be, for God to hear their prayers, cries and anguish – to heal their pain, and give them respite and comfort.
In the same vein, I proceed to pray for God to provide Zimbabweans with a leader who truly fears Him, who is faithful and true to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and remove the current leader, should he continue to disregard the dictates of good governance – which results in the unrelenting poverty and suffering of millions of Zimbabweans.
In so doing, I genuinely believe those should be our prayers for our leaders and country.
I still submit myself to those in authority – but, also keeping in mind that, in today’s democracy (which is in tandem with our own constitution in Zimbabwe) this authority is now derived from the people – as contrasted to biblical kings, who were directly appointed by Jehovah Himself, through personal communication with His prophets.
That is why, leaders of that era, had no need to go around God’s followers, pleading for votes – since Jehovah’s word was final.
Thus, our local and national elected leaders derive their authority from the people – through electoral processes – and, are answerable to those same people.
Therefore, as much as I may submit myself to our political leaders – I, nonetheless, also hold them to account for their every deed and misdeed.
In a democracy – the citizenry are like the shareholders of a company, who appoint who is given the authority to run their corporation on a day-to-day basis (the president, members of parliament, and ward councillors) – as such, the real bosses in the country are the citizens.
Note that, even during the biblical times of kings directly appointed by God – they were still expected to adhere to the highest standards of loyalty and conformity to the statutes and commandments of Jehovah – such that, acts of disobedience, adultery, idolatry, theft, murder, and lying were totally unacceptable and frowned upon…leading to kings like Saul, David, and Ahab facing the wrath of God.
This means that, indeed we need to submit ourselves to those in authority – but, that does not mean we necessarily have to support them.
Even Jesus Christ submitted Himself to Pontius Pilate, and others leaders (both Jewish and Roman) during His arrest and trial – never resisted capture (even rebuking Peter for attacking one of the Roman officers), did not fight back when being viciously and ruthlessly whipped, as well as when He was sentenced to death, and crucified.
However, are we to honestly believe that, as Christ’s followers – had Pontius Pilate (who issued the decree for Him to be killed) were to run for public office, we were expected to support and vote for him?
Let us also remember that, Pilate was notorious throughout the region as a bloodthirsty callous leader – with the blood of so many people on his hands.
If not, surely why should today’s Christians be enticed into voting for a leader who has more or less the same dastardly track record?
Are our Christians in Zimbabwe – especially, those from the Apostolic Sect (Mapostori) – not being led down a path of evil, by being roped into supporting a regime that has committed such egregious sins against millions of the country’s citizenry, causing indescribable suffering and poverty, and irreparable harm to their very souls?
Would this not be endorsing the devil?
Of course, this should not be particularly surprising, in a world where – ever since the institutionalization of the Christian Church by Constantine the Great, some 1,700 years ago – greed and evil has apparently taken a firm grip on our beautiful faith, as most Church leaders and their congregants can now be bought for a price, by brutal oppressive kleptomaniac political leaders.
The spirit of Judas Iscariot still persists to this very day!
It has become very difficult to separate who really is ‘in the world, but not of this world’, and who is ‘of the world’ – as the difference between the two has become blurry.
- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email: [email protected]