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For there is no authority except from God

28 Aug 2020 at 18:55hrs | Views
After taking a lengthy Covid 19 induced sabbatical from church, yours truly had an opportunity to attend one this week which was characterised by a blast sermon which was topical, intellectually and spiritually stimulating.

Upon reading the so-called pastoral letter from the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference (ZCBC), and backup statements from the like-minded church organisations, there is a temptation to draw conclusions that every church is up in arms against the ZANU PF Government. There is a temptation to believe that all churches have abandoned their lanes to join politics.

Certainly not, this writer was convinced that there are some churches that still maintain their lanes, and are not lost to their spiritual mandate. These churches are still very solid to resist manipulation by politicians and the imperial powers that want to entrench their hegemony in weaker States.

The reading for the day came from Romans Chapter 13. It is interesting to note that the Holy Bible contains every counsel that gives guidance to human relations and interactions. Unfortunately those who should know better choose to play ignorant.

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established," reads verse 1 of Romans Chapter 13.   "The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted," continues verse 2 of the same chapter.
With this self-explanatory verse, the pastor then went on to teach his flock on the virtue of submitting to the governing authorities. All that the writer wished for was the presence of Bishop Ndlovu and his crew.

The sermon left this writer wondering if the ZCBC and the other church organisations which were dragged into signing the pastoral letter, read from the same Bible, and worship the same God that every Christian is worshipping. The ZCBC is rebelling against what God has instituted.
Church and politics must never mix for they are like oil and water, and are strange bedfellows. The duty of politicians is to create a conducive environment for religious liberty to prevail. Conversely, the duty of the church, according to the Bible, is to pray for the leaders who were ordained by God. Unfortunately some church organisations have chosen to abuse the flourishing religious liberty in the country, to engage in nefarious activities that are at cross purpose with their existence.

Zimbabwe is a country of tremendous religious diversity, thus its constitution recognises, guarantees and protects religious liberty. Unlike in other jurisdictions where there are religious intolerance and persecutions, in Zimbabwe, it is rather the religion that persecutes the State. You may recall an apostolic sect led by Madzibaba Ishmael which had the audacity to attack the state security apparatus.

The Catholic Church leadership has always been a willing vassal in the Western project of dethroning a constitutionally elected and Godly ordained leaders of Zimbabwe. Pius Ncube at one time made some shocking revelations that he was praying for the death of the Head of State, former president Robert Mugabe, notwithstanding that the later was a parishioner of the Catholic church.

The West has been using the church as a useful proxy in its quest for a regime change in Zimbabwe. The State cannot stand akimbo while the church straddles in its lane.

In response to the bishops, the President told the church and any other interested organisations that they are very free to form their own political parties and play the game of politics without wearing the church robe. It is within their democratic rights to form a political party. Some of these clerics have more interest in politics than pastoral work. It's not a crime but what is sinister is to pluralise your ambitions and drag the whole church in pursuit of those personal desires.

A player has to defend his team. Even if the striker of the rival team is his father, he just has to tackle him in the spirit of the game. The bishops must not cry foul when they receive a political, for they have become more political than the politicians themselves. Politics and church are risky things to do at the same time. A lesson should be drawn from Archbishop Simon of Sudbury who as far back as 1381, mixed politics with church, the same error that our bishops are making. The insurgent peasants regarded him as one of the principal authors of their woes; they took him to Tower Hill, cut off his head and played football with it.  

The bishops have been supporting sanctions and their political statements have also helped in shaping the Western decisions to sustain sanctions on the country. The poor are watching and are very aware of the source of their misery. Time will come when the insurgent peasant will say enough is enough.

The bishops fail to realise that they are the greatest beneficiaries of the peace and tranquillity prevailing in the country. They cannot freely worship in a country where there is political instability. The botched #31July protests which culminated in the arrest of its architects and the subsequent crafting of the pastoral letter had great potential to cause political upheaval.

The arrest of the instigators of violent demonstrations is one way government maintains the peace which makes it conducive for the bishops to worship. The bishops must instead support government in this regard and should preach peace.

After the pastoral letter, the media interviewed several churches and even some flocks from the churches that the authors ostensibly represent, to establish if they share the same view. Alas, that letter came from lone rangers.  Not many share their sponsored view. There is even a plan afoot by some Catholic Church bishops and priests to write a petition to the Vatican, distancing themselves from the pastoral letter.

Even the instigators of the violent protests did not have the sanction of the critical mass. They did not speak for the general populace but for an invisible hand which, nevertheless, exposed itself by crying more than the bereaved. People are just captured in the egoistic projects of some powers.

Source - Tafara Shumba
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