AFTER taking a lengthy Covid-19 induced sabbatical from church, this writer had an opportunity to attend this week.
The blast sermon was topical – intellectually and spiritually stimulating.
Upon reading the so-called pastoral letter from the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), and backup statements from like-minded church organisations, I was tempted to conclude that most churches are up in arms against the Zanu PF-led Government.
There is a temptation to believe that most churches have abandoned their lanes to join politics.
However, this writer is convinced that there are some churches that are still maintaining their spiritual mandate. These churches are still very solid in resisting manipulation by politicians and the imperial powers that want to entrench their hegemony in weaker states.
During last week’s service, the reading for the day came from Romans Chapter 13.
It is interesting to note that the Holy Bible contains wise 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. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,” reads Romans 13 verses 1 to 2.
With this self-explanatory verse, the pastor taught us on the virtue of submitting to the governing authorities.
The writer really wished for the Catholic Bishops’ presence so that they could listen to this teaching.
The sermon left me wondering if the ZCBC and the other church organisations that were dragged into supporting the pastoral letter reads from the same Bible, and worship the same God that every other 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 one Madzibaba Ishmael, which had the audacity to attack the State security apparatus.
The Roman Catholic Church leadership has always been a willing vassal in the Western project of seeking to dethrone a constitutionally elected and Godly ordained Zimbabwean Government.
At one time, Pius Ncube made some shocking revelations that he was praying for the death of the then head of State, former President Robert Mugabe, notwithstanding that the later was a parishioner of the same church.
The West has been using the church as a useful proxy in its quest for regime change in Zimbabwe. The State cannot stand akimbo while the church straddles in its lane.
In response to the bishops, President Mnangagwa told the church leaders that they are free to form their own political parties and play the game of politics without wearing the church robes. It is within their democratic rights to form a political party.
Some of these clerics have more interest in politics than pastoral work and therefore going into politics full time is not a crime. What is sinister is to pluralise your ambitions and drag the whole church into politics as you pursue personal desires.
A player has to defend his team. Even if the striker of the rival team is your father, you still have to tackle him in the spirit of the game. The bishops must therefore not cry foul when they receive a political tackle, for they have become more political than the politicians themselves.
Politics and religion must not be mixed.
A lesson must be drawn from Archbishop Simon of Sudbury. As far back as 1381, he 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 kicked it as a football.
The bishops have been supporting sanctions and their political statements might also help in shaping the Western decisions to sustain sanctions on the country. The poor are watching and are very much aware of the source of their misery. The 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 had great potential to cause political upheaval. 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.
The arrest of the instigators of the violent demonstrations makes it conducive for the bishops to gather and worship. The bishops must therefore support Government and preach peace.
After the release of the pastoral letter, various media houses interviewed several church members that the authors of that letter claimed to represent. It was established that the letter came from lone rangers, not many share their sponsored views. In fact, some Roman Catholic Church bishops and priests intend to write a petition to the Vatican, distancing themselves from the pastoral letter.
It is clear that some people are captured in the egoistic projects of some invisible powers.