I am a bondservant of Christ Jesus, and faithfully abide by the Holy Bible in what it commands us to do.
One of those things is that, a good Christian, submits to authority – of which, I humbly do.
Submitting entails placing oneself under the authority of another – and, indeed, I am under the authority of the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, led by President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
Yet, submission does not mean, and has never meant, subservience – as the two are worlds apart, since the latter is defined as obsequiously submissive, or in other words, being servile, and a slave.
The same Apostles of Jesus Christ who penned those epistles, which command us to “submit to authority”, were arrested on numerous occasions, by their own authorities, for disobeying orders not to preach in the name of our Lord and Savior.
In fact, most of them were eventually executed by the authorities for their constant defying of this order – which, clearly shows that, submitting and subservience are totally different.
If today’s Christian church leaders can not tell the difference, then that is disturbingly worrisome.
What then, are they teaching their congregants about “wives submitting to their husbands”, if they confuse submitting and subservience?
I shudder to even think about the prospect!
Do they teach wives to keep quiet when their husbands savagely beat them up, or brutally keep them in bondage and are unreasonably controlling, or when they spend family resources wastefully?
It is highly probable that this is, in fact, what they teach their followers.
Why do I say so?
Well, it is quite simple, really!
Why else, do our church leaders not speak truth to power here in Zimbabwe?
Why are we constantly bombarded with news reports of church leaders who appear more interested in dining and wining with the country’s president, taking selfies with him, and receiving his dodgy biography – than actually holding him to account for his administration’s grand theft of public resources, unfulfilled promises, woeful incompetence, and barbaric human rights abuses?
Do these church leaders even read those Holy Bibles they carry around?
Do they know that John the Baptist (described by Jesus Christ as the greatest prophet of all) met his death at the hands of King Herod, after boldly rebuking him for committing adultery, through his “marriage” to his brother’s wife, Herodias?
The prophet Nathan stood before King David and reprimanded him for his adulterous relationship with one of his subjects’ wife, Bathsheba – in which, he (David) killed the poor husband (Uriah), in an attempt cover up his dastardly act, that had resulted in pregnancy.
Was Daniel not cast into a den of lions for defying the king’s commands for no one to pray to Jehovah God?
The list goes on and on – but, I think I have clearly made my point.
For as long as our church leaders in Zimbabwe do not speak truth to power, and condemn the shameless looting and plundering of our nation’s abundant resources, the endless repression and persecution of voices of dissent, and merciless marginalization and impoverishment of the country’s citizenry – then, they are, in no way, truly representative of Jesus Christ, and the Christian community.
We now need a new breed of genuine church leaders, who are truly driven by the Holy Spirit – and serving Jehovah God with their hearts, minds, and spirits – who bravery stand up for justice, as God Himself hates the suffering of His people.
Those placed in positions of authority are there to serve the people, as representing God – and, should they work contrary to His commands, the Church (both church leaders and the entire Christian body) needs to fearless stand up, and speak out, against such evil, even if that means being persecuted, arrested, or killed.
Why should we be any different from the biblical prophets who obeyed God over Man, and placed their lives on the line in their servitude to Jehovah?
We need to do the same here in Zimbabwe – just as the prophet Elijah, who stood up against King Ahab, and his wife Jezebel, with their hordes of false prophets, who appeared more interested in their own selfish ambitions than serving the true God.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +26373339964, or email: email@example.com