I have often been so hard on the Christian community, for their apparent indifference and docility in the face of a relentless, concerted, and evil campaign of terror and injustice callously unleashed upon the defenceless and vulnerable people of Zimbabwe, by their own leaders – who are mandated by God Almighty, to protect, care, and love those that they lead, in the same fashion that our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus loves us…that He even gave His own life, in order for us to have our own.
My grief is understandable, as what manner of a believer and follower of this same Jesus would look aside, or insipidly watch, whilst his or her own brethren and sistren is stripped bare of every inch of his or her dignity, self-respect, and honour – by a heartless opportunistic ruling elite, who have no qualms at all, looting the nations’ vast resources for their personal aggrandizement, yet the majority of the citizenry is cast into poverty, and abandoned to the ravenous caprices of the world?
Can anyone – who lamely remains silent, at the clear sight of the murderous, brutal, cold-blooded persecution vented against those who dare oppose these obvious horrendous crimes against humanity – honestly claim to be a lover of Christ…the same Jesus who commanded us to “love one another as I have loved you” – and, how is that love expressed: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12,13).
Indeed, it is undeniable that undertaking such a risky task of speaking out, and standing up, against the heinous barbarity of our ruthless leaders, is extremely dangerous – but, is that not what Christ expects of us: “to lay down one’s life for his friends”, and are our fellow Zimbabweans not our friends?
Was that not what Jesus’, and His Apostles’, lives were all about on this earth? Were they not persecuted for their brave and firm stance on doing God’s work? Did Christ Himself not say that, all those who did His work would be persecuted, and be killed?
So, why are we, as Christians, so afraid?
Could this mean that we are not genuine Christians – who fearlessly obey his commandment to “open your mouth for the speechless…and plead for the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8,9)?
Are those who mock and ridicule Christians correct after all, when they rightly accuse us of merely pretending to worship Jehovah God, solely due to our own insatiable lusts, as we are simply after the promises of wealth and affluence, without playing our part in serving and obeying Him?
God said, we should “open our mouths, and plead” for the voiceless, oppressed, and poor – not solely praying for them, or donating aid – because we are obliged to submit to His every command, and not place our own rules and standards, usually that we feel more comfortable and safer with.
If we are too cowardly to fearlessly confront evil, then we have no business claiming to be true followers of Christ, who have been anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit – as, even Simon Peter, who denied Jesus three times, due to crippling fear, but once anointed by the Holy Spirit, feared no one, and spoke boldly for Jesus, even in the face of death.
So, why can today’s Christians not do the same? Are we afraid of losing the little comforts and luxuries that we have – just like the ruler who had come to Jesus asking what he should do to inherit eternal life, and He answered, “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me”, however, the man became very sorrowful, for he was very rich, and did not want to let go of these, for Christ (Luke 18:18-23).
That is the same character which we have today as Christians. We are cosmetic Christians, who are not prepared, and actually become sorrowful, when the truth of what it truly takes to be a follower of Christ hits us.
We are all too prepared to be self-righteous and self-conceited hypocrites, when we brazenly attack all others we consider to be acting against God’s will, or whom we label sinners – yet, can not utter a single word of rebuke, when our own leaders are busy stealing, killing, and destroying our livelihoods and nation.
Honestly, what is worse – although, every sin is equal in the eyes of Jehovah – between that drunkard we are always criticizing, or a government that loots uncountable trillions of dollars worth of our nation’s resources, impoverishes millions of citizens and turns them into beggars, whilst brutalizing any perceived opponents?
If we are cowardly to “open our mouths, and plead” – something clearly not to be expected of any Holy Spirit anointed child of God – then, at least…at the very least…can we pray for a better leadership than what we currently have.
Of course, the Holy Bible also commands us to respect our leaders – however, this merely means, “treat with consideration, and honour”, yet, never equated to not holding them accountable.
Can each and very Christian – both Zimbabwean and non-Zimbabwean – please, pray, in our individual homes, for God to set us free from the sadistic and dark bondages and shackles of this ruthless regime.
As with anything else – for instance, crime, or diseases such as COVID-19, HIV, and so forth – merely praying for a better life, without the cause of the problem being removed from its grip, is unworkable. If there is a serial rapists, robber, or murderer in our neighborhood, would we not pray for him to move away, or be caught and brought to justice?
So, why not a brutal, repressive, and uncaring ruling elite – which, has turned the lives of millions of those they are supposed to lead, protect, and care for, into an endless nightmare, fraught with untold suffering, tears, and death?
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263733399640 / +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.