via Of Christians, Zimbabwe and the world by Tanonoka Joseph Whande | SW Radio Africa Monday, April 14, 2014
All religions are founded on faith.
The absolute faith in something we cannot prove is the essence and the power of religion.
Faith is a powerful, personal state of mind. Once we truly believe, we are ready to put our lives on the line to protect our faith.
Belief is all it takes.
With faith we do not even need to prove the spiritual being that we believe in. Faith, like trust, cannot be demanded; it is earned. The absence or presence of faith has destroyed countries, governments, people and families because faith is a very personal thing.
If I believe you, I have faith in you. If I have faith in you, I believe you.
It is that simple but not that easy. Faith is a disciple of belief.
The power of faith lies in the strong belief in something that we are unable to comprehend yet that we know is part of us.
Throughout history, Christians have carried the burden on behalf of mankind and this includes people of other religions.
Jesus Christ came before Mohammed.
Even the Koran recognises Jesus, “the son of Mary”, although only as a prophet.
Be that as it may and being just Tanonoka Whande, I have issues with my Christian leaders and leaders of those other faiths.
Heaven is not State House, never mind how much we waste to decorate it.
Our goal is beyond the opulence of the stupidity we see around us where our leaders can extract milk from dead cows. You see, to defecate, we have no choice but to bend our knees, otherwise it is a disaster. It is a requirement of nature and no amount of comfort will exonerate anyone from this.
Yet, today, I find it ironic that the very basis and strengths of Christianity are the very ones used against it to weaken it.
Christianity is under attack and, surprisingly, our Christian leaders are bowing to politicians with individual interests.
I love the unfailing tranquillity of expectation that only faith can bring. I never doubted the instillation of hope in those expectations. Hope, like desire to revenge, keeps us alive.
Because of its power to forgive and its tolerance, Christianity is being abused around the world; Christianity appears to be presiding over its own demise.
I fear that Christianity is being made to backtrack on many of its values to appease other sectors of our world community.
The Bible is now being deliberately misinterpreted to suit people and activities that once existed outside of the purity of Christianity.
Yes, as a Christian, I feel cheapened when a government passes a law saying it is all well for a man to ask another man to turn around and bend over so he can do unto him what Mugabe has done unto Zimbabwe for 34 years.
Chanetsa chinyiko nhai veduwe?
On a flight back from South America, Pope Francis had an audience with reporters on his flight and the subject of homosexuality came up.
“Who am I to judge?” he was widely quoted as saying.
I honestly could not believe it. I remember feeling betrayed.
If the Pope cannot make a judgement to reiterate the teachings of the Bible, of which he is custodian, apostle, curator and pupil, then who should? The Pope is the ombudsman of religion; I still hope he was misquoted.
Is Christianity sacrificing its values to please certain worldly individuals and nations? Why has the Bible suddenly become conciliatory over homosexuality?
The Word of God is permanent and is not affected by the revolution or evolution of humankind.
The Word was written before motor cars, before piped water, jet planes, Nike shoes, cellphones, and before Microsoft. The world will change but the Word cannot change to accommodate worldly developments.
The spirit does not evolve. We strive to fit the Word; the Word does not strive to fit us.
Christians are being brutalised in countries of other faiths across the world and they continue to be abused.
It amazes me that no Christian leadership is vocal about it. Not one.
I am not crazy.
Apart from South Africa’s betrayal of its cultural values, Africa does not appear ready to espouse homosexuality as a human right. We have cultural values that need to be protected. Imagine Tsvangirai and Mugabe going from rural village to another telling men what they can do to other men and offering women the freedom to ravish other women.
Don’t talk about it on radio or through distributed leaflets, go out there and tell the custodians of our culture.
The Christian people in the Central African Republic (CAR) decided that enough was enough and tolerance be damned.
With no public support from the world’s Christian leaders, they are fighting back, shaming Christians worldwide by indicating with their actions that turning the other cheek in a genocide just isn’t kosher.
They are fighting back on their own to protect themselves from a religious onslaught that the world cared little about until the Moslem perpetrators were on the run.
As soon as Christians took the upper hand in their own defence, we started hearing about tolerance.
No tolerance required when Christians are being murdered and abused by Moslems. Tolerance only emerges when Christians fight back to protect themselves from their attackers.
Yet, according to UN reports, Muslims murdered 27,000 Christians in the first few months they were in power in CAR but Christians have murdered around 278 Muslims so far and they did that in self-defence and revenge.
Is Christianity backpedalling? Are we taking tolerance too far?
The Americans are a funny lot.
While their currency declares that “In God We Trust”, their constitution demands separation of state from religion.
America has changed its values because of fear. It is no longer the ‘melting pot’ of well-intentioned immigrants but has become a conglomerate of individuals and cartels who challenge the values of the same country they strive to be part of.
Recently, in the US state of Oklahoma, Satanists challenged the state government to permit them to erect a statue of Satan “to complement and contrast” with a Ten Commandments monument placed at the state capitol.
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple, said. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”
No longer a moral leader of a so-called free world, America finds itself threatening African countries that refuse to legalise homosexuality and same sex marriages.
It was pathetic to hear Barrack Obama and David Cameron threatening to withhold aid to countries that suppress homosexuality.
A news report about Kenya deporting Somalis back into Somalia elicited derogatory comments from Americans against their own government who feel that their own government should follow the same example at a time there is debate to pardon millions and millions of illegal immigrants (mostly from Mexico) in the United States.
But there is also growing discontent towards Somalis who appear to be concentrated in the state of Michigan, while some complain that Mexicans and Puerto Ricans have taken over America.
What happens to the contenders in the long run does not really interest me.
The heart of the matter is that, like America, Christianity has allowed the alteration of its doctrine to accommodate and appease individuals instead of keeping believers within the original doctrine.
We worship in churches, in elaborate palaces, in cathedrals. We worship in backyard spaces, in living rooms and we worship under trees.
The Word must remain the same and should not be doctored to fit circumstances.
I find it amusing that for the first time in my exiled life, I find myself agreeing with Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.
Genocides notwithstanding, the cultural purity of African nations should not be sacrificed for a few pennies from overseas.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, April 14th, 2014.