Saturday, November 05, 2005

Christians must heed God, not their leaders!

Reading and listening to recent statements by various church leaders on the law review process, ordinary Christians and Kenyans at large may genuinely be at loss on what has become of a people that are often clearly decided on temporal issues of the day as well as eternity. Church leaders in this country have played an indisputably vital role in agitating for a new political and constitutional order, going as far back as the 1980s and 1990s when the likes of Dr. Henry Okullu and Bishop Alexander Muge would give the establishment a prophetic earful. No doubt history will also take a favorable note of the times, money, effort and prayers other Christian leaders subsequently put into the law review process. But I doubt historians – and the Christian God I also believe in – will suffer their on-going “chameleoneosis” on the same any gladly. The reportedly 43-member Kenya Church declared a clear “No” to the Wako draft a few weeks ago only for some of their members (who had been attending meetings leading to the announcement) to later say they weren’t decided yet; they still need more time to study, consult and – supposedly – pray before making up their minds. It is instructive that a majority of these Churches went easy on the review process in the Kanu days and are reportedly still at home with remnants of the previous regime in the current scheme of things. On the other hand, the influential Roman Catholic Church and congregations affiliated to the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and the Ufungamano Initiative have been reported to have given the Wako draft a shot in the arm by declaring it “better” than the current one and “worthy” for consideration by Kenyans, - but with a rider: Each Christian is to follow his conscience in voting either for or against the proposed constitution. Like the Kenya Church, this latter section of Kenyan Christianity has increasingly been identified with pro-establishment ideals and projects in the Narc days, leading some to question the nature and extent of its biblical authority on some issues of the day. One need not be a prophet or even a believer to realize that both sides of the Christian divide have been sucked up in the Kanu-LDP/NAK power games to the extent that they can no longer speak truth to power. Reactions to the Wako draft by the two streams of Kenyan Christianity betray a desperate desire to remain relevant and loyal to evolving political constituencies and ethnic power-bases in ways and means similar to the politicians they so much want us to believe they are unlike. The unspoken but latent line in what these men and women of the cloth nowadays seem to pass on is that true power lies not on that old and rugged cross but in the corridors of raw political and economic power that, in the worst of times, they preach is no comparison to the 6,000-years old Christian story. To blindly laud one side for saying “No” or the other for staying non-committal while pursuing “civic education” is to miss the one salient point here: These shepherds have, by both choices, abandoned their flock and sought to pursue the paths of least resistance; paths that will not invite them to review their theology and practical commitment to a honest world vision that the review process obviously requires of them. Apart from glossing over the Wako draft and playing up to the gallery on issues they say are dear to them, none of them has offered to – say – characterize the document in light of the Scriptures they believe in. How, for instance, would the presidency, judiciary and legislature as envisaged in the proposed draft specifically jell in with the Christian ideal of public affairs and social justice? No doubt there is a viable body of Christian knowledge and tradition on all these matters, but why aren’t they getting all that flowing? Certainly, God is not silent in our world and neither should they be by either of the paths they have chosen to tread. The saddest commentary here is that they seemingly do not appear to be learning from the disastrous experiences occasioned by such Christian bigotry and selfishness as has been exhibited in recent Church history. In Nazi Germany, the “official” Church cohabited with Hitler as the likes of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned of the accruing apostasy in the face of the Holocaust; many would later wish they had heeded the young man’s call to Christian, intellectual and moral honesty in the face of reflexive nationalism and lopsided patriotism. In 1960s America, White Anglo-Saxon Protestants wondered why Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jesus would be so concerned about the civil rights’ movement so many years after the war of independence. In 1994 Rwanda (reportedly 80.83% Christian), the depth of discipleship there continues to draw increased scrutiny in the face of mounting allegations that Hutu and Tutsi Christian leaders may have knowingly played a role in the genocide. As it is, the Church stands to be a victim of its own short-sightedness and political short-termism (engineered by the ruling class) in a process it previously shepherded but now, and belatedly so, considers flawed and fraught with “concerns” about which they now are seeking “further clarification.” Clearly, it had a historic and strategic responsibility to help distill the process and content from the competing visions around it and the obvious political and religious interests vested therein. Reflecting on this, writer Pamela Evans once remarked: “Church leaders who have a little sense of their own worth before God’s sight can over-value popular acceptance of their own ministry to such an extent that they develop a chameleon-like character, serially reflecting the many colors of opinion within their Church. Trying to serve God faithfully and keep everyone happy simultaneously doesn’t work. Infact, it often leads to paralyzing indecision, accusations of compromise or both. God doesn’t award prizes for window dressing competitions or popularity contests. So why do we behave as though he did?” In his seminal book The Contemporary Christian, theologian John Stott sums it up well when he says: “I fear that contemporary Church leaders are guilty of serious unfaithfulness. A few are brash enough to deny the fundamentals both of the historic Christian faith and of traditional Christian morality, while others seem as blushingly unsure of themselves and of their beliefs as an adolescent teenager.” Need I say more? Editor's note: Further reactions to this piece may be found at


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11/05/2005 04:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not see the Christian clergy having any moral authority to tell us any thing. If any thing they need to resign because they ignored their flock in time of need.

11/29/2005 07:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, those guys had better hang up their boots!

11/29/2005 08:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Phillipo said...

on the day of judgement there are two people iwill tell GOD that they let me DOWN one is NZIMBI and the other is NDINGI. BUT , BUT should I meet one HYPOCRITE WHO DOESNT PASS THE MARK OF LOVE . TOLERANCE. AND SINCERITY IN THE NAME OF MUTAVA MUSYIMI IPROMISE TO GO TO HELL THAN SHARE THE KINGDOM WITH HIM.AMEN

12/02/2005 10:36:00 am  
Anonymous Mook said...

I argee with you in many of the points you put across. I wished that there were other people who were thinking on the same line. Its all about power be it the president or the Archbishop of some place. Its a pity that the counties christian leaders have let personal ties gotten into their christian values.
What they have forgotten is what their followers might do having been abandoned in the hour of need. I recall Mwana wa Nzeki being very strong while he was in Nakuru. I could not believe my ears of late listing to the same person who has been my inspiration in life.
Anyway we still have alternatives and thanks to the new era. I once wrote somewhere here asking: after 21/11 then what?
Now I know what I will do. Join a party which has human values at heart and be active in it in the process of changing our way of thinking which has been contaminated by both the church- and elected leaders. I will not be suprised if congragation on sundays in some churches dwidle in number because church and state has been joined to one.

12/02/2005 10:37:00 am  
Anonymous Cameco said...

True to your words. this is typical apostasy. "they cam from us but did not belong to us". it is true of the last days. people will desert the faith. and remember.... the antichrist himself is a counterfeit. he will come masquareding as an angel of light and before we know it, many wil have been deceived. With prayers for cash bishops serving in THe banana government, one is left wondering when they are going to introduce indulgence in the church. Wasn't this the reason for the reformation. or do we think the German monk, Martin Luther was wrote the 95 these for fun. the Ndingis and the Mutavas know better! one thing is for sure: the visible Church is full of wolves and we might never be able to tell them until we get to heaven. Jesus said let the tares grow with the crops, we will separate them during harvest. Let these masquareding sell outs in the CHurch play their role, thiers is on earth. When God comes for the invisible Church, the charlatans and the sell outs will remain here for they belonged here. Your take Ndingi, Nzimbi and Mutava!!!!!!!!!!

12/02/2005 10:37:00 am  
Anonymous Mook said...

The German monk, Martin Luther advocated for the church leaders not to be above their congregation but for them and yet that is what our theologiens are doing. What happened to the Catholic church? Church reform. Are we ready for that? If that is the power point then reformation is near in Kenyan churches. We will not remain slaves to the church leaders.
Church and state should be quite distinctly seperated.

12/02/2005 10:38:00 am  
Anonymous Cameco said...

Just as i wrote earlier, the next thing the Church is going to do is to enforce the sale of indulgence. thats what Luther fought tooth and nail. If the protestant reformation is anything to go by, then, I'll forgive the Catholic clergy for their laxity. its the only thing that they would have done best. it is infact doctrinal and deeply enshrined in the canon laws. Thats that. the Buck drops on the Evangelical, present day Pharisees if you like it. That which they fought the Catholic for is that which they are back to. What with the Mafias in the Church? Sample this: A pokot MP instructing Rev. Bishop Silas Yego to suspend and consequently expel the Pokot regional Chairman from the Church leadership. the AIC bishop takes the instructions seriously and responds with urgency. the MP further instructs him to install people of his choice, which the Bishop does faithfully sparking protest from the indigeneous Pokot. Or didn't you read about the expulsion of Rev. Dr. Julius Murgor of AIC Pokot Regional Church councilby Bishop Silas Yego as requested by Hon Samuel Moroto. the alegation being that he is preaching false doctrine, while the truth is that he was and still is initiating development projects in the pokot land. He pays fees for over 200 students, including one i know at Scott Theological College. Others in High Schools, colleges and Universities. He has also drilled bore holes and is still in the process of drilling more. Is such work the devil's or God's?
Anyway, the point is this, if a bishop, entrusted with the spiritual lives of many Kenyans can take straight orders from a mere MP whose grammer is wanting, then, what more do we expect from him come the constitutional review? What do you expect his juniors to preach? Or don't birds of a feather flock together?No wonder bishop Yego has never guided his Church on the constitutional path. He is probably waiting for some Moroto....if not i don't know.
As long as the Mutavas are still on government payroll forget about the Church and its leaders. the Church as you see it is full of wolves. Only God knows the invisible Church.
However, Just as we are saying NO to this bogus wako nonesense, lets also give a blackout to the "Church" (its not the real CHurch) and in the right time we will also kick it out and install God's Church just as we are about to do with Wakos. Brothers lets begin focusing on the Bomas draft...this battle is long gone. Have faith!!!!!!!!!!

12/02/2005 10:38:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you ever wonder why some people excel in life while others seem to fade away. What makes one persons life more fulfilling that another. I have been studying this my whole life . What did these people do that made them great thinkers, achievers, Leaders, writers and philanthropists.

11/01/2006 09:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

arizona forum

2/25/2007 06:19:00 am  

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