Stealing in the name of God

We are not here to judge anyone, lest we are judged ourselves. But in the spirit of rebuking one another for the greater good of mankind, we have some observations to make around the Christianity that we proclaim and how it enslaves us.

One young intellectual called Paul Kasonde said that there are two Gods. He said the first God who lives in the universe is that mysterious Creator who when we look around in awe we tell ourselves, “This is too magnificent to have existed by mistake, He created it.”

Then, he said, there is the other God who tells us about which church we should go to, which religion is holier than others, how rich we can get and how to defend our wrongs using His name. He tells us which people we should relate to and which ones to avoid. He whispers into the ears of our apostles and pastors so that they should decide for us what is right and what is wrong.

Ironically, there is not a single Christian who can admit acknowledging this second God. We publicly condemn this God and preach against Him, yet that is the God who strongly resides in our hearts, influencing up to as much as 80 per cent of our decisions and actions. This second God exists more prominently in our political leaders because they have found a new use for Him.

These people use God for personal gain. They will invoke God when they need something from people who believe in Him. Our politicians in Zambia are very fond of this. When that election cycle comes along, all of a sudden they are talking about their faith in God and how important their faith is to them. They will attend every denomination gathering and make sure that a photo opportunity doesn’t elude them.

After that period is gone, they have no use for God since they will have gotten what they wanted. At that point they close their doors to the electorate and they will take no advice from the clergy. In fact, they will not shy away from attacking the church leadership “for dividing the country by commenting on politics”.

But a time comes when their deeds catch up with them and they suddenly find God useful again. We have noticed a pattern among our public office bearers who are involved in corruption, that they love to pronounce God a lot, especially when they are caught. They know that God won’t open His mouth to disagree with them. They know God will not be called upon to testify in court so they confidently lift the Bible to make oath that what they say is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Just listen carefully to these ministers and other government officials who are being investigated for theft. Listen to how they use God’s name to woo public sympathy. “I am not worried about what people say about me because God knows I am innocent”, “They want to see me fall, but God is on my side”.

Surely, that is the second God who allows them to use His name and get away with crimes, because the other God is never on anyone’s side. He is unshaken in one place and those who seek him are the ones who go to His side.

We are not suggesting that criminals should leave God out of their problems. The Bible says the Son of God came specifically for sinners, so that they could change their ways. It is for this reason that we wish to petition our troubled politicians and public servants to continue calling on God, but they should do it for the right reasons; to seek forgiveness and transformation. It should hurt to say: “God knows I am innocent” when you know exactly what you did.

We must add that as Christians, our weaknesses are right within our strengths. Our faith is the greatest undoing because we hide a lot of atrocities behind faith and on the other hand, we fail to call out wrong deeds because of fear to offend those who proclaim their faith in God. This is the danger that we have created for our country.

Criminals are stealing from us in broad daylight. They even have the audacity of displaying their loot to the public and we are hesitant to condemn because we respect them as God-fearing leaders. This is a shame. Let’s not steal in the name of God and pretends to be victims when the law comes knocking.

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