Tuesday, July 15, 2008


July 15, 2008

Another note from the past couple of weeks is about the ‘election’ in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe and his thugs intimidated his opposition with prison and violence, sneered at international opinion, claimed victory and then went to the meeting of African leaders who were unable to muster the courage or will to sanction him as so many of them were compromised by similar behavior themselves. I am not among those who think the problem is that Africans and their leaders are undereducated or stupid. I am among those who find this tendency (with related tendencies clearly on exhibit at GAFCON) to do ‘what I want, when I want’, to grab power and hold onto it in spite of any prior agreements or apparent commitments, and to do violence against anyone who challenges a ‘leader’s’ desire to do things his way, both disgusting and wrong. I recognize that this is the moral judgment many of our brothers and sister make about homosexual behavior. Why is the behavior of Mugabe and his supporters and his ilk not condemned with the same fervor by African Christian leaders? Is it that they can condemn and impugn things that can be tagged as ‘western’ without fear for their lives but cannot do the same thing art home? Who knows what needs to happen to help the vast majority of Africans who would really like to eat and live free from fear and raise their children without being surrounded by corruption, murder and even the fear of genocide from these bullies who would ‘lead’ them? At least the Christian leadership, while willing to be destructive of that it does not like, has not resorted to murder. This is written with an obvious measure of disgust but is not intended as polemic. I would love to hear from anyone with some genuine insight and answers that provide a measure of hope for that continent.

1 comment:

Zachary R. Thompson said...

The Christian 'think-tank' Ekklesia reported on African churches calling for action on Mugabe abuses: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/7527

It seems that the churches response to the abhorrent actions of the dictator Mugabe were "weak" and that it appeared that they were a "largely silent onlooker." It seems that political polarization has paralyzed the church in a way in which the gospel and faithful discipleship are secondary to cultural assimilation. One cannot help but think of the overwhelming support that the church offered to Hitler. Faithful obedience to God's action in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ could have provided a profound witness to the breaking in of God's kingdom. Let us pray that as we live into our faith that political polarization or cultural idols do not paralyze the regenerative beauty of life in Christ.

In Christ,
Zachary R. Thompson