Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Has the Church lost her role as the conscience of the nation?

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA

We may not judge the stand taken by the Church to reject the proposed constitution but one thing they need to be reminded of is this: if they truly believed in the power of God with unquestioning faith, even without the steps they are taking to defeat of the new law, God will still let the “no” carry the day in the referendum.

Confronting the State over the proposed constitution when they know that by faith, God has powers to overturn anything that is against his will in this World is spiritual hypocrisy. In fact, it’s not in tandem with God’s way of doing things.

If they were true representatives of God, they should know better that it only requires prayers and fasting to turn things round and not spewing fire and brimstones before the media or going to Uhuru back to chant and rant against the proposed law. Going for road shows and propaganda machine from the pulpit to defeat a good law that will change the Country will be counterproductive.

Why can’t they solicit funds to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked? It’s well known that many congregants to these Church leaders are living from hand to mouth in shanties where they miss the very basic items for human survival.

Creating animosity with the State merely due to Kadhi Courts that are entrenched in the proposed law reflects the Church leaders of lacking faith, love and hope; the basic virtues of Christianity.

What happened in Kakamega where Bishop Mark Kariuki of Deliverance Church blamed the government for turning people away from attending their rally is of poor test. It shows that the Church has deviated from their cardinal responsibility to battle out with the government and therefore failing to be the conscience of the nation.

The Kadhi courts clause that is the borne of contention by the Kenyan Church will only cater for the interests of Muslims and does not make Kenya a less Christian nation. Truly, how does this affect me as a Christian, and derail me from my love for Christ?

The Church’s stand does not help in Christian evangelism nor does it work to build a solid ecumenical bond between Kenya’s diverse faiths. According to St. Augustine, charity is benevolent, disinterested, and generous, bringing forth friendship and communion.

Cardinal Njue, Canon Karanja and the rest should get out of their comfort zones and shepherd God’s people based on the truth and facts not lies.

The Church need to play a role in matters of State but primarily, her role is eternal; preaching and advancing the Kingdom of God while the State Worldly order that is centred on the dynamic life of the citizens and material wellbeing. We live in a pluralistic society and the Church must stop behaving as if they want to control the lives of those who don’t agree with their values, tenets and views.

The cardinal reason for the Church’s presence is to reach out to all people and incorporate them into the multi-ethnic body of Christ. This was and is still the cardinal mission of Jesus Christ and even members of the Early Church like Apostle Paul, who in 1st Corinthians 9:20-22, talks about adjustments in his Missionary Journey to win converts.

The clergy need to understand the cultures of those they consider strange, unethical and odd in order to win them to the body of Christ. They need to go slow on the rejection of the Kadhi courts in order to make this happen. Their stand has scared many Kenyans with the interest to embrace the Christian faith.

My prediction is that the proposed constitution will pass in the referendum on a landslide. Those who want a perfect constitution should stop lying to themselves because it’s only in Heaven that you can find it.

Will they run out of the country when the new constitution passes in August? We applause Dr. Rev. Timothy Njoya and retired Bishop Gitari for advising Kenyans to vote for the proposed constitution in the coming referendum.
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