Hypocrisy In Kikuyu Preachers When It Comes To Raila Odinga.
Many Christian pastors from all along the theological and political spectrum claim that their churches must not take side in partisan debates and that they, as Christian preachers, must speak out on issues in ways that are generally in line with what the bible says. Of course there’s no agreement among these folk over the political implications of Christian faith. Some church leaders like Bishop Pius Muiru and Margret Wanjiru believes that politics is too sweet that they cannot just live it for politicians, they have seen good harvest in politics and they will do everything they can to try the cake and save more souls. The bible says you cannot serve two masters at the same time because our Lord is a jealous God. I believe that both preachers and churches are called to proclaim theological and moral truth. When I used to preach, I used to urge my congregation (including me!) to believe and obey God’s revealed will and to walk like the children of the light. A preacher cannot call people to take stands or to act publicly and declare why he or she signed a deal with a partner. My congregation believed in what I told them and they acted in ways that will suit our church. It was enough for me to say I will vote for Raila and you will here the whole church say “Amen”! That meant they will do what the pastor has said. (Do what I say and not what I do theory come handy here) and (Bird of the same feathers flies together)
How can you preach theological and moral truth without taking political sides? In the past weeks, we have heard preachers especially from central province claiming that Raila signed MoU with Muslims. What they forgot was that Kibaki has been signing a lot of them verbal not only with Muslims but with the whole nation. 2002 Kibaki signed MoU which he never honoured, he promised jobs, and he promised to deliver a constitution within 100 days and many other promises that have gone down just like his regime is going to drown next month. Where were these Mt. Kenya preachers to condemn these evils? Actually it’s quite simple, what is wrong with signing MoU with people or organizations that you want to work with? I don’t know if Raila signed it or not but me personally I don’t see anything wrong with it. I believe that the scripture makes it very clear on what our basic moral and religious commitments should be and for one to sign a MoU is not a sin. There are many better ways of manipulating the congregation using God as a cover. However, I can preach biblical truth boldly and clearly without telling people how they should vote in the next election. On the other side I can use the same bible to tell them why the church has to vote for Raila or the other way round.
There are certainly times when churches and preachers must speak out about political evils, the current Mungiki conflict would be one example, corruption in Kibakis government and employing Mt. Kenya mafias in major government positions. Where were they when this skirmish guys were killing innocent Kenyans, raping women and children and even starting there own kitchen taxation systems in slum areas? Why did they keep quiet while majority of them knew it was political motivated? But, even then, we must recognize that there are many possible political responses that would be consistent with the biblical priority of justice for the oppressed in Kenya. At this point, Raila comes in the picture. It is him who has exposed major scandals in Kibakis regime. If not for him, Kenya by now would be in the hands of criminals. As a preacher, you are supposed to call people to work for justice in the whole Kenya and not only from the Mt. Kenya region. It’s not your job as a preacher to tell a political party like ODM to put public their political strategy on how they are going to win the coming election.
Let me offer an example to illustrate this point. I believe the Bible calls all Christians to care for the poor. The pages of scripture are filled with God’s concern for the poor and with many exhortations to reach out to those in material need (Deuteronomy 15:10-11; Isaiah 58:6-9; 1 John 3:17). So, when I preach from such passages, I call my congregation to care for the poor, not only through individual acts of charity, but also by working in society to eliminate the causes of poverty. Now I know Christians who believe, on the basis of what I’ve just said about poverty, that my preaching at this point should take a sharp turn in the Kibaki’s (PNU) direction. After all, this is the party that tends to talk a lot about caring for the poor and ending poverty “Kazi iendelee”. On the other side, I will tell the same people how majimbo will divide Wakenya knowing well that ODM under Raila argues that it’s necessary to raise taxes on the wealthy to cover the costs, and that this will ultimately lead to a more just society. All of this sounds consistent with biblical teaching. So does the Bible support the ODM agenda? At least when it comes to the problem of poverty? Yes it does, then why are these Kikuyu preachers making the halleluiah noise without considering the Majimbo system that will make the above possible?
A church is a place where people of differing political viewpoints actually come together to talk, to disagree respectfully, to discover reasons for their differences, to laugh at themselves, to find common ground, and even to learn from each other. Moreover, the church is a place in where genuine, truth-seeking conversation about real issues happened in an atmosphere free from exaggeration, and character assassination. Preachers are supposed to be like referees in the political process, helping all persons and parties to seek the greater good, rather than to settle for life in the political gutter. Church officials from central are dictating there congregations on how they will vote and which politician they will vote for. The Mt. Kenya faithful have been told and warned that if they vote in a certain way, certain consequences may follow. This is merely a fact of life. Considering the fact that all actions have consequences, including some we might not want, and then the question comes, who is separating Wakenya? Is it the Majimbo preacher or the Kikuyu preacher who is misadvising the Kenyans (congregation)?
Much of the criticism from these preachers is itself hypocritical, trying to impress Kibaki and undermining Raila Odinga. Kibaki and his cronies have done more harm than good to Kenyans and I think they must also address these evils that have caused a lot of harm to the people of Kenya. Preachers are not allowed to impose their own views on the public and I think Kenyans must wake up and stop being led by incompetence preachers. When preaching becomes heavy, quit and convert into something else. There has been a substantial attack on Raila Odinga from these individual and I think it is time to stop the nonsense. Go back to the church and preach the gospel according to your call. I’m just responding. ODM is going to form the next government so you better start sing praise songs in favour of Raila Odinga.
Munala wa Munala.
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