Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When the Wicked Rule...(2)

In my previous post, I made a reference to a Biblical verse (Proverbs 29:2) that explains the main reason for our social and economic condition in Tanzania. The basic concept conveyed by that Biblical verse is that when the wicked rule, we are surely guaranteed to mourn. Tanzanians in general do suffer, and there are so many examples we can give to conclude that our leaders are indeed wicked.

Wickedness, as it is, is a serious spiritual matter. And for that reason, when we address wickedness of our political leaders, we have to bring into the equation our spiritual leaders. As such, the question I am posing today is: Have the spiritual leaders in Tanzania done enough to address leadership deficiencies in the land?

We might not all have a unanimous "yes", but my conviction is that the church and the mosques have greatly contributed to the decline of integrity and an increase of wickedness among the leaders. Do not get me wrong, I am not suggesting that spiritual leaders in Tanzania have gone all out in endorsing or encouraging wickedness. Nonetheless, my position is that they have not done enough in addressing and rebuking leadership deficiencies. They have kept their mouths shut while their congregants are suffering.

I understand that most religious leaders in Tanzania feel that they should stay out of politics as much as they can. However, that is not the correct stance in my point of view. From a Biblical perspective, in 2 Timothy 3: 16, we gather that: " All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". If the spiritual leaders are given spiritual books inspired by God, if such books are the basis for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteosness, then our spiritual leaders are mandated to speak out about the wickedness of our leaders.

It is very wrong for a spiritual leader to pretend that their main focus is just the spiritual aspect of their congregation. As a Christian, I can only draw so many examples to prove my argument. It is accounted in the Bible how Jesus fed the multitude. If his attitude was just to take care of "spiritual" needs, then he could have just preached the audience to death and leave them in hunger. When he healed the sick, he was attending to their physical needs. Or, did you know that he even paid taxes for his disciples? My point is that our spiritual leaders in Tanzania cannot claim that "spiritual" needs of the people is their only focus. From a scriptural perspective, their responsibility goes beyond that.

From a Biblical outlook, spiritual leaders in Tanzania are mandated to rebuke and speak loudly against takrima, stupid contracts that only hurt the country, election irregularities, beating of journalists, child labor, lack of leadership integrity, and all sort of issues that are a clear indication of wickedness. But the question is, have they properly played their role? The answer to that is a huge "No". I could only assume three reasons for their silence on rampant leadership wickedness in Tanzania : 1) they do not know their place in society 2) they are absolutely and positively cowards 3) they are as corrupt as the rest of political leaders (Read here for constant squabbles in the Lutheran Church, for instance).

If you think I am just full of blah blah..let's revisit the 2004 presidential election held in the United States. The Church certainly "determined" the outcome of who got elected. I believe the same clout is possesed by our spiritual leaders in Tanzania through their Friday, Saturday and Sunday platforms. The only difference between the spiritual leaders in Tanzania and their counterparts in the USA is that the later understand its power and role in society. The religious circles in Tanzania can certainly set the standards and see to it that only leaders meeting those standards get elected, but they have not done that.

So next time you visit the Magomeni KKKT church or Kwa Mtoro mosque, ask yourself: Has this dude spitting on the microphone at the pulpit, titled a pastor or a sheikh, done enough to address the wickedness of political leaders in Tanzania despite his power to do so?

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