In His sermon on the mount in Mathew:5, which was a manifesto of sorts, Jesus set a high standard which Christians should always refer to. It was not a blueprint for Christians to abdicate their civic obligations. However, the Church in Uganda risks having her image tainted by deeds of the selfish leaders she actively perpetuates in power.
The dawn of 2010 was marked by a number of overnight prayers, held mostly by balokole (Pentecostal) churches. In some of these gatherings, like the one held at Namboole Stadium, resolutions and pronouncements were made to denounce and condemn vices such as corruption, immorality and child sacrifice.
While I agree with the stand taken by church leaders, my bone of contention is with the inconsistency and double standards of these leaders. Many of these so-called heads of Pentecostal churches are wont to be partisans whenever presidential elections come round.
Granted, it is the civic duty of Christians to participate in election processes, especially the voting exercise. It is inappropriate though, to countenance church leaders using their pedestal as a mouthpiece for fallible politicians in the name of Christians.
We are sometimes forced to wonder whether the pastors are fostering their personal agendas or God’s. I think they are better off keeping their right to political ideology to themselves as long as it does not blend with Christian values in Uganda.
Evangelist Billy Graham is known to have been a counsellor to many US presidents. Unlike the sycophantic neo-conservative religious-right pastors in America, his integrity is kept intact by not hobnobbing with politicians on the campaign trail.
Christians have been given the Holy Spirit to guide them in all matters. God gave the human species a complete package consisting of a mind, will and emotion capable of freewill and free thinking.
This year is regarded by many as an election year and some opinion leaders in the church assume that Christians should always vote as a block. I find this notion erroneously generic and Christians should be wary of dubious pastors who exploit this assumption.
Rather than striving to win political favours, Christian leaders should use their influence to prevail on perpetrators of vices like graft in government. Or else, their New Year pronouncements will merely become hollow high-sounding hogwash.