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Hymns of shame

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The leadership of the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP has of late hymned its hypocrisy with some worrying resonance. And the pace with which the synod is being driven away from its sacred path is disturbing for those who care.

Here is a grouping that is supposed to be the very bastion of spiritual and moral rectitude yet it is fast proving to some of us that it is just as political as any secular grouping can be. And the most bothersome thing is that the gaffes are not episodic but have become the threads with which the fabric of the synod is weaved of.

Recently, the church held one of the most debilitating elections in recorded time. Apart from one Reverend Levi Nyondo’s desire to hold on to the post of General Secretary until Kingdom come, the run up to the polls was so dirty that you could easily thought it was some political party convention. The mudslinging and the name calling that characterised the polls, left one wondering where the distinction between the church and the other world is. That was not enough. In typical dictatorial act that is intolerant of dissenting views, all those who offered themselves to contest against the incumbent but lost, were sent packing and banished to remote areas. And the synod did not even care about the necessity of letting the dust settle, at least to make us forget that their move is politically motivated. Before the cock crowed after the elections, transfer letters were issued at legendary speed.

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Within the same week, the synod leadership decided to give us yet another sermon from the book of comedy. Perhaps struck by acute megalomania or having an overdose of ineptitude, the leadership of the synod shocked the world when it announced its plans to seek a court order to stop any religious grouping from using the colours black and white which the synod believes are its.

buffoonery but then, it becomes disturbing when a group of revered people abuse that quota. What the synod is showing here is gluttony with earthly things and a curious desire to be all over.

Small cravings have a tendency of revealing our deepest and biggest desires. When you start thinking that the Livingstonia Synod wants to grab and own everything black and white, then you start relating to how the synod went out of bounds to make territorial claims of churches that were in the Central Region. I will not be surprised one day if the synod starts claiming that every church is under its jurisdiction because, apparently, all it needs is building a fiefdom other than show people the way to the ecclesiastical Paradise.

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The other day, I made my views known that I consider the synod a grouping that is not ashamed to show its political inclinations. If you have noticed, the synod comes to life and starts seeing bad things only when the DPP is in government. Bingu wa Mutharika was given a torrid time by the synod especially with the madness that surrounded the much abhorred quota system. This DPP government hasn’t been any dear to the synod. In the exigencies of duty, I listened to two purported sermons by the clergy from Livingstonia Synod: one during the Ngoni’s Umthetho and the commemoration of the shooting to death of the July 20, 2011 victims. Frankly, what was meant to be preaching dovetailed into sessions of political remonstrations. And I was not surprised because that is exactly about the synod.

Between 2012 and 2014, when Joyce Banda and her People’s Party were in government, the Livingstonia Synod buried its head in hymns, looked away when people were suffering and decided to keep quiet. I do not remember even once when the synod spoke with a powerful voice against the injustice of those years.

Of course the DPP is the easiest party to criticise simply because, despite having an inept leader in President Peter Mutharika, the party prides itself in brutish means of handling matters just as it is known for always giving Malawians a dress rehearsal of hell once it is in power. But the PP too had a shambolic leader in Joyce Banda who, like Peter, lacked a sense of direction and determination to take the out of economic stagnation it is now.

All I am saying is that the Livingstonia Synod has not been a good example. It does not stand on a higher moral ground to criticise the government. It too has been found wanting. A synod must, by all means, be the very symbol of love and tolerance other than a band of self-seeking megalomaniacs.

Maybe because in this corner of the earth it is taboo and considered deviation from the norm to point at the flaws of a church, the synod leaders will not be chastised for their suspicious action. But, as for me and my family, we chose to have a synod that acts what it preaches other than being lured by these recent hymns of shame.

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