The pro-life and pro-family march organised by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), and the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) on the December 6 sparked much debate in some quarters of society.
Mostly, it is the civil society and other agents that vehemently condemned the march. Generally, those opposed to the march posed two questions: Why should the church institution take to the streets to dictate government policy? And why is the church selective in demonstrating against legalising of abortion and homosexuality in the face of many ills in Malawi?
There is definitely a need to clarify the church’s stand in answering these questions. The argument being portrayed is that the church has no mandate to dictate policy because this is the duty of the government. It is clear that those who advance this argument demonstrate utter ignorance of the mandate of the church on earth.
Let us begin by citing the scriptures from Micah 6:8, which says: “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
In this scripture, it is obvious that God commands three levels of spiritual responsibility or mandate for the church. Firstly, He commands the people to walk humbly with their God. Walking humbly with your God demands personal relationship of the individual believer with God. It is the awareness that God knows you and cannot forget you. Just as a woman cannot forget her own child on her breast, so too God because He has carved your name in the palm of his hands (Isaiah 49:15-16). He is acting in your life to carry out His will for you and He is with you through the events of daily life. It is the awareness of God’s providence. You embrace the fatherhood of God as a source of all your requirements and the provider. Even though the times may be hard but your confidence remains on God. His providence also includes the sense of His lordship over your life so that you always submit to His will. This is the spiritual responsibility of a Christian referred to as “religious conversion”.
It is to this religious conversion many limit the church. They argue that the church’s primary and great objective is to teach the Word of God and convert people to Christianity and nothing else. They deem it wrong for the church to enforce morality and fight mundane earthly laws. They indeed show ignorance of the other two spiritual responsibilities of the church.
There is the second spiritual responsibility where God commands the church to “Love mercy, or love tenderly”. God commands His people who represent His kingdom on earth to have good interpersonal relationship; the face-to-face type of relationship. This is how you relate to friends, workmates, neighbours and the community and how you treat your spouse. This is in regard to how you behave in society. God stops you from stealing, from harming others and the like but you should give attention to others and assist them to succeed. And this is referred to as “moral conversion.” You do nothing that deprives others their inherit freedoms. Stealing from public coffers, dubbed Cashgate, created such financial problems as the withdrawal of budget support by the donor community. The outcome was that government could not offer proper services to people and public hospitals lacked medicines, causing deaths to some patients who could have been saved. This is a moral issue which the church stands against.
This is the the level of the moral law pertaining to relationships, where no one should do anything that harms others. In this case, abortion is harmful to the life of a child in a mother’s womb.
Albert Einstein, the great physicist said: “The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but those who look at it without doing anything.”
That is why the church has mandate to prevent the legalising of abortion. The church is the watchman who warns the people of the coming sword and blows a trumpet (Ezekiel 33:3). And the church cannot just watch as life is being greatly threatened.
We now come to the third level of spiritual responsibility of the church where God commands the church to “Act justly”. Here the demand is no longer face-to-face interpersonal relationship but God is calling the church to act justly in the public arena. This is a responsibility for the church to ensure justice is done on earth. To ensure that the policies of governments and other institutions like the World Trade institutions are just. This is so because the church represents the just kingdom of God. Malawi does not have to be a theocracy for the church to challenge the unjust system of the government’s institutions. This third level of spiritual responsibility of the church is referred to as “political conversion.” This is an aspect which many people both in the church and outside the church do not know about. That is why it is being argued that the church has no mandate to dictate government policy. To say that Malawi is a secular nation and the church holds no mandate to meddle with politics just as the government does not meddle with the church is a fallacy. God owns all the nations of the world and demands just governments. Even the Constitution of Malawi is heavily drawn from the moral principles of the Bible.
Therefore, when a nation legalises abortion and homosexuality; it is not enacting just laws. A pregnant woman does not have the freedom to do anything she wants with her body, it would be considered madness if she mutilated her body. Interestingly, take note that the body of a child in a womb is never the mother’s body; it is body of another person, the child. Abortion is hundred percent killing of an innocent victim in a mother’s womb. But what the church is saying is: “pregnant women should not abort”, whether the pregnancy was planned or not. Indeed, many women die because of unsafe abortions but notice clearly here that the cause of their death is not pregnancy but abortion. And those who chose to kill by abortion are killed in the process. The noble duty of womanhood is to bring out children. Every woman knows that sex is a means to pregnancy and has a right to avoid it by abstinence or preventing conception if married, if she does not want a child.
Now we answer the second question: Why is the church selective in demonstrating against legislation of abortion and homosexuality in the face of many ills in the nation? Firstly, it should be understood that life is sacred and it should be protected at any cost. Let this be clear to the pro-abortion proponents that for you to be alive today, it means your father married a woman, who when she conceived you, she did not abort; so be thankful. Abortion prevents procreation, while same sex marriage denies procreation. Both should be avoided and are unacceptable in society.
God created the animal world and ordained procreation through sex between the opposite sexes of male and female. Why should humans created in the image of God go so low to strive for sex between same sexes, which is purposeless?
The church takes a stand in response to God’s command when life is severely threatened. It happened in 1915, when the life of citizens was endangered and there was injustice in the colonial rule that caused John Chilembwe to challenge the system. And so too in 1993, when the one-party government system practised injustice with many mysterious deaths that the Catholic bishops challenged the government by their pastoral letter. Admittedly, it is in record that the church rises whenever the future of the country is greatly endangered.
We do admit that there are many other failures of the government; for instance, theft of public property, environmental degradation, electric power blackouts, rising cost of living, dry water taps, human trafficking, paralysed Anti-Corruption Bureau, Cashgate at Capital hill, shortage of drugs in public hospitals, corruption and many others. However, these are moral issues which do not threaten life directly and do not emanate from government policies per se but they are sheer failures of the governmental political systems, which can be corrected. For such things, the church is mandated to pray for the good of the country. And so the church has this alternative option. However, when things get out of proportion or are likely to if left unchecked, then the church takes its stand.
It could be said Malawians are a docile community or timid and passive people but I do not think that is a correct assessment. When things reach a certain unbearable condition, Malawians are a brave people who strongly oppose the systems of oppression. It happened soon after the bishops’ pastoral letter, which sparked uncontrollable social strife and people demanded change. It is not right to say the priorities of the Malawians are out of whack.
The world is moving towards paganism
In concluding this article, let me refer to scriptures of Psalms 2. Verses 1 and 2 says: “Why do the nations conspire and people plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His anointed
In reference to these verses, there is undeniable push from the “nations” of the West strongly influencing the rest of the world towards a godless society of Human Freedoms and Rights. The “peoples” like civil society groups in the world plotting vain things because of the funds they draw by their insanity. The “kings,” particularly the presidents of rich countries like the G8 and G20 groups take their stand against godly systems. And “rulers”, for instance the Secretary General of the United Nations, gather together against the Lord and His anointed. Please take note that the Lord’s anointed on earth is the church.
And verse 3 says: “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”
The chains and the fetters they want to break and throw off are laws of God: for instance, Leviticus 18:22 says: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable.”
They are totally against the order of God, and want to establish their own New World Order. Ask yourself the question why did the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon immediately fly to Malawi, when two homosexuals, Auntie Tiwo [Tiwonge Chimbalanga] and [Steve] Monjeza, were imprisoned due to same sex marriage? He came to force the tough Bingu wa Mutharika to release them immediately and Bingu did. Why did Ki-Moon not come because of Cashgate? The point is clear here that these four groups oppose the laws of God and they attach great importance to homosexuality and ungodly things that threaten life like abortion. God resisted homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah, in Genesis 19 and among the Benjamites in Judges 19- 21. The world is quickly moving towards paganism and the devil aspires to establish a world government. He wants to be a world ruler like Jesus Christ.
Verses 4-6 says: “He who sits in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying: “I have installed my king in Zion, My holy hill.”
It is not surprising that the Lord is laughing at these four groups. Even though they have great influence and financial muscle but God’s king is already installed in Zion. Let it be understood that there is a greater power of Christ in the apostolic church which is rising, until Jesus Christ comes again.
The scriptures affirm this fact as it says: “The kingdoms of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and He will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Jesus will set up a world kingdom when He comes again and reign for ever.
Finally, I want to underscore one important factor that those opposed to the rule of God on earth, the four groups cited above to understand clearly in Malawi and elsewhere; that the church is not prefect yet, and you can spot weaknesses here and there, yet it is fast moving towards its position of strength and indeed
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues