Friday, June 21, 2024

Christian Nation – Policy and Practice

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File: St Ignatius Catholic Church Assistant Parish Priest Father Charles Chilinda leads the congregation in praying for President Michael Sata and First Lady Christine Kaseba during the cerebration of mass in Lusaka on his first Sunday as President of Zambia

By Gray Soko

President Sata declared on his first Sunday as president that Zambia will be guided by biblical principles and specifically by the Ten Commandments. This to my knowledge was the first affirmation since the declaration, of how the nation would be governed as a Christian nation. Apart from the preamble there is nothing in the constitution which helps one to understand the policy and practice of a Christian nation.[pullquote]To many people, nothing has so far changed between the Zambia before the declaration and the Zambia after the declaration. If anything, there appears to have been an increase in unchristian behaviours or vices such as corruption, drug trafficking and drug abuse, child trafficking, child abuse and neglect, pride and unforgiveness[/pullquote]

Policy

The PF government has to work out a clear policy of governance based on Christian principles. Whereas in the muslim world sharia law guides all aspects of life including the legal and political system, apart from the Vatican , perhaps, no “Christian” country to my knowledge has evolved an elaborate policy of governance based on Christian norms. There is even a debate in some countries over claims that they were founded on Christian principles and issues are being raised on whether or not Christian principles are compatible with secularism, democracy and freedom of worship or conscience.

Zambia has chosen for itself the path of a Christian nation as enshrined in the constitution and we do not have to rely on the affirmatiom, approval or acceptance of others over our covenant with God. The various Christian bodies should therefore work with the PF government to align or realign policies in the various “areas of human endeavour” to Christian principles. Recent events have unfortunately shown a lack of focus by some of these bodies who chose to be partisan for parochial reasons and failed to stand for God’s people.

Practice

To many people, nothing has so far changed between the Zambia before the declaration and the Zambia after the declaration. If anything, there appears to have been an increase in unchristian behaviours or vices such as corruption, drug trafficking and drug abuse, child trafficking, child abuse and neglect, pride and unforgiveness.

The Ten Commandments are indeed cardinal Christian principles but it is important that they are not just seen as laws to be obeyed, rather they should help model behavior and character. High moral standards must be demanded in all walks of life, at school, work and in the community. If laziness, corruption, lack of respect, lack of care for resources or commitment to work are condoned, there is simply no way the virtues of Christianity will be realized and decades after the declaration, Zambia will still be no better.

In a global village thirsting for unbridled individual freedom of expression or conscience, it is not an easy task to remodel behaviours to conform to biblical principles but we have entered into an unconditional covenant with God and we just have to do our part and God Himself will accomplish what we cannot humanly do.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Good article.Indeed there should be guidelines as to what it means to be a christian nation.Its sad that ever since the declaration Zambia has seen more corruption and greed.Its not only leaders its the ordinary Zambian on the street.I think we need to change systems that leave little room for corruption.

  2. That’s very true we need to have focus even as we are a christian nation thanks to the writer for coming up with this topic and I think our president is on the right track,TEN COMANDIMENTS.

  3. No one has ever been made perfect by keeping the commandments. If the Jews failed, with all the evidence they had of the mighty works of God among them, how much more people in a small central African country? The commandments and their purpose need to be explained to people and this article clearly proves to me that people are misled. Christianity is NOT about the 10 commandments. LT, it is up to you, you know what to do.

  4. The ten Commandments are very good, however a country should be governed by laws which are expressive of the dos and don’ts for any society. Lets learn from history. Apartheid kept millionsof Africans under oppression for decades under the bananer of Christianity and fighting the advance of Communism. In Uganda thousands have been killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army under the banner of the Ten Commandments. The MMD during the time of FTJ (MYSRP) plundered the Zambian Economy under the Christian Nation banner- when thgose who had courage rose to oppose this , Christian Evangelicals said they well under the influence of the devil!. The list goes on. Advise for the President is to govern based on laws of the land, period. The Commandments are for his journey to Heaven.

  5. The whole declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation was wrong from the start! Religion should be left as a personal matter and if the President chooses to govern through Religious belief then that should be his choice provided his governance and leadership is driven by the laws of the land! 

  6. Chiluba knew how to compaign.I remeber how got into a chritian nation thing.In the mid 1990s crusades became popular.Masses of people follwed this crusades. To lure more voters and become popular among glowing mass of ‘crusade chritians ‘ finally Chiluba declared Zambia a chritian nation.Enmass they voted for him.By then I was US and followed the all events closely.I like the political tactics of FTJ .Indeed he deserved a ‘Masters in Political Science’.RB tried the house thing it didn’t sell.

  7. Christianity is about the truth. There is no harm in ruling the country going by the dictates of the truth as contained in the 10 commandaments.

  8. The point of discussion should be what should our laws be based on ? Even the English Law we adopted was based on some principles, now should we be adapting them to christian principles ? I don’t think we should remain static or wait to become carbon copies of others.

  9. The separation of religion/church and state affairs should always be practiced. All these declarations are just window dressings for hypocrites, which seems to be the religion of the day among zambians. Everyone is declaring themselves righteous and yet living the opposite, what benefit as a country did we get when chiluba declared the nation christian? Sata may have the right intentions but if you want to govern with biblical principles show us with actions rather than tell us because that’s what chiluba did. I honestly do not even understand what governinga country under the ten commandments means because to me it sounds like an empty statement to appease religious folk but in practice it’s something else. 

  10. #2 I agree. The ten commandments are a good practical guideline to follow. Even the courts in the western world used to have them as a guideline. May God richly bless Zambia.

  11. Best advice: Never mix religion and politics
    it’s an atomic bomb ready to explode
    the declaration of a Christian nation was Chiluba’s own way of luring in the masses
    it wasn’t in the best interests of the nation
    In the end, politics is all about having the advantage, and attaining it in any way possible
    In this case, advantage to Sata for saying this.

  12. Zambians need to wake up from their slumber and realise what politicians are. Politicians can not perform if you trust them whole heartedly with matters. They need check and balances. The past 20 years should have been enough for people to realise these facts. But it seems people still want to experiment with politicians who claim they can talk to God. Zambia needs strong institutions, good laws, justice and democracy among other things. For those people who want spiritual journeys, we have a lot of churches and mosques and yes, freedom of worship. Leave politics for people that want to deliver services and equity to Zambian people.

  13. MATHEW 6: 1-8

    1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

  14. HYPOCRITES
    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  15. Christian Nation Declaration is good. Ten commandment we cant keep them but he pointed one commandment of Do unto others. For me I can and other cant kip the Sabbath Holy. 

  16. The Catholic Church never advoacated for that Declaration because the leant the hardway that a politician can end up taking over the Church centuaries ago!! A declaration can only work in a Kingdom and not in a Democracy. God himself is not a democrate but demands obedience without opposition!!!!

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