Pastor Reuben Sambo of Rivers of Joy Ministries in Lusaka has charged that it is time for the church in Zambia to take courage and come out of its comfort zone and be relevant to finding solutions to the dire state that the nation has been plunged in.
Reacting to a statement in the Post of 2nd November 2015 in which Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) President Dr. Nevers Mumba has been quoted as lamenting the lack of support from the church in his political pursuit to be President of Zambia, Pastor Sambo has agreed with Dr. Mumba that most of the church in Zambia has taken a back-seat and chosen to be irrelevant on-lookers while secretly complaining about the state of the nation which they only voice in prayer meetings.
“I am saddened how we Christians, particularly the Evangelicals, conduct ourselves. We have taken the safe position, choosing to keep quiet and not come out in the open. We Tumbukas have an adage to describe this mentality which is translated as ‘The coward hyena lived longer’. This is the kind of attitude we Evangelicals displayed even towards Dr. Frederick Chiluba before he became president. Later when he ascended to the presidency, many of us suddenly became frequent visitors to State House,” said Pastor Sambo.
This is the kind of attitude we Evangelicals displayed even towards Dr. Frederick Chiluba before he became president. Later when he ascended to the presidency, many of us suddenly became frequent visitors to State House
Pastor Sambo has advised the church to take a leaf from the biblical story of Moses, who in spite of living a a life of luxury and privilege in the Egyptian king’s palace, a time came when he had to choose to leave that comfort zone to take up God’s chosen and perilous assignment to deliver millions of Jews held in bondage in Egypt and lead them to the promised land. Pastor Sambo said Dr. Nevers Mumba has demonstrated a similar pattern and is viewed by many as a courageous and fearless pioneer in many fields.
“He was the very first Zambian preacher on TV with his hugely successful ‘Zambia Shall be Saved’ series on national television. Dr. Mumba became the very first minister of the gospel to hold the Victory Ministries Conferences at Mulungushi Conference Centre with renowned international preachers, giving an opportunity for many Christians to step into the limelight, some for the first time.
“But many pastors criticised him and said he would fail. I am not sure if it was because of jealousy. He was the first Zambian to hold national crusades across Zambia and abroad with most of us pastors looking on with wonder and intrigue at such boldness and success. Most of us at the time had no courage to venture out like that and I am grateful to Dr. Mumba for opening the way for the rest of us and several of us are now holding conferences at Mulungushi.
“With his pioneering spirit, Dr. Mumba stepped into the political realm. His appointment as Republican Vice-President surprised the entire church and the nation at large. He suddenly became Guest of Honour at almost all Christian events but when he was fired, many church leaders began shunning him and they cannot even invite him to speak at their churches nowadays.”
Pastor Sambo said Dr. Mumba is a source of inspiration to a lot of progressive pastors and has inspired even him personally to also enter politics. He said Christians cannot continue to sit on the fence to first wait and see what will happen.
He paid tribute to Dr. Mumba for being a great source of encouragement for the up-coming young pastors not only in Zambia but in Africa and the world at large that a Christian can venture into politics to influence the world with Christian values. He wondered how Christians continue saying politics is a dirty game but as the “salt of the earth”, they still choose to stay out.
“We should not join the chorus of ignorant and vision-less voices with their tired song of ‘Nevers go back to the pulpit’. I think it is only right that we as Christians give him our support. It is time to give meaning to the declaration of Zambian as Christian nation. Let us seize this moment given to us by God and begin to actualize the declaration for the betterment of mother Zambia.”