OPEN LETTER TO ZAMBIA UNION CONFERENCE OF SEVETH-DAY ADVENTISTS.
To: Zambia Union Conference SDA’s Leadership
Reference: Rusangu University Cultural Night
I write to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I address you in the spirit of brotherhood.
The right thing to do was for me to address the Zambia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists leadership by writing directly to them. I understand that. However, I reside in diaspora; therefore I could not bring my concerns to church leadership in Zambia. Secondly, the idea of addressing the leadership through the press is to bring the subject matter into the light; to invoke a conscience awakening to a broad-spectrum of members and university students who possibly are unaware of the effects of integrating Christianity and cultural norms. Thirdly, I decided to write to the press so as to reach a wider continuum of members, and therefore initiate a public discussion of the subject. I will formally write to the Rusangu University leadership over the same.
A few days ago, we viewed a video of cultural performances at Rusangu University which leaves much to be desired. From a church member’s perspective, I personally cannot fathom the idea of young women wiggling their waists in a sexual way inside a hall of a Christian university. I do not need to remind every Zambian, excerpt those born in diaspora, that the idea of teaching a young woman who has come of age (puberty), or one who is about to get married (Matebeto, etc.) is to prepare her to satisfy her husband sexually. Furthermore, the idea of having sexually appealing dances in our villages is to show case what ‘our’ (tribal) women are able to do in bed. Dancing in a sexually arousing way has nothing to do with Christianity, worse still, in a hall at a Christian university campus. I respect our culture, but it has its rightful place. Many other practices are done in the name of culture, for example, marrying two wives, divorce and remarriage, witchcraft, men and women circumcision, piercing earlobes and nose, spousal abuse, pre-marital sex, etc. Is Rusangu University going to allow the practice of these other cultural norms on its campus and not see anything wrong with them? What if you had students who practice homosexuality, are you going to allow them to practice it freely on campus, bearing in mind that homosexuality is a way of life, therefore a ‘culture,’ in the Western hemisphere? Why then should we pick and choose which cultural practice is good for Christianity and particularly for Seventh-day Adventists? I will leave it to the Zambia Union Conference leadership to address the issue of mixing culture and Christianity with Rusangu University leadership.
I do not suggest that the Ministry of Religion and National Guidance take up issue with the SDA church leadership in Zambia. But if they are going to be identifying who is a ‘fake’ prophet, or who is not, then they must also look to larger denominations and see to it that they uphold ‘real’ Christian values, morals and standards, regardless of the organization. In the United States of America, for example, Christian colleges are grappling with the idea of enrolling LGBT (Lesbian, Transgender, Bi-sexual and Transgender) students on their campuses. The government will revoke the status of ‘Christian college’ and require that the campus pay taxes similar to non-Christian universities and colleges depending on whether they accept homosexual students or not. I do not know whether Christian Universities are exempted from paying taxes in Zambia. Should the Zambian government start monitoring Christian Universities to see that they uphold the Christian standard and lose their tax exempt status if they do not?
I recommend that the leadership at Rusangu University immediately ban the cultural night at their campuses. We cannot mix cultural norms with Christianity. The practice will raise many other complicated issues that they will not be able to handle.
In brotherly love,