By Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda – 24th August 2017
I was angry, very angry, when I drafted my initial reaction to the raid on the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. I could not fathom the Zambian Government, a professed Christian Government, blockading a place of worship in this Christian Nation, once again preventing and disrupting a Christian prayer gathering. The difference this time is that the chosen battle ground was the Cathedral of the Holy Cross instead of, say, BIGOCA or the Cathedral of the Child Jesus!
I wrote furiously and never stopped till I slept in the chair. When I came to in the morning there was a voice telling me not to release documents written in anger. I believe that my anger was justified under the circumstances but I checked myself and postponed releasing the statement on 24th August 2017. My only consolation is that the Lord Jesus Himself once acted in anger to save the honour of His Father’s House. Yes he whipped those robbers and hypocrites using His Father’s name in vain. Instead of worshipping God they were playing “njuga” in the church. I rebuked myself and I have repented of the language I used but not of the message which is still the same though heavily edited. This is the heavily edited version which relies and is inspired by the Holy Bible.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CATHEDRAL ON 24TH AUGUST 2017
The Government meant business and was flexing its muscles to show who is “Boss” over Zambia. But preventing worshippers from worshiping God is not just bravado, it is the highest affront to the Christian faith. Such conduct led to the fall of that once favoured angel Lucifer. I am surprised and disappointed that some of our usually vocal Men and Women of God have acquiesced to this abomination. What happened at the Cathedral must not be allowed to happen ever again.
Just what happened at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on 24th August 2017 that calls for further attention and frank talk? On this day the Zambian Government, using their horses and chariots instead of Bibles, raided the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, barricaded it and prevented the planned Thanks Giving Prayers to take place (they may have even entered the sanctuary). Those responsible were not just mocking God; they were challenging Him. You cannot have your cake and eat it; you are either for God or against God.
PRAYER: THE LIFEBLOOD OF A CHRISTIAN
Prayer, for a devout Christian, is as blood to the human body. The Bible (otherwise also known as The Word) is the lifeblood of a Christian. In Zambian political language it would be better understood as The Christian’s Constitution, except that it is never amended, for it is sacred, sacrosanct; it is also a potent, multipurpose first aid box. It houses all of God’s secrets for and about life. To deliberately stop or prevent a believer from praying is an abomination. Further the Cathedral was desecrated because the agents of the Zambian Government chose to ignore that they were standing on Holy Ground. They claimed victory of the Public Order Act over the Holy Bible; they celebrated the shaming of those hungry for the Word of God: ‘Go back to your God and let us see what your God will do for you. We have taken over the Cathedral’ they proclaimed.
PUBLIC POLICY ON RELIGION IN ZAMBIA
Apart from biblical concerns what does the Zambian law say about that Battle for the Cross on 24th August 2017? What happened on that day is contrary to public policy as expressed in our statutes. On that day religion in general was, and Christians in particular, were insulted. It is a criminal offence to do what the Police did in the name of Article 31 which allegedly operationalized the Public Order Act which the Police used as their excuse to desecrate the Cathedral. Sections 128 and 129 of Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia expressly provide, inter alia, as follows:
Section 128 (Insult to Religion of any Class): Any person who destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship or any object which is held sacred by any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, is guilty of a misdemeanour.
SECTION 129 (Disturbing Religious Assemblies): Any person who voluntarily causes disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremony, is guilty of a misdemeanour.
[Note: to escape condemnation the Police must disclose who sent them to do what they did at that Holy Ground otherwise we shall conclude that they willingly obeyed the Public Order Act instead of the Holy Bible].
By their act the Government had purported to banish God from His Citadel. In answer to the question “what power are you using to prevent Christians from giving thanks to God?” Big Brother retorted “We are using the Public Order Act”. In answer to a follow up question by that gallant Pastor Chileshe Kangwa, the Police Agents proudly revealed that they had used the powers under the Public Order Act and justified this action by declaring that those who planned to hold Thanks Giving Prayers to God had NO PERMIT; and that they needed prior permission and give Seven Days Notice for them to be allowed to gather for prayers!
The last time I checked the scripture God had declared that “for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them”. This is the real meaning of church; church is not a building nor is the edifice known as the Cathedral of the Holly Cross. It is the presence of two or more people gathered IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. Such people do not need the permission of any Government, let alone that of the Republican President or any other Government official. By their conduct this Government, while continuing to proclaim Christianity, has shoved the Bible down Christians’ throats and equated it with the Public Order Act, amended the Holy Book by ordering Christians to obtain permission before assembling to give thanks to God!
Prayer is the pathway to God’s Heart; prayer makes followers of Christ stronger and focused on the Almighty God and not on a mortal being. This public display against prayer is aiding and abetting Satan’s evil plan for Zambia. That act by the Government was well calculated and selfishly targeted against a hated particular class of people; further it was to show who is in charge; who is the Boss; who calls the shots, and even who fires the bullets. Although the Government has distanced itself from the diabolical act of the Police it is a mere excuse. I call this the Pontius Plate leadership. No one can stop prayer in Zambia in the name of “government”!
For purposes of order and transparency God has created an appropriate governance system, thus: Individual or Self Government; Family Government, Church Government and Civil Government. Each of these structures has its special place in the biblical design and none of these is subservient to the other. You just need to be conscious of when to apply the principles of each one of them.
An accountable leader usually, if not always, takes responsibility for the outcomes of his or her acts. But in Zambia leaders look away from their erring ways; they do not take responsibility for their errors; they always pass the buck. When the Executive part of the Zambian Government was caught re-handed barricading the Cathedral of the Holy while menacingly prancing around on their well-fed and well-groomed horses and chariots, they were quick to blame the Police; yet it is them who are in charge, in control of the Zambia Police Force! This is a typical Pontius Pilate characteristic.
Several of the Men and Women of God have suddenly gone quiet. This is not surprising because that is always the effect of intimidation and even bribery. Just because the Government stopped prayers which are not of your congregation you have kept quiet when there should have been one shrill sound from all Christians for the Devil to be reminded that he is NOT God.
Yes intimidation is a powerful weapon which works almost all the time; that is why Satan uses it. If you succeed in intimidating people you remove their will to resist evil, suspending God’s inbuilt mechanism for personal free judgement and decision-making, and instead you influence them by remote control whereby they keep looking over their shoulder, to see if “Big Brother” is watching. Yet some of our Shepherds use the excuse of “supporting the Government of the day”; please leave such slogans to political sycophants whose tongues are conditioned for churning out slogans, even those they do not understand or believe in. There is no such instruction in the Bible; this understanding of ‘government’ is rather shallow. Instead you are supposed to support what is righteous and rebuke what is evil. There is no middle ground. Genuine Men and Women of God know why Lucifer was demoted and booted out of the presence of God because He (or it) was discouraging the worship of God. So what transpired at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is an abomination.
All Christians must object to the brazen impudence displayed at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, a place of worship open to all Christians. The Silent Shepherds will be judged for their silence; speak up. Belief in God and prayer must not be fettered or be expunged by any power other than God. The Public Order Act exists to address public disorder, whereas the Bible is faith-based and addresses spiritualisation and mobilisation of believers including those in the security services; more importantly the Bible has commanded believers TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. This cannot happen if there is an artificial fetter for Christians to seek prior permission from the Zambian Government before praying! Simply put the Government, using its Zambia Police Force, used force to stop prayers; ever since that day there is no definitive explanation for the behaviour of the State Police; there is total silence of the Government. This is a bad seed that was planted some time ago and is sprouting and will continue to grow because there is no loud and clear authoritative sound condemning that act and previous ones such as at Bishop Peter Ndhlovu’s BIGOCA and other places of worship. This bad seed must be uprooted and burnt forthwith.
The Bible guides by asking “if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” Those in leadership must blow the correct trumpet sounds; they must not bend the rules at will but must set the example for their followers to emulate. Correct sounds have a bearing on whether we shall succeed in finding the elusive unity being advocated for. Such unity cannot be attained when leaders are engaged in Double Speak and promoting hate messages!
Our Shepherds must take heed: the Bible has prophesied that there will come a time when there will be a generation that did not know Joseph. Only a non-believer or an agent of Satan can trash prayer and desecrate any place of worship. Stopping prayer is contrary to God’s Command to pray without ceasing. Jesus says “if you love me obey my commands”. Between Man and God believers must choose God; for He only is the Alpha and Omega, above Him there is no other!
ONE OF THE CONCERNED CHRISTIANS
[14TH SEPTEMBER 2017]
POSTSCRIPT: the last time I checked the head of the Anglican Church was Her Majesty the Queen of England; so that religious insult has crossed the borders of Zambia!