Evil needs no publicity

Unbeknown to many people is that the only condition that sustains evil, in this world, is its publicity. The formula is: When in need of goodness to prevail, just publicize goodness as broadly as possible and ignore bad occurrences. Similarly, when in need of evil to prevail just publicize evil deeds as broadly as possible and ignore good tidings. Nothing beats the power of communication.

The effect of existent evil in any environment is sustained by the degree of its publicity. We can use marriage as the first area depicting this datum. As long as without deception at the beginning, marriages are designed to be a blessing to those involved. The aspect of distrust, developing along the way, for most marriages is a result of bad publicity. Observing more marriages falling apart than those maintained to become effective is so sad.

The development of evil in marriages starts with bad publicity. There is a tendency for couples to dwell on unfavourable conduct where good conduct would be completely ignored. Always highlighting evil is assumed to be necessary, for eliminating bad conduct. Maintained on that trajectory, such marriages can be guaranteed to fail. Assigning marital failures to poverty or infidelity is erroneous. Those conditions have no bearing on marital failures.

Marital failures are a result of bad publicity, just as marital successes are a result of good publicity. This statement is axiomatically true, as also highlighted by Paul in one of his epistles to the Corinthians: “Love keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5). However, out of ignorance, most couples would rather reverse Paul’s exhortation and insist on keeping the record of wrongs. The appetite seems to constantly desire to communicate wrongs.

All marital failures can be traced to maintaining the falsehood that it is necessary to keep a record of wrongs. There would be no mention of anything good ever done by the accused person, except evil conduct. By the way, evil does not need categorization. There is no better or worse evil, in this life. All evil is just as bad. The badness of evil depends on the publicity assigned to it.

Consider a woman who is respectful to her husband, good at looking after her children and maintaining the home. Unfortunately, she is caught in adultery. Regardless of how remorseful and repentant, she gets condemned to Satan. The children would be condemned to live their lives without a caring mother. From such children, would emerge future couples with similar problems.

The impact would depend on how that adultery sin would be publicized. This should not be construed as condoning adultery. This is just used for illustration purposes, although, I wouldn’t accept that there is anyone ever having lived without the sin of adultery. It is important to first understand the significance of adultery, which begins with the mind.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. You should lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

“And if your right-hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. You should lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right-hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. You should lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:27-32 NIV).

The above Scripture has often been misused by those craving for divorcing their spouses. Sadly, women, always receive the worst, out of this misrepresentation. Hence, at one stage, men suggested stoning, on an adulterous woman, but without suggesting to also stone the man having committed adultery with her (John 8:3-11). The KJV translation is closest to the original Greek rendition of Matthew 5:32:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, except for cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery” (KJV).

Fornication is different from committing adultery. Fornication refers to sexual activities outside marriage. The above Scripture nullifies the significance of fornication. The first time a person is involved in fornication, he/she becomes married, to the person with whom one is engaged in fornication. There is no room for playing games with sex, as far as Jesus was concerned.

Remember, that Jesus’ lecture was inapplicable to ordinary humanity, but to His disciples. A Christian should not be interpreted according to the current description of Christianity. The lecture in Matthew, Chapters 5, 6 and 7, cannot apply to ordinary humanity. Nevertheless, I have not heard of anyone having ever gouged his/her eye, or amputated his/her limb, because of sin.

The worldly sins cannot be dealt with by highlighting the obvious evil practices. Such evil practices can only be dealt with by highlighting the obvious goodness. The more goodness is highlighted, the better for that marriage to survive. From this can be observed that marital survival guarantees better survival for future generations. Highlighting only goodness in marriages promotes not only the wellbeing of couples but also the wellbeing of their children.

This is why Jesus highlighted the necessity to forgive many times. Correcting the wrongs of this broken world is impossible. The guarantee for positive future survival is not in accusations, but in forgiving one another. This can be observed from a common sense viewpoint. The problem arises, only when people fail to truthfully apply the principle of forgiving.

Rarely do our newspapers highlight good tidings in society, as society is always itching and willing to buy newspapers with negative comments. In our polarized society, government newspapers attempt to publicize positive things but produce toxic garbage against the opposition.

Similar vitriolic reporting also comes from the considered opposition newspapers, as if revenging against the state media. Evil would be the only triumphing condition, as none among the protagonists would benefit. The more one concentrates on highlighting evil, the more one gets entrenched in evil.

Surprisingly, death is hated by many, yet death is the most publicized of all negative occurrences in this world. More depressions are experienced, due to unending death publicities. Burying our loved ones is not a new phenomenon, but it is often treated as having come unexpectedly.

I used to hold the opinion that death should be treated with the highest degree of sobriety. This changed at the death of my father, in 1986. Some Shona women came with a custom of performing comical activities during funerals. I was shocked at the beginning but later noticed that bereaving people were warmed up by such comedies. This appeared to enlighten the burden of bereavement.

It later dawned on me that laughter and smiles can, actually be experienced, even during funerals. There is nothing new about death, after all. Those comical activities during funerals give another dimension to handling stress. Laughter is therapeutic, as granting relief to stress, which induces illnesses.

Of course, laughter during funerals can be interpreted as miss-emotional. Being deprived of our loved ones brings sorrow. But what does sorrow bring to humanity, except the multiplication of problems induced by sorrowfulness? The lives of humanity are better, as long as they always focus on publicizing the positive, rather than the negative occurrences.

As long as clear that physical life was never meant to be permanent, there is no reason to be stressed about death. It can only be a question of what one does during his physical life, than always concentrating on people’s deaths. Goodness is caused by good conduct; just as evil is an effect of dreadful conduct.

Instead of highlighting dreadful conduct, highlighting good conduct is noblest. Good conducts are often suppressed, due to jealousness. We live in a world, where it is considered difficult to commend fellow humans for doing well. Some people are considered undeserving of commendation for doing well.

It has always been considered deserving, to receive the honour, due to categorizing people according to class or viewpoints. In our Zimbabwean political scenario, good conduct from the opposition is suppressed. Good conducts have to be publicized, only when coming from those from one’s camp.

Otherwise, the drive is always to highlight bad conduct from the opposition. A nation can never reach anywhere, with such reasoning. Common sense reveals that to be the symptoms of a dying nation. Good conducts need highlighting, regardless of source, rather than on negative occurrences, for bad publicity.

This is not limited to political problems in our country; it is common, especially among those calling themselves, “Christians.” For example, let us randomly pick on the SDAs and the Catholics, viewed as totally opposed to each other. Regardless of how commendable the acts of the Catholics, the SDAs would invalidate that and focus on the Catholics being the manifestation of the “Beast.”

To them, nothing commendable can come from the Beast. Rather than highlight the good deeds of the Catholics, even some of the beneficiaries choose down-playing good works by the Catholics. There might be some truth in that the Catholics represent the beast, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. But what has that to do with commendable works being promoted by the Catholics?

The wrong thing has always been to focus on publicizing evil while neglecting publicizing what is good. The appetite to publicize evil does not change anything for the better. It only serves to fuel the trajectory of the effects of evil conduct. By highlighting good conduct by whoever promotes good conduct one would not necessarily be downplaying evil conduct by the same commended individual.

The idea is not to publicize the evil conducts, but the good conducts, at all times. This should be the business of every Christian. Bad conducts are weakened or nullified when highlighting the good conduct. Yet, at the same time, good, conducts are weakened, or nullified, when highlighting bad conduct. This can be taken as another law, as also pronounced by the apostle Paul:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9 NIV).

All commendable things are assigned to God, just as all dishonourable things are assigned to Satan. The function of Christianity ought to be that of publicizing the good information, rather than always publicizing the bad news. All the existent bad things in the environment are in proportion to the prevailing bad publicity.

A Christian is expected to be a channel of good news publicity. When privileged to have received what one considers to be good, it is one’s responsibility to publicize it to others. Always assigned to physical humans, good things are directly from God, who represents all goodness in this life.

Is it not amazing that bad things such as Tshabangu’s insidious conduct have received more publicity than anything considered good, in Zimbabwe? Why is it that people have an appetite to publicize evilness rather than goodness? There is truth in that if people focused only on publicizing goodness, all evil would, accordingly disappear. This is just as the illuminating exposure of light serves to diminish the prevailing darkness.

Advocate Nelson Chamisa has often received vitriolic attacks for highlighting Scriptures and constantly using the hashtag #GodIsInIt.  His attackers probably considering him as not worthy of highlighting the Scriptures, would not be aware of being the instrument of Satan. You cannot despise anything from the Scriptures, regardless of who pronounces them, and call yourself a Christian.

A true Christian is one who focuses only on highlighting goodness, even when said by evil people, except mockingly. This is just as it is wrong to assign evil to humanity, created in God’s image. One cannot be God’s instrument when always highlighting evilness in humanity, rather than goodness. This is why it can only be love that drives out wickedness, which is impossible to drive out using hatred.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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