The term ‘revolution’ implies a forcible overthrow of an unacceptable government or social order in favor of a new system. Yet an evolution implies a gradual development of something, from simplicity towards a more complex form. As an introducer of God’s Kingdom, Jesus used parables that suggest an evolutionary process:
“He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.’ He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough'”(Matthew 13:33) (NIV).
These passages expose what has all along caused Christian failure, since the first century. Jesus was showing some profound effects of true Christianity. It is now a question of adopting the significance of these parables in reality, as to be applied by true Christians. If Christianity has failed, throughout the ages, it has been due to failure to apply what Jesus meant, on these parables.
Arguably, the positive effects of Christianity can be observed, in the current status of the world, as compared to dark ages. This world could have been worse, without Christianity. But the magnanimous advancement of Christianity is impeded by the inability to apply what Jesus meant in these parables. One cannot apply these parables without adopting the principle of evolution.
We now have to explore the reasons why revolutions cannot be workable, even though attractive to common men. The failure of a forcible and violent overthrow of an unwanted system can be observed in the current failures of the ZANU PF government. Such failures are a clear reflection, necessitating another revolution, in the mold of MDC. This can be true of all other revolutionary take-overs of government systems, around the world.
Those revolutionaries start off with well-intentioned objectives. But as soon as they get into power they get corrupted. They apply the same wrong practices that would have spurred them to engage in a revolution. That is why they constantly remind the populace of their revolutionary struggles for independence. They draw sympathies from the gullible populace when insisting that independence could not have been possible without them.
Having been subjected to an oppressive system, ordinary humans fall into anything that promises change. That is why Zimbabweans, including the proponents of change, fell into the trap of supporting a coup. No-one could convince a people, hungry for change, after approximately forty years of Mugabe’s abusive rule. Presently, everyone has become convinced that what happened in 2017 was like moving from the frying pan into the fire.
However, what is important is learning from past mistakes and doing things differently, as guided by experience. When not learning from past mistakes, the same blunders get regurgitated over and over again. As the torchbearer, Jesus brought a new dimension that, if followed accurately, could make all the difference. Humans are under Satan’s slavery. But very few people assume being under slavery.
We have people living comfortable life-styles, as not to imagine any need for possible change. Those people do not even assume that life could change against them. They could be aristocratic, as children of the ruling class. All this comes from the inability to understand the realities of this life. A down-to-earth person knows that nothing remains permanent in this world.
The accumulation of physical wealth can be viewed as necessary for living comfortably. But that comfort cannot be permanently sustainable, as long as surrounded by other people, also desiring to achieve the same goals. History is documented with quite wealthy people in past civilizations. I suppose King Solomon could attest to what the condition of wealth implies.
Unlike his father David, who constantly confronted adversities in his life-time, Solomon attained what could be attributed to a comfortable lifestyle. He acquired everything considered good in his lifetime. He had many wives of the choice of his liking. He abundantly acquired the most precious minerals, as anyone could imagine on earth. But the following is what he had to say:
“I thought in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.’ But that also proved to be meaningless. ‘Laughter,’ I said, ‘is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?’ I tried cheering myself with wine and embracing folly–my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
“I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well-the delights of the heart of man.
“I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this, my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun”(Ecclesiastic 2:1-11) (NIV).
Solomon attests to the fact that the accumulation of wealth is like chasing after the wind. Let us first consider what motivates a person to engage in a revolution. Those engaging in revolutions would have had dreams of living better lives. This is why they become corrupt after obtaining power. They fall into becoming the defenders of an evil system, as to invite another revolution.
As long as motivated by personal gains, rather than what benefits others; the person loses everything. There is no substitute for an altruistic principle. A self-centered philosophy serves to bring misery, not only to oneself but also to others. This is like any of the natural laws, governing the physical universe. A self-centered person becomes miserable and remains miserable. This is just as was documented by King Solomon, in his writings.
The revolutionary leaders are motivated by what they would get, rather than what others would get. Arguably, there are known revolutionaries, considered as having been iconic, like Indira Gandhi of India, for instance. But, I suppose it cannot be proper to portray such achievers as revolutionaries. This is when considering that revolutionaries are known for being violent, in their conduct. We can’t classify those like Indira Gandhi as evolutionists, either. There ought to be a special term for classifying such people, known for being non-violent.
When Jesus came into the limelight, the Romans were in control of governance. The Jews expected a Messiah to be a revolutionary—which can be classified as the opposite of evolution. Jesus taught His followers to love and pray for their enemies, instead of hating them. Does such a viewpoint appear as having no impact, in the business of living? The skeptics can, indeed, argue until sunrise that evolution cannot be workable, in confronting evil.
But before advancing such arguments, one should first show any sustainable revolution—having ever been as effective as Christianity, since Jesus. Approximately two thousand years have elapsed, where only Christianity has sustainably remained effective. While true that there have been deceptions in Christianity, nothing compares with Christianity, in terms of workability and effectiveness.
The fact that Christianity is abused by false teachers—does not make Christianity a failure. To obtain the Christian workability, it is a question of precisely applying its principles. An evolution suggests the idea of influencing other people to become good because the person would be good. This invites applying the following Scripture:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”(Matthew 7:12-14) (NIV).
When thrown into a pig-sty a piece of diamond changes the value of the pig-sty. The worth of the pig-sty gets increased in significance, according to the value of that diamond, changing the outlook of that pig-sty. Therefore, the arrival of Jesus changed the value of the planet earth.
If today, there is any hope for human survival, on the planet earth, that hope was caused by the man called Jesus. His principle is the opposite of what revolutions do recommend. It is premised on the principle of evolution—defined as a gradual development of something, from simplicity towards a more complex form.
Let us consider what happens when doing unto a murderer what one would have the murderer do to one. That which the person concerned desires most is what he would do to that murderer. Suppose the person desires to use the money he has in the bank, to buy the most beautiful car. He gives that same car to the murderer, as a gift.
The person being awarded a beautiful car would be a murderer so that he might not even appreciate the gift. The car-value might not even be reasonably worth it, to a person whose mind is so deranged as to murder other people. The most important thing is that the one awarding the murderer with a car is not influenced by ulterior motives.
In other words, if the murderer concerned, doesn’t appreciate the car, the giver cannot be able to apply the principle. Doing unto others, as one would like, implies that the giver first considers himself as not different from the murderer. This, calls for good listening, coupled with highly effective empathy, before awarding the murderer with a precious car.
That requires an extensive examination of the personal attitude of the donor, towards the person considered to be a murderer. Does he have any doubt that the murderer was created in God’s image? What does he consider to be the cause of the condition of the murderer? Does he view the murderer as in need of coming out of his sinful condition?
These questions would come as a result of treating that person as though being treated himself. This describes an altruistic principle, as assuming being valuable only when able to add value to others. The person views that murderer as not different from himself. He becomes aware that the murderer needs to be salvaged from the state of a murderous condition. Such a mindset cannot be possible without the person first appreciating being a Son of the living God.
It is a mindset, not applicable to those having not yet become aware of being children of the living God. There are so many people who do things that are considered righteous, hoping to get something in return. Those are not God’s children, as different from those who are passionate about helping the downtrodden, at the expense of their own lives.
Jesus said that those on the right track were few in numbers. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”(Matthew 7:13-14) (NIV). The reason why those on the right track are few in numbers is that the idea of evolution is not attractive. Yet the revolutionary way is highly attractive.
When engaged in evolution, one gets preoccupied with helping the other person to discover his nature of being God’s child. In the event that the murderer discovers the reality of being God’s child, he becomes one of God’s Children. The process is not about getting as many people, to subscribe to this principle, before understanding altruism.
The starting point is discovering one’s own identity, as God’s child, avoiding being controlled by the environment. That process appears very slow and insignificant. Yet coming from Jesus who gave a parable about the mustard seed, growing to eventually become the greatest of all plants in the garden. That is what the term ‘evolution’ implies, as referring to true Christianity.
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. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99