Whose interest are Christian organizations fulfilling?

It is of utmost importance to highlight something undeniable. If one considers him/herself a bonafide Christian but displays the following attributes: chances are that the person might be deceiving him/herself, or being just a fake. Unless one holds some modicum of willingness to change, there would be no hope.

  • If invalidating other people’s religious convictions, based on one’s dogmatic pledge to some codes of conduct, assumed as necessary for salvation.

  • Holding some doubt, as to whether one would ever make it into God’s Kingdom.

  • If feeling intimidated at the mention of death or being unwilling to lose life for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

  • If a Christian celebrity, having accumulated material wealth and considering oneself “blessed” in the midst of one’s own poverty-stricken countrymen.

  • If fascinated by miracles, whether of healing or fulfilled prophecies or other manifestations.

  • Proclivity for desiring to protect one’s own interests, at the expense of other fellow humans.

  • Seeking to acquire approval from other humans, rather than from God, on matters of faith and Christian calling.

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NIV).

Jesus established His Church, assisted by those who supported the cause. The Church was to serve the purpose for which Jesus came, salvaging humanity from sinful conditions. Those associated with God’s Church are the called-out ones, viewed as different from those of this world.

True Christians are classified as God’s children, just as Jesus was the Son of God. His disciples became God’s children after Jesus had left the scene. God’s interest is to salvage humanity from sinfulness. Humans have to appreciate the meaning of sinfulness, applicable to everyone.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:4-6 NIV).

Manifestly, there are things that constitute sinfulness. As outlined in the Law of Moses, the Israelites were expected to apply those laws, for purposes of receiving God’s blessings. The missing point had been their inability to appreciate the principle of cause and effect.

Humans were created in God’s image. What caused them to stray away from God’s image? The dos and don’ts commanded to the Israelites left the aspect of cause, untouched. The Law of Moses dealt with effects, rather than causes. This is like attempting to patch up torrential floods without addressing the source.

The business of patching up the flooding streams could serve, temporarily. But that would be unsustainable, as long as the source continues to gush out torrential floods. Indeed, it would be unnecessary to talk about the flooding torrents, after dealing with the source point.

The Law of Moses is perfectly in order. But it is like attempting to stop the torrents of ever-flowing floods, without dealing with the source point. How did humanity, created in God’s image, get associated with sinfulness? As God is not associated with sinfulness, those created in God’s image should not be associated with sinfulness.

The Old Testament Bible comprises the Law and the Prophets. The Law deals with dos and don’ts. The Prophets projected God’s communication with humanity. Both the Law and Prophets were necessary for keeping the reality of the things to come.

“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it” (Luke 16:16 NIV).

The Law and the Prophets fulfilled their role. After Jesus, they became unnecessary. Jesus addresses the source point, handling the torrential floods. The Law and the Prophets played their part, until John the Baptist, projected what he declared of Jesus:

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NIV).

In the analogy of attempting to stop the torrential flows, John says: “Look, the instrument that takes away the source of the torrents.” Those in the business of patching up the streams, could ignore the news, and continue in their patching activities.

Unfortunately, their work would be futile, as representing history. The clever ones, appreciating the new, engage in activities of the new dispensation. This is common sense, as long as operating from the ideals of sanity.

The floods cannot abruptly stop, of course. The law of inertia keeps the floods flowing, for a considerable time. But, as long as believing in the person predisposed to stop the floods, the believer stops engaging in history. That person becomes part of what is current.

The wise quickly discard the futility of engaging in the useless business of patching the downstream floods but aligning their activities with the new. The torrents would soon stop, as the one endowed to disconnect the flow, effectively does His job.

In Jesus, there is no sin. Those accepting Jesus cannot be obsessed with sinfulness. Assured of handling the source, they commit themselves to what they were created to be. They directly communicate with their Father, doing exactly what is expected by their Father.

“The one who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister” (1 John 3:8-10 NIV).

The above Scripture distinguishes charlatans from real Christians. Christianity is often lost at not recognizing the charlatans, who are like chaff, easily blown by the winds. The substance does not succumb, as comprising the reality. That implies truthful information.

But, what is the sin of the world spoken of by John? (John 1:29 NIV). Our search should focus on the quantity of the sin of the world, being just one. All the apparently diverse sins of the world flow from just one source. The torrents of water, downstream, manifest in diverse conditions. But those conditions are the effects, disappearing, after plucking out the source.

Clearly, the source of sinfulness is the devil, “because the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (John 3:8). The dichotomous reality sustaining the physical universe, reveals the existence of the devil. (Good and evil, sweet and bitter, love and hate, peace and war, order and confusion, ad infinitum.)

The question of the devil’s existence is a subject for another day. “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister” (1 John 3:10 NIV).

God’s child knows what is bad, as compared with what is good. There is no room for mistaking what is bad, for what is good, or vice versa. Those doing so are also created in God’s image, although caught up in the inability to distinguish between good and evil.

Jesus was killed by those unable to distinguish between good and evil. Sadly, those people had the Law at their disposal. God’s Law was opposed to injustice. But the custodians of that Law clearly practised injustice, when falsely incarcerating Jesus. The only reason available is that they did not know the source of the sin of the world.

They were blinded so that they could not understand what they were doing. Pilate, representing the gentile Kingdom, tried to reason with them. But the sin of the world inhibited their reasoning capacity. It inspired them to even feel excited about Jesus’s death, without a justifiable reason.

Recently, Zimbabweans witnessed this reality. Using his investigative journalism, Hopewell Chin’ono, uncovered corruption in government circles. Corruption cannot be right for ordinary Zimbabweans. Let alone those empowered with the responsibility to administer justice. Journalist Chin’ono was, instead, incarcerated for exposing that corruption.

Common sense suggests that everyone derides injustice and corruption. Just by acknowledging and uprooting the exposed corruption, the government of Zimbabwe could have asserted itself well. But, a sizable number of people view Hopewell Chin’ono as having been anti-Zimbabwe. This is similar to the consideration of Jesus being viewed as the Jewish enemy.

Using common sense, what was done to Jesus could not be right. Pilate attempted to use that common sense, without success. If not succumbing to the wishes of the Jews, he would have put his political career at stake. Similarly, those supporting Hopewell, by openly confronting the governing authorities, would be considered as putting their lives at risk.

Whose interest did Pilate succumb to? And whose interest, did those who failed to support Hopewell succumb to? In both cases we see everything amounting to self-centeredness. In Hopewell’s case, the majority sought to protect their interests, even though agreeable with Hopewell.

Such people appreciate that God hates injustice. But they cannot confront injustice, because of self-centeredness. This is where you have the charlatan Christians stating that “Christians are not supposed to participate in politics.” They can actually quote Scriptures, justifying that stand. This is notwithstanding that they know God hates injustice.

Anyone can point at that behaviour as ratifying cowardice. But it is depicted in the sin of the world: “Self-centeredness.” Every normal human being knows the difference between good and evil. The Jews crucified Jesus because they wanted to protect their interests. Ordinary Jews knew the truth, but agreed with the Pharisees, because of self-interest.

Governor Pilate succumbed to the whims of the Jews, to protect his political career. In Zimbabwe, the governing authorities had to punish Hopewell, to protect their interests. Similarly, ordinary Zimbabweans could not confront the rulers for the injustice meted against Hopewell. Being on the side of justice, in the face of injustice, but doing nothing about it, should be regarded as more wicked.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:21-24 NIV).

One can assume being peaceful, by not taking sides—as to be neither hot nor cold—which gives comfort, of course. However, this comfortable area is the most dangerous, as it only serves to fulfil the interests of the devil.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich, and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness, and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” (Revelation 3:15-18 NIV).

Christian organizations have coalesced under the banner of self-centeredness. Talk to any Catholic, or some member of any Christian grouping, about some truth from the Bible. Such people may perceive the truth. But for the sake of their own interests, they would rather remain comfortable in their dogma. The comfortable dogma would be too overbearing for them to renounce.

Every human being, created in God’s image, knows how to differentiate between right and wrong. But unable to confront evilness, because of self-centeredness. Of importance to them is protecting personal interests—a malady exposing the sin of the world—self-centeredness. Jesus effectively handled the only sin of the world.

When assuming that one’s interests are more important than God’s interests, one cannot be God’s child. Those coalescing under their denominational organizations, unknowingly peddle with the sin of the world. They cannot think like Jesus who renounced personal interests to redeem humanity. Their interests are devil’s interest, whose communication is congealed in self-centeredness.

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

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99