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The Church should hold Christian political leaders accountable

Church in the Community - Media Release in the Herald: 19th February 2024

Source: TCN / Bishop William Leleki
Date Added: 2024-02-19

Category: General NewsTCN NewsIssues - GeneralIssues - Politics
Our understanding of mission is that it has something to do with being sent.

Mission is about forward moving under the authority of Jesus Christ, to transform and be transformed into a community of love.

The church of Christ is a movement that exists to bring about transformation in the world.

During 2023, local church leadership wrote numerous letters and had meetings with political leaders in the Nelson Mandela Metro to appeal to their Christian consciences to prioritise the improvement of the living conditions of our people.

The interventions failed to bring any significant change.

The last letter by Transformation Christian Network addressed to both provincial and national political heads urging them to bring about stability in metro politics did not get the attention it deserved.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Christian leadership had hoped that their cries on behalf of the citizens of the metro through private correspondence would be sufficient to draw the attention of those in authority to the challenges facing the people of the metro due to lack of decisive political leadership.

Christian leaders in the metro trusted that appealing to Christian principles mutually shared and acknowledged by those in power would trigger the consciences of the politicians from all parties to positive action.

Instead, the experience of successive coalitions is that the focus is on political power at the expense of service delivery.

More time is spent on political debates and exchange of political chairs than talking about how best to improve service delivery to benefit the people who voted them into power.

Voices of those outside political circles are not listened to.

Their attempts to engage those in power do not translate to change of heart and willingness to heed the mandate of the people.

When Jesus came to sight of the city, he wept over it (Luke 19:41).

I believe that Jesus weeps over crime, poverty, drugs, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy,
potholes, etc.

The Bible encourages us to honour others above ourselves, and to love one another.

Treating others with respect and dignity is an excellent way of showing the love of God.

The reason I think it is important that the mission of God is communicated to those in power is simply because they are in a unique position to influence the officials who have the power to change the conditions in which our people find themselves.

It seems that God has put tremendous responsibility on those called by His name to work for transformation and better life for God’s people.

I believe deeply that if leaders of the Gospel can speak the truth openly and fearlessly to those in authority, transformation for better can be seen to take place during our life time.

I am convinced that the Holy Spirit is moving Christian leaders in our Metro to dare face up to the injustices which permeate the whole fabric of our society.

I pray that our Christian leaders will find courage to speak out even if this means being rejected.

Time has run out. We must stand up and save our hard-earned democracy through pain and blood of our people.

The Bible forces us to demand justice on behalf of God’s people: “For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbing and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them.”  (Isaiah 61:8)

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, proclaims that it is part of his mission “to set at liberty those who are oppressed".

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” (Luke 4:18).

We pray that our political leaders should know God, not just knowing God, but treat God as a trusted friend to live with Him on daily basis and by so doing it would be much easier to treat God’s people with dignity they deserve.

Let us be encouraged by Paul’s words when taking mission to those in power; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained` faithful.” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Bishop Dr William Leleki
Bishop of the Methodist Church of SA (Makhanda District)
Source: TCN / Bishop William Leleki
Date Added: 2024-02-19

Category: General NewsTCN NewsIssues - GeneralIssues - Politics
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