Church leaders must break out of their cocoons and speak up

"If the rest of society is rotting, it means that the majority of people are keeping quiet," Pastor Musa Sono roared to more than 3000 members of his congregation at the renowned Grace Bible Church in Pimville on Sunday.

"If the rest of society is rotting, it means that the majority of people are keeping quiet," Pastor Musa Sono roared to more than 3000 members of his congregation at the renowned Grace Bible Church in Pimville on Sunday.

Sono was preaching on the crucial role the church, its members and religious leaders in particular, should play in implementing effective transformation of our society.

I wished his sermon could go on forever because not many religious leaders are courageous enough to challenge the social ills that prevail within their communities and society in general.

It was refreshing and inspiring to listen to a powerful leader, who has his hand firmly on the societal pulse. Most importantly, one who is uncompromising and not afraid to speak his mind.

As a public figure and a well- travelled motivational speaker, I have found that most religious leaders have become worse than timid.

I think Jesus Christ is embarrassed that His name and that of His Father are associated with such shameless cowards. They seem to be comfortable burying their tails between their legs while the structures within our communities are being destroyed.

They choose to proudly focus on the heroics of John, Paul and Moses in the Bible than to realise and accept that they are the modern disciples of God - or at least they would like us to believe they are.

Unfortunately, their commitment to addressing social ills that afflict our communities is not exemplary.

Their silence in tackling critical issues that are destroying our people leaves much to be desired.

I mean, logic dictates that religious leaders are powerful and influential people within their communities.

For instance, not many of us can gather 3000 human beings under one roof every weekend, year in and year out. Yet they waste that precious time, resource and privilege that has been bestowed on them, by ignoring critical issues that are destroying the social fabric of our society.

There is the issue of drugs everywhere, HIV-Aids is ravaging our societies, children are sodomised, raped and maimed by their own siblings.

Further, violent crime including brutal murders are occurring as you read my column, but our leaders are silent.

Unwanted and teenage pregnancies have become rife with children dropping out of school on a daily. Physical and emotional abuse of women and men within marriages is another problem of concern.

Corruption in politics is another thorny issue. There is greed and backstabbing and cheating within the churches, yet our religious leaders choose to look the other way.

Children's throats are slashed and their lifeless bodies are found sprawled in the veld all over the country.

Sono is young, he is up to speed and is not afraid to challenge these issues in an earnest effort to transform our society.

I am proud to be associated with a Godly man like him. A black man who is willing to sacrifice his own comfort zone to challenge our evil ways that directly contribute to drowning our proud social standing.

I am particularly impressed that he does this with an unwavering passion, without fear or favour or prejudice.

He is driven by commitment to his people and to his country.

Thank you Pastor Sono, and may God bless you.

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