IF GOD exists, then my gut feeling tells me He has a sense of humour - and his Son too.

IF GOD exists, then my gut feeling tells me He has a sense of humour - and his Son too.

Not for the first time President Jacob Zuma has confidently declared "the ANC will rule until the Son of Man comes". I bet every time Zuma makes this assertion, both the Almighty and His risen Son convulse in stitches of laughter.

Predictably, many Christians took offence, in particular the South African Council of Churches. Something tells me that those who claim to know without a shadow of a doubt what offends and pleases God and His Son are going to be so shocked when they ultimately learn how wrong they were.

The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust is correct to brush aside criticism by the SACC, which does not take kindly to Zuma's constant invocation of Jesus, saying he must first consult religious leaders on matters it deems to be religiously controversial.

Without batting an eyelid, council spokesperson Eddie Makhue declared: "It is important that, if something is religiously controversial, the president consult religious leaders and particularly us in the SACC."

If this is not a classic case of a religious body being overly presumptuous - or shall I say "controversially arrogant" - then I don't know what is.

Why do some Christians always speak on God's behalf and purport to know everything about His mood, temperament and desires?

And why do they have to be so stuck up as to take everything literally? The worst bit is assuming that anyone who wishes to use Jesus's name must first consult and receive guidance from them.

The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust did not take this lying down. They hit back, correctly accusing the SACC of trying to "privatise" Jesus and conducting itself as if it owns Jesus. Bravo!

The ANC, on the other hand, gave the cowardly cop-out of Zuma being "taken out of context". Oh, come on, he did say it, a number of times.

But I understand why the ANC reacted so timidly - religious bodies have a way of taking us on a guilt trip and brandishing words like "blasphemy" and "hell' in the most intimidating way.

Nobody wants to be guilty of offending God and hell does not look like a picnic in the park!

I do think a word of caution for Zuma and the ANC is warranted. Arrogance combined with taking for granted that you will always appeal to the citizenry is dangerous.

It is important for leaders to be mindful that they can lose votes if they fail us. History has produced enough examples of leaders and parties who assume that being in power is their God-given right. How wrong they were.

I do not claim to know who God is and what He likes or dislikes. But I do know that the picture of God and Jesus, as painted by some Christians, is such a turn-off.

Some Christians have done an excellent job of portraying God as a cranky bully who has no sense of humour. As for God the Son, who would want to hang out with a guy who is so easily offended by Zuma's innocuous comments? If I were God, I would sue the SACC and some Christians for defamation. It is they who are using His name in vain.

PS: The next time Zuma says the ANC will rule until Jesus comes, he must be reminded that in Revelation (3:11), Jesus says: "I cometh quickly."