On Obama and leadership

6 min read

Obama, Obama, Obama. This man elicits highly charged responses depending on which side of the racial, spiritual and political divide one stands. He is the world’s most ignorant leader according to some, or the smartest we have ever seen on the international stage in our generation. He is antichrist to some and a Christian, even a saint to others. He is highly divisive to some and a uniting force to others. With Obama, there is no neutral ground. He is like marmite. You love him or hate him to bits. 

My Christian brother has a very obvious stance on Obama. He likes him as a person, his charm and intelligence and is vehemently opposed to his ideas. As you can gather, he is a conservative and Obama is a liberal, and as usual, these two don’t see eye to eye on a wide range of issues. Obviously then, Trump is his man. Although he doesn’t highly rate his Christianity, Trump has kept his word and fulfilled his campaign promises. For this reason, Trump’s misnomers are just shrugged off. In his own words, “When I see him pull off one of his crazy moves I just scratch my head, shake my head and move on!!”. He continues, “I’d rather have a flawed man who makes a fool of himself in front of the whole world acknowledging God than a polished, smart, politically correct democrat that will be used to unleash wickedness in the land”.

A point my Christian brother made repeatedly was that I loathed Trump and at some point, I had to refute it. I don’t loathe Trump. Loathing Trump would be going against a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, love.  I repeatedly emphasized the point that it doesn’t bode well for the church when we support Obama or Trump, that the Christian faith stands above politics and politicians.

Our back and forth was about how leaders with Christian convictions should lead in the marketplace—marketplace being anywhere else apart from the church. So this was my response.

Continue reading “On Obama and leadership”

On Christians and Political Leadership

3 min read

My conversation with my Christian brother continues here…

You posed these three questions.

  1. Do you believe in Christians running for public office including the highest office in the country?
  2. If you do, would you vote for one? 
  3. What would you expect them to do while in office?

My answers to the above questions are Yes, and No. Let me explain.

YES, if the person running will espouse Christian values and ethics that will benefit ALL THE PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF WHO THEY ARE. IF they will serve ALL THE PEOPLE AND NOT JUST CHRISTIANS, THEN YES. 

NO, AND A BIG NO, if the person running for office is doing so just because he/she is a Christian. If being Christian is the reason they are vying for office, no. If their intention is to only serve Christians and disparage or discriminate against other people, then a BIG FAT NO IS MY VOTE. 

In the event I vote for a Christian, I would expect this Christian leader to SERVE ALL THE PEOPLE. To serve Christians and non-Christians alike. To serve pro-choice and pro-life citizens. To serve gay and straight citizens. To serve Muslims, Hindus, Christians and atheists alike. To serve the rich, middle class and poor. To serve capitalists, socialists, and communists. To serve Democrats and Republicans and libertarians alike. To serve Black, White, Indian, Coloured, Latino, Asian, and immigrants alike. 

This is challenging for Christians to practice in non-Christian spaces. 

Continue reading “On Christians and Political Leadership”

On how the Christian faith influences the world

3 min read

My conversation with my Christian brother continues here…

The tone of my response sounds formal because of the nature and manner of our correspondence. Usually, I prefer a more approachable, friendlier and open tone but that wasn’t the case this time. I hope you get the gist of the post.  

Here we go

In my previous engagement with you, I used the term APPEAL. Influence is the term you have used, and it works. Yes, just like salt savours and preserves dishes (Matthew 5:13) or yeast causes the dough to rise (Matthew 13:33), Christians have the resources and mandate to influence our culture. Yes, we do!

This, however, cannot and shouldn’t be confused with IMPOSING our moral values on the culture. Our influence, like salt and yeast, works within and is invisible—this is how we influence culture. How the Christian faith influences public policy is not by wielding power but by an influence that is silent and invisible. Every other faith and worldview shout from the rooftop about its plans, how it wants to dominate the earth. The Christian faith, however, whispers within the corridors of power and most importantly influences men’s hearts. Every time we shout about our influence, we blow our cover. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:1-3?

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On the incompatibility of democracy and religion

6 min read

My second post of the year is on democracy and religion. What a way to start the year! I should post on New Year’s resolutions and how to make sure you fulfill them or how to fast effectively in this fasting season—the foods to eat or not, the jokes to crack or not, the places to visit, how to stay off social media, etc. I should share our moving home stories with you, the brutal blows this home keeps giving us. How we spent the Christmas season and New Year’s excited yet exhausted from the move. But nah, I’m writing to you about the world as I see it.

Hey, enjoy the ride. You are here you may as well read the post.

Here we go.

Last year, I wrote a short Facebook post pointing out India’s path to religious ethnocentrism—a phenomenon that’s taking place in supposedly democratic countries—countries that are supposed to allow divergent views to flourish within the parameters of law and reason, the cornerstones of democracy.

Here is the post

India, the world’s most populous democracy is trying its hand on RELIGIOUS ETHNOCENTRISM. Where Hinduism (religion) is going to be used as a criterion for nationality (Indian) excluding 200 million Indian Muslims and 28 million Indian Christians and others.

Same as Trump with Make America Great Again.

Same as Johnson with Brexit.

Same as ISIS with Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

Same as Hungary with Viktor Orbán. And the list goes on.

The results? Religious intolerance and persecution of the “other”.

What say you proponents of religion in a democracy?  Are they compatible?

As usual, such posts elicit passionate responses. A Christian brother responded passionately objecting to me equating President Trump to ISIS and Al Shabab. He argued and rightly so that Trump hadn’t committed atrocities as ISIS and Al Shabab have. We continued to engage over Facebook messenger and this year he sent me a lengthy response.

As I responded to him, I thought there was enough material in my responses to turn them into blog posts. I have redacted his name and altered or made clear some points.

This was his initial response to my post.

I don’t know what Johnson and Orban stand for or what you don’t like about them, but mentioning Trump along side (sic) ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Shabab is very absurd to me. Mention to me one thing he did that lines up with what these other thugs did. I’m going to say something now and you or other people that read this may roll eyes and think I’ve gone nuts . . . . Trump is the best thing that happened to America in a long long (sic) time and he is actually just as he promised making (sic) America great again. He is definitely not the most eloquent of presidents, doesn’t have the ‘qualifications’ as we know, not a good history, he is rugged, with too many rough edges but he is God’s tool at these season  (sic) to disrupt and keep at bay the plans of wickedness and evil that wants (sic) to sweep over the US. I hope he wins one more term and you will see after he’s gone and if a democrat (sic) takes over, that’s the beginning of the downhill into the drains for America. There you go, I said it!!! Pick up the stones now people.

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God’s barak over you in 2020.

4 min read

For some years now, I’ve developed a habit of reading through the whole bible. I formed this habit out of the rediscovery of the gospel of grace. I heard these words from several people, that “the bible is all about Jesus”, and these words ignited a desire in me to read this ancient text to find out if what they told me was true. It is true. The bible, this ancient text is all about Jesus.

This year, I got myself a new bible and begun following a bible reading plan. If you are interested, I use the Olive Tree app. The app has several bible reading plans. I use the Chronological plan. This plan helps you to move through the bible in chronological order—according to recent historical research as the order of events occurred. I enjoy it. Try it.

Genesis 1-3 was my first reading of the year. Genesis 1:22 reads and God blessed them. Them? Swarms of living creatures in the waters and the birds of the sky.

Vs 28 and God blessed them and said to them. Them? Adam—a general term for humankind. By this time, Eve wasn’t there yet. So, in a generic sense, God blesses all humankind—Adam.

What did God say over them?

Genesis 1:28 NLT
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

As usual, some words give me an itch I have to scratch. The word blessed is such. The Hebrew word for blessed is barak, which means lightning (noun). Its verb form means to kneel, be adored, to lavish with praise and affection.

Continue reading “God’s barak over you in 2020.”