Church Priests without God’s True Message

By Ofwono Opondo

December 27, 17

Last Monday’s Christmas sermon by Pastor Robert Kayanja of Rubaga Miracle Centre as reported by various media houses including the New Vision headlined, “Exploit the opportunities brought by Christmas,” was, in my view, better, realistic, fulfilling and refreshing to God’s people who religious leaders claim to serve. Indeed materially poor people cannot serve their God well.
Pastor Kayanja said that there were no ‘prophets’ in Kampala, otherwise they would have foretold the misfortunes that befell many local business empires, which he named. Kayanja implored his congregation to each ask what they had been their individual and collective commercial share during the festive bonanza where families spent lavishly on food, drinks, clothes, travel and entertainment.
Kayanja said he believed each of the one million families spent at least ten thousand (3US dollars) on a kilogram of beef, and wondered what his congregation had put in that market to improve their earnings. Paraphrased, assume one was ill-prepared to sell during this Christmas, how are they getting ready for next year’s festive seasons, starting with Liberation Day, Easter, Youth and women Days, and Independence, and beyond. Kayanja’s gospel was about innovation and creative hard work with commercial purpose.
Contrary, the proclaimed ‘mainstream’ churches, Catholic and Anglican, had their high and low priests, going with stale message about local politics of constitutional amendment Bill, dubbed “Age Limit,” to hoodwink followers they cared. Yet, the communities from whom they extort tithes, offertories and ransoms during un-ending fund-raising drives remain in squalor. But the bishops, think, it is only government’s work to eradicate these more pressing issues of poverty, illiteracy, sickness, domestic abuse, crop failures and animal diseases. This partly explains why Catholic and Anglican churches, old as they are in Uganda, and their priests remain largely beggar institutions.
Priests may be leaders, but as confession in the Anglican prayer book states, “They have left undone what they are supposed to do, and done what they aren’t supposed to do; and the truth isn’t with them,”  and James 4;17, says “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” At his Christmas sermon, Anglican Archbishop, Stanley Ntangali was quoted castigating corruption which government has allegedly failed to tackle. However, fearing to be caught in a cobweb because most proven corrupt are Christians who contribute part of their ill-gotten wealth to the church, Bishop Ntangali made an alibi that he and the church couldn’t tell the difference between good and bad money brought by corrupt Christians.
It is an admission, inadvertently, though, of the patent failure of religious teaching all these centuries against corruption and abuse of power, and so they should let their flocks live in the ways of the earth rather that heaven, they will not see soon.
Bishop Ntangali and the church should know that bad money, and its sources is defined in Uganda laws, which he should read, and talk about during  sermons, and shouldn’t hide his head in sand like the proverbial ostrich. The known and publicly indicted or convicted persons shouldn’t be allowed to per-take religious sanctuaries. They should be booed, and their ill-gotten money turned away the same way proponents of age limit removal are being treated.
But embarrassed by the humiliating defeat of their allies in the political opposition, some religious leaders in ‘mainstream’ churches, have without shame turned this into anger in the futile hope they can continue maligning President Museveni and NRM, and spread unwarranted fear and hate. So, they took advantage of the pulpit during the Christmas season to lambast NRM MPs as not having truly represented the true views of their constituents over the just concluded constitutional amendment bill.
It baffles why bishops believe they alone hold evident truth and good will, and should be believed on all matters spiritual, temporal, earthly, political, and now even legal-constitutional interpretation of our laws, and yet Uganda is not a theocracy.
Except for self-indulgence, these good priests should give Ugandans empirical evidence from credible research to prove the so-called majority didn’t want constitution amended, and MPs aren’t speaking the truth. Otherwise it is erroneous to claim they alone always represent the true aspirations of Ugandans. And if indeed elected politicians cannot represent their people well enough, let the priest while donning those dog collars directly join elective politics as presidential and parliamentary candidates. Throwing broadside shows isn’t much helpful.
The alleged ‘sinners’ should be helped to ‘repent’ and not subjected to ridicule as Archbishop Bishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga looked on bemused as worshippers heckled and booed VP Edward Ssekandi because it is smirk of intolerance and attempt to spread hate. Certainly many proponents of the age limit removal were in that church, but didn’t heckle Archbishop Lawnga as he castigated them. Christ (John 8;7) would have admonished the worshippers “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone,” but Lwanga instead looked on. Jerusalem, a city held in high esteem, is also the centre of controversy as both Christians and Muslims each try to make it their headquarters. Uganda is like Jerusalem, it is our together, and all are presumably trying to make it infinitely good.