BACK in the village in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, the elders with cotton-tuft heads say never blame God for having created the lion, but thank Him for not giving it wings. Imagine if
lions could also fly?
This villager, who has developed the shock absorbers of a grader, will pen this as the last of his writings on religion and religiosity, the art and the belief and move on to other subjects happy to have generated enough national debate on gosprenuership, prophets and spirit mediums. No double entendre!
When we get excited in these towns and cities we must never forget that before we delve into the undergrowth of Christian mythology and rituals, of symbolism and belief between these constructs and imaginings, it will be useful to keep in mind the central imagery of where we came from.
Beckoning are the fields near the banks of the rivers and the hillsides, the flat platforms and floodplains.
Then there are the men and women working on them, following the same paths to the fields again and again.
First, to hoe out furrows, then back, driven by the ancient rhythm of life to survive, across again, dribbling fertiliser. Then, back and all over to sow the seeds.
Then, back and across to weed day after day, with one eye to the sky looking for God’s saliva!
Rain. And, another eye to the ground — the weeds, the insects and the winds — before coming back for the final time, harvesting.
Harvesting the green cobs of maize, brown heads of sorghum, tufts of cotton and digging for sweet potatoes. Harvesting the dry maize. Everything!
This is time of plenty, even the grass grows high, two metres or more, and the rivers rise, frothing and bursting their banks. Roaring boastfully, even!
Carrying everything from grass, sticks, logs, pieces of cloth to small and large mammals.
When the rains end, the grasses burn into a russet hue and all but the deepest of rivers run dry and so will the big pools, one by one.
The dry season comes, those who survive on the river move on to other sources.
Yes, to other sources. Only deposits of silt remind one of the previous flooding.
The more faithful ones remain behind but each day they lose patience and each day the numbers dwindle, dwindle, dwindle and dwindle until there is no more.
Then, they all desert.
Such is the metaphor of life and prophecy. Every dog has its day. It is seasonal, for in the village, the sun rises and sets at its own pedigree, so does the moon, and so does rain and so does darkness.
So does everything. Each has its time and no one can rewind the clock. So, allow this son of a villager to rest his case on that note.
But to continue a bit, on second thoughts, here is another anecdote. When Christianity first came to Zimbabwe, it came with its own history in waves, a series of waves of missionaries bearing with them original political ideas, prejudices, economic innovations, cultural idiosyncrasies and so forth.
Some of these waves were quickly absorbed, as it were in the Zimbabwean terrain. Others in time rolled back, leaving only traces behind.
The terrain itself was not deserted. The autochthons, the original people who lived here, perceived, accepted and rejected these waves in a highly complex and moral way. It was coercion and rejection.
Coercion! Rejection! Minimum force and maximum force, but still coercion.
Coercion and Resistance!
Today, the question of what changed over time and what remained, of what was washed away, what was altered and what remains firm, is what inspires this villager to challenge those who thoughtlessly plunge into latter day prophecy, without seriously understanding what they are going into.
At some stage Christianity started scoring victory over African tradition but not without wars, upheavals and defeats. But in the village soothsayer, the autochthon of knowledge and wisdom questions: “What is victory if the key concepts of society are altered by it and what is defeat if the little that is crucial is lost?”
In the past two installments, this villager managed, successfully, to bring out the internal individual upheavals, the internal storms, the internal fears, as part of the
waves and what they left behind, a fear-struck pseudo-Christian, far too detached from stability and certainty. Unsure and forever unsure of what the future holds,
and as expected, too much relying on the few “anointed ones.”
This week this villager saw in the anger that poured on him by pseudo-Christians, so much that this villager knows, as fact, that if Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and Uebert Angel are genuine, they really have a lot of work to do, for their flock comprises people who need anger management teachings and emotional stabilisation.
Most of them are emotional wrecks, highly intolerant and foul-mouthed that they can easily plunge the name of their respective churches into disrepute.
When it comes to constructive criticism, they would rather have their ears as mere decorum, never for use.
They swear, shout obscenities, threaten the villager, even with death yet they say “God, Almighty God!”
They need deliverance! They need to be freed from their demonic anger.
Let’s say it is given that belief, by its nature, is about emotions but you see, this villager had the last laugh in that he got quite some roasting by self-acclaimed Christians who mistook their prophets with God.
It is almost a sure case that most of these followers joined the Makandiwa and Angels churches from a past they don’t want to be reminded of. Where were they born? What were they before Prophets Makandiwa and Angel came into the fray?
Some of those who defend rabidly what they have not read properly are church-hoppers. They have joined every church that is popular at the time and once something new crops up, you find them there and in the forefront. Patronising, licking and patronising.
They were once with Mathias and Mildred, with the late Pastor Chiweshe, once with Ezekiel Guti, once with Reverend Wutawunashe, once at Celebration Centre and today they are with Prophet Makandiwa and Angel and they will soon move on to another one who crops up. They have moved backwards and forwards, washing and swashing like waves and they will die doing that. Religious prostitutes. Unstable!
What are they looking for? The Kingdom of God is not divided (2 Kings 1:2-16, Luke 11:14-36 (ESV).
They are actually anti-Christ and pretentious.
They are bad-tempered, highly judgmental, intolerant to criticism and all over.
Searching. Desperate! Hey, they are afraid, they are unsettled, they are bitter and they do all this in the name of God, as if God belongs to them alone.
They forget God is for us all.
This villager, who has the shock absorbers of a grader, pities those who threatened his person and his life for calling a spade a spade and will not apologise to anyone for saying some churches have made quite some fortunes from tithes, because reality pains.
This villager thinks many people could benefit from reading the scriptures below.
Do not swear (Matthew 5:34 to 37).
Do not call anybody on earth “Father” (Matthew 23:9 to 36, Galatians 3:20).
What is the religion to us, and to God? (Ephesians 2:11 to 22, Ephesians 4:1 to 32, Matthew 8:5 to 13.
The religion shall not exist any more, God be the only God, and the only temple said the lord).
When unholy possession brings fortunes (Acts 16: 16-18), 1 Thessalonians chapter 2: 3-8, 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-14, Mathew 23: 1-10.
Also interesting is Paul’s letter after the journey (2 Thessalonians 3-14).
Finally there is this song about false prophets:
“Kana vadhakwa, vabva kunhimbe, varova masese vouya voporofita
Ukanzwa vachiti, mwari, mwari nemuromo, mwari mwari nemuromo, inhamba one pakuroya!
“Vakachema nemweya unoti mwari aburuka,” sings Tambaoga!
Zvichapera rinhi? Zvichapera, zvichapera seiko (When and how will it end)?