The year 2017 like all the years ahead of it has come and gone. I write to offer some perspective on the past year.
Deceptively, Namibia is described as a 90% Christian nation. I say it is a deception because my proper description of Christianity is that Christianity is a way of life. Christianity is not just a description but a character which is very distinctive from other characters.
The same way, I detest the description of Namibia as a Christian country, I also have serious questions against the so-called Namibia: “Land of the Brave.” Bravely is not just a description but a character. Yes, there are episodes of bravery and true Christianity in but a very scant number of our population, but these few examples cannot be used to sweep the whole nation as brave and Christian until such a time that the character of its people, leaders and preachers, businessmen/women exhibit such cardinal characteristics befitting their calling.
The year 2017 is the hereby declared by this writer as a year of lament, more than a year of celebration. Because of our failure to be brave and to be Christian, the following are lamentable:
Firstly, I lament that we fail to fight the onslaught of alcoholism. Many supposedly brave and/or Christian Namibians sit around the tables decorated with a variety of alcohol bottles. And as they sit there, all morning, days and nights, they consume alcohol as alcohol drinks their brains out. Hence we have the so called brave and/or Christian Namibians who are incorrigible victims of alcohol. The so called brave and/or Christian is currently languishing in alcoholism and unable to quit it.
When are they going to be brave enough or fasten their Christian belts and shun alcohol and embrace sobriety?
Secondly there are many so-called brave and/or Christians who are dying prematurely in this land. Dying of preventable conditions and diseases! Imagine the highly sensitive HIV/AIDS. Much has been said about this deadly disease.
Methods of prevention and management where it is detected is a daily chorus. New cases of infection continue to be reported. Cases of death caused by the inability of the so-called brave and/or Christian people to adhere to preventative measures and adhere to treatment formulae. Imagine medical advice given on what to and what not to eat, the Namibian person will continue to do to the contrary until the prognosis becomes zero and the person dies. What about the purported bravery, and where is life called Christianity?
Thirdly, many so-called brave and/or Christian Namibian men continue to abuse the masculinity hence they become dangerous beasts. Instead of being protectors of women and children, they prey on the very same people they supposed to protect and they rape, kill, steal and corrupt!
Fourthly, we have a national crisis of road accidents. The “don’t drink and drive” as well as the “do not over-speed” rhetoric fall on deaf ears of the so-called brave people, let alone Christians. Much of the road accidents are caused by the human error of failing to control the vehicles. Do we want to believe that, we are totally defeated and we cannot bring down road accidents?
Fithly, our political sphere is clearly failing or have failed to deliver people out of bondage in terms of poverty and hopelessness.
Many so called brave democrats, let alone those who call themselves Christians make it their business to hate their Namibian brothers and sisters in the name of politics. Hence they become highly sensitive and oversensitive when their political comfort zone is challenged. They resort to insults, shaming and name calling.
Politics in the year 2017 has not been so much different fundamentally from that of previous years because their status, fame and money making schemes continue to dominate the minds of politicians much more than service delivery.
My final word is that Christians are not different from non-Christians. Biblically, the impact that Christians have to make on their society is based on their own character namely “salt of the earth and light of the world”. The earth is rotten today because the salt lost its saltiness and the world in the dark because the light is not shining. In other words Christians are not being what they ought to be.
As we look forward to 2018, there are three things that Christians in Namibia need to reclaim which they have lost. A great Christian writer of the 21st century Rev Dr. John Stott makes several observations which I summarize as follows: Christians must be radically distinct from those who are not Christians, or at least those who think they are when they are not.
We must not ask why there is darkness in world or why is rot in the society, but rather we must ask where light and salt is.
Christians must seek to permeate the non-Christian society. While we maintain our distinctiveness, we must not be isolated or segregated. Christians are to remain in the mainstream of the society and permeate it just like light taking darkness away and salt stopping the rot in the meat. Christians must retain their Christian characters in season and out of season. Salt must be salt and light must be light all the times at home, in business, in politics and elsewhere.
Without being Christians, we cannot build Namibia as a prosperous nation and the coming year 2018 will not be different from 2017 and previous years unless we change. It is now the time to act.