The President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob called for a meeting with Church leaders, through the Council of Churches in Namibia, at State House in Windhoek. A few representatives of the Bahai community and the Islamic community were also present. Approximately 70 people were in attendance, in addition to a number of cabinet ministers. The representatives of the Christian church generally demonstrated a good degree of unity in terms of matters of common concern. Here and there a few church leaders lacked clarity of expression and speech.
The President opened the meeting with a reading from Hebrews 10:24-25, after which the Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta, a retired Lutheran Bishop, opened the meeting with prayer.
The President made a few introductory remarks which were hard to hear. It amazes me that the sound system at State House (or the management thereof) is so poor - after all good communication, and the ability to listen well is the essence of such a meeting.
The President began by asking each person present to introduce themselves and their church affiliations. Thereafter he gave ample time to listen to the community.
The subjects, as might be expected related mostly to the moral issues facing the nation. Gender violence, murder, abortion and baby dumping, land issues, youth issues, pornography and the internet, poverty and unemployment, the need for the Bible in schools and religious/ moral education were spoken about by the members of the floor. The controversial subject of the proposed taxation of churches was also mentioned.
The Acting General Secretary of the Council of Churches in Namibia, Mr. Ludwig Beukes, raised the matter of the ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education’ agenda in our schools. This agenda has been introduced into the SADEC community via UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). The church perceives this to be a subversive agenda driven by foreign countries and organisations. This agenda has been introduced to our Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, and is intended to ‘educate’ children about matters of sex from an early age. This agenda is supposed to cure the sexual aggression of the future generation. The church however believes that the content of this program is harmful rather than helpful.
SO WHAT DID THIS MEETING ACHIEVE?
One would like to believe that the President and his Cabinet ministers have truly wanted to hear and value the opinions of the church community. It is clear that the government is under much pressure from Foreign Donor Agencies whose monetary support is substantially linked to an agenda which promotes a re-writing of not only healthy cultural norms and values but substantially undermines biblical norms and values.
Politicians are easily tempted by the prospects of receiving donor money in the name of national development and job creations. But the church asks, ‘At what cost?’ Short term thinking and gratification and short term political gain must be avoided at all costs. We need to guard the fences of our Namibian house. We need to build a robust and healthy nation for the sake of our children.
The church is the moral and spiritual guardian of the nation. As the church sees it, the nation can only be built on the proven and tested foundations of the Word of God.
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]