Friday, April 13, 2018

REFLECTION ON THE PRESIDENT’S CONSULTATION WITH CHURCH LEADERS - 12TH APRIL 2018


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]

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