Constitutions too secular for Christianity?

THE above question has been posed inces­santly on Mo-Afrika FM Radio and I would like to submit my views on the issue.

I am quite aware that Mo-Africa FM lis­teners have commented on this issue over the radio but writing about it might be dif­ferent from on-air comments.

Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees’ dis­ciples and some members of Herod’s party: “Well, then, pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God.” (Matt. 22:15-23, Mark 12:1-17 and Luke 20:20-36.)

This implies that earthly authority and heavenly authority cannot go together.
The scriptures tell us that the birth of Jesus Christ was a thorn in the side of the earthly authorities of the time, such that some of them used deceit to try and estab­lish the whereabouts of this newly-born baby boy in order to kill him.

God knew beforehand the sinister inten­tions of these earthly rulers. They were afraid that this newly-born king would mi­nimise their authority or superiority over the people they govern.
Hence God, through an angel, told the three wise men from the east, to use a dif­ferent route back home after they had seen and worshipped the baby Jesus.

When Jesus grew up and began His min­istry, people came in droves to him because they heard what he was capable of doing such as healing people and exorcising de­mons. At other times he had to teach from a boat for fear he would be crushed by people who wanted his services. People had never seen such a powerful human being who would cure various incurable diseases.

This also was not welcomed by the earth­ly rulers, because people were following Je­sus wherever he went, and more and more of them were proudly displaying their fel­lowship to Jesus.

The earthly rulers jealously felt very soon they would have no people left to rule as all their subjects would have become Christ’s followers.

This began the terrible persecution of followers of Jesus. This was an attempt to make people afraid to follow Jesus or to be­come Christians.

The earthly rulers felt they would lose the privileges of being kings; even people who were in the favour of kings did not like the Christians, for they also were afraid they would lose their privileges.

What would be the result of including Christianity in the Constitution of Lesotho?
When Lesotho became independent in 1966, it meant that the people of Lesotho would run their own affairs.

The result was the birth of the Constitu­tion of Lesotho which was meant to guide any mortal who became prime minister and his cabinet to follow.

But soon the will of the people changed through voting and the Constitution of Le­sotho was suspended. Persecution of Baso­tho by other Basotho followed, those who claimed they did not belong to either of the competing political parties were made to fall on either side by the pain of a sjambok, (ba emeng terateng). And you knew to which side you had to fall from the fence!
If Christianity were included in the Constitution of Lesotho does it mean that Christianity would be suspended as well?

Those who know say history repeats it­self.
To be a politician in Lesotho does not re­quire academic qualifications neither does it require one to be a Christian.

On the other hand, Christianity requires one to be truthful, noble, honourable and full of love, full of hope, full of faith, to be righteous, to be pure and be obedient to God!
Have I left anything?

It was probably a shock to one of Leso­tho’s politicians, when Mo-Afrika FM lis­teners phoned in to say that he was too truthful to be a politician.

The best qualification to be a politician, therefore, is to narrate half-truths as elo­quently as possible.

Does this blend with Christianity?
If anybody who is fluent in telling half-truths can become a politician, and they do not necessarily have to be Christian, then someone who follows any other religion in­cluding those who hold satanic beliefs can become a prime minister, minister or MP in Lesotho, provided the people have voted for him, and provided that person would be able to conceal his satanic beliefs, as long as that person is a Mosotho.

A constitution is a man-made document; it has to be re-visited periodically so that amendments may be made so that the Con­stitution of Lesotho should be up-to-date with the requirements of Basotho as a nation, and also to be in harmony with the rest of the world.
Can you do that with Christianity?

Who would you be to amend the Word of the Almighty God?
The knowledge of the coming of Jesus Christ was prophesied by such prophets as Isaiah.
God could have chosen any nation where He could show His presence in terms of power and love. He could have chosen the Basotho nation (but too young), the English, the Japa­nese or the Iranians, etc. But He chose the Israeli nation.

The Israeli nation had to be taught the pow­er and love of God. Everything on earth has a beginning. For the earthlings, the knowledge of God began with the Israeli nation.
The Old Testament tells us how God re­vealed Himself to them, individually and col­lectively, and how the Israeli nation survived through the assistance of the power and love of God. To avoid culture shock, some of the good practices of the Israeli nation, I believe, were included in God’s laws of the people. (Mind you God is not an oppressor!)

The coming of Jesus Christ was to spread the knowledge of God to the rest of the world.
Jesus Christ as the Son of God, made amendments or summaries to the Word of God.
For example, the ten commandments of Moses for the Israelis became two positive commandments to the whole world, with the main theme as love: “Love your God with all your heart; with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second most important commandment is this: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more than these two.”

This amendment or summary was done more than two thousand years ago!
In the Old Testament, the Israeli nation was told what was ritually clean and ritually unclean to eat.

Jesus Christ amended this by saying what is ritually unclean comes out of the mouth, by what you say, not through what you have eaten, most of which will be excreted.

Can a mortal amend the Word of God? The Word of God was, it is now, and it will be! Consistency and reliability are the greatest characteristics of the Word of God!
Is a mortal’s constitution consistent and reliable?

When mortals make important decisions they say: “Majority rules.” But in the spiri­tual realm, when God is on your side, you are in the majority no matter how many people are against you.
Examples to quote are when Daniel was thrown into a lions’ pit and his false accusers wanted him to be torn to pieces by the lions.

It did not happen. Instead, his accusers and their families were thrown into the lions’ pit and were devoured!

With a small band of Gideon defeated a massive army of the Midianites.
This small band was intentionally cut down. Firstly, those who did not want to fight were released, then the remaining Israelites were observed when they drank water, those who lapped up water like dogs when they drank were kept, they were three hundred, the rest were released. This was done because God wanted to demonstrate His power.

When God is on your side, it does not mat­ter how big, strong and experienced in battle is your adversary, you will be the victor.

In boxing, fighters are carefully matched by their sizes, you cannot match a mosquito weight with a heavy weight otherwise you will initiate total destruction! But David defeated Goliath with almost no weapon, a sling, while Goliath was fully dressed for bat­tle with weapons to match the occasion.

In a parliament, how will you know when God is on your side?
The earthlings say: “Seeing is believing”, but in the spiritual realm it is the reverse: “Believe and then you will see.” These state­ments are contradictory.
How do you put them in a constitution?

Jesus Christ gave the two greatest com­mandments; these statements are the two pil­lars of Christianity. How do you put these in a mortal’s constitution? Unless the Old Tes­tament is used, then Moses’ Ten Command­ments will be included in the constitution of Lesotho.
These commandments, or some of them, are still used by nations which believe that the Messiah has not come yet.

There are three great characteristics that Christians are expected to show in their lives, these are: hope, faith and love.

The greatest of them all being love, in­cluding obedience to God. The three traits, hope, faith and love should not be externally acquired as mortals’ laws are; they have to come from within an individual and radiate outwards, they cannot be inherited.
A constitution is a basis through which a mortal can make earthly laws; most of which are “don’t” laws.

It should be remembered that the Israelites were fresh from Egypt when they were given the ten commandments, so God had to use “Don’t” laws, just like when you raise your young child, you have to use “don’t” laws! (Don’t do this or else!)
But the two commandments about love that Jesus gave are at the next level; they are for Christians.

So, let the Christians practise faith, hope and love in churches and leave the “don’t” laws to the parliaments.

I cannot claim to be knowledgeable or well-versed in the scriptures. I grew up as many Basotho did, from a tender age my grand­mother or my mother would tow me to the church every Sunday to attend Sunday school.

n Mohau Ishmael Semuli is a Maths teacher

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