From Nharrel Namani, Kaduna.
Very soon, politicians will start crisscrossing the country, asking to be elected into different political offices. In religious cycles Nigeria has plenty of men and women who purport to speak on behalf of God.
By now Nigerians are used to hearing empty promises by lying politicians and false prophecies by false prophets. These false prophets are found in every religion that claims to know God; but I shall concern myself with those claiming faith in Jesus Christ.
The people get harassed in bad political weather. They run to seek solace in bad religious climate. They are conquered by deceit in both arena.
The lying politician is that person who comes asking to be voted into a political office, making promises he knows he will not keep.
The false prophet is that person who comes in God’s name preaching out of tune (with the Bible) messages and prophesying what he knows will not happen. For he does not have the power to fulfil them. He rants on his own. For God did not send him. How do we know? The things he prophesied about do not come true (Deuteronomy 18:22).
So what do lying politicians and false prophets have in common? Both claim to represent the people in government and before God respectively. But sadly, both feed fat at the expense of the people whose interests they supposedly represent (Ezekiel 34:2,8).
Both live by deceit and falsehood.
Otherwise our country should not be where it is developmentally. We should by now be talking of making progress in fields other nations have advanced to, and are far ahead of us. The church should have gone far impacting and transforming society.
The motivations in going into politics and ministry are different from what they profess. At the end they gain more and the people they claim to represent lose more.
The people lose more because they have been used to lies that conditioned them to be perpetual losers in politics and religion.
We must admit, the common factors between the lying politicians and the false prophets concern us. It is obvious that both see politics and ministry as business and are driven by their profitability. Money made, determines how profitable a business is.
That many politicians are in politics for money and material gains is no news. That many so-called men of God are in ministry for money is not a suprise. Remove money or its appendages many will not aspire for elective positions or ‘to do God’s work. This conclusion is arrived by asking what the objectives of politics and religion are. Both are to help benefit or improve the life of the people. Politics is to help develop and advance the economic, social and other areas of life of the people. Religion is to help develop the moral and spiritual life of the people. When these are observed not to be the concern of the politicians and the prophets we know they are pursuing something else. That something is money.
We know it, because when elected, the politician occupies himself stealing money from the public treasury meant for the people. The false preacher occupies himself preaching about the gods- money and materials and how to make them quickly.
Both the lying politicians and the false prophets are dangerous and destructive.They hinder progress in the directions of politics and religion, which are meant to advance a country and improve the moral and spiritual lives of the people. The lying politician’s promises, raise the people’s hope. But these hopes are dashed as soon as he comes to office. The false prophets tell the people all will be well, but their lives and fortunes keep deteriorating.
A Dangerous Conspiracy
Between the lying politicians and the false prophets is a conspiracy; that is choking and suffocating the country to death. There seems an unwritten agreement, to impoverish the people, and leave them underdeveloped in many areas.
This understanding reminds of a story i read recently about one of the world’s infamous tyrants Europe produced.
The story goes that, once he went to a meeting with a live fowl. He plucked off its feathers one by one. The fowl “quacked in pain, blood oozing from its pores. It gave out heartbreaking cries but he continued without remorse, plucking until the fowl was completely naked”.
After that, he threw it on the ground. “From his pocket he took out some feeds and threw at the poor creature. It started eating and as he walked away, the fowl followed him and sat at his feet feeding from his hand.”
The aim of that cruel and brutal demonstration was to show that, for the people to follow leaders blindly, they have to be ‘disempowered and brutalised’. Given only survival rations in, …. their helpless and desperate situation, the people will blindly follow…the wicked leaders, for the rest of their lives. They will think these leaders are heroes forever. They will forget that, it was these…cruel leaders … who brought them to that situation in the first place. Sad but True
It is sad but true; that a disempowered and brutalized people continue to follow blindly those who brought them to their sorry states. With lies and empty promises; while stealing their money, lying politicians leave them impoverished, rolling in pains and blood. With false prophecies, and while stealing their minds; false prophets continue to deceive them, leaving them confused, morally depraved and spiritually wrecked.
Yet the people continue to fall over themselves to collect the pittance the lying politicians dole out. Yet the people keep emptying their pockets to the false prophets doubling as money doublers; with the hope of getting their money doubled.
The poor people continue to kill themselves following and defending the same people that wrecked their economy and ruined their lives.
The wonder is why the politician keeps coming and making same promises every electoral year. But when he assumes office, he forgets his promises. The wonder is why the false prophets keep prophesying prosperity to their congregation day after day in places of worship. But their fortunes do not improve.
But the biggest wonder is why both the electorates and the congregations forget so quickly. They easily forget the unfulfilled promises and prophesies made to them before. They forget no one apologised or explained why promises made were not kept. It is a great wonder why the people keep being deceived every now and then.
Since the people forget to ask questions; since they forget to demand that leaders accounts for their stewardship; it is no wonder the politicians and the prophets remain comfortable in business by deceit. Because they know they are dealing with a people who easily forget the past.
Until the people act, deceit will continue to rule the land. Keeping quiet encourages those who trade in lies to oppress the people.
The Christian’s first response is prayer. For our political and spiritual leaders; that God who controls the heart of the king should change them to govern with justice and righteousness. That God will chose leaders who will do his will in our land. The efficacy of our prayers depends on whether we are truly concerned for the reign of justice and righteousness in the land.
Besides prayers, we must begin to hold our political and religious leaders to account for their promises and prophecies. To the politicians we must ask: In the last campaign you promised us this and that, where are they? To the prophet we should ask: You said, God said, in exactly one year we will have this or that. The year has come and gone. Where are the things God said we must have?
Good quality service delivery and accountability to the people are to be emphasized and demanded over and above money in principle and practice. And when good quality service and accountability are not given, advocacy and the voter’s card must be put to good use to remove the deceiving pretenders.Then we will have less of lying politicians coming to take us for granted.
To the deceiving prophet, we must learn to call down the name of the One in whose name he plies his trade.. We must of necessity employ advocacy and stand against such men, as the Spirit leads. Such cancerous growths should not be allowed to develop.
We will have less of false prophets coming into the noble ministry of preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for what material gains they can make out of it. Maybe the lying politicians will stop playing on our collective intelligence. Maybe the false prophets will stop exploiting our sincere hunger to experience God and his power. And they will stop manipulating our gullibity to enrich themselves.
Both the lying politicians and the false prophets are products of the society in which they perpetrate and perpetuate their deceit. A people get leaders they deserve. A people with misplaced priority, wrong value system, and who hate the truth will have overdoses of lying politicians and false prophets. To free ourselves from their captivity we should thrive for justice and righteousness individually and collectively. For righteousness makes a nation great (Proverbs 11:11).
The church must purge itself to lead the nation in the way of righteousness by making the rule of God topmost priority (Matthew 6:33).
▪Namani, a Christian worker is based in Kaduna.