In defense of the Prophetic: One man’s meat is another man’s poison

By Patson Dzamara
Sky blue and purple are my favourite colours. It will be very naive of me to expect everyone around me to like those colours the same way I do. My good is not everyone’s good.I do not attend any of these prophets’ churches. I don’t understand some of the things they do. I fail to understand some of the things they say.

I have only managed to pay attention to what Makandiwa teaches and I can safely say that he is a good teacher and I like him as a person. I like his charisma, poise and determination. As far as what he does and what some of his colleagues do, I don’t understand everything.

As a theologian myself, I have found somethings about God and even how he operates through me and in me illogical. I mean some of the things about me, the person I know the most, don’t even make sense to me at all. There are a lot of things even in the Bible which do not make sense to me. I am not going to waste my time trying to understand Makandiwa, Magaya or their followers because I won’t. I do go to a certain church and I will be lying if I am to say that I understand everything we do there. I don’t.

Those people understand what they are doing in their own world and they understand each other. I feel that no-one  has any business whatsoever trying to impose their understanding of anything on anyone. Tolerance is very crucial. Most people in this world have died as a result of religious intolerance more than anything.

There has been a lot of debate on the request or suggestion by Makandiwa’s church for people to ‘sacrifice’ some amounts of money in order to secure a good year. I have breezed through certain places where insults were traded over that. That’s not at all necessary.

It’s very simple. As far as I understand, unless if I missed something, no-one was cajoled to participate. No-one pointed a gun on anyone to partake in that. Neither have I come across a place whereby any of those people complaining were asked by anyone who believes in that to help them pay or ‘sacrifice’ the money.

It’s their money, their choice and that has to be respected.

I find it ridiculous and unpalatable that there are some people who seem to think they are ordained and entitled to tell how people should use their money. They worked for it or they got it whichever way but the bottomline is that it’s theirs. They reserve the right to choose what to do with their money. If that works for them, fair and fine. If it doesn’t work for you, fair and fine too but there is no need to fight over that.

On the other hand, those who believe in the sowing or whatever business they participate in at their churches must be tolerant too. If need be and time permitting they must engage others who may register diverging views in a progressive manner.

One’s good is not everyone’s good.

We are are all free to make choices and there is no reason whatsoever why people should trade insults over other people’s rights and choices, especially when it comes to religion. Everyone is entitled to make a choice. We can’t behave like Mugabe, who superimposes himself and his views or wishes on Zimbabwe, in the name of religion.

It’s very easy to criticise what you don’t understand or to become the exact thing you oppose. There is a very thin line. After all is said and done, isn’t it a good thing that the best message anyone can ever make is making a choice. Just choose what you want and allow others to choose what they want. It’s that simple i guess.

We can not succeed as a nation if we remain on this intolerance trajectory. We are in this political and economic mess because our forerunners taught us that anyone who doesn’t see things your way is an enemy. That is a lie. They simply remain your brothers or sisters who are different from you and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Whatever happens and whatever we do, remember we are all Zimbabweans and we are all God’s children. There is none who is more Zimbabwean than another. There is no-one who is more of a child of God than another.

As a leader i have come to realise that people who have different views, beliefs and experiences will be my constant companions. I therefore choose to respect everyone’s views, beliefs and experiences while sticking to mine.

Peace be unto you.

Dr Patson Dzamara is a human rights activist, theologist, political analyst and social commentator.