Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. What was once a bread basket of Africa, exporting food, became a basket case, with millions starving. 28 years of misrule by Marxist Robert Mugabe resulted in the greatest unemployment (85%), the highest inflation (over 2 million%) and the lowest life expectancy (31 years) in the world. More than half of the population have fled the country.
How does one begin to rebuild a country that has been so thoroughly ruined?
This is the challenge that we as Christians must respond to. It is imperative that Christians worldwide unite in prayer and action - to ensure that the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe are freed from the tyranny which has oppressed them for so long.
A Time for Prayer and Action
This is the time of great urgency when we need to mobilize our congregations to earnestly intercede for the Christians who are suffering in Zimbabwe. Civilians have been beaten in the streets and judges in their chambers. Pastors have been imprisoned for “subversive prayers.” Church buildings have been raided by police and bulldozed down. Mugabe’s police have assaulted and arrested many members of parliament and independent election observers.
We need to contact our elected representatives to urge decisive action to ensure that the lawless ZANU-PF regime of Robert Mugabe is removed from office and replaced with the democratically elected legitimate government of President Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change. A military coup is seeking to keep the newly elected government from office and perpetuate the disgraceful dictatorship of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF.
Considering that Mugabe and his Marxists came to power through violence and deception, it is not surprising that he is endeavoured to stay in power through the same means.
We need to write letters to our leaders urging them to support the Zimbabwean people in their struggle for freedom and justice. Write letters to the editor of your favourite newspaper or magazine to encourage others to help our brethren in Zimbabwe.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us that we ought always to pray and not give up. In the Parable of the Persistant Widow the Lord taught us that even an unjust judge will do what is right in response to persistant prayer and pressure (Luke 18: 1-7).
We need to pray and act now to ensure that the Zimbabweans attain the freedom that they have been praying and working for these many years. Then we need to be prepared to support them in rebuilding their country on Biblical principles. Mobilise your congregation to observe 9 November as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted.
Of the highest priority will be to lay solid Biblical foundations for the new nation. Mugabe’s Marxist regime destroyed the Rule of Law and devastated the economy. One first priority for the new government of Zimbabwe will be to restore respect for life and property and for the Rule of Law. We would recommend that the very first act of the new administration would be to call for a National Day of Repentance and Prayer, just as Zambia’s MMD did in 1991.
A Turning Point in History
The situation we are facing in Zimbabwe today is similar to that in Eastern Europe in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down and communist dictator Nicolai Ceaucescu was shot by his own army, on Christmas Day. My parents-in-law, Rev. Bill and Harriett Bathman, who have spent most of their 55 years in missions serving the persecuted churches in Eastern Europe, and my wife and I travelled into Romania to assist in Leadership Training for the newly liberated country.
Similarly, in 1991 when Kaunda’s socialist UNIP regime was swept from power in Zambia, the new Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) of President Frederick Chiluba came to power declaring it’s commitment to establish Zambia as a Christian country. One of the first acts of President Chiluba was to solemnly call for a National Day of Repentance and Prayer. We had the privilege of going into Zambia and conducting many Biblical Worldview Seminars for teachers, chaplains, pastors, evangelists and government officials as they began the task of rebuilding Zambia on Biblical foundations.
To Heal Zimbabwe
If we want God to heal Zimbabwe, then we need to mobilize God’s people to humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14).
President Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC government in Zimbabwe will have the daunting task to restore confidence for investors, farmers and tourists. He can do this by implementing Biblical principles of restorative justice. Restitution to those defrauded and looted by the Marxist ZANU regime, restoration of property to those who were unjustly deprived of their homes and properties, and promoting free enterprise and honest money will help heal the devastated economy of Zimbabwe. With 85% of the workforce unemployed Zimbabwe needs investors to create jobs.
“Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants…” Leviticus 25:10
Free Market and Honest Money
God gave us the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions: “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15 and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours goods” (Exodus 20:17) establishes the principles of private ownership of property. Socialism is legalized theft. It is institutionalized envy. And it just doesn’t work. Historically, socialism has produced nothing but poverty and bureaucracy. The Bible commands diligent hard work, honesty and thrift (1 Thes. 4:11; 2 Thes 3:10).
Free enterprise, honest money and the Christian work ethic will go a long way to restoring the economy in Zimbabwe. “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends up in slave labour.” Proverbs 12:24. The Bible forbids unjust weights and measures/inflation (Leviticus 19:35-36). The devastating impact of unbacked currency/inflation on pensions and savings is criminal. Biblical Law requires that we have honest money backed by real constant value (Proverbs 20:10; Micah 6:11-12).
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Chronicles 3:17
The only hope for Zimbabwe is return in repentance to God, rediscover the Biblical agenda and restore Biblical principles into every area of personal and community life, education, economics, public ethics, the judiciary and public policy.
Foundations for Freedom and Prosperity
The foundation for a truly free and prosperous nation can only be layed in characters, minds and lives changed by the Grace of God. Therefore the new government of Zimbabwe must give high priority to the work of Bible-based Evangelical chaplains, in the prisons, in the police and army, and for all in the civil service. In order to be successful, a society needs to be made up of honest citizens who will not steal, diligent people who are hardworking and productive, compassionate families who are concerned for their neighbours, responsible workers who will fulfill their obligations and be faithful stewards of public resources.
“…stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice…” Isaiah 1:16-17
For nations to be strong, the families need to be strong. For governments to be good, their citizens need to be good. Those who cannot control themselves are not capable of ruling over a city (Proverbs 16:32). Those who cannot manage their household well are not qualified to lead others (1 Timothy 3:4-5).
“…see the trouble we are in; Jerusalem is in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17
To Bless Zimbabwe
We want God to bless Zimbabwe, therefore we need to work for a civil administration which:
recognises God as the highest source of authority and applies Biblical principles as the foundation for all law. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it…” Psalm 127:1
Checks and Balances
The Bible and history confirm that human nature is basically selfish. Therefore we need a form of government with strict laws and punishment for criminal behaviour. However, as “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” rulers cannot be trusted with absolute power either. There needs to be checks and balances. A constitutional republic where Law rules.
Nations need to be built on the unchangeable law of God’s Word. Instead of rulers, we must elect servants – civil servants – bound down with the chains of the constitution. We need to seek to erect a system of checks and balances to divide power and responsibility between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
Transforming Communities by Changing Lives
Mission teams of Frontline Fellowship are preparing now for conducting Biblical Worldview Seminars, God and Government Seminars and Reformation and Revival Seminars in order to assist Zimbabweans in the reconstruction of their country. By God’s grace Frontline has already reprinted 10,000 copies of the new Biblical Principles for Africa book in preparation for this Leadership Training in Zimbabwe.
Do you want to be part of this nation transforming team?
“Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12
Dr. Peter Hammond