Originally published in NGKOK.co.za
“Unload the corrupt from society, send them in peace to jail. They must do so freely. And tell them not to play a Samson on us by bringing the pillars of society down en route to jail, ” Rev Frank Chikane, former director-general of the presidency under Thabo Mbeki, told the Nelson Mandela Bay Christian Leadership Network (NNBCLM) yesterday.
Speaking in a Zoom meeting [See video at bottom of page] hosted by NNBCLM, Chikane provided input on the church’s potential to bring healing and renewal to society. A former anti-apartheid activist who was tortured and nearly killed for his beliefs, Chikane said the Christian faith is about God who is love. We must socially embody this love as the Church rather than reflect the divisions in society.
The church must also let God be God, God can bring renewal, not us. Christians are called to be renewed in the image and likeness of God, and not to create a (small) God in our image and likeness, he said.
On the upcoming local elections, Chikane said the church does not have party political preferences, but should put pressure on parties to nominate candidates with integrity. Political parties need to know they are going to feel the heat from church communities if they put corrupt people on their candidate lists. The Church underestimates its power to make a difference to the quality of representatives, he said.
He referred to the high level of pain in so many areas of society, and said the Church needs to address that pain at all levels. The government has a budget to provide services, and the church needs to apply pressure to ensure this money is used properly. Corrupt politicians know how much pain they are causing, but nonetheless continue with their misdeeds.
Chikane, a senior leader of the SA Council of Churches, said the council declared the national government a few years ago as lacking moral credibility. That charge still stands. However, he said he was hopeful that agriculture is starting to turn away from corruption.