Pastoral Reflections on the August 12 Elections #1 - Rebuilding a Fractured Nation

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 

(2 Chronicles 7:14)


On 12th August, registered Zambian voters go to the polls to elect a President, Members of Parliament, Mayors/Council Secretaries and Counselors. The country is awash with campaign messages from participating political parties and independent candidates.  

In the run up to election day, I will be posting my thoughts on this blog on the subject of politics, democracy and governance from a theological and biblical point of view. Our country in its present form is a broken and fractured nation. It is bleeding on many fronts. Our politics are increasingly characterised by violence and tribal divisions. We have become polarised as a country. The economy is in tatters, and the basic social and ethical fabric of society is rent by the crippling winds of injustice. Like a destructive hurricane flattening a city, we have seen a system-wide collapse of law and order. The challenges and effects of the Covid-19 on all spheres of the nation’s life have been devastatingly enormous. Good and inspiring leadership is in short supply. 


This hopeless scenario and downward spiral may cause some people to despair and lose hope, or entirely give up on participating in the electoral process that our democracy affords us. Is this unfortunate situation reversible? Is there any hope for Zambia? Can the fractures on Zambia’s bones be healed? 


I am writing as a Christian, and as a Christian, I am not ignorant of the fact that politics is a broken cistern. When Christians exclusively trust in political solutions and politicians to save the nation, they will be miserably disappointed. (Jer. 2:18, 36-37). My mind has never been held captive to the idea that the only place where the political and economic fortunes of this country can be turned around for the better is at State House and at Parliament. I have never assumed that the executive and the legislature alone can change this country for good. I cannot put my hope in any government, and never will. The gospel challenges this myth. It tells me that the political sphere is just one area, and not the only one, through which change can take place. 


So, as we go the polls on August 12th, each one of us has a civic responsibility to play. The basic duties and responsibilities of Christians in a free society includes the electing of civil leaders. I wish to remind my Christian colleagues that we have an awesome responsibility in this nation and we need to approach these responsibilities from a biblical perspective.  


In these reflections, I set out to assist Christians understand why they should gladly be interested in the electoral process of our country and exercise their patriotic responsibility on Election Day. I must make it clear that I am not advocating for any one particular party or candidate. I am simply engaging with you my readers so that we begin to see how best we can contribute to the good of our country and make an impactful contribution on society by voting with a Christian conscience. 


May God’s people bend their knees and bow their heads and cry to the sovereign LORD of the universe to heal our broken and fractured nation. 



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