In Summary
  • This, however, is not going to happen until the Church wakes out of her slumber to walk in the power and authority that the Lord has given to it. Like the prodigal son, the Church should come to its senses and realise that she was created for more than handouts from the State, endless fundraisers, etc.

The recent chaos and violence during the Arua Municipality Parliamentary by-election and the ensuing arrest and alleged torture of Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, had the country so high-strung that many thought Uganda was teetering on the edges of a fully-fledged civil war. As the #FreeBobiWine trended on social media, many disgruntled Ugandans also took the opportunity to call out various religious and faith leaders on their seemingly very noisy silence with regards to the entire matter.

The few that came out with statements in solidarity with #FreeBobiWine were immediately hailed and acclaimed as true men of God worthy of respect for being able to feel for the common man while those that maintained their silence were condemned as useless men/women that were simply using the name of God for their personal gain.

Unfair as this assessment was to the various church leaders, one cannot blame the frustrated, disgruntled Ugandans for thinking this way. The Church in Uganda has for a long time assumed the background role when it came to issues concerning the destiny of the country. The church today is being depicted as a weak, beggarly institution that merely survives on the goodwill of the government. We have all had experiences where the Sunday sermon was turned into an appeal for the government ‘help’ simply because one or two government officials were in attendance. We have witnessed shady political leaders being invited as guests of honour at church events simply because their presence guarantees more million shillings in the church’s basket.

We have seen top religious leaders dance to the President’s tune, singing him endless praises because that would guarantee them armed security and free cars. It is, therefore, no surprise when people seek the ‘voice of God’ only when they feel it is convenient to them and only when it is something that appeases their minds. Oh how far the Church has fallen!

The church was never meant to be at the mercy of the State. The church is meant to be a pillar of society, a solution, a beacon to light the way for the State. Any mature Christian that has read stories of men like Prophet Elijah, who stopped the rain (and in effect determined the economy of the entire state) for years and men like Prophet Elisha at whose word the economy of an entire nation was overturned in a single day, should understand that these aren’t simply stories to amuse the Church or make it feel a good. These stories should be constant reminders to the Church that in matters of destiny of countries, the ultimate authority lies with it. The authority to change the course of a nation doesn’t lie in parliaments, caucuses or supreme courts, but with the Church.

But at a time when the Church is supposed to be wielding her authority, many of her members are busy embroiled in petty fights and ignorant demonising of the men of God that have stepped out of the norm and are doing the best they can to demonstrate the power of God. It is the mandate of the Church to hand over the kingdoms of this world back to Christ so that this scripture can come to pass: Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “And the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! [Revelations 11:15].

This, however, is not going to happen until the Church wakes out of her slumber to walk in the power and authority that the Lord has given to it. Like the prodigal son, the Church should come to its senses and realise that she was created for more than handouts from the State, endless fundraisers, etc.