I am listening to Radio Zimbabwe and pple are phoning in telling stories about Church that has instructed its members to sell TVs, RADIOS, Phones and their children no longer attend schools, parents have left jobs, and those who were doing self jobs have stopped their businesses. They are saying Jesus has come and these worldy things have to be stopped. They survive on maputiroasted maize. The Church is reported to three years old. The Church started in Guruve but its now in Harare and other places around Zimbabwe.

 

Is there no end to human suffering? And for religion to add to the misery…

We live in a time when rumour and conspiracy gossip is rife – in the West at least fanned by shallow journalism, the ten second soundgrab (or is it five?), twittering and the like. Thank goodness for sites like hoaxslayers.com which provide a corrective voice in a ‘Cloud’ open to malicious intent. The first time I was notified that I had inherited a million pounds sterling was surprisingly tempting!

But on the other hand I am grateful that Facebook enables Bishop Kadenge to let me know what is being perpetrated in his home country among the vulnerable poor. I saw a mild dose of it in a Pentacostal church Sandy and I visited in Harare in 2000 – the ‘offering’ appeal went on and on, chorus after chorus.

I have the privilege of an education, and in the religious sphere at least, an understanding of how truths may be tested. I am lucky enough to have knowledge to draw on as I apply critical thinking.

This last week I have been privileged to sit at the feet of a leading Swedish political scientist, a theologian and an investigative journalist; I have had many informal discussions with University chaplains from across Europe and been encouraged as one who is part of a broad community committed to drawing on the well-springs of religion in the interest of promoting the well being of our communities.

As Risto, University Chaplain in Tampere, Finland just posted on Facebook

“I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise.”  Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662)

 

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