Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Western Emperor Has No Clothes On

Even if you tried to bury your head in the sand, you can still hear the tremor in the ground of the Western carnival that is coming. The music and dancing are getting louder and louder. It is one of human-rights-with-no-holds-barred. It is coming with all the revelry that you would expect. It cannot be ignored.

However, one problem with this procession is that it long left its original route. There are no principles to guide it, except the whims of those who are hiding behind its masks and leading it in whichever direction they please. Even those of us who are in Africa are totally alarmed by its lack of principles.

The other problem is that the issues being fought for under the guise of human rights are so patently wrong that an African like me stands aghast as I look at the current campaigns, debates, and legal reforms in the West. I am asking myself, “But can’t everyone see that the emperor walking in front has no clothes on?”

A century or two ago, Christian missionaries came from the West and taught us the Bible. As a result of this, we did away with polygamy, cannibalism, tribal feuds, etc. We were taught to put on more clothing to hide our nakedness. We learned to desist from tattooing our bodies, which were now temples of the living God. We even stopped sacrificing our babies to ancestral spirits.

The perplexing turn-around
All this made sense. It was logical, once you realised that we were all created by God and in his image. But, alas, the very principles that we were taught from Scripture are now being abandoned wholesale by the countries where our missionaries came from! Sadly, the basic questions are not being answered in this turn-around. As a result, we are bewildered. A few examples should suffice:

Abortion: Who in the West does not know that life begins at conception? It must be obvious to all, therefore, that abortion is murder. Surely, we all know that we are killing fellow human beings in their mothers’ wombs in the millions every year. How come, then, that this reckless killing of babies is not being stopped?

Indecency: It is shocking to see what some adults wear when they leave their homes in the West. They leave very little to the imagination! As if that is not enough, billboard adverts all over the cities are full of naked women, or men and women poised in sexually suggestive positions. As for television and movies, indecency seems to be the stock of the trade. Add to this, public erotic kissing at stations and airports, etc. When visiting the West, I often feel like shouting, “Hey, guys, am I the only one around here who knows that all this is indecent?”

“Living together”: It is commonplace now in the West to have a man and a woman living together who are not married. Their parents know it and they just shrug their shoulders. How? I mean, how? How can a man start living with your daughter without getting your permission, as if she just fell from the sky? Surely it must be wrong. But again, are we the only ones who are seeing the obvious?

Homosexuality: Another bane of the West. Men are insisting on being given the “inalienable right” to have sex with fellow men. For me, this defies basic logic. I mean, how? The anatomy itself suggests that it is not possible. But, again, it does not seem obvious to everyone. This question is made even more pertinent when entire Christian denominations in the West that once sent us missionaries are passing laws to ordain homosexual clergy. I mean, how? Isn’t it patently wrong? We thought the Bible is clear on this matter, or are we reading different Bibles?

The world seems to have gone full circle. It was the West, through its Christian missionaries who taught us decency and propriety but now Western society is walking around half naked. It was the missionaries who taught us that marriage comprised one man and one woman for life, but now their own kith and kin are totally defacing this concept. It was the missionaries from the West who stopped us from sacrificing our babies but now millions of babies are being slaughtered in the West in their mother’s wombs. As for tattooing, don’t even talk about it.

Well, while I am asking these basic questions, the carnival is getting closer. It is coming. Not too long ago, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, visited Zambia. And on the day of his departure, he stated publicly that as a nation we should give equal rights to homosexuals. The whole nation, which took little notice of his presence until that moment (as we have bigger issues to worry about than political exchange visits), was suddenly buzzing with alarm!

I mean, how does an adult come all the way from Korea or America, or wherever it was he was coming from, and tell people who are battling real starvation and endemic corruption to allow males or females to be having sex with each other? Everyone was asking if there were no more pertinent issues for him to talk about. He was obviously straining a gnat, while swallowing an entire camel here.

The intolerant mindlessness
Let me repeat. The basic problem with this carnival is its mindlessness. There is no principle by which to hold truly intelligent discussion. It is being referred to as Post-modernism. It is the claim that ultimately there is no truth. Everything is relative, and so you must keep your opinion to yourself. Hence, someone said, “Let us get rid of religion—whether it is Islam or Christianity. It is just inhibiting us. What is important is that we love one another and care for our planet.”

But that is the point! Who determines “what is important”? Is it some collective feeling of intuition or hunch? Come on! Let’s face it: ultimately, we must have a final objective authority somewhere. We must have a non-moveable starting point. Christianity says that point is, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” We may disagree on some finer details but let us be clear: an intelligent moral being created us, and one day we must give an account to him.

Again, we are back to the emperor and his lack of clothes. In the ecstasy of Western carnival euphoria, adults nod at each other’s claim that science has proved that no one created this finely balanced and intricately complex universe. Everything was simply produced by a big bang aeons ago. They call that education. Surely, even a child can tell us that where there is a design there must be a designer. Even a child can see that the emperor doesn’t have his clothes on.

Sadly, this mindlessness is becoming intolerant of dissenting views. It sounds familiar. When an older generation here in Africa tried to hang on to the empty ways of our forefathers after the Christian missionaries taught us better, many of them simply refused to reason with the younger generation who were questioning the traditions. They would simply insist, “Ni ‘ntambi!” [“It is our culture!”]. In this way, they would halt all intelligent discussion. Any questioning was deemed high treason and serious repercussions would follow.

Sadly, I seem to be hearing the same song being sang in the Western carnival that is getting closer. Laws are being passed to the effect that anyone who says anything against homosexual practices, for instance, is liable to prosecution. It is being called “hate speech”, even if all you are doing is to show its abnormality and senselessness.  At the rate we are going, it will be hate speech for me to say, “Look! The Western emperor has no clothes on!” Oops, I have already said it.


  1. Bless you Ps Mbewe, you have stated the issue clearly and eloquently, I love that Africans are defending Christian moral values as Augustine did 1600 years ago, may GOD prosper the Church in Africa.

  2. An incisive article.

    The next step will be the revisionist historians who come and say, "All these claims you make about Christian missionaries aren't true! They didn't teach against these things at all, or at least they didn't do it much. It was someone else who taught us these good things."

  3. Pr. Mbewe:

    "Asante sana" for this commentary on the way my country has abandoned principles it should be holding on to. Thank you for teaching us.

    -A Reformed Baptist College Student from America
    (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan)

  4. God bless Africa! We are with you brother. Every word you wrote echoes in my heart. Africa lead the way back to truth and the Author and Perfecter of our Faith. Nebuchadnezzar will eat grass again.

    Maria Gladwin, Hogsback, South Africa

  5. Important and true analysis, Pastor Mbewe. I have experienced it first hand in sub-Saharan Africa since 1984, - first as a government worker and then as a faith based community worker. It even happens daily, ands since 1652, - in South-Africa. Yet, Africans seem unable to find release from the Western Pharaos, - allways lamenting the misery while submitting to the chains and easy corruption that Western money can buy freely ...

  6. You are truly a greater nation than the west.

    If Africa gives in to this.....

  7. Amen, Pastor Mbewe. Not all have bowed the knee to Baal. But thank you brother for the bracing reminder that indeed, the church must listen to the voice of her Good Shepherd, not the hirelings- or the one who comes only to Lie, Steal and Destroy. Pray for us, that Christ's church in the west might through off the bonds of cultural captivity, and embrace the freedom of serving Christ, and Christ alone, in the places and in the times our sovereign God has placed and given us.

  8. Telling insight into a truly ironic pattern! Thank you brother for your powerful stand for eternal truth!

  9. Beautiful. Heartbreaking.

    Thank you.

  10. Thank for your insightful article and for sharing your honest perspectives on what is essentially the collapse of Western civilization. Be encouraged that there are Christians here in the West (I am in Australia) who can see the emperor's shameful delusion. We refuse to be a part of it, and feel compelled to speak out. Sadly, our voices are quelled though true believers are to be seen, but not heard. Therefore it is wonderful to be able to join our voices with fellow brother and sisters in Christ across the seas. May the Lord continue to richly bless you, your family and your ministry.

  11. A timely and helpful view from outside of the crumbling empire. Thanks.

  12. I am indeed deeply ashamed of what is happening in my country and I apologize for the embarrassment we have caused to the rest of the world. I have known for a long time that America has become the shining beacon of all that is indecent to the rest of the world and I am frustrated beyond belief that not only is this indecency forcably called normal but that any and all dissent is instantly demonized and silenced by those that call themselves "enlightened" and "tolerant".

    Believe me my friends, the few of us left in America that are true believers have tried our best to stem the tide of repugnancy but we have simply been overwhelmed by those that would do what is right in their own eyes. To put it simply, we have failed. BUT this is not unexpected. The word of God is very clear that America has no role to play in the last days obviously due to the fact that what passes for our culture is a a cesspool of filth and immorality that will drag us down into ruin.

    I believe the book of Revalation is upon us, there is no time left. America cannot help anyone for we are ruined from the inside. Please pray for us that we may regain a little dignity and honor before the end.

    Once again, I apologize for what America has become. It wasn't supposed to be like this, we never wanted to end as the example of what not to be as a people, it just seems like nobody in my country can see how their self centered demands to normalize every form of deviancy, repugnancy, and sin can ruin a once great nation.