TIMES OF ZAMBIA REPORT: (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE.COM)CHRISTIANS the world over are commemorating an important part of their calendar, the Easter period, during which they remember the death and resurrection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross more than 2,000 years ago.
It is a period of deep reflection and prayer by all believers as they remember Christ's crucifixion and the full import of that singular act which is re-incarnated by Christians around the globe in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice endured by the Lord to save mankind.
Easter is preceded by Lent, a period which is devoted to fasting, abstinence and penitence in commemoration of the days Jesus Christ spent fasting in the wilderness. Devout Christians opt to fast during Lent and also offer tithe or appreciable amounts as church offering to their respective churches to assist the under-privileged persons in their communities.
Zambia's population is predominantly Christian and this fact, more than anything else, prompted the decision to declare the country a so-called 'Christian Nation' by second republican President Dr Frederick J.T. Chiluba. This declaration was subsequently incorporated in the preamble in the national Constitution.
But one question which begs an answer is: Do most Zambians truly reflect the values and spirit of Christianity in their day-to-day lives?The answer is a resounding NO! Sordid evidence abounds which proves beyond doubt that the bulk of so-called Christians have turned their backs on Biblical principles and scriptures and their lives are devoid of any values that could be construed as Christian.
The levels of corruption in our country have escalated, and many of the perpetrators of such acts are 'Christians,' and yet they have no scruples and do not have even a modicum of integrity.
Corrupt officials in Government ministries, departments, quasi-Government institutions and parastatals continue to exhibit unbridled greed and impunity which often lead them to commit grotesque crimes--stealing far in excess of what any person would need for their sustenance.
Many of them steal not because they are in want of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter; they rob the State and the poor because of avarice; they steal because of their gargantuan appetites for luxuries, which is totally immoral.
It is also undeniable that many of the so-called Christians lead lives of debauchery totally bereft of Christian values. Many, for want of a better term, could be characterised as "Sunday Christians," those who congregate with fellow believers on Sunday and unashamedly return to their sinful ways immediately they leave church.
We are not advocating a level of righteousness which is beyond the capacity of a human being to attain; we are referring to incorrigible individuals whose sins are so repulsive and grotesque, and they make no effort to reform.
Witness the ever-rising statistics about child defilement and rape, indiscriminate killings of spouses, particularly wives, by their partners, bestiality and other unimaginable evils. Are we in the Sodom and Gomorrah era?
These are all matters of grave concern to Government, the Church and the community at large.
We need solutions to curb such crimes in our midst, but efforts made so far have not had the desired impact.
President Michael Sata echoed the sentiments of many in his Easter message yesterday when he implored all Christians to celebrate Easter responsibly and remember the plight of the less fortunate of our society.
He said: "As we celebrate Easter, we should do so responsibly and be mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves.
"Easter should be a time of goodwill and expression of unconditional love to one another. Let us love each other. This is the greatest teaching that Jesus left us."
Hatred, greed, corruption and other vices have the potential to destroy the nation, the President observed. We wish all our esteemed readers happy Easter and hope that the majority will celebrate with moderation and in a dignified manner.
SOURCE TIMES OF ZAMBIA AFRICA