Mhere Saga: To forgive or divorce?

0503-1-1-MHERE GRAPHICFatima Bulla

The Christian community was recently swayed into confusion by events that rocked gospel musician Mathias Mhere’s marriage.

Last month Mhere discovered an alleged affair between his wife, Susan Dzinamarira and a close friend Gift Mahlupeka, through text messages, most of which were of a sexual nature.

The wife has been labelled loose while Mahlupeka has been regarded as a backstabber.

Some have also suggested that Mhere was busy with his profession and neglecting his wife.

As such, accusations have been thrown all over the place raising debate as to how Mhere, being a Christian, ought to deal with the future of his six-year union which produced three children.

Senior pastor and founder of Impact Christian Centre Davison Kanokanga said the entire story was still confusing as there were many sides to it.

“There is a side where Mhere is reported to say the wife was involved in an affair with his friend through discovered texts. Then this guy (Mahlupeka) somewhere is read saying Mathias was the one sending text messages pretending to be his wife to trap him. The wife is reported also to have admitted being adulterous but without sleeping with the guy.

“But according to the Bible if a man or woman looks at another lustfully you have committed adultery. Adultery starts in the mind and it can end in the mind. It doesn’t have to result in sex. Whatever happened clearly was immoral even if we were to assume there was no physical contact since the people involved are all married. They didn’t respect their boundaries. The messages were dangerous and that in itself was wrong.

“The parties involved profess to be Christians, but there is nothing Christian about what happened there. This is putting the name of God into disrepute. With such a behaviour one is tempted to think gospel music is business pursued not because people believe or live the gospel. But that’s how they make money,” Pastor Kanokanga said.

With references being made that Mhere could have neglected his wife, Pastor Kanokanga, who is also the founder of the Marriage Centre, said it is wrong to be heavenly minded and to be earthly irrelevant.

“One’s profession doesn’t come before their spouse. In terms of ranking, one’s spouse comes first. It is wrong for a married person to ignore the needs of their spouse. But if your needs are not met it is not right to go outside. Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Pastor Kanokanga added.

Turning to the fate of the marriage, Pastor Kanokanga said there is nothing wrong for a cheated spouse to make a decision to forgive their spouse and remain in their marriage.

“Both parties should decipher this issue of adultery. They need to understand what happened because there is a case of broken trust which needs to be rebuilt. There is need to address what caused it in the first place because if it isn’t done chances of recurrences are high. In this case counselling becomes critical to ensure the chapter is closed,” concluded Pastor Kanokanga.

John 3:8-11 gives an account of the scribes and Pharisees who brought a woman accused of adultery before Jesus to decide her fate. They were basing their judgement on the law given out by Moses which ordered one caught in adultery to be stoned.

In response Jesus however says, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Glorious Fire Family International Founder Pastor Tonderai Nyariri also professed confusion to the circumstances surrounding the Mhere saga.

Pastor Nyariri said Mhere was a hero if he managed to forgive and remain in union with his wife.

“In Matthew 5:32 Jesus Christ said adultery is the only reason for a break-up. There is a scripture of forgiveness in Matthew 18:22 which however over-rules the former verse such that he (Mhere) can choose to forgive and to remain with his wife.

“On the other hand one can forgive and choose not to be involved with that person again. But if he decided to let go we don’t have a right to then say he didn’t forgive. He is allowed by The Bible to do so.

“My concern is nowadays there is HIV and it’s scary. You never know, probably there was a problem with the husband in the home but the wife’s solution was bad. She needed to find advice from the aunts or pastors. Why would a married woman chat with the husband’s friend about sexual issues? There was an admiration of private parts of the body and why would one do that if they hadn’t slept together.

“The messages are making a noise and they should help me in judging my story.

“Probably there are demons of adultery and the wife needs to have them cast out or else they will come back again. One day a boyfriend might even come and harm the husband.

“If Mhere thinks of forgiving he is a hero and thank God for him. But if he wants a divorce he is justified,” Pastor Nyariri said.

Adulterous scandals like that of America’s former television evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart, come to mind.

In 1988 Swaggart was exposed as having been consorting with a prostitute leading to his suspension and defrocking by the Assemblies of God. Three years later, Swaggart was implicated in another scandal involving a prostitute. As a result, Swaggart’s ministry became non-affiliated, non-denominational and significantly smaller than it was in the ministry’s pre-scandal years.

Zimbabwe National Practitioners Association president Friday Chisanyu said long back elders had a way to reveal the truth if a partner was accused of infidelity.

“According to our tradition you have to catch the person in the act not to assume. On these phones people text all sorts of things even when there is nothing happening. Way back elders through consultation of the local chief would use traditional medicine to expose a woman accused of adultery.

“That is why people couldn’t just divorce like they are doing now,” Sekuru Chisanyu said.

He added that the admittance to having cheated is a display of honesty.

“If a person admits to cheating it means they are honest, you are the one who now has a problem if you don’t forgive. God says love your wife as yourself, so he should do that. “Some people get angry on catching their wife with one boyfriend when they have a string of girlfriends in the church,” the traditionalist added.

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