The Sunday Mail
God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, which simply means He is all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere in that order.
His sheer preponderance as a Supreme Being means He cannot be appropriated and put in anyone’s back pocket.
Human beings cannot possibly fathom his Superior Being; they can only comprehend what he has revealed through his faithful servants throughout the Ages.
Except for what we can only peer in the Bible through His grace, as mere mortals, we cannot claim to know God’s designs.
What is Bishop Lazi driving at? Well, God is not a Zanu-PF or MDC card-carrying member.
Nor does He belong to any political party for that matter.
I will further explain this later.
God doesn’t belong to Man; in fact, Man belongs to God.
Isaiah 55:8-9 painstakingly emphasises the dissimilarities between God and Man’s wills and designs.
He declares: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
But not in this part of the African savannah, where God is reduced to a tagline that is used to sell a political party manifesto.
Criminals, crooks, murderers, con artists and gospreneurs are now increasingly vainly using God’s name to sanctify dastardly acts.
Those who want to wage war or violence now do it in the name of the Lord; those who want to kill also use the name of the Lord.
Con artists know full well that God’s word is peremptory and unappealable; so they sanctimoniously sell their word to their followers as the Lord’s word.
And this is why German philosopher Karl Marx once argued that “religion is the opium of the people”.
Sometimes the mischievous use it to radicalise and turn people into obliging and willing instruments of their parochial but vaulting ambitions.
Over time, this has unfortunately engendered religious extremism, which has come to be generically known as religious fundamentalism.
This is why we see latter-day prophets spray congregates with insect repellents or forcing them to eat cockroaches in the name of salvation.
Argh! This world so.
A wacko called David Koresh
It reminds the Bishop of this American chap, David Koresh, who led a Branch Davidian sect — a breakaway from the Seventh Day Adventist church — that lived in a separate community in Waco, Texas (United States of America).
Well, the charismatic self-styled prophet claimed that he had managed to crack the code of the Book of Revelations in the Bible, from which he had been able decipher that the apocalypse — or end of the world — was nigh.
He and his more than 80 followers, who included 30 Britons, began stockpiling guns as they wanted to form “God’s Army” that would fight in the apocalyptic wars.
This continued build-up of arms at the compound naturally attracted the interest of US authorities, who, in February 1993, decided to raid it in order to seize illegal firearms.
But the raid, which was met by obstinate cult followers, turned into a four-hour firefight that claimed 10 lives.
However, this was just the beginning of a 55-day stand-off, which ended on April 19 1993 when a siege on the Waco compound by the authorities led to an unexplained inferno that claimed 76 lives.
It is believed that most of the victims died when the compound collapsed during the blaze, while others were killed by gunshot wounds, including Koresh, who was found shot in the head.
It could not be ascertained whether Koresh killed himself, or whether he was shot by another member of the sect.
But notably, more than 24 of the dead were under the age of 17.
News of the unfortunate incident reverberated around the world, highlighting the pitfalls of an unguarded religious zealotry on humanity.
From that day onwards, the sect members came to be known as the wackos from Waco.
. . . Enter MDC fasting
You see, dear reader, zealotry and delusion are Siamese twins.
Whereas what happened in Texas on that April afternoon was tragic, what happened in the MDC in 2013 was tragi-comic.
Some MDC members will never forget how in 2013 Nelson Chamisa — now president of the MDC but then organising secretary of the party — convinced Morgan Tsvangirai not to overexert himself through political campaigns as he had been told by God that the MDC would win that year’s elections resoundingly.
After falling out with Chamisa, the party’s then youth assembly secretary-general, Promise Mkwananzi, berated the callow young political in an interview on March 10 2014.
“Chamisa has become unpopular for dividing the party through mishandling the primary elections and misleading the president (Morgan Tsvangirai) into believing that God had told him that the party would win last year’s elections,” said Mkwananzi.
You could swear that such words could have come from the infamous Prophet Madungwe, who claims he was once invited to Heaven by God for a braai.
Or you could easily attribute them to Prophet Sanyangore who, in one of his stunts, claimed to have been talking to God on his cellphone.
We all know that instead of winning the elections resoundingly, the MDC lost the elections overwhelmingly.
But the young man was at it again in the past weeks when he told his followers to fast for seven days for them to get the spiritual guidance and divine intervention needed to remove ED and his Government and somehow install him as the next leader.
The signal finally came, and we are told the D-Day is on Friday.
It actually first came from Professor Jonathan Moyo, who tweeted from a cave somewhere in Kenya, that “The time, the time is now”, which was stylistically conveyed with the hashtag #IfNotNowThenWhen.
We all know how this is going to end.
And how Prof Jonathan Moyo finds himself pre-empting Chamisa’s agenda is anybody’s guess.
But if you know, as the Bishop knows, then you definitely know.
However, the Bishop digresses.
Isaiah 58: 2-4 tells us better about fasting.
“For day after say they seek me out; as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
“They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
“Why have we fasted, ‘they say ‘and you have not seen it?’
“Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
“Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists
“You cannot fast as you do today and expect to be heard on high,” says the Lord.
Bishop Lazi always grapples with why people always call on God’s name in order to prosecute a blatantly violent pursuit.
Such behaviour always issue from a misbegotten view that presupposes that the self-anointed righteous group has a right to overthrow, by any means, the supposed heretical apostates.
But what is God’s role in all this?
It goes right to the heart of the antithetical theological arguments on predestination and human free will.
Predestination presupposes that all things happen as God wills them and obviously limits man’s free will.
In essence, it supposes that man’s fate is always pre-destined or pre-determined.
However, if God is in control of every aspect of human behaviour — or when Gods in it as the MDC claims — why does man become culpable of sin? Or violence? Or crime?
Why not blame God?
Which definitely means that man really has free will and is able to shape his or her destiny, God willing. Kikiki.
So, for the MDC, Friday is the day for their “holy war”.
But for those who cannot wait until Friday for what is going to happen, let the Bishop pre-empt it for you: MDC supporters are going to be bused into town, they will block a few cars here and there in the CBD, make a lot of noise, and in the evening they will take the next Zupco bus back home.
Social media will be inundated by pictures of the “massive crowd”.
We have been down this path before.
It is all there is to it — a monumental failure. But look closely at the characters that now surround Chamisa, who are selfishly urging him on: Tendai Biti, Prof Welshman Ncube and Job Sikhala — all prodigal sons who turned on Tsvangirai and at one time wanted to depose him.
With every strategic blooper and failure, their ambition grows.
And with every lost by-election — Nyanga, Bikita, Nkayi, Bulawayo, Bubi and Lupane — Chamisa’s repertoire as a failure grows, the chink in his armour gapes and the frustration with his leadership style grows.
Day by day his Waterloo beckons.
Bishop Lazi thinks that every time this lot says ED won’t last until 2023, he actually feels that they mean Chamisa. Kikikiki.
But rest assured: the blood and sacrifice of our heroes and the service of a uniformed and ununiformed forces — which and who we celebrate this week — mean Zimbabwe’s sovereignty is guaranteed.