By Brendah Muchato
His Excellency the President and ZANU PF First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged the church to be exemplary as well as remaining as the light and salt of the nation.
"The church must remain the light and salt of our nation; you must never dim your light or lose your saltiness. Churches and organisations such as Pastors for Economic Development should be instrumental in weaving families, society, communities together in unity, peace, love and harmony", he said
"Your spiritual, philanthropic and multi-dimensional development work in education, health, social protection as well as water and sanitation among other aspects, must be scaled up. In the words of St Francis of Assisi "Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words". As such, the deeds of the Church must speak louder than words; the most powerful sermons are unspoken. The Church must continue to be exemplary", President Mnangagwa said.
He made these remarks yesterday at the Pastors for Ecomomic Development Conference which was held at the City Sports Centre in Harare.
President Mnangagwa also applauded the role played by the church in preserving high moral values and ethics within our country.
"Under the Second Republic, our people deserve a higher quality of life and they should prosper and be in good health even as their souls prosper. I applaud the role played by the Church towards inculcating, nurturing and preserving high moral values and ethics within our country", His Excellency said.
President Mnangagwa commended Pastors for Economic Development for contextualising theology as it relates to the land and entrenching the gospel of hard honest work.
"Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa nevene vayo, Ilizwe lakhiwa libuswe, ngabanikazi balo'. To this end, I commend Pastors for Economic Development for correctly contextualising theology as it relates to the land and entrenching the gospel of hard honest work, production and productivity as well as broad-based economic empowerment and emancipation", he said.
His Excellency also commended the Pastors for Economic Development for calling upon the nation to pray for economic development.
"I further commend the Pastors for Economic Development for calling upon the nation to pray for economic development as well as your recognition and support for my Government's leadership in conformity to Romans 13 verses 3 to 7. We must all be good stewards over the nation of Zimbabwe which was given to us by God and work hard with the wisdom, to realise our national development aspirations and Vision 2030", His Excellency said.
He challenged Pastors to encourage Zimbabweans to live upright lives and never to use religion and the religious space to advance nefarious agenda of our detractors.
"As preachers, you also challenge our people to always seek a balance and live upright lives before God as encouraged in Mathew 6 verse 33 which says,....seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you'.
"Furthermore, according to Proverbs 21 verse 21 is '...whoever pursues righteousness and love, finds life, prosperity and honour". Hence, organisations such as the Pastors for Economic Development are scriptural and have a place in our body politik even as Proverbs 14 verse 23 says "there is profit in hard work, but mere talk leads to poverty".
He also added, " Never allow yourselves to be swayed into using religion and the religious space as a tool to advance the nefarious agenda of detractors. Men and women of the cloth together with religious institutions should never be conduits for pushing regionalism, tribalism, division and other neo-imperial propaganda. This is Zimbabwe, our only home given to us by Almighty God. We have our culture, beliefs, social values and norms. Let us therefore protect our nation from all kinds of evil defilement, under whatever guise.