BY FOCUS MAGANGA
Well, I am a Lutheran. We worship the LORD on Sunday. We eat pork and are allowed to quench our throat with a few hard liquid– provided our judgment remains in its pie apple order. The convicted Billionaire business man, Thomson Mpinganjira, does not do all these.
Like other critics of our church, Mpinganjira may have grown up arguing the Lutherans, like the Catholics, did not completely reform the church.
But our founder, Martin Luther, was a man of great faith. He was the first person to translate the Bible so that everyone can read and understand the scriptures. And the whole Lutheranism is based on the doctrine of justification by faith. This doctrine places emphasis on grace and grace alone in the basket of salvation. Reading it from, among others, Romans 5, Martin Luther preached salvation (justification) is not by works, but by the grace of God that which we acquire by faith in the LORD Jesus Christ. This doctrine is also accused by critics who argue essentiality of works, or more precisely good works, in undermined. Mpinganjira could be one of those critics. I am not sure though.
But Martin Luther was not condoling sin when he preached the key message of justification by faith. All he did was underscoring the supremacy of grace over the law.
Grace and faith are highly regarded in our faith. We do not celebrate good works or righteousness in Lutheranism. We revere the Love of God that he considers us righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ despite our sinful nature. But that does not mean there are no responsibilities attached to the grace.
We do not judge our brothers, because we believe all are sinners and fall short of God’s glory. And we are taught to be a brother’s keeper. And here, we are informed by Matthew 18.
15. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
This is a prayer billionaire business man, Thomson Mpinganjira, was quoted to have made in the court that convicted him yesterday. There were five judges who were presiding over the presidential election case. The devil came into Mpinganjira’s heart and showed him his brother at church who was one of the judges.
He privately started texting and calling him. If the brother were a Lutheran, he could have replied.
“I am not sure what you want to talk with judge president, but if it is about the presidential case, let me warn you, brother, to stop it all at once. It can put your name in disrepute. You can even be arrested of it.”
Instead, his brother at church was taking screenshots and recording the conversations.
And the screenshots he took have been used to condemn and incarcerate Mpinganjira.
This incident offers lessons on the differences between being religious and being spiritual.
More so, it teaches us the church is, sometimes, overrated. Like Mpinganjira’s brother at church told court, “they were merely meeting at church, they are not related in anyway.”
At times, we overrate friendships we make at church. It is not a true friendship because you met at church.
And again, there are many people out there who would celebrate at the sight of your downfall. Some of them sit beside you at church.
Further, there are people who would rather take screenshots or record your conversations just to put you in trouble in future. There are very good people who have been fired at work simply because of a text whose recipient could have simply said, ‘this is wrong, please stop’.
You don’t gain anything by putting another person in trouble. I guess as cold and mosquitoes will be merrying on Mpinganjira’s skin, he will continue wondering why his brother was recording his calls in stead of simply asking him to stop.
Mpinganjira’s ultimate wish is to be a Lutheran.