There is a new phenomenon on radio today, is it a trend? for traditional healers and all sorts of syncretism churches. These are churches with a version of Christianity which publicly borrows from African traditional religious practices such as divination and witch-hunting. The fastest syncretism model in Zimbabwe today is the popular back-to-sender practice and belief.
It is not the purpose of this article to protect media institutions or condemn them. Neither is it the article’s aim to judge which are legitimate churches and which are gospeltrepreneurs bent on making money from sick, socially troubled and hungry people.
While the noble and courageous thing to do is simply stand up for Jesus and proclaim the truth divinely embedded in the Word, doing so through asking a number of important questions is humbler and gentler. Most people’s thought processes are activated by questions more than statements. And here are a few questions worth seriously and prayerfully considering:
1. Is the media, say radio or television, exhibiting social responsibility when it allows n’angas, and syncretism witch hunting in all its forms, to practice on air and literally advertise their magic and ‘miracles’. If Jesus came back today, would he approach a radio station to announce and advertise his power and put up posters to invite the afflicted? Would he advertise the list of ailments he can heal and the kind of people he can deliver from what types of demons on those posters? Or would he ask a special DJ to do it for him ‘skillfully’ on radio?
2. Do the media, particularly the electronic media, radio and television for example, where policy and management structures govern functions and purposes for instance, have an obligation to guide the society towards norms and values of Godliness and Ubunthu / Hunhu? Or they are into making money (business) as much as they can regardless of the content of their programmes?
3. Does a radio or television have an open license to influence society in any and every direction, through the types of music they play and promote; the language and personal philosophies carried in the mouths and minds of the programme presenters?
4. Society sees radios getting deeply engrossed in verbal-sex through programmes that graphically pull sex out of the privacies of bedrooms into studios and everybody participates with zeal and appetite. If radio does not see anything wrong with this, who must teach it (radio) to check and understand the power of its influence towards moral decay or rearmament?
5. If politicians are very sensitive, and perhaps rightly so, to ensure that freedom of expression does not deteriorate into irresponsible communicative behaviour, why are they not sensitive to irresponsible language and content on public broadcasting platforms?
If anyone has a sensible answer to give on any of the above questions, do not hesitate to contact Morris Mtisi via email> mtisimorris41@ gmail.com WhatsApp 0773 883 293 Or indeed in sealed envelopes addressed to MM-on- Matters of Faith. Let us engage. I will publish your responses.