THE CHALLENGE OF THE CULTS

Dear Sir,

The Zambian religious landscape is radically changing, far more than most of us realize. While we are feasting on buffet kind of spiritual menus in the cities and towns, the enemy makes inroads, uproots the earlier seed, plants weeds and thus sends myriads to the pit of hell. Since around 1991, there has been a drastic exponential proliferation in Zambia of cults that are seriously undercutting the basic tenets of our faith especially in rural and peri-urban areas. I am particularly disturbed when I note the “revival” among cults like the Jehovah’s witnesses around the country and even in Lusaka itself. They seem to have taken Zambia by storm and are busy uprooting the little religion, faulty as it may be, that exists in the rural areas. Take an interest to observe their expansion on all the major routes around the country. They have a structure almost every five kilometres, sometimes in very obscure places!

When you go deeper into all the surrounding areas, they have done their work thoroughly or at least use a potent strategy of erecting a structure which will do the marketing on its own! By the time we attempt to reach those areas, Arianism is and will be deeply entrenched. We shall need more energy to turn the tide, though we know that the gospel is like dynamite which can radically change the landscape. But why should we be reactive all the time? Why not rather be proactive?

I have sadly noted that in my work area (Mpika), most of the people have turned to the Watch Tower sect and there is no tangible evangelical influence in the area. The statistics are even more depressing as they do not even mention any knowledge of Reformed churches as an existing group. What you have are the Roman Catholics and Jehovah’s witness as the largest and most influential with other smaller cults like the Lenshina cult. And yet we have been in the area for over ten years! It is about time we revisited our strategy so that we leave an indelible mark for Christ. This gloomy picture is not only in Mpika but widespread in all parts of the country.

As I close, let me make an earnest appeal to the Church at large, let us arise and be more serious. Let us cast aside the token, flimsy investment that we have hitherto been guilty of. Let us be focused and leave a lasting impression for Christ. The time is short, we are indeed late already but we can make a difference. The vast majority of Zambians feed on spiritual pods and crusts. It is time to discard ecclesiastical politics and focus on the things that really matter. We have spent enough time around this hair-splitting hill while thousands languish in sin and are ushered to a Christ-less eternity. I assume we have already defined our selves as Reformed. So, let us use this podium to launch out into the entire nation with the whole counsel of God!

Yours truly, Billy Sichone (Dr), Mpika