By Mwape Mbwelela
GOD has put a high demand on all leaders to live an exemplary life and the worst type of leadership is to play hypocrisy, warns Bishop Simon Chihana.
Bishop Chihana was echoing Pope Francis’ message that it was better to be an atheist than one of “many” Catholics whom he said led hypocritical double lives.
Bishop Chihana, who is International Fellowship of Christian Churches president, said it was God’s will that every Christian and leader lived according to His word.
“God has put a high demand on all leaders to live an exemplary life and the worst type of leadership is to play hypocrisy. Otherwise, it is the will of God that every Christian person lives according to the word of God,” Bishop Chihana said in an interview.
He, however, urged leaders and Christians that were playing double standards to repent than become atheists.
“We would rather ask those who are playing double standards in their so called Christian walk to come to genuine repentance than ask them to become atheists. The Bible is very clear concerning those who say there is no God,” Bishop Chihana said.
“The utterances of the Pope about their members having double standards in the faith sends a clear alarm and calls for all Catholic Church members to take a moment and reflect on their faith and the good part is of course he is coming out in the open and informing the whole world of the status of the Catholic Church and this is saddening. An atheist is such a person who worships himself or herself than the Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. The Bible declares that; ‘A fool says in his heart that there is no God’.”
He said to become an atheist, one only had to declare that there was no God and to live a life as though God did not exist without the fear of His name.
Bishop Chihana noted that many Christians were living lives of double standards.
“Also, it must be made known that we are living in the end times and many Christians have fallen away, living their lives with double standards, without the Lord and these are all over in various church denominations,” said Bishop Chihana. “We have to keep praying for one another because these are dangerous times and many Christians are backsliders without the life and fire of the Holy Spirit. The Christian body must stay strong and help one another stand and keep our focus on Christ Jesus our soon coming King.”
Pope Francis told his followers on Thursday that it was better to be an atheist than one of “many” Catholics whmo he said led hypocritical double lives.
“So many Catholics are like this,” he said during morning Mass at his residence at the Vatican.
“There are those who say, ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association,’” the head of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church said, according to a Vatican Radio transcript.
But, he suggested, those people should also say, “‘My life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, [I lead] a double life.’”
Pope Francis then quoted a sentiment he said he had heard often: “But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.”/SM/JC