Emmanuel Jieng Parish might need to review its Christian mission, we all saw ECS go “that road.”

BY: Philips Al-Ghai, JUN/01/2016, SSN;

The events at Emmanuel Jieng Parish, Juba (an exclusive Bor Dinka congregation), in the past two weeks accentuate how the former Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) has morphed into a mediocre political playground.

Once a holy sanctum of hope to the hopeless, the ECS has steadily fragmented into sacrilegious ethno-political assemblies –both physically and psychologically.

The perpetual erosion of moral values in the former ECS has its roots in early 2000s. During this time, an appreciable amount of donor pennies was dropping into the church coffers as evident in the gradual surge in the number of semi-literate clerics attending basic training across the borders.

Superficially, it looked like a blessing. However, later on, as history has it, it was the commencement of unprecedented woes in our renowned church.

As the Bible asserts: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Speculations ran rife that the top leadership was misappropriating funds at the time. The top positions in the church hierarchy suddenly became of interests, and calls for devolution became louder than ever. Communities were up in arms over the creation of new dioceses with bishops of their own.

Confrontational rebellions ensued in churches –priests were forcefully dragged from sacred pulpits. Ordination of clerics abruptly shifted from the customary individual commitment and discipline, to ethnic representation.

At that point, the writings were clear on the wall. The church was sliding into money and politics. Its divine role was taken over by politico-economic interests of individuals within. It was losing its integrity.

Since then, the business in the church has always been blurry between money and tribal politics. Evidently, I have heard grumbles in churches about clerics who are “theirs” or “not ours.” I have witnessed people in high political positions and/or positions of influence being given time to “address” the congregants even against the church norms.

These symptoms appear to be eminent at Emmanuel Parish, and that has given politicians a leeway to call in with one expectation: spit their political garbage to meek congregants.

I am not against anyone talking about his altercation with Satan or a date with an angel in his dream a night before… all those kinds of hypothetical stuffs, and drop a few pennies after in appreciation of honor they are afforded with.

The trouble arises when it comes to politics or issues that touch on the emotions of listeners in that matter. That is why I always feel that those worthy of addressing the church should only –I mean ONLY –be the ones with testimonies to tell the living about the spiritual world.

Here is why. It is no brainer that a church, like Emmanuel Parish, hosts a congregation with strongly opposing political views. Moreover, S. Sudanese have barely had time to come to terms with losses incurred in the past two years of political instability.

The peace is signed, yes. But its implementation is a gradual process.

At this point, it is only sufficient for apologies [if any] but not claims of innocence. You don’t expect Dr. Riek to lecture the Dinka on how innocent he is at the moment.

Similarly, you don’t expect Mr. Kiir to lecture the Nuer on how innocent he is. It is not practical. It just cannot appeal to anyone’s emotions. Even a juvenile five-year-old, who had seen their parents slaughtered, will not buy that message.

The “raw-group” at the church last Sunday might be raw, but so are emotions among the pained Nuers and Jieeng. That is how sensitive it is.

You would expect Emmanuel Parish to know this. However, the press release [courtesy of panluelwel.com] regarding the incident on Sunday paints a picture of an institution that is either oblivious of current political situation in the country or does not know its role in the society.

It is a pity for a church that seems to know no disparity between politics and its mission to bullishly claim that the “church is a body of Christ where everybody has right to exercise his Christian rites.”

Is political lecture a Christian rite? Rubbish! It is a shame. I will never condone anyone to deter Dr. Riek from entering the church of God even if he was still in the bush. Everyone is equal to bow before God for a prayer, I believe.

But allowing someone to lecture a congregation on political opinions that conjure up emotions beats logic.

The church has a moral obligation to deter anyone, including Mr. Kiir, from addressing the congregants if his message is likely to cause disharmony in the church. Dr. Riek’s message was very likely. This is not hindsight. There were signs.

It is in the same church that Madam Rebecca de Mabior, who was perceived as having ties with the rebels, was attacked. That was sufficient to give the church a reason to shut out issues that touch on politics from their programs, at least for now.

Moreover, these politicians have everything at their disposal to call rallies and media. That is where they can get a willing listener. Why the church? It is unfair to impose them on unsuspecting congregants. It is common sense.

As the church’s administration goes on bragging about how they dealt with men in “black” T-shirts, they should know that they cannot serve politics, money, and God as scriptures say: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24).

They had moral obligation to prevent Riek Machar from lecturing his victims. If giving free pass to lectures from politicians is what constitutes the body of Christ, then they should rest assured that they have “…wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” The last two incidences could be a tip of an iceberg for the things to come.

Philips Al-Ghai is a proud S. Sudanese and can be reached at alghai211@gmail.com or on Twitter @ Al_Ghai211.

9 Comments

  1. False Millionaire says:

    Truth.Nothing but truth.That’s an excellent contribution Mr Al-Ghai.
    Just to add a stroke of a brush to the correct picture that u have already painted.
    Out of the context of pure business to make money;
    Driven by the notion of a probability of Dr Riak becoming RSS’ president;
    To position himself among favored elites to milk the cow named RSS under Dr Riak;
    the head pastor compromised the logic and invited the evil doer to mock the traumatized victims in search of peace and consolation in the house of God.
    It could have been the same God that showed his sense of love to avert any harm during the incident in question.
    But with an extremely disturbed society in which the majority are in pain of having lost love ones,how many times would God show mercy on such likewise golden opportunities for the victims to revenge their love ones?!!!

  2. Beek says:

    He is not healthy and money wouldn’t solve his problems. Does Machar aware that there is no medicines for brain sickness (Dementia),but he has that already. He can’t survive with medicines and people should not mind him because he is the one who destroyed his own life.

  3. Bentiu Ramaran says:

    Philips Al-Ghai,

    Your article is convincible. Emmanuel Jieng Parish Church is the church that full of fools and it members have evils and devils heart. A wise person and a charismatic leader like Dr. Machar cannot even attempt to accept an invitation from a church that is full of people with evil spirit like Emmanuel Jieng evil hut.

    • Eastern says:

      Bentiu Ramaran,

      Even with what the Arab and Islamic north did to southern Sudanese over the years, we still have [or is ot had] a mosque in Bentiu, I used to take tea just across the road opposit that mosque.

      That said, Emmanuel Jieng church and other houses of warship have to continue extending the olive branch to hose who are ready to move the country towards the land where the white dove soars – let’s give Dr Machar the benefits of doubt; let those who don’t trust in the doctor prove him as incompetent as he he pushes his quest for reform.

      Ramaran, I hope those who stagemanaged the rejection of Dr Machar are not incasurated by the directionless national security [insecurity] operatives, used by Kiir to stifle dessent. Dr Machar lives in a humble dwelling on the foothills of Korok hill in Juba, goes to meet humble church goers on Sundays. I am yet to hear about his visit to a mosque.

      Dr Machar should also reach out to South Sudanese outside the country – preaching the words of peace and reconciliation. If Kiir, Malong, Makuei, et al don’t do the same – Dr Machar shouldn’t be ostracised for doing the noble thing; preaching peace and reconciliation. The courts are open to recive complaints. Don’t blame Dr Machar and don’t blame the church or indeed any place of warship. Dr Machar may at his convinince, also visit Ngunden’s alter Nyirol county – all efforts to realise peace and cohesion must be allowed to be pursued.

  4. gatdarwich says:

    Philips & false millionaire,

    This is total crap and an ultimate display of extreme hatred that all Bor Jenges passionately hold towards Dr. Riek.
    Speaking politics to the congregation at the church service is not a taboo but globally acceptable practice because church goers are evidently tolerable to different views. The real–faithful christains truly believe in loving their visitors as they love themselves, and are very welcoming–hospitable to their visitors–friends or perceived enemy!
    In christains’ culture–teaching, Displaying extreme hatred to one’s visitors–invited guests is completely unacceptable behavior. It’s even not common practice in most south sudanese’s traditional cultures. But apparently, Emanuel Jieng church must be exclusively for jieng-christain extremists–as its name unequivocally denote. The tribal church is violently inhospitable–intolerable to invited non-Jieng guests-visitors.
    Non-Jenges planning on visiting this tribal church, Be sternly warned.

  5. Southdan says:

    Philips
    As I have read your article I found its essence was clear hate speech against Dr.Reik Machar. What causes your pen reeling from one side to other is because you had been overwhelmed by shame though you stress your proudness I doubt, I know you guys you so obsessed quoting bible verses cheating people. You have said” you don’t expect Dr Riek to lecture Dinkas how he is innocent at moment similarly you don’t expect Kiir to lecture Nuer he is innocent” my question. How do you expect Dr Riek Machar would have said, if your father would have invited him in the church? I think Dr Riek would speak to the congregation telling them he is innocent and didn’t made a couple. plus he would tell people how peace important to our country and the ways it should be implemented. This how man of people like Dr Riek Machar ought to address the issues of our country.i know the essence of your article was against Dr Riek Machar. I’m sure those gentle in Emmanuel jeing Church including their pastor whom invited Dr Riek Machar were not Anti-dr Reik Machar but some opportunities from government orchestrated the matter.

  6. wanran says:

    Wat I want to say is simple assumed that your or granma was killed in the church in jonglei and then have their private parts filled with sticks then keep preaching your stupidest gospel of forgiveness we will never allowed those stupid cowards attempts by the writer we don’t even need him plus his nuer brainless all of u forgiveness we don’t need it now

  7. Southdan says:

    Waran
    Are you replying to me if so. why don’t you talk directly to me? okay, if so you’re unknown killer. I want let you know it’s not you who would decided whether there will be a peace or war in South but the government and the SPLA/ Io would decide. I think you belongings to honorable minister Makuie Lueth who goals is to refuses the coming of peace in South Sudan. Therefore you never known we have urinated you war. Jackal, there had been many articles, agreements, documents, movies and documentary issued by Western government that peace, reconciliation and reforms will take place in South Sudan. So never deceived your self that you are unknown one to prevent Dr Reik Machar from preaching peace, reconciliation. President Kiir used to say ” Reik Machar is one does not want peace, me I’m for peace, he attacked our position”. Look now, who is anit-peace? How come you opposing Reik who’s goals in past was independent of South and now in the present is for peace, good luck my man

  8. James Nhial says:

    Man of God, house of God has no politics whatsoever, That why Jesus chased the trades out of Church, Politics is a devil game
    they have no relationship with word of God.

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