I was deeply disturbed a few days ago when I heard Hon Chishimba Kambwili, MP using the name of the Lord Jesus allegorically to air out his political views during an interview on ZNBC. He said “There is a province in this country, even if Jesus came and stood against their leader, he would lose.” Since he said this publicly he needs to be admonished publicly so that others who might copy his example may learn. We are a Nation that profess Christianity as a State Religion. It is not right for anyone to use the name of the Lord Jesus in vain. The Bible prohibits against using the name of the Lord in vain. In Exodus 20: 7 and Deuteronomy 5: 11 the Bible says “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in Vain.” The Hebrew word for ‘vain’ is ‘shav’ which means emptiness, vanity, worthlessness, nothingness, etc. As a servant of God who has been well catechised, I wish to share with Hon Kambwili and the Nation that it is wrong to use the name of Jesus with that teleological purpose.
Theologically speaking as a Catholic Priest, the use of the sacred name of Jesus should only be introduced in speech/statement only when one needs to bless, praise and glorify (CCC#2143). The politicians should know better that the Holiness of the name of Jesus demands that ‘it be not used for trivial matters’ (CCC#2155). The name of the Lord belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters. When we look at the historical setting behind the third commandment, we in fact learn that God commanded the Israelites among many other reasons not to use His name in vain for the similar purpose we have just witnessed. When the Israelites were going into Canaan, the people there had so many gods and their rulers and authorities used to use the name of their gods in their public statements, whatever they may be, so that people would listen and fear.
What has Jesus got to do with earthly politics? How dare you use His name in that manner! Where is the fear of God? Really giving an example of Jesus standing in an earthly election is crossing a spiritual line. The name of Jesus is Holy, pure, perfect, righteous, transcendent, eternal, and continuously present. Using His name in any form should be only be done with seriousness and reverence, not to ridicule some section of the people in the country. The same admonishing goes to those who like saying ‘thus saith the Lord’, ‘God told me to tell you…’, ‘I have a word from the Lord for you’, ‘God says if you give me money, you will be blessed’, when they know clearly that the Lord has not spoken. They can only do so when they are positive and sure that the Lord has really spoken. Let us respect the name of the Lord.
Fr. Chanakila Ignatius