THE passing on of revered teacher and pastor, Henog Kamho has showcased how divisions within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) – have become toxic and also how the ELCRN leadership, particularly the Church Council is abusing its power.
It became clear at the memorial of Kamho that factionalism and rivalries were instigated by those at the top of the church leadership because of greed and power struggles.
Although former ELCRN Bishop Zephania Kameeta , who is now current Minister of Poverty Eradication and Welfare, was a friend and strong associate to Kamho since their hey days as students at the Paulinum Seminary in Otjimbingwe, his absence at Kamho’s funeral was conspicuous.
Current ELCRN bishop Ernst //Gamxamub also did not attend his former colleague’s funeral, indicating that the church in fights had reached intolerable levels until his death.
The friendship of Kameeta and Kamho as young intellectuals was committed to the church, society and the struggles for justice and independence of the country. But it is sad that Kameeta could not extend and olive branch of peace to his childhood friend before he passed on.
The squabbles within the ELCRN, with the largest Christian following of close to 500 000, is unfortunate and could only potentially help to spur the proliferation of “fake churches” which continue to exacerbate moral decay in our society.
When he was elevated to the position of Secretary General of the ELCRN, Kamho’s ultimate objectives were to regularize the financial management of the Church and ascertain the proper documentation of the ELCRN properties.
“Reverend Kamho was driven by Christian and biblical principles. He would not compromise. He would openly address any wrong practice in the church,” Reverend Ngeno Nakamhela described his late friend at the memorial last week.
Nakamhela said his courage to oppose what was threatening best practice of the Church, became an irritation if not a threat to the church leadership which could not tolerate it.
However, his firm stance, to the surprise of church leadership, accumulated support from a number of colleagues who shared in his views in terms of Christian principles and best practices, including that of handling church finances.
What is incredibly ironic is, the Church which ought to be an epitome of reconciliation has become a “historical rejection of reconciliation.”
Reconciliation is one of the core principles, cornerstone of the Christian Church.
The ELCRN leadership has to change its mindset and advocate the principles that are expected from Christians if it wants to remain relevant as moral guardians of our society.
In order to compensate for the humiliation endured by Kamho, the ELCRN church leadership needs to bury their hatchet and extend an olive branch to the group that was excommunicated from the church along with Kamho.
The episcopal leadership of ELCRN should change its notion on church individuals, seeking to correct the wrongs in the church and respect them, rather than referring to them as “troublemakers.”
As Nakamhela put it, for the clergy to preach about reconciliation and not practice it, is hypocrisy
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015