[This blog post is one in a series of personal viewpoints of Warehouse Staff members on the Unite Against Corruption March]
The bible is filled with stories of God’s people engaging in the public square. This happens in multiple ways: through private engagements with Kings and rulers, public acts of repentance and symbolic acts of prophetically imaginative confrontation to name a few. At any time and place it is one of the tasks of those who follow Christ to be discerning what the time is and how would God have us act in response to that.
Is it a time when like Moses we are called to confront the empire’s Pharaoh publicly, or a time when like Samuel we meet privately with our friends in leadership confronting them with hard truths, a time where like Jesus we turn over the table in the temple, like Paul where we engage in public debate over a period of months or like Joseph and Daniel where we work courageously and without compromise within the systems of power to bring about change? Since we are a body God probably has multiple roles for his people to play at any one time.
As I have considered this and reflected on my participation in the unite against corruption campaign I have come to the conclusion that it is a time for a public act that says I am committed to a different story for my country. The corruption that has been in our land for centuries, the corruption has stolen and continues to steal land and livelihoods from all of us but mostly directly from the most vulnerable people, families and communities, this corruption needs to be confronted publicly.
I will join the march committed to acting on the fact that confronting and resolving the corruption of Nkandla is dramatically simpler than confronting the corruption of our apartheid past and all the mansions, homesteads and swimming pools that were built off stolen money and land prior to 1994. I will join the march as a public act of repentance and declaration. Of repentance for the knowledge that my heart is corrupt, that I have gained unfairly and that I want to be wrestling and acting out what it means for me to “pay back the money”. And of declaration which says to leaders in business, in government, in the church and civil society that I am not simply willing to allow us to be eaten away by the cancer of corruption and that we need to say enough.
By Craig Stewart