The Silence is Deafening.

With all the hype going on at the moment with the Nelson Mandela funeral I am reminded about something which happened in my country many years ago. So heartrendingly sad. The thing to remember is, that Rhodesia and South Africa were two different countries entirely. I’m often surprised how many people outside of Africa have no idea about this. Talk about a first class education? The other thing to remember is, we as a country were sold down the river and the sadness is still with me today, even after all this time. So this is just going to be a very quick post unlike my normal ones and no pictures are going to be included. After all one cannot picture sadness?

Basically then, we were a country at war, and this entailed black people fighting for equality led by communist countries. Ring any bells? Sadly, Western leaders were falling over backwards to placate the communists. How could this be? The other strange thing is that we had more black people in our army fighting for us than we had whites. How could this be? Which leads us to a question which has been haunting mankind for centuries, what is truth? The unpalatable truth is, blacks had not the wherewithal to arm themselves leave alone much else. Consequently who armed them and WHY? Well you tell me. Let us just run through some of the illustrious leaders as it pertained to us at the time and judge yourselves. Idi Amin, Jose Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere,Aghostino Neto, Hastings Banda, Samora Machel and Kenneth Kaunda. Wow. Into this maelstrom came our own esteemed leaders, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe. Somewhere around this time during the war years a civilian aircraft travelling from the Rhodesian holiday resort of Kariba (a dam), was shot down by the terrorist/freedom fighters. The pilot showing airman-ship of the highest order managed to bring it down in very harsh terrain, and there were survivors. The terrorists/freedom fighters then arrived and shot the survivors of this major air disaster. At the latter memorial service the Anglican Dean of Salisbury, had these words to say which true to form the world never heard about either. So I am going to try and copy and paste it here.

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING.

Sermon by Very Rev. John da Costa, Anglican Dean of Salisbury

Clergymen, I am frequently told, should keep out of politics. I thoroughly agree. For this reason, I will not allow politics to be preached in this cathedral. Clergy have to be reconcilers. That is no easy job. A minister of religion who has well-known political views, and allows them to come to the fore, cannot reconcile, but will alienate others, and fail in the chief part of his ministry.

For this reason, I personally am surprised at there being two clergymen in the Executive Council. It is my sincere prayer that they can act as Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation.

My own ministry began in Ghana, where Kwame Nkrumah preached: “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all these things will be added to you.” We know what became of Kwame Nkrumah. We are not to preach a political kingdom, but the kingdom of God.

Clergy are usually in the middle, shot at from both sides. It is not an enviable role. Yet times come when it is necessary to speak out, and in direct and forthright terms, like trumpets with unmistakable notes. I believe that this is one such time.

Nobody who holds sacred the dignity of human life can be anything but sickened at the events attending the crash of the Viscount Hunyani. Survivors have the greatest call on the sympathy and assistance of every other human being. The horror of the crash was bad enough, but that this should have been compounded by murder of the most savage and treacherous sort leaves us stunned with disbelief and brings revulsion in the minds of anyone deserving the name “human.”

This bestiality, worse than anything in recent history, stinks in the nostrils of Heaven. But are we deafened with the voice of protest from nations which call themselves “civilised”? We are not. Like men in the story of the Good Samaritan, they “pass by, on the other side.”

One listens for loud condemnation by Dr. David Owen, himself a medical doctor, trained to extend mercy and help to all in need.

One listens and the silence is deafening.

One listens for loud condemnation by the President of the United States, himself a man from the Bible-Baptist belt, and again the silence is deafening.

One listens for loud condemnation by the Pope, by the Chief Rabbi, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, by all who love the name of God.

Again the silence is deafening.

I do not believe in white supremacy. I do not believe in black supremacy either. I do not believe that anyone is better than another, until he has proved himself to be so. I believe that those who govern or who seek to govern must prove themselves worthy of the trust that will be placed in them.

One looks for real leadership One finds little in the Western world: how much less in Africa?

Who is to be blamed for this ghastly episode?

Like Pontius Pilate, the world may ask “What is truth?” What is to be believed? That depends on what your prejudices will allow you to believe, for then no evidence will convince you otherwise.

So who is to be blamed?

First, those who fired the guns. Who were they? Youths and men who, as likely as not, were until recently in church schools. This is the first terrible fact. Men who went over to the other side in a few months were so indoctrinated that all they had previously learned was obliterated. How could this happen if they had been given a truly Christian education?

Second, it is common knowledge that in large parts of the world violence is paraded on TV and cinema screens as entertainment. Films about war, murder, violence, rape devil-possession and the like are “good box-office”. Peak viewing time is set aside for murderers from Belfast,, Palestine, Europe, Africa and the rest, to speak before an audience of tens of millions. Thugs are given full treatment, as if deserving of respect.

Not so the victims’ relations.

Who else is to be blamed?

The United Nations and their church equivalent, the WCC. I am sure they both bear blame in this. Each parade a pseudo-morality which, like all half-truths, is more dangerous than the lie direct. From the safety and comfort of New York and Geneva, high moral attitudes can safely be struck. For us in the sweat, the blood, the suffering, it is somewhat different.

Who else? The churches? Oh yes, I fear so.

For too long, too many people have been allowed to call themselves “believers” when they have been nothing of the kind. Those who believe must act. If you believe the car is going to crash, you attempt to get out. If you believe the house is on fire, you try to get help and move things quickly. If you believe a child has drunk poison, you rush him to the doctor. Belief must bring about action.

Yet churches, even in our own dangerous times, are more than half-empty all the time. We are surrounded by heathens who equate belief in God with the Western way of life. In many war areas, Africans are told to “burn their Bibles”. If this call was made to us, what sort of Bibles would be handed in? Would they be dog-eared from constant use; well-thumbed and marked? Would they be pristine in their virgin loveliness, in the same box in which they were first received?

There are tens of millions of all races who call themselves believers, who never enter any house of prayer and praise. Many are folk who scream loudest against communism, yet do not themselves help to defeat these Satanic forces by means of prayer, and praise and religious witness.

For, make no mistake, if our witness were as it ought to be, men would flock to join our ranks. As it is, we are by-passed by the world, as if irrelevant.

Is anyone else to be blamed for this ghastly episode near Kariba? I think so.

Politicians throughout the world have made opportunist speeches from time to time. These add to the heap of blameworthiness, for a speech can cause wounds which may take years to heal.

The ghastliness of this ill-fated flight from Kariba will be burned upon our memories for years to come. For others, far from our borders, it is an intellectual matter, not one which affects them deeply. Here is the tragedy!

The especial danger of Marxism is its teaching that human life is cheap, expendable, of less importance than the well-being of the State. But there are men who call themselves Christians who have the same contempt for other human beings, and who treat them as being expendable.

Had we, who claim to love God, shown more real love and understanding, more patience, more trust of others, the churches would not be vilified as they are today. I have nothing but sympathy with those who are here today and whose grief we share. I have nothing but revulsion for the less-than-human act of murder which has so horrified us all.

I have nothing but amazement at the silence of so many of the political leaders of the world. I have nothing but sadness that our churches have failed so badly to practise what we preach. May God forgive us all, and may he bring all those who died so suddenly and unprepared into the light of His glorious presence.

Amen

How green was my valley then?

We can argue in the comments section if any one feels so inclined. All I have to say is don’t make mountains out of men who are built with clay.


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About spookmoor

I'm a 61 year old happily married man with three grown up children. I lost all my hearing as an eighteen year old whilst doing National Service and then had a Cochlear Ear Implant twenty years later. I love trying to explain these things to people and bits about my life. I never thought so at the time, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Thus one gets Random ramblings from a man who has seen a lot with a touch of humour underlying all.
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18 Responses to The Silence is Deafening.

  1. Andy says:

    Recording of this service available at http://www.viscountdown.com go to the download section on the right. You’ll also see an interview with Nkomo. Listen and weep and pay attention to the British audience’s response and comments and you may understand a little better just why the silence was, and still is deafening….namely the so called ‘civilised west’ is full of ‘useful idiots’ and cowards.

  2. Maggi says:

    I strongly believe in what goes around, comes around. I echo your belief there Davidac – to add a bit about Mandela’s death, I was at work when this old bloke I have come to know well in my days Down Under walks up to my counter. All he said to me was “I believe the terrorist has died”, winked and went to sit down. It took me a good few minutes to let that little comment sink in. I believe despite the deafening silence, we did have friends around the world and that little comment confirmed it.

  3. Nancy Hardin says:

    I understand your sadness, although I’ve never experienced it at that depth. I can only imagine if the same thing happened to my country, the United States of America, how broken I’d be. Still, we must deal with what IS, not what we wish things to be. All our heroes have clay feet, as we’ve learned in my country. There’s only one thing anyone can count on, and that’s their own self. We must keep on keeping on, if only to tell others, (some who very well may listen!) about the past. No, not every one will care, but there are those who do. It is our duty as human beings to keep spreading the word, just as the Jews do about the holocaust. But don’t expect anyone to come knocking at your door to praise you for it. Don’t they always “kill the messenger?” in this kind of situation? Your sadness and anger over the betrayal of those who should have stood beside you is understandable. But one must move on, and make sure it is known to the rest of the world. I DO like your work on this, but would like to see something new on the situation. Has anything changed? What’s happening now? Is there a chance of change? These kind of things would be nice to know. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

  4. Such sadness is felt deeply, hopefully by all decent humans. I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but have “studied” religions and found them all wanting.. as with most “humans” I have met too. We are the most insidious, cruel and destructive organism on this planet and in my opinion, should be eradicated to give this planet a chance of survival. Thank you Spook for voicing your sadness and remembering this incident and the victims of this atrocity. We shall always remember them and commiserate with all that were affected by this travesty. As to the rest of the world and their lack of indignation, I expected nothing more .. or less from them. I am ashamed to be part of what we call “humanity” and only hope that with good people, such as you, there will one day be some redemption for mankind.

  5. Gomer orship w says:

    As for the man Nelson, methinks the less said the better. I certainly have nothing good to say about him, and as this is the case I shall not say anything at all… for those that want to worship a man who had seriously clay feet, I say “be m y guest, but would suggest you do some serious research and get your facts together, and be prepared, for you may not like all that you are about to discover” – as long as you don’t expect me to worship with you, we can still be on speaking terms I suppose !
    All I will say, is the man had the worlds best spin doctors working for him – they managed to perpetrate the biggest lie of two centuries duping millions upon millions of people … One of my biggest dreams and prayers is, that the truth will out …!
    Having said that though, i must ask the question, “Isn’t this what politics and greed is all about?”
    And how well his successors have learned their lessons, of pillaging, stealing, murdering and lying from the hand great man himself …… !
    The way of Africa gives me a great sad … But this motivates me to keep praying and working toward change, one life at a time !

  6. Gomer Pyle says:

    I many be scratching, where it’s not itching, but I shrug politely and say, with respect to all, that it’s tough luck – suck it up, cause some stuff is long overdue and just needs to be said ……

    The Very Rev., showed incredible insight when he identified “the Church” as culprit number one at the top of the pile…… which is made up of leaders and participants/pew warmers, not a building as so many like to think. Then for the next ten paragraphs he so succinctly, fills in most of the cracks for those that have ears to hear and hearts to listen. To try and add anything to his sentiments would be totally superfluous at this point.

    Hypocrisy has been the anesthetic subtly infiltrating the church lulling most into a false sense of security and convincing many that as long as we can cover the rot within ourselves with a facade of ‘Godliness’ on the exterior, its OK! So many talk the talk, but do not walk the walk, contaminating multitudes who are genuinely seeking truth, turning them away and embittering many by what they see and experience at the hands of ‘the church’ … (don’t forget that it’s ‘the people’ who make up the church) …. it is this same hypocrisy that emasculates the church and makes it toothless, voiceless, weak and ineffectual in all areas of life, to this very day !… There are a few exceptions to the rule, but they are not popular among the general masses (being the main stream established church attendees/adherents e.g. RC, Baptist, Methodist etc., ) because hey, we might have to change our view and readjust our lives somewhat .. pfft … faaar too much trouble … we’ll just cast this new lot aside and reject it outright, instead of investigating and , maybe getting some enlightenment, which may just take the scales off my eyes to discover a whole new world of relationship and reality. Then of course you have the other side of the coin, where there are many satisfied with their status quo and reject anything that might threaten a way of life so deeply entrenched in their psyche that any change is regarded as an anathema. Far easier to don the cloak of hypocrisy and continue in the same old, same old – always pointing fingers at those whom are perceived to be guilty — Too myopic to realise the problem ‘lies with me’ and my finger is pointing at my own mirror image. AND then we have the gall to wonder why we have ‘shyte’ happening. Since God has been booted into touch, the world generally speaking, has been headed to hell in a hand-basket … no surprise there!

    A man once said ‘there are no atheists in the trenches when the bullets are flying your way’ .. then everyone knows where God is and how to speak to him …… THEN we come out the trenches and seldom if ever acknowledge him, bowing to peer pressure and the fear of being different!

    I have often wondered how different the outcome might have been in Rhodesia if the people would have been more serious about God and their reliance on him instead of becoming all arrogant about their own strengths and abilities – On the flip side, I also wonder if we will ever fully appreciate how his hand was on Rhodesia, how much worse the situation could have been, how many prayers he answered, from mothers, wives and warriors alike ……. I don’t have all the answers, wish I did, instead I have more questions than answers ….! But this I know – God HATES hypocrisy ! Christians are supposed to be the light of the world, carrying the authority and power of God, walking in humility (humility is not weakness, but rather quiet strength) and truth, the lives of whom should be a living testimony of Christ…. you’ve just to read the book of Acts to see what power and authority those dudes moved in …. where is it in the Church today?

    What I read in the Word and what I see enacted around me just don’t add up. Like I said, many are the questions i have. I am not perfect in mans eyes, but I am a wonderful work in progress in my makers loving Hands. May His reality in my life continue to grow, to completely engulf me and may I be enabled to reflect his reality in real terms of his love with conviction and boldness.

    A pall of sadness threatens to engulf this little tender heart of mine – the silence of politicians and church leaders/pew warmers, stuns me once again but does not really surprise me either and together with the Very Rev. I can only concur and repeat his final paragraph .. “I have nothing but sadness that our churches have failed so badly to “Practice what we Preach! May God forgive us all, and may he bring all those who died so suddenly and unprepared into the light of His glorious presence. Amen

    A reminder that we should all be prepared to meet our maker …. What would he think should i meet him today ? Would I be allowed into the light of His Glorious Presence? Or would he say to me “Get away from Me, I do not know you!” For me, this is a sobering thought and cause again to examine my life in the mirror of his awesome Word …. reassuring myself that yes, I am on the right path, his amazing work in progress … and that is why, hope springs eternal in my breast !

    Peace and Blessings !

    • spookmoor says:

      Well said Gomer and thank you, both for the visit and the long reply.

      • Gomer Pyle says:

        Apologise for the length, Spook …. didn’t realise it was quite this long …. Blame the strange / maudlin / melancholy type mood I was in … must admit it was rather cathartic for me … hope it didn’t do your head in ….. 🙂 Blessings !

      • spookmoor says:

        Not at all just pleased to get the comment.

  7. Tess says:

    Oh Spook I was thinking these very thoughts on hearing about the out cry on the Air Malaysian aircraft disaster..and how silent the world was on the Viscount disasters…..sad how life can be.

  8. davidac@tampabay.rr.com says:

    The common mistake made by all is to expect a different and reasonable response from a politician. Every single one of them could not recognize the “right thing” if it came and bit them in the Ass.

    We are outraged at the lack of response, acknowledgement or sympathy offered to Rhodesians over this brutal and cowardly act. There has never ever been one single word of condemnation; not a single voice demanding the perpetrators be tried.

    We must however, adjust to the conclusion, that nothing ever will develop whereby there is at least some interest in applying justice, so we just go on our way, forgetting the atrocity but NEVER forgiving it.

    What goes around, comes around!!

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