Raila Odinga and the Church: What Happened after 2007 loss to Kibaki?

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Raila Odinga and the Church: What Happened after 2007 loss to Kibaki?

Raila Odinga and the Church: What Happened after 2007 loss to Kibaki?
Hon. Raila Odinga with Dr. Teddy Kamau and Rev. Timothy Kamau

Every politician walks with those who can give him or her votes. That means that politicians will sing anyone’s song if that person has the potential of walking with them towards being elected for a political office. It is therefore hard to imagine a politician who would condemn believers of any kind. In Africa, a majority of Africans South of the Sahara profess Christianity. It is in this light that Malawi’s new President was elected due to his professed faith in Jesus Christ. His faith is well documented, having attended and graduated from the same Seminary and Graduate school as this writer–Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, Class of 2000. After graduating with a Doctor of Ministry, Lazarus Chakwera went back to Malawi, where he now occupies the office of the President.

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It is no speculation that President Chakwera was elected due to the Malawian people’s belief that his Christian faith is genuine and as a Christian he would not forget the call of Christ to remember the widows, orphans, the poor, the sick and disabled. If every person who professes to be a believer in Jesus Christ would submit to His teachings, countries would be better run. The problem is that most political professions of faith are of a nominal orientation geared towards fooling people who naturally seek honest people as their leaders.

In the United States for example, Donald J. Trump was elected in 2016 with the help of the Evangelical believers. Evangelicalism is not a political right wing idea. Rather, it is a testimonial recognizing the Bible as the inerrant Word of God in its original standing; that its writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit; that Christ is the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That this God is the Creator of all things according to St. Paul whose doxology establishes Christ’s position eternally: “For by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15, KJV). Those people who hold these truth and seek to follow them are called Evangelicals.

Evangelicals supported Donald J. Trump also in 2020. They did this, not because Donald J. Trump is an Evangelical, rather, because his political standing supported the core values of the Christian faith: That freedom of religion is a God-given right, that life as created by God is of value and cannot be aborted, that the distinction between man and woman is not a political or legal interpretation but a divinely instituted foundation of human life, and his support of pastoral responsibilities in communities. In voting for Trump again in 2020, the Evangelicals believe that during his first term in office, he held on to the principle of Judeo-Christian heritage, which many believe is the foundation of America. The Judeo-Christian tradition acknowledges the Old and New Testament as presenting the inspired purpose for which God, the Creator of heaven and earth, established the earth and all life within it.

It is this same faith that Kenya’s former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, claimed to profess with the members of the his ‘Pentagon’ during Kenya’s 2007 election, attending prayer ceremonies across the country. It is the faith that Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, professed and defended all through his presidency. Kenya’s second president, Daniel arap

Moi, professed the same faith and was seen to defend it without shame. Kenya’s third president, Mwai Kibaki, also professed to be a believer in Jesus Christ and the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, originally professed Christ through his adherence to Catholicism.

It is therefore strange that after his 2007 loss to Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga seemed to move away from the Christian faith. It is not only that he is seen to move away from working with the Church, but being a seasoned politician must know that those who profess to be Christians in Kenya are the majority and their vote is essential. It is also strange that even though many Kenyans believe that he is a witchdoctor, he never spends time defending himself against them. Rather, he has taken a position against those, like Deputy President William Ruto, who acknowledge the Evangelical Christian faith, work with the church, and are not afraid to stand up and be counted for Christ.

Could it be that Raila Odinga has abandoned the Christian Faith? Could it be he never was a Christian? Only he can answer that question. In the meantime, Kenyan believers know for sure where William Ruto stands, and he, like the new Malawian president might be our next president.

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (Ph.D.)

HTBluff Associates

Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist

 

Raila Odinga and the Church: What Happened after 2007 loss to Kibaki?

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