83% of Zimbabwe’s wildlife has been destroyed by Mugabe’s state sponsored chaos according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. Inflation is over 4500%. Unemployment is over 85%. Power failures for days on end even in the capital, Harare, are common. Shops are empty. Starvation is rampant.
It takes much longer to build than to destroy. For example, it took the Americans seven years to build the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, but it only took an hour for Muslim terrorists to destroy that remarkable feat of engineering.
Similarly, while it took 90 years to build Rhodesia into one of the most efficient and productive agricultural economies in Africa, it has taken Robert Mugabe and his Marxist government less than 27 years to destroy it.
Civilisation needs the Rule of Law, a strong work ethic, an efficient infrastructure of roads, railways, means of communications, educational institutions, literacy, moral standards, respect for contracts, concern for neighbours, compassion for the weak, practical help for the poor, and lots of hard work.
But what does it take to destroy Civilisation?When I was growing up in Rhodesia, even as a schoolboy in junior school, I would regularly walk across Bulawayo, the second largest city in Rhodesia, without any sense of danger. Most children walked or cycled to school. We lived without keys and locks. There were no burglar bars on our windows or security gates at the entrances to our homes. Fences around our properties were low, not for security, but primarily to keep ones dogs, or tortoises, inside. We generally did not lock our doors, and many left the keys for their car in the ignition - even when parked downtown while shopping.
Many purchases were made on account, even petrol for the car. I don’t remember having to sign for anything at the local shop when sent by my parents. Verbal agreements were considered sufficient and binding.
Despite Rhodesia being at war, it was considered to be quite safe for me to walk several miles out of town to the Khamyi Ruins (approximately 14 km away) as a young teenager, alone. And it was delightful to see a variety of wildlife even close to the city. When we travelled across country, we would see giraffe, zebra, kudu, wildebeest and many other animals. And that wasn’t in the game parks - those were just on farms and crossing the main roads.
The safety, security, efficiency and stability of Rhodesia, even during that time of war, stands in sharp contrast to the chaos, crime, violence and complete breakdown of every level of society in Zimbabwe today.
It took US$3 to buy 1 Rhodesian dollar (today, despite removing three zeros from its currency, it takes over Z$600,000 to buy US$1).
How did they do it? How did ZANU succeed in destroying such an efficient civilisation in just 27 years?
“CONFUSE, DIVIDE AND CONQUER”If we can be confused, then we can be divided and conquered. Not only did many Rhodesians fail to understand the nature of their Communist enemy, but even more seriously many failed to understand the Gospel of Christ, the Biblical Worldview, and what it meant to be defending Christian Civilisation.
Antinomianism, the belief that God’s Law does not apply today, and the “just believe” minimalist gospel, are hopelessly inadequate in conveying the Biblical message.
“CORRUPT AND CONQUER”Antinomianism, secularism and immorality are deadly for any civilisation. Families are the basic building blocks of society, and the Christian faith is the foundation. Biblical ethics are the mortar that holds everything together.
Even though Rhodesia had strict censorship, which removed swearing, nudity and immoral scenes from films, and prevented pornography from being published in the country, there existed nonetheless, a worldliness and lack of spirituality that came to permeate the country.
GUILT MANIPULATIONAs Karl Marx declared, “The first battlefield is the rewriting of history.” Rhodesians were bombarded with guilt manipulation. The World Council of Churches, the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity, and the world media repeatedly portrayed Rhodesians as “white supremacists”, “racists” and “colonial oppressors”.
Yet many foreign visitors to Rhodesia in the 60’s and 70’s observed that Black people in Rhodesia had far higher standards of living and of education than their neighbours in Zambia and Mozambique. They were also impressed with the excellent race relations and general goodwill amongst the various communities.
Contrary to some prevalent propaganda, there was no apartheid in Rhodesia. Far from having racial segregation, Rhodesian society was integrated on many levels. There were no separate cinemas, restaurants or municipal swimming pools.
85% of the Rhodesian Army was Black. And while the Whites were conscripted, all the Blacks in the Rhodesian Army were volunteers. Although the common propaganda was that the war in Rhodesia was a Black against White war, it was more accurate to call it Black and White together against Red. The Marxist Revolutionaries of Robert Mugabe’s ZANU and Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU were trained and financed by the Russians, Chinese and Cubans. There were Black and White on both sides, and most of the victims of Mugabe’s ZANU terrorists were Black civilians.
Many people are surprised to hear that there was no colour bar to the ballot. Rhodesia had a qualified franchise whereby those with the required educational or property ownership qualifications could register to vote.
While the Rhodesian authorities were encouraging greater participation in the electoral process for Black Rhodesians, the Marxist terrorists were murdering Black candidates and those who took part in the electoral process. So, far from the Whites preventing Black people from having the vote in Rhodesia, it was the Communist terrorists’ policy to intimidate Black people to stop them from participating in the democratic process in Rhodesia.
A key part of the guilt manipulation by those who sought to demonize the Whites of Rhodesia was to use the zoom lens of selective reporting, ignoring the wide-angle lens of the wider context. So some of the crackdowns of the security forces were reported on without explaining what they were reacting to.
Mugabe’s ZANU-PF terrorist record of murdering missionaries, bayoneting babies, burning to death congregations of Christians in their church buildings, ambushing Red Cross ambulances, exploding bombs in public streets, placing landmines on farm roads and the cold-blooded murder of thousands of unarmed civilians, received little media coverage. There were those who were apparently only interested in blaming and boycotting the Rhodesians, imposing economic sanctions, excluding their sportsmen from the Olympic Games, even the paraplegic Olympics! etc.
Nor was the wider context of the Cold War, the reality of the international communist threat, the vicious atrocities against White farmers by the Mau-Mau in Kenya, MPLA massacres of whites in Angola, or the raping of nuns and murdering of missionaries by the Simba Communists in the Congo reported on. But the fact is that this was the immediate context in which Rhodesia existed. Refugees fleeing these atrocities came to Rhodesia. It was only natural that Rhodesians would have taken precautions in order to prevent such atrocities taking place in their own country.
“THE SCARS OF COLONIALISM”Frequently the “scars of colonialism” are mentioned. However, it would only be fair to note that the most obvious scars of colonialism have included: roads, railways, bridges, schools, hospitals, churches, law courts, shops, written languages, medicines, the Gospel, the wheel and a host of other extremely helpful and important blessings.
The fact is that when the Rhodesian Pioneers first arrived in Matabeleland and Mashonaland, the Matabele were under the rule of Lobangula, a bloodthirsty tyrant who oppressed the entire Shona nation in bondage as his slaves. There was no rule of law. Summary executions were frequent, and some of the most indescribable tortures were practiced. It is a remarkable achievement that the Rhodesian Pioneers freed so many people from such tyranny and slavery, lifted them out of savagery, ended the inter-tribal wars and catapulted the people from the Iron Age into the Space Age.
It is when these facts of history are forgotten that one is vulnerable to the guilt manipulation of those who seek to rewrite history and silence all opposition by throwing out accusations of “Racism”,”Colonialism”, “Collaborator”,“Reactionary”, “Counter-Revolutionary” or some such pejorative.
NOT BEATEN - BETRAYEDThe Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Douglas Smith, described the challenge: “We were never beaten by our enemies, we were betrayed by our friends.” It is a fact of history that the Rhodesian Army was never beaten in battle. They won every engagement. But it was their Western friends and allies alongside whom Rhodesian volunteers had fought in the First and Second World Wars and in the Malayan conflict, who were confused and guilt manipulated to the extent that they turned against a Pro-Western government which was seeking to stand firm against Communist aggression.
It was the corrupt and degenerate European governments, confused as to what was the truth, unwilling to recognise the reality of Communist terrorism, guilt manipulated about the presumed sins of the “White Colonialists” and cowered in submission by accusations of “racism,” who did for the Communists what they could not achieve for themselves on the battlefield. It was the British Foreign Office, the Commonwealth, the US State Department, the United Nations, The World Council of Churches, the Olympic Committee and the world media who worked together to confuse, divide, corrupt, guilt manipulate, boycott, sanction, isolate and betray Rhodesia.
CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCESThe international campaign against Rhodesia was quite unprecedented in history. And the catastrophic consequences continue to be with us to this day. Those who campaigned for the downfall of Rhodesia and the handover of that once peaceful and productive country to the violent Marxist revolutionary, Robert Mugabe, need to take a long hard look at the consequences of their campaign.
5,000 White owned commercial farms (which once fed the population of over 10 million and also provided the largest source of employment, foreign exchange and exports for the country) have been looted and destroyed by Mugabe’s racism and farm invasions.
Over 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe have had their homes destroyed by Mugabe’s army and police. Independent newspaper and radio stations have been attacked and blown up. Judges who have made rulings against ZANU-PF have been attacked by mobs, even assaulted in their chambers in court.
Pastors have been arrested for “subversive prayers”. Hundreds of churches have been bulldozed or burned. Wildlife sanctuaries have been devastated. Vast herds of elephants, rhino, buffalo and endangered animals, such as cheetah, have been slaughtered. Huge forests have been razed to the ground. Hundreds of thousands of human rights abuses have been recorded.
Over 5 million people have fled Zimbabwe. Even people who used to be supporters of Mugabe’s regime are now describing it as “a criminal enterprise” guilty of “ethnic cleansing”, “genocide” and “state sponsored terrorism”.
Zimbabwe provides a dramatic example of how to destroy a Christian Civilisation. It took 90 years to build one of the most efficient countries in Africa. It took dedicated missionary work, a strong work ethic, excellent agriculture, an effective infrastructure of roads and railways, the rule of law, widespread literacy, a high standard of education, wise development of natural resources, tourism, etc.
INTERNATIONAL INTERFERENCEHowever, during the height of the Cold War, Rhodesia became a target of international Communist aggression. Terrorists, trained and armed by the Soviet Union and Red China, and funded by the World Council of Churches and the United Nations, supported by the Organisation of African Unity, aided by the Commonwealth and US State Department, united in campaigning for the downfall of Rhodesia and its handover to the Marxist Revolutionary, Robert Mugabe. To a large extent, the millions of lives ruined, and tens of thousands of Zimbabweans tortured and murdered since then are their collective responsibility.
The Daily Mail in London, which had vociferously opposed Rhodesia throughout the 1970s, recently published a remarkable article entitled: ”IAN SMITH WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL” (19/03/2007). Indeed, the tragedy of Zimbabwe has vindicated all Rhodesia did to try to prevent a communist takeover.
THREATS TO CIVILIZATIONIt is easier to destroy than to build. We each need to recognise the serious threats to Christian Civilisation: The threats of “confuse, divide and conquer”,”corrupt and conquer”, guilt manipulation, the rewriting of history, the lawlessness of antinomianism, the poison of secularism, the corruption of worldliness, the covetousness of materialism, the disastrous consequences of egalitarianism, the confusion of multiculturalism, the idolatry of the interfaith movement, and so many other seeds of destruction. Any of these ideologies work like termites in a wooden house. While the outward structure may look unaffected, the termites can be eating away at the insides, rotting away the very foundations of the structure - until it all collapses.
THE BATTLE FOR THE FAMILYThe family is the basic building block of society, our Christian Faith is the foundation and Biblical ethics are the mortar. To rebuild Christian Civilisation, we must start with reforming our families. There is a battle for the mind, a war being waged against marriage and against the family. Our children are at risk. Education has become a battlefield. It is a war for the hearts and minds of the next generation.
LITERATURE AND LEADERSHIPThis is why Frontline Fellowship has given highest priority to leadership training courses such as the Biblical Worldview Summit and literature, such as Biblical Principles for Africa to lay solid foundations for rebuilding Christian civilisation in Zimbabwe. Mugabe’s communist regime will fall and when it does Christians must be prepared to rebuild the devastated society - on Biblical principles.
DON’T SETTLE FOR LESSWe dare not settle for less than God’s best. We have a salvation to celebrate, a reason to sing, a Faith to live by, courage to stand up against evil and to resist tyranny, the joy of sins forgiven, a reason to live, a message to share, a cause worth dying for.
Please pray for the Christians suffering in Zimbabwe and for our missionaries as we seek to serve them. If you can help us with emergency relief aid, food, medicines and ”boxes with love” to aid starving, destitute Christians in Zimbabwe, please contact Frontline Fellowship. We are also completing a book on the crisis: ”From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe”. If you want to help sponsor a film to expose the atrocities in Zimbabwe or help cover printing costs for the book and help market it, please write to: Frontline Fellowship.
We have a clear choice before us: either Communist chaos or Christian Civilisation.
It is humanism or Christianity.
“See, I have set before you today life and death, good and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are going to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish…I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live…” Deuteronomy 30:15-19
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