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PATRIOTISM

The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Men’s Ministry that seeks to provide an avenue where men can share knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences, encourage one another as the older men also perform the act of ‘paralambano’ to the younger men. Our prayer is that the Lord will speak to you through these publications.

Issue 3 - April 2012

I studied and stayed in the United States of America for some time and for the time I was there one thing was clear; the Americans love their country. They are patriotic. I believe America is a good country because the people there love it. They have their national flag everywhere, from churches to their homes. A Christian has to be patriotic! And what would you say is the role of Christian men in shaping Uganda’s future? Each one of us has to play his part. Whatever you are called to do, do it to the best of your ability as Apostle Paul tells us in the Bible; Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” – Colossians 3:23 Let us stop finger pointing. It is funny how when you listen to the radio talk shows or watch TV you get a feeling that everyone seems to know what the president, mayor, pastors e.t.c. should be doing and yet those very people that know other peoples roles are failing at their own responsibilities. Ebigambo biibe bitono (let the words be few). Let us each play our part. There is a quote that goes “we have a week nation because we have a weak church, we have a weak church because we have weak families and we have weak families because we have weak men”. Where do you see the men in that? Men were given in the Bible the leadership role and we need to deliver on that role starting from the family. Let us care for our wives and children. That way the children will be nurtured into becoming responsible adults. Take for example all the street children we have in our city, where are their fathers? No man should bring a child to the world unless he is ready and prepared to take care of the child and the family and by this I do not mean just providing for their physical needs but also being ready to mentor and nurture them into responsible citizens (holistically). If you get a child minus that readiness you mess up not just your life but also that of the child. Children want to be like their fathers. You would rather fail at work but not at home. The ladies are now taking over all the top roles in almost all sectors, which is not a problem but it might also mean that the men have absconded from their role; where are the men? Have we run out of quality men in our community?

The men’s ministry media team caught up with Justice Mike Chibita a member of Kampala Baptist Church and Resident Judge of Fort Portal High Court, and asked him a few questions about what patriotism means to him as man. How would you define patriotism? It is love for one’s country. Do you consider yourself patriotic? Yes.
How then do you express your patriotism?

This question brings to my mind the law of the land and our role as Christians in keeping it. As a Christian I am not worried about keeping the law because following the Spirit of God means following the law of the land. A good Christian should be patriotic. I wasn’t born Ugandan by mistake; I am Ugandan for a reason. There is a verse in the Bible which says; “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”- 1 Chronicles 7:14 which shows that God is interested in the affairs of nations. My role as a Christian is to humble myself, pray, seek His face, turn from my wicked ways and God will heal the land. It is individuals that form families which in turn form communities and then nations so if individuals pray then the nation has prayed. Therefore going back to your question, I show my patriotism by following Christ and His commands Uganda is making 50 years on 9th October 2012, what is its significance to us as Christians? There are 3 aspects to that celebration. You can look at it as: If you were to talk about patriotism, what would you not miss out? While at university when we asked Dr. Rick Goodgame of the Baptist Mission for counsel Age - just a number after all age is just but a number regarding our emphasis as students and yet we were also Christians and so we wondered Bible context - 50 years in the Bible was a time of jubilee, a time of re-dedication. It has a lot whether we should abdicate our student roles and serve God or we should read our books as of spiritual implication if you check from the Biblical history so we need to realise that and a priority? The good doctor told us that at that time, our role as Christians was to do our best we re-dedicate ourselves as a country to God but first as individuals. Maturity - what should a human being at 50 years of age look like? He should be responsible at our studies and become the best students. That was our Christian duty and not dependant on donors for support. So at 50 if Uganda were a person he should be a As men, we should aim at being the best we can be at everything we do. We should also work to see that Uganda is the best place to stay in the whole world. One responsible country taking care of all its children and neighbours instead of begging for time a friend talked to a group of people cautioning them against littering the city and their avoidable help. response was; “this is not our city”. You cannot be patriotic without a sense of belonging and identity. If this is not your country, where is yours and whose is Uganda? A prominent Christian scholar one time said that the biggest difference between a developed and a developing country is seen in how much the people obey the law. What do you think is the role of the church in shaping this country’s destination? As a church who do you want to take you seriously? Do we want to be taken seriously? Does the church want to be taken seriously? Then what are pastors doing in court pressing charges against each other and yet the Bible stipulates clearly what should be done when a Uganda has national symbols like the national flag, national anthem; do you relate to any brother wrongs you? The church will be taken seriously if we take our selves seriously of them? otherwise right now I don’t think we deserve to be taken seriously. I have no personal attachment to those symbols but they are good and represent my coun- Thankfully God’s mission will go on despite the church’s inadequacies. The church will contry. The Coat of Arms even has the motto “For God and my Country”, another reminder that tinue and must continue playing a leading role in shaping the destiny of the country by we should be good followers of God. producing and nurturing responsible citizens.

HOW DO YOU EXPRESS PATRIOTISM?
I personally believe that God has called me to be a good steward of the natural resources that God has given us. Am working on natural plants that God has given us; adding value and giving them back to Uganda to help my country and my people. I express patriotism by doing the right things for my family my church and that is it. My contribution is to raise responsible children, take care of my family and be responsible at church and giving my best in spite of the challenges. I want to take responsibility so that I can change my country. For now I cannot do much but I am focusing on small things for example whenever I buy airtime or chewing gum, I make sure I pocket the wrappers until I find a bin. In fact my pockets usually have litter.

Patrick Mulindwa

Francis Ssenyonjo

Benon Lutaaya

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