17 November 2016

Rwandan Secrets and the Ethics of Dominion

Rwanda's Paul Kagame has been in the news recently as questions have re-emerged regarding his possible role in the shoot-down of President Habyarimana's plane in 1994, the event which triggered the Rwandan Genocide. The slaughter perpetrated by Hutu Interahamwe militias was ended when Kagame and his Tutsi fighters, backed by Uganda and the United States entered Rwanda and drove the Hutu militias into Zaire/Congo. This later contributed to the breakup of Zaire and the subsequent Congo Wars.

Kagame has always denied playing any part in the shoot-down and he has counter-charged France with complicity in the genocide through aiding the Hutu government and providing training and assistance to those who committed the genocide. France had been backing the Hutu government and had opposed Kagame as a tool of American imperialism.

He has a point concerning France. It's a chapter Paris does not want to revisit, all the more as they are presently trying to charge Putin's Russia with war crimes in Syria. It's all something of a game. Every side is dripping with blood.

While the empires played chess, hundreds of thousands would die. It happened in 1994 and it's happening today in many places.

Whether Kagame triggered the events or not, he's a man known for playing his part in various conspiracies and has certainly been connected to a great deal of violence. It reminded me of a mysterious death in South Africa that took place a couple of years ago. But when you understand the background of who Kagame is, it's even more troubling.

Paul Kagame is touted and celebrated among the Christian Right in the United States. An ally of American Evangelicalism he has partnered with figures like Rick Warren as he seeks to sacralise his society and proclaim it 'Christian'. Influenced by Dominion Theology, he has (it would seem) also learned to apply its ethics. Its consequences in a place like Africa can be somewhat harsh.

Dominion Theology now the default in American Evangelicalism identifies the Kingdom of God with civilisation and culture and thus it is essential for the Church to attain and maintain power. Building on a distorted and non-Christocentric reading of the Old Testament this theology and its ethics essentially cast aside much of what the New Testament teaches.

Its critics are berated as 'Sunday only' Christians who refuse to apply their faith seven days a week and to view their work and daily lives as holy vocations. This is a straw-man argument and a falsehood. Biblical rejections of Dominionism are rooted in an understanding that Scriptural Vocation is our calling to be Christians and that everything else, our employment, money etc... are all of secondary concern. They are means not ends.

It is Dominionism through its modification of the doctrine of Vocation that effectively creates 'Sunday only' Christians, or in many cases 'No Sunday' Christians... in other words, baptised worldlings.

By embracing this erroneous theology Kagame can ignore the injunctions of Romans 12 and cloaking his violence under the sanction of Romans 13 he can take vengeance on his enemies. In fact his enemies become evildoers, whether they are or not. He can set aside his Christianity because his political office, his Vocation takes precedent and now as a state office bearer, vengeance is not only permitted but can be obligatory. That's Sunday-only Christianity if it can be called even that.

No one is going to be able to directly peg the 2014 murder of dissident Col. Karegeya on Kagame. The hard evidence is not going to be found and yet virtually everyone knows he was taken out by the Rwandan state. Kagame seems to feel no shame about this... about the fact that (by all appearances and estimates) he is a murderer.

"You can't betray Rwanda and not get punished for it," he told a prayer meeting on 12 January. "Anyone, even those still alive, will reap the consequences. Anyone. It is a matter of time."

But of course it's worse. Rwanda has been supporting the M23 militias in the Congo for many years in what is essentially a leftover conflict from the Rwandan Civil War. The Kivu Conflict is but one facet of the fighting in Congo. M23, backed by a 'Christian' leader of a 'Christian' country is supporting fighters accused of rape, murder, recruiting child soldiers and other atrocities.

Kagame's record is dark and brutal but he's an important ally of the United States and for many years the American Evangelical community has helped to foster these ties. France has its own ambitions for Africa and continues to play spoiler to American imperialism and its ongoing proxy war with Chinese interests.

How many Christians suffer even now, caught in the middle of these machinations? And how many have been caught up in these lies and seeking power and 'divine blessing' have turned to a false theology that rewards power and seeks, not the Kingdom of Heaven but worldly dominion. It does not lay up treasures in heaven but instead offers devotion to a pseudo-Christian manifestation of the Beast.

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