We live in a generation that appreciates the value of the material more than the spiritual. It’s especially becomes evident in the behaviour of the youth who will do anything they can to get their hands on a new Mac Book, yet have no concern for getting themselves spiritually edifying material. However, it is in this very same environment that a new breed of “Joshuas and Esthers” is rising up to serve the Lord and bring the message of Christianity to as many people as possible.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Pastor Felix Shamuyarira, a 28-year-old preacher of the gospel, who is also a hip-hop artist that goes by the stage name Luminous Cavalier. The young minister has his theology degree in place, and when he speaks, the foundations-true biblical doctrine is evident. Pastor Felix last week was preaching at the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) headquarters at Morris Depot.
RelZim: Looking at the current state of the youth in terms of promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse do you think the youth and religion are like oil and water?
Pastor Felix: If you look at most young people they are spiritually aware and in one way or another they are tapping into their spiritual side. The only reason why it seems like there are no young people who are passionate about God is because they seem to be afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone and making an impact. Fear is one of the things holding back the Joshua generation from taking hold of the vision and bringing other young people to Christ.
RelZim: As a part of your ministry you are a rap artist and your music is strictly gospel. It has been said that hip-hop music is linked to the Illuminati and other negative elements, but do you think hip-hop can be holy?
Pastor Felix: One of the things that we are striving to do is to reclaim the territory that the devil has stolen. Music is one of the devil’s most powerful tools of deception and as part of the ‘Joshua Generation’ we intend to reclaim the music as God’s creation. Hip-hop has become a tool for the destruction of the youth’s moral fibre, but as servants of God we believe it can be used to glorify the Lord and bring many young souls to a point of repentance.
RelZim: Many young people who have found the Lord are very passionate in the beginning but they soon fizzle out when they find that the church structure is not supportive of their youthfulness and when their choice of music, dressing is lambasted many young people leave the church. How can churches create an environment that welcomes and accepts young people?
Pastor Felix: It really is a challenge because churches need to review their structure so that they are relevant to the young people who want to follow Christ. In the current church system there is very little room for flexibility, but the church needs to realize that in the same way Moses never got to enter the promised land, the young generation are the ones who will carry forth the legacy. So there’s no point to pushing them out of the church just because they are different from the older Christians. As long as they are not going against the teaching of the Bible, young people should be allowed to be themselves and live a life that accommodates both their personal preferences (dress, hairstyles, music) and their devotion to Christ.
RelZim: This week you are preaching at ZRP headquarters. What is this outreach about?
Pastor Felix: A friend of mine invited me to come and minister to the police and I knew this was a wonderful opportunity to speak to those in the authority. Just like any other group in society, the police need to be given some words of biblical encouragement, but they are often overlooked because people have misconception that the police are unspiritual and they are not in need of Christ.
RelZim: Why did you feel it was necessary to come and share the Word with the police officers?
Pastor Felix: I think it’s very important to remember that even Jesus spoke to the centurion who wanted to see his servant healed. The centurion understood the authority Jesus had over the spiritual world because even the centurion had authority over his soldiers. Policemen and policewomen are human beings just like us and they also in need of encouragement and spiritual edification. They have families, friends, dreams and desires for their lives and it is important that we remember that they need a word from Christ too. Also, the more we impart biblical principles onto our police force, the better it will be and we will experience more efficiency and less corruption because the accountability will no longer be to their superiors only, but to God.