Tag Archives: Africa

A quick question for pastors and ministers

Reflecting on the past few years, I’m stunned at the lack of basic character in your profession.

If you scream from your pulpits about the sins of the world and unorthodox beliefs in other churches, when will you scream from your pulpits about the sins of Mark Driscoll, C.J. Mahaney, Bill Gothard, Bob Jones University, Anglicans in the U.S. supporting the jailing of gays in Africa, the startlingly non-biblical beliefs (before their son’s troubles) of the Duggars, Doug Phillips, and the Roman Catholic pedophile priests?

I know, you can’t because you’ve been too busy picking on Rob Bell about universalism — you know, universalism, an idea, a belief, a way of thinking that does not bully or degrade or sexually assault anyone.

You’re too busy critiquing liberal theology in the mainline Protestant denominations — much easier, granted, than addressing the real problems in your own conservative houses.

Or it’s simpler than that. You’ve been friends with the conservatives. You’ve been enemies of the liberals. Defend your friends and kick your enemies. Like Jesus said, you’re just like everyone else. You’re like this guy.

You frauds.

Your Bible says, “Moreover, [the Christian leader] must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

That’s I Timothy 3:7.

You’ve failed that standard.

You are not well thought of by outsiders or insiders.

You are a disgrace.

Another good footnote to Proverbs

“In substance, [Proverbs] represents the results of a search for divinely sustained order in the lessons derived from human experience.” — intro to the book of Proverbs, The New English Bible, Oxford Study Edition

I wonder if the book of Proverbs suggests an allowance for something like natural theology.

Either way, looking for traces of the biblical God in our daily, lived experience makes more sense than trying to summon supernatural experiences.

The latter approach seems to be the quest in some expressions of African Christianity, according to an article in The Economist.

Atheist promotes Christianity for Africa: ‘the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa’

From Matthew Parris’ extraordinary article in The Times of London, written following his recent return visit to Africa:

“Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

“I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it.”

Parris’ article is full of first-hand, personal observations. Read the entire article.

Nkoyoyo, former Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, speaks in Myrtle Beach

Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, Sixth Archibishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda
Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, the former Anglican Archbishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda, was speaking Monday evening at Trinity Episcopal Church in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Nkoyoyo is in the United States to raise money for Chain Foundation Uganda, which helps visually-impaired children and other vulnerable kids.

Ugandans often believe blind children to be under a curse, but the largest cause of blindness in Uganda is measels, Nkoyoyo said.

Blind children need to learn skills that can help them earn money, Nkoyoyo said. They can learn skills like playing musical instruments or massage therapy, he said. A Chain Foundation Uganda brochure says that many blind children become beggars “due to lack of relevant training.”

Nkoyoyo also talked about sharing the Christian faith with Muslims and other groups within Uganda. He said the Anglican ministers often work with Pentecostal ministers. “The [Ugandan] church is growing because the Christians are involved in the work of evangelism,” Nkoyoyo said.

He later added, “We need to learn to speak one language as Christians.” He said some Christians have become confused by thinking that there are many ways to God, a statement that hinted at theological and doctrinal differences between the more-traditional African Anglicanism and the progressive Anglicanism within Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

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Kano state government to demolish four churches

KANO, Nigeria — Without discussion or compensation, the Kano state government has unilaterally decided to demolish four churches in this city to make way for roads and a hospital. Two Pentecostal churches and two churches belonging to the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) will be demolished under the northern Nigerian city’s plan. The Rev. Murtala Marti Dangora, secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kano state chapter, said the road and hospital construction are a guise for demolishing the churches. “The government has refused to discuss with us about the fate of these churches,” Dangora said. He added that during re-election campaigning earlier this year, Kano Gov. Malam Ibrahim Shekarau promised the Muslim community of Ginginya area that he would demolish an ECWA church there in order to build a hospital.

-Compass Direct News

Professor Philip Jenkins on Global Anglicanism

“Christianity is going south very rapidly in terms of numbers. I’ve give you a quick overview, and I’m going to talk about Africa a lot. Simple reason: back in 1900, Africa had 10 million Christians representing 10 percent of the population; by 2000, that was up 360 million, to 46 percent of the population. That is the largest quantitative change that has ever occurred in the history of religion. A rising tide lifts all boats, and all denominations have been booming. The Anglicans have done very well, and the Anglican Church is going to be overwhelmingly an African body in the near future….

“Another important thing to remember is that most Global North categories do not work in the Global South. A classic example: if you talk to a Nigerian Anglican and you try to pin him down, saying, ‘I cannot figure you out, are you evangelical, are you Catholic, are you charismatic?’ The immediate answer is yes. And they mean it.”

These comments were made by Philip Jenkins, distinguished professor of religious studies and history at Pennsylvania State University, during the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life, held earlier this month in Key West, Fla.

The full transcript, well worth reading, is available at: http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=145 .