July 19, 2004

They teach, we listen? 1.1

In the spirit of my recent post on post-colonial Christianity and the need of the Western church to adopt a spirit of teachability, let me recommend to you two articles coming from our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Writing from Nigeria, Chris Ngwodo considers the recent prohibition of unverifiable miracles on Nigerian television and asks some important questions about what makes a miracle and who decides what is a miracle and what isn't. Check it out here at allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Dead Flies in the Ointment. Quote of note:
The truth may well be that having failed to heed the biblical injunction to judge herself, the church is now being judged by the world. Despite feeble protestations from some quarters, what the [Nigerian National Broadcast Commission] is trying to do is no more than an official recognition of what has been the reality in the church for close to two decades. If the NBC is forcing the church to deliver on its advertised promises, it is because the customer and not Christ is king.
A prophetic voice for the Western church as well? Does this resonate with you? (Chris? Anna?)

The second article, from The (Gaborone) Reporter in Botswana, addresses the issue of pastoral ministry from an African pastor's perspective. It's an interview with Rev Onkabetse Festus Marumo, a Botswanan pastor, and you can read it here at allAfrica.com: Botswana: The Voice of Reason. Here's an interesting quote of note:
[Marumo] talks of the sometimes-contentious issue of whether the African's spirituality belongs in the church - or outside. His view is that the African does not have (and should not be expected) to leave their culture at home when they go to church. This is one area where he is grateful to the experience he gained in South Africa. "The Xhosa receive the holy communion in their traditional attire," he says. "In Botswana, if Roy Sesana came to church wearing his horns, we would probably think it's bizarre. We fail to appreciate that we are who we are because of our culture." Controversial as that may be, he says the church should accommodate the African's relationship with the ancestors - just as much as it sees nothing wrong with the faithful calling out to the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.
So...feeling teachable today? Why not see what you (and your church) can learn from these African brothers?

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