DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Christianity and the Community change

Written by: on March 4, 2019

It is very challenging when one reads the book by James Hunter “To change the World.” It put Christianity to question and how the world can be changed through the moral values of Christianity by those who profess the faith. It is very saddening when you see the origin of Christianity to African countries behaving contrary to what they first believed. The Quaker church is divided into three groups namely Conservative, Liberal and Evangelical Quakers. The Evangelical Quakers took the gospel to other parts of the world including Africa. Liberal Quakers have never seen the importance of sharing the gospel to other parts of the world. Hunter is quoted saying, when faith and its culture deteriorate, they do so, in part, because it operates with a view of power that is corrupt.[1] It is in this context that creates much confusion in the African Christian Community. The origin of the Quaker church missionaries was the USA and Hunter confirm this to our Quaker community in the Western countries. The Quaker Christian faith and culture they introduced to Kenyans in early 1900 is no more the same today. However, the Quaker church in Kenya has refused to buy into the new ideology of the Western mother church, and it is developing its African theology and culture of Faith rooted in Christ.

Hunter blames the Christian community for failing to understand the nature of the world they want to change and failed to even more to understand how it changes.[2] Secularism has filled the world and moral values of social fabrics which have been propagated for a long time by the church is no more. What we called sin is no more sin, and hence everything is right in whichever form it comes out. Family norms are no more. The Kenyan Nation was established on the values of Christianity, and even in our national anthem, God’s name is invoked on the first sentence of the anthem.  It is unfortunate that the strong Christian values the nation was established are not adhered to, but we read and hear mega corrupt scandals all over at the expense of the taxpayers. Nobody seems to care, but Hunter is reminding us, where is the voice of the Christian Community. Why is it that the world is fast losing the authority of the Christian authority that was once adored all over? Why is secularism taking up space once occupied by Christian values? We continue to ask ourselves why we have given up on what we fought for in building what seems to be good human values and at the same time going back where they had come from? Is it related to what hunter calls “Culture change when people change”[3] Its true Christianity is gone through a lot of cultural changes in various communities of the world, and many peoples hearts and mind have been transformed through many different values and ideas they live by.  Who stole the Christian virtues from the Christian community? Who is destroying and replacing them with secularism that has an upside-down value?

While the western countries who have thrived through the Christian religion and even raising Capitalism that dominated the world’s economy are questioning the importance of Christianity; the African church is ripe for the same that is being rejected in the west.  Christian values are highly needed to correct many wrongs happening in many African countries. These are the people Hunter is saying that they use the opportune time when the time is ripe. We are equally challenged by Hunter when he says,  “….. if people just pay attention, learn better, be more consistent, they will understand better the challenges in our world today; if they have the right values, believe the right things, embrace the right worldview, they will be better equipped to engage those challenges; and if they have the courage to actually jump in the fray and there choose more wisely and act more decisively, they rise to and overcome those challenges and change the world.”[4]  It is in the same spirit that Erin Meyer in the book The Culture Map speaking of strategies of doing active ministry cross-culturally. We left wondering what our role as a Christian over these challenges facing us in the world is?  Do we have a role to play or we just read what people like Hunter after being used by God to bring out common challenges facing the world and the only remedy of Christian values?

[1] (Hunter 2010)

[2] (Hunter 2010)

[3] (Hunter 2010)

[4] (Hunter 2010)

About the Author

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John Muhanji

I am the Director Africa Ministries Office of Friends United Meeting. I coordinate all Quaker activities and programs in the Quaker churches and school mostly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The focus of my work is more on leadership development and church planting in the region especially in Tanzania.. Am married with three children all grown up now. I love playing golf as my exercise hobby. I also love reading.

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