Africa: The Most Religious Place On Earth
I just watched a video clip on the above topic. I am excited that Africa that was once ridiculed as the Dark Continent is today the most religious continent of the world. The feeling of shame and ignorance of the word and work of God has been replaced with pride and exhilaration in the African context. Church buildings are exploding in every corner of the continent. People are flooding the churches in droves. This is something to be celebrated and rejoiced. While I receive this news with joy and enthusiasm, I have some concerns about the way the Christian life is taught and practiced in Africa. My concern is based on the endemic nature of corruption, greed, and avarice that are deeply rooted in Africa. Most of African politicians claim to be Christians. A few claim to be Muslims. The mixed feelings I have concerning this information about Africa is that there is a difference between "religion and relationship." The Book of Acts records that the Apostle Paul was amazed to see and find out how religious the people of Athens were (Acts 17:19-34). Paul was grieved and distressed by the plethora of idols he saw in Athens. Upon this discovery, he proclaimed Christ to the citizens of Athens.
While the African context is different, we have to drill it into the mind and conscience of our people that Christianity majors on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, Christianity is not about religion but relationship. It is a relationship with a person. The person is Jesus Christ. Since Jesus Christ is a person to whom Christians repose their confidence, faith, and allegiance, they are not performing to be accepted by God. Religion is based on performance, but Christianity is based on grace through faith in Jesus Christ. When this concept is embraced and understood in the Christian community then, we come to realize that how we live our lives matter to God and our fellow humans.
When this understanding of Christianity is caught and applied then it can penetrate the lives of Christians and the culture would feel its impact. The impact would affect how we carry out our responsibilities as Christians and citizens of Africa. That will affect the way we do our private work and the work of the government. I am going somewhere with this thought. If the Christian worldview is translated into the way we live our lives then, the corruption, the greed, and avarice of our ministers and politicians would be curtailed. If you know that one day you would stand before the judgment seat of Christ to render account of your life to Him, then you would agree with me that you don't want to be found culpable for corruption, greed, and avarice. Therefore, to my fellow Africans, let us practice what we preach, for if we practice what we preach, then the Holy Spirit would have unhindered access in our lives and our impact would be felt and expanded because He would draw more people unto Himself.
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