There are many important aspects of the gospel that the early missionaries did not teach us. How does the bible address inequitable distribution of resources & economic opportunities? How about nationhood and traditional tribal animosity? What do you do when gross violations have been effected against your people by another? And no wonder… these were not pertinent questions from the missionary’s standpoint. In addition, many missionaries were often unwilling to address or were simply unaware of social and political issues and focused on the ‘spiritual’ realm.
As a result, we have few answers to the issues that threaten to subsume our continent – Rwanda, DRC, Burundi, Sudan… even so called ‘stable’ countries like SA have lots of simmering issues lingering just below the surface. Ignoring the issue for years as we have in Kenya does not make them go away. Political solutions merely lead to a sharing of power among the elite, and a postponement of ‘tribal clashes’ for another time. Meanwhile, the West wonders in amazement at the savagery and hatred of these Africans, unaware of their own nation’s historic and ongoing contribution to the fuel that fans the flames. I say this in no way to blame… it’s a little late for that!
Is there hope for Africa? I believe it with all my heart. But it will take much more than political solutions to save us. It will take God’s people everywhere being ‘transformed by the renewing of (their) mind’ (Rom.12) by God’s word. The western theology taught in our bible colleges ignores issues fundamental to us. Western TV programs propagate an alien Christianity that is at best harmless and perhaps even dangerously mind-numbing. We need to go back to God’s word, read it as Africans, and discover that yes indeed, it does have much to say about the issues that we in this part of the world find ourselves faced with.