Categories
Church

Improving the gospel?

Why did God send his Son into the world?  This basic question is controversial…again.

There is a movement within broader Conservative Evangelicalism in South Africa to be critical of the gospel “Eternal Salvation” that Conservative Evangelicalism has always cherished. This movement seeks to redefine the gospel to include a physical/political/ temporal liberation of the oppressed.

Conservative Evangelicalism is accused of misunderstanding the Great Commission or being overly committed to the Great Commission to the neglect of the Bible’s other imperatives.  The result being a disproportionate concern with the spiritual dimension of the gospel to the detriment of the real, present concerns of people, especially racism and unjust structures.

Proponents of this “improved” and “contextual” understanding of the gospel accuse Conservative Evangelicalism (and REACH-SA) of having an under-realized eschatology and therefore an insufficient understanding of the nature of the gospel as it relates to the this-worldly expectations of the Kingdom of God.

Proponents of this improved gospel or, at least, improved understanding of the gospel assert that Conservative Evangelicalism’s inadequate or narrow understanding of the Great Commission has led to inadequate social engagement and the inadvertent support of unjust structures, including Apartheid.  

Before we think about social engagement, we must first ask the question: does the gospel include a physical/ political/ temporal liberation for the powerless, the marginalized and the poor? 

Are we not simply seeing the re-packaging of Liberation Theology?

Categories
Crime

When will God do something about all the violence?

As Africans, we are no strangers to crime and violence.

We have had our fair share of invaders, dictators, warlords and freedom fighters who have then turned on their own people.  Not only that, we constantly hear of assault, murder, rape, abuse and many other violent crimes.

South Africa is reeling as we are confronted on a daily basis with news of another woman or child being rape and killed.

A UCT student was raped and killed in the last week by a postal worker, in a Post Office, in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Many people in Africa live with this as their daily reality.

When will enough be enough? Is God concerned? When will God do something?

These are good questions that Genesis 6 helps us answer.

Categories
Return of Jesus

Where is the God of justice?

You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

Malachi 2:17

Where is the God of justice?  Is there any justice in the world?  Why does God allow evil to go unpunished?

This is a very common dispute people have with God.

It’s a dispute you’ve probably had with God.

God is supposed to be just. God says we must be just. But we live in an unjust and wicked world?

In Malachi’s time, the unbelieving nations surrounding Judah and Jerusalem were prospering, while their own crops were failing. The great promises of renewal remained unfulfilled and God seemed very distant.

Where was the justice?

We see the high crime rate in South Africa, we hear of murders and rapes, old people in our suburbs and townships are robbed of their life-savings, corrupt business leaders and politicians prosper, and the sordid list continues.

We live in a country of huge inequalities, where many people were hurt by state-sanctioned abuse.

We see our non-Christian friends ignoring God, doing their own thing and having the time of their lives.

All this while Christian people seek to be godly, face hardships,  endure temptation, struggle with sin, and face disappointments and hurts.