Pastors as “Christian” witchdoctors in Africa

One of the contexts in which we do ministry in Africa is the background and influence of African Traditional Religion (ATR). In ATR the sangoma (witchdoctor) has special access to God, the spirit world and the ancestors.

The sangoma is able to make contact with the spirit world in order to guarantee protection from evil spirits, to ensure good luck in a job interview or even to lift a curse someone else might have placed on you. The sangoma is able to provide blessing, healing, deliverance and protection (among other things).

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The role of the pastor

This blog may be controversial.  My basic argument is that the primary role of the pastor or elder in the church is edification not evangelism.

The apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:1-2, “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow-elder…Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care”. 

The King James Version of the Bible renders it like this, “the elders which are among you I exhort…feed the flock of God which is among you”.

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