Africa has come a long way from being called the ‘dark continent’ There’s enough evidence that the label dark cannot be solely assigned to geographical territory of the word. Nor can our land continue to carry the burden of the stigma of corruption as an African category. There is enough evidence of massive and unimaginable levels of corruption in other parts of the world, including contexts that were once considered ‘sacred.’ The significant migration of resources and funds to foreign lands through the manipulation and connivance of some of our leaders with multinational companies and other external forces have contributed in no small way to our impoverishment in spite of the token sent home from Diaspora migrants. If we cannot change what goes on in other lands we have responsibility to change the state of affairs where God has placed us.
We are Africans by God’s appointment! “From one man He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands” (Acts 17:26). And God has caused His light to shine upon us. Our eyes have been opened not only to our alienation from God but to what our continent can be under the ambiance and influence of the gospel. Yet this remains our birth pang. To demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God through the Church in bringing the gospel to bear not only on the sacred arena of worship but all spheres of life, private and public. Called to be both Christian and African under the Lordship of Christ, we must not relent until what we profess and live out as faith undermines all aspects of stereotypes, real or imagined, as well as remnants of the status quo of corruption, bad governance, environmental degradation, marginalization of women and children and incessantly conflicts that displace our people from their homes, turning some into refugees and others as scavengers in foreign lands. Nothing but wholehearted engagement will dismantle all categories of gaps between:
- the Pulpit and the Public Arena
- Preaching and Lifestyle
- Faith and Life
- Worship and Service
- Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis
- the Sacred and the ‘Secular’
It is gaps like these that not only make us to often marvel in shock but experience a sense of shame about the lifestyle and practices of those who profess faith but fail to live it out in the public sphere. The passion of the Mission for a Bright Africa, a non-negotiable ethos of the Institute for Christian Impact (ICI), is to dismantle these gaps. Our gathering this week is an invitation to conversations that lead to action. We invite all likeminded people to get actively involved and engage.
It is good to see several blogs, platforms and other forum alive with similar conversations. Let us have vibrant conversation and hopefully beyond that, ACTION. On this blog, in the next few months, between now and end of 2016 we want to identify as many of the issues facing us Then from January 2017, we shall focus on one particular area of concern and interaction on a quarterly basis. E.g. Faith and Life in the Sphere of politics or something else from what has been suggested.
COMMENT’S and feedback welcome, including what you consider the most pressing issues in your context- nation, region or the continent as a whole. Contributions should be Africa Focused, Biblical guided with relevant examples. We respect all views and appeal that only appropriate, clean and considerate language be used.
Femi B. Adeleye
Director, Institute for Christian Impact