Thursday, January 26, 2006
Growing "Chrislam" in Africa
Today's Christian Science Monitor includes the news story "In Africa, Islam and Christianity are growing - and blending." This is an important report that deserves our attention. Syncretism between the two religions is on the rise:

Amid intense sectarian violence in this half-Muslim, half-Christian country, these groups serve as tolerant peacemakers. Also, with widespread poverty and health concerns here, people are seeking practical, profitable religion more than rigid doctrine.

. . . .

Clearly, the religious revolution is still shaking out. "People are converting rapidly, but they don't necessarily have instruction" in the details of their faiths, says Boston University's Professor Robert. Nor have they had "time for their belief system to solidify." It is, she says, "still shifting." She argues that eventually the faithful will choose one religion or another, and the hybrids will fade away.

I am not sure that I buy into Robert's prediction. Regardless, we need to respond properly. We must begin by standing firm on the truth of God's Word. It cannot be mixed or distorted with other religious beliefs. At the same time, we must be sensitive to the issues, difficulties, and cultural realities which these peoples face. We cannot simply ramrod biblical truth down their throats; we need to lovingly convert and disciple believers in Christ. Additionally, we must show them how Christianity involves all of life. It should never be minimized to regular gatherings or programs. We are submitting to and living under our Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that God will powerfully work among the peoples of Africa, drawing them to Himself through Jesus Christ.
 
posted at 11:45 AM  
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