“Christ In You, The Hope Of Glory!”(Col.1:24-27).
Cameroonians who join in the blame game to say Christianity is a Whiteman’s religion used in brainwashing the Africans miss the point. The Baptist Church in Jamaica had just celebrated her Golden jubilee. Some Jamaicans of African descent decided to bring the good news to their ancestral lands so that their people could be part of the salvation story. So it is that Joseph Merrick and others first landed in Fernandopo from where they crossed over to the mainland – Bimbia. This marked the beginning of the presence of Christ in this triangle called Cameroon. The first missionaries to Cameroon were African-Jamaicans.
Even where missionaries were Europeans or Americans they came, not with the aim of exploitation. They came because they were convinced that other peoples of other lands deserve the good news which they too had received.
The bones of some of these missionaries are scattered across the continent.
It is unfortunate that today’s African Christian prefers comfortable Christianity and do not want to be missionaries to their kin. Many ministers are likely to resign if they were sent to serve in their natal villages.
The irony of it is that the Africans who first raised their voices to oppose Western dominance were empowered by the very people they turned against. Some of us cannot construct a sentence in our mother-tongues. While mother-tongue education is highlighted in many African countries, Cameroon delights in the sophistication of English and French.
Is it not even bizarre to think that the present tension is whether we should be more English or French!
Like we have said several times in different idioms, good news is worth sharing. Whoever hears the good news should delight in passing it on to others. This goes with huge sacrifices. We cannot be armchair evangelists or Christians who pray only for the good life.
The good news is a “mystery that has been hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
To share in this glory is to share also in the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ. The God of good times is the same God of bad times. The Church of Christ in Africa has come to stay and in a few years time the continent will have more Christians than any other continent.
Our prayer should not be for the dearth of Christianity on the continent. Rather our prayer should be that God in Christ should purify his Church by transforming those who use the gospel as a means for nefarious ends. Like we opened this week, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching”(Heb.13:8-9).
Weekend prayer: Dear LORD give us the heart that is ready to suffer for the spread of the gospel. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.