© July 17, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Nelson Mandela, what a man! What a life. His persona, endearing. His heroic deeds, unmatched. A man who lived way before his time. A man who peered into the future, anchored himself in the present, reconciled the past and led not only South Africa but also the rest of the world into the future he envisioned. His future? Black and White living together in a non-racial South Africa – all of humanity living together in harmony. This was his vision. A few events have been planned around Johannesburg to commemorate the centenary of Nelson Mandela. This year, he would have been 100 years old. In particular, Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, in Johannesburg on 17 July 2018.
© June 29, 2018 | Schulter Etyang I still maintain that the Bible is not about us but about Jesus and his work for us. Failing to do so makes reading the Bible a dangerous endeavour. Whenever we superimpose ourselves on the Bible, two things happen; pride or apathy. When we read the Bible and discover that we have attained to its ideals, it produces in us pride. Ask the Pharisees, Sadducees and religious leaders of Jesus’ day. When we read the Bible, on the other hand, and discover that we have failed to attain to its ideals, it produces in us apathy or indifference. Which leads me to this parable in Matthew 25:14-28 about the man who left his workers with some money. This particular parable has been used to enforce an ROI (Return on Investment) thought that has been of great disservice to the storyteller and its hearers. We have made this parable about us and not about Jesus.
Edited by WordPress.com staff © June 26, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Amos, an Old Testament prophet, belts out this fascinating words about the restoration of a fallen tent. He calls this tent, David’s tent. He tells the nation of Israel that God will repair the holes in it, restore its ruined places and will rebuild them as they were a long time ago. (Amos 9:11-12 GW) What is he talking about? Hundreds of years later, the same words are repeated by the leaders of the early Church when they met to discuss what to do with these Gentiles whom God had saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 15:16-18 GW) We have to go to King David and see what this tent was all about. David took the Ark of the Covenant that he had abandoned in Obed Edom’s house and brought it back to Jerusalem. Initially, he had tried to bring it, from Abinadab’s house, but things didn’t go so well. On his second try, he did it the right way, and brought the Ark of the Covenant …
© June 21, 2018 | Schulter Etyang I’m sure you are familiar with Peter’s story and how he walked on water. It’s a Bible story that is as old as your Harry Potter’s novels or your Lord of the Rings trilogy. Even if you are the irreligious type, you have certainly heard of this story. It’s a popular cultural expression for doing something that seems nearly impossible. This particular sticking point that Jesus and Peter walked on water, however, has made many people to disprove the Christian faith. Who can walk on water, they ask. Such stories, they believe, are a figment of our imagination.
© June 17, 2018 | Schulter Etyang On Father’s Day, many of us will wake up with a feeling of angst. It is supposed to be a day when we are celebrated but to most of us, it’s a day burdened with regrets because everything will be geared towards reminding us of our failures. Worse, the day is on a Sunday. We will feel “obligated” to accompany our spouses and kids to a religious service. At the religious service, the speaker will talk about how true manhood looks like, how our religious founder exhibited those qualities, and that we now have to live up to his standard.
© June 13, 2018 | Schulter Etyang There is nothing new under the sun, the wise king Solomon, once said. Every act or event is something that has, in the past, taken place. History revisits itself. The old cliché same old’, same old’ is true. Our generation is living through a cultural moment right now that seems out of the ordinary, but the truth is, we have already lived through it. The cultural moment we are living through right now is the issue of freedom of religion. This is a hot topic. If you listen to prominent religious voices, you will think, this has never happened before, that this is a new phenomenon.
© June 7, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Pray, everybody prays. And we pray to a transcendent being. For Muslims, it is to Allah. For Hindus, it is to Brahman. For Judaists, it is to Yahweh. For nominal Christians, it is to God. For Buddhists, it is to Buddha. For Taoists, it is to the Universe. For Confucius’s, it is to the individual self. For agnostics, it is to science and reasoning. Pray, everybody prays. And when we pray, we do two things; We pray to someone – either self, reasoning, science, the universe or to a god. We pray about something.
© June 5, 2018 | Schulter Etyang A few years ago, deep into my gospel journey, I was invited to speak at a Church just outside our city. It was around Easter. As I pondered on what to share, I came across a story in 2 Kings 7 that became my favourite gospel story. Cue, I had been a Christian for many years. I had been a Church mouse all my life. I had been on a constant diet of performance, DIY and spiritual gymnastics. The result was, I wanted to become a leadership guru of some sort. My dream was to join the ranks of the leadership gurus of our day. My mother, in support of my dream, bought me books and DVD’s on leadership by a renowned leadership guru. This was her investment into my dream. Until the gospel smacked me right on my face. The gospel threw me off. It unravelled my world. It punched a hole in my world. And this is one of those stories that God used to whip …
unsplash-logoWilliam Stitt © May 21, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Imagine a poisonous snake has bitten you. Its venom is quickly spreading through your body. You are in shock, your blood pressure lowers, your eyelids are drooping and you are getting weaker and weaker. You are thirsty, vomiting and nauseating, sweating, and you have difficulty breathing. You are about to die. Suddenly, a man appears and tells you that he has a cure for the dangerous venom that is about to kill you. Desperate and in pain you ask for the cure – assuming you are not the type that’s too proud to ask for help. You have no choice here. If you don’t get the cure, you will die. Then, this man tells you, “Ok, here’s the cure. Look up and keep on looking at that brass snake on the pole. That’s your cure.” What? This is preposterous, you would say. C’mon, are you kidding me? Are you joking? Is this a sick joke? This is absurd and borderline obnoxious.
unsplash-logoTiko Giorgadze © May 19, 2018 | Schulter Etyang The world waits with bated breath for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry, a member of the British royal family and Meghan Markle, an American actress and humanitarian. The wedding ceremony is taking place this Saturday 19 May. Prince Harry is the youngest son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana, his late mother was a global icon who tragically died 21 years ago in a road accident. The British royal family is the longest reigning monarchy in the world. The widely beloved Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom since February 1952. Prince Harry is royal blood. He is sixth in line to be king of the United Kingdom. His upcoming nuptials will be to a Commoner. Meghan Markle is a Commoner. A Commoner is an ordinary person who does not belong to the aristocracy or to royalty. Meghan is a mixed-race woman – half black and half white because her father is Caucasian and her …