All posts tagged: Culture

On Christians and Political Leadership

3 min read My conversation with my Christian brother continues here… You posed these three questions. Do you believe in Christians running for public office including the highest office in the country? If you do, would you vote for one?  What would you expect them to do while in office? My answers to the above questions are Yes, and No. Let me explain. YES, if the person running will espouse Christian values and ethics that will benefit ALL THE PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF WHO THEY ARE. IF they will serve ALL THE PEOPLE AND NOT JUST CHRISTIANS, THEN YES.  NO, AND A BIG NO, if the person running for office is doing so just because he/she is a Christian. If being Christian is the reason they are vying for office, no. If their intention is to only serve Christians and disparage or discriminate against other people, then a BIG FAT NO IS MY VOTE.  In the event I vote for a Christian, I would expect this Christian leader to SERVE ALL THE PEOPLE. To serve Christians and …

On how the Christian faith influences the world

3 min read My conversation with my Christian brother continues here… The tone of my response sounds formal because of the nature and manner of our correspondence. Usually, I prefer a more approachable, friendlier and open tone but that wasn’t the case this time. I hope you get the gist of the post.   Here we go In my previous engagement with you, I used the term APPEAL. Influence is the term you have used, and it works. Yes, just like salt savours and preserves dishes (Matthew 5:13) or yeast causes the dough to rise (Matthew 13:33), Christians have the resources and mandate to influence our culture. Yes, we do! This, however, cannot and shouldn’t be confused with IMPOSING our moral values on the culture. Our influence, like salt and yeast, works within and is invisible—this is how we influence culture. How the Christian faith influences public policy is not by wielding power but by an influence that is silent and invisible. Every other faith and worldview shout from the rooftop about its plans, how …

On the incompatibility of democracy and religion

6 min read My second post of the year is on democracy and religion. What a way to start the year! I should post on New Year’s resolutions and how to make sure you fulfill them or how to fast effectively in this fasting season—the foods to eat or not, the jokes to crack or not, the places to visit, how to stay off social media, etc. I should share our moving home stories with you, the brutal blows this home keeps giving us. How we spent the Christmas season and New Year’s excited yet exhausted from the move. But nah, I’m writing to you about the world as I see it. Hey, enjoy the ride. You are here you may as well read the post. Here we go. Last year, I wrote a short Facebook post pointing out India’s path to religious ethnocentrism—a phenomenon that’s taking place in supposedly democratic countries—countries that are supposed to allow divergent views to flourish within the parameters of law and reason, the cornerstones of democracy. Here is the post India, the world’s …

Echoes of grace in the Springboks Rugby World Cup Win

5 min read South Africa’s national rugby team known as the Springboks or the Boks arrived from Japan with the Webb Ellis Cup. They defeated the English Roses with an emphatic 32-12 win. They made history. Siya Kolisi was the first black captain of the team. This was a momentous achievement. You need to live in South Africa to know what this meant to the nation and especially to black South Africans. Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe were the first players in rugby history to score tries in a final. It hadn’t happened before. The Springboks were also the first team in history to have lost their first game against the All Blacks and gone on to win the main cup. A lot of firsts.  When they landed at ORTIA—the O. R Tambo International Airport, jubilant South Africans from across the nation met them. It was a glorious homecoming. I watched on TV the scenes unfold at the airport. Jenny was on her laptop finishing some work. Bad! As usual, I see grace; I see …

Rebel against the status quo

4 min read A few days ago, l listened to Tim Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church talk on personal prayer, and in his message, he made this statement that “Prayer is an act of rebellion against the status quo.” This line of thought seemed out of place with the rest of his talk because his subsequent points did not match. The thought stood out on its own like a sore thumb, like a socket out of joint. The feelings it provoked in me, though, were stunning almost breathtaking, blows to the gut feelings and yet restful and comforting. Think of this, most Christians consider prayer a nuisance, an interference, a waste of time, a break in the stride. Why pray when I could just solve this problem, when I can just send that email, tweet or Facebook post, when I can just take my wife on holiday and our marriage will come right, when I can just kiss the ring and I will get the promotion, when I can just sleep with him or her with no commitment, when …

Joshua Harris and the sexual prosperity gospel

8 min read In April 2018, I wrote a post titled, On Dating and being a Virgin. Check out the post here. Basically, the premise of the post was this—most, if not all teaching in the church on chastity is reduced to this idea—if you are chaste and pure, preferably a virgin, God will bless you with a Christian spouse, mind-blowing sex, and marital bliss forever. This is what Christian singles constantly hear from the pulpits and from well-meaning couples married for many years. I received comments for and against my post that made me realize this was a hot button issue among Christian singles. I argued in that post that 1) It is unscriptural to teach or preach that, 2) It is unlivable and unrealistic because we live in a fallen world, 3) Chastity is no guarantee that you will succeed or fail in marriage, and 4) Even if you were a failure sexually, God can still bless your marriage. That God works with failures for his glory. I came across this post, recently, from Katelyn Beaty …

Who is your Center?

1 min read Whoever or whatever is your CENTER will master and enslave you. And when you fail they will crush you, and when you succeed, it will never be enough. In all worldviews except the Christian Gospel, there is one center. Human beings or the general term “Man” is the center. Consider these ideas Fundamentalism, Man is the center. Cultural Christianity, Man is the center. Spirituality, Man is the center. Psychology, Man is the center.

The lies our culture tells us about what matters…​ and a better way to live by David Brooks

15 min watch This is a talk David Brooks, the New York Times Columnist and television pundit gave at TED. I watched the video and heard faint echoes of the gospel. The gospel? Yes, the gospel. And especially how the gospel critiques and offers alternatives to our modern culture. I hope you hear those echoes, too. That’s what grace looks like.    Image: David Brooks delivers a TED Talk in 2019. Video screenshot

On grace and friendships. How the offer of friendship Jesus gives is way much better.

4 min read Open your voice memo app and ask a 21st-century man or woman to define who a friend is or what friendship is all about, and you will be inundated with many definitions. Make it personal and ask your friends what they think your friendship means to them, and the answers will be varied. Some answers might sound like these You are my friend because you make me feel special. You challenge me. You make me a better person. You inspire me. You’ve seen the worst in me and still stayed with me. You make me laugh. You are my normal when I go crazy. You are the person I can trust with my life. Notice the common refrain? Me! It’s all about the benefits that your friends get from you. It’s your friend basking in the sunlight and you are the sun. I’ve listened to countless sermons, talks, and read books that push this idea that you should only be in relationships that benefit you—cut off these bloodsuckers and ticks that suck from …

Why the gospel is the missing piece in the fake miracles debacle in Africa

2 min read If you are a casual observer Africa’s spiritual landscape you won’t help but notice there is clamor for either religious governing bodies or local goverments to act and curb the spread of fake miracles, the so-called ‘prosperity gospel’ and heresies. Such is the ongoing case here in South Africa with the CRL Commission, and in other parts of Africa. There is heated debate on both sides of the argument (proponents and opponents of legislation), with each side making justified points. Yes, church leaders are concerned about the spread of fake miracles, the so-called ‘prosperity gospel’ and heresies, and are concerned about infringement of religious freedom. It’s both/and, and not either/or. I worry, however, the church’s response to fake miracles, the so-called ‘prosperity gospel’ and heresies is anti-gospel. Here’s my point.