I was shocked and troubled within when a clergy shared the idea of allowing polygamy to help us grow in numbers. He’s building up his idea from their cultural background which permits this practice and on the historical fact that Christianity is the first religion to reach Africa, yet a different religion is now rapidly dominating some countries (and even provinces in Zambia) because Polygamy allows them to procreate at a faster rate. We are gathered around a campfire for the last night of our staff retreat and my response to the idea is that unlike the other religion the concept of spreading Christianity is on evangelism and transforming lives. The discussion went on with different views and theological principles and also revolved around several social issues affecting our Christianity such as poverty, HIV, violence, and adultery. I tried to understand the desperate idea of saving Christianity from extinction, and while in bed, I kept on processing all the things we have discussed. In my reflections, I realized few places where we sometimes fail as Christians.
- We desire things different from what God desired for us. We are more self-focused than God-focused. We are being exposed and polluted by ungodly things from which we end up seeking satisfaction. What we read, what we watch, what we follow, and what we listen to distracts our decisions and options.
- We fall so desperate and do whatever it takes to find shortcuts to reach our goals. We become so impatient waiting on God’s timing and living with discomforts that we end up doing wrong alternatives and being comfortable with it. We look to others to measure our success and do not look onto ourselves, what God made us for.
- We misunderstand the abundant Grace of God as an unlimited ticket to sin because we know we’ll be forgiven. We confuse love and forgiveness with acceptance and tolerance of our disobediences and perpetrations against God’s teachings and commandments.
- We become complacent in our own comfort zone, so we tend to take for granted the need to help others in their discomforts. We always look for what’s missing but not for what we can add, so we end up not realizing and appreciating how blessed we are.
- We pray hard but do not work hard. We rely too much on miracles that we do not realize God has granted us wisdom to make things happen and to do great things as God’s power is within us.
The spirit led me to be reading Proverbs 3 as a reminder to succeed in our journey as Christians. We should always seek God’s teaching and keep His commandments. We should put our trust to God and acknowledge Him in all our ways. We must not be blinded and envious of others nor follow their wrong ways but let us always preserve Spirit-led judgment and discernment. We should not withhold goodness from others nor plot harm against them. Just as how God repeatedly reminded Simon Peter in the gospel of John, let us love one another and care for one another just as we love God and His words.
Council of Churches in Zambia
GMF International, Class of 2016-2018