Yesterday I watched the NTV program On the Spot. It was, by all means, an excellent initiative, and I am thankful to Mr. Kamara and the NTV management for providing such a platform. I believe the intention was to offer clarity on issues surrounding the fast metamorphosing face of evangelicalism in Uganda.
This program yesterday, however, left me sad as I pondered on the state of the church in Uganda. There are many questions it raised that I am not sure were answered.
Such issues as what it means to be a Christian, what the portrait of Christian maturity is, as well as queries about the foundational and fundamental message of Christianity are crucial to every believer, and should have been clarified, in my opinion.
Yesterday’s program was, by all means, a clash. A clash of two worldviews that cannot both be right. It was a conflict between what we would rightly call mystical materialism and orthodox Christianity. One view held that God is demonstrable through mystical visitations to heavens unlocatable, the other insisted on the simplicity of obedience as the mark of Christian maturity.
One holds Christianity, not as an objective reality, but as a subjective experience, and thus unfalsifiable, while the other considered Christianity as both objectively real and experientially relevant.
‘Demonstration’ is a common word these days. It has replaced doctrine. It has replaced love, patience, endurance, meekness, in short, it has replaced Christianity. To ‘demonstrate God’ in this view is to perform miracles, like ‘healing’ Dr. Julius Twongyeirwe and Rodgers Atwebembeire’s discerned eye defects, even in the studio (Mr. Ssenyonga Simon kept insisting on wanting to).
But, it’s a grave error to think that Christianity is about man demonstrating God through miracles. It is biblically accurate to say that God revealed Himself to us, through His Son. And therefore, the demonstration of God among us is through the humanity of God, not the deity of man. It is through God becoming man, not man becoming ‘a god.’
In other words, those who would reveal God will do so as Jesus did, through being human, like any other, except sin. But how is Jesus revealed through and to humanity?
I respond, through caring for our neighbors and loving them without feeling or sounding superior to them. Jesus neither lived or acted superior to us, though He was infinitely greater. And we must emulate Him.
We demonstrate God through our endurance through the hardships all humans face, not through escaping them. Christ endured them all, depending on offerings from women and well wishers, even when He could have commanded money to rain down on Him. This must teach us about the priorities of a Christian. It is futile to cite 2 Cor 8:9 as proof that material wealth is God’s will for believers, as though the text says so, as Mr. Kabuleta is convinced. The fact that the heroes in that chapter are the poor Macedonians rather than the rich Corinthians should cause us to pause and ponder.
Christ not only had to depend on donations from well-wishers (Luke 8:3), but he also endured suffering and pain. In fact, it is through His pain that He saved us. Through what the world considered as a weakness, God defeated the strength of sin and the pride of life.
God the Father demonstrated Himself to us through His Son’s daily obedience to Him, and daily reliance on Him for His daily bread, not in plenty of material possessions. And He has never written a note to us about His change of mind.
In short, the modern materialistic mystic hates the weakness of God that defeated the world and sin. The ‘Prosperity’ man loves using the things of the world to ‘demonstrate’ God to the world.
I wept when Mr. Kabuleta suggested that the Jesus came to preach the gospel to the materially poor so they may be rich. With such outlook, it is no wonder that those materially wealthy find no need for the gospel of Christ, for they are already full of what the postmodern ‘gospel’ promises.