Why Do Our Lives Bear Little Correlation To The Faith We Profess?
– by Tendai Chitsike
Profound words from a Zimbabwean Atheist: It’s not often I hear the words ‘Zimbabwean’ and ‘atheist’ in the same sentence. In the middle of a pre-election debate, a Zimbabwean atheist and lawyer made a profound statement concerning the state of the Church, which could apply not only to Zimbabwe, but much of Africa and the world at large. She said: “Zimbabwe is not a Christian country. Zimbabwe is a country of people who go to church. And to me there is a very big difference. Because I do not understand how in a Christian country, you can have the kind of horrible crimes that people commit against each other, I do not understand how in a Christian country, you can have this incredible divide between our political parties, and yet every single person goes to church. How is that possible that we have completely failed to find decent, human ways to talk to each other, and yet every Sunday we are in church? So to me this is the big question of my life, as a Zimbabwean, that people of such faith can have such a distressed country, I just don’t understand it.”
Indeed, this conundrum is probably a big question of the Church. Why is it that our lives often bear little correlation to the faith we profess? Perhaps the German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, put it best when he said the following: “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” In other words, the missing link, more often than not, is that we do not intentionally build our lives around the call to follow Jesus as a disciple, and what we are left with is the ‘shell’ of merely going to church. The good news, however, is that by the grace of God, when we intend to follow Him, His Spirit can transform us, and in doing so, transform our nation.
JOY! Magazine (May 2018)