This morning, I had the privilege of teaching at 3rdPlace church. Before we dug into the text (Luke 12), a university student named William stood up and began dialoging about some things that he’s begun to wrestle with. It centered on the issue of racial integration and the call of the Church to rectify what is broken. He went into it for a solid 15 minutes and I have to say, it was interesting how well it aligned with where we were going in the teaching.

He made some comments I thought I’d post here to let our readership in on some important issues you must wrestle with if you want to seriously engage mission in South Africa. I put them here too, so that you can discuss amongst yourselves where it might be applicable in your contexts as well. I personally, do not feel that this is some unique phenomena for South Africa. It’s a problem with humanity.

-The smaller our worldview (our understanding of how the world works via our cultural preferences), the smaller our understanding of God
-The more I try to fight for preservation of my culture, the less I value your (the people I’m fighting against) humanity
-Is culture bad? Should there only be one culture?
-What is God inviting us into? Integration, reconciliation, separation?

I have opinions on all of this. I think my opinions shape how I approach the world. I think my opinions on these issues determines how I reach out to others in the name of Jesus. I assume you could also say it has impact on how I approach my relationship with God, how I perceive government structures, etc… They’re humanity questions that need to be wrestled with.

On a side note, I was pretty excited about this dialog. This is the kind of guy NieuCommunities wants to walk alongside. I believe a new South Africa that is emerging after years of Apartheid will be led by people like William… people who choose to wrestle with the hard questions about race, socio-economics, environmental issues, religious issues, etc… If Jesus really wants to redeem all things, we cannot avoid these issues. It’s part of our total salvation.


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