by Bishop Jeston & Rev. Charity Katebe
The second part of Migration and Christian Living article was to share the principles that have been helpful in maintaining fervency in our faith, but after the responses to part one, it is necessary to address some concerns. The question that arises concerning our faith and attending Church while away from Zambia is; Is it necessary?
Attending Church is not the ultimate goal for our lives and Church can be a waste of time if we don’t do first things first. Most of the Zambians that we know have attended Church since they were young. Church has been a part of the Zambian life for decades and as a result it has become a tradition that most of us do without thinking about why we do it. For most, if asked why go to Church? Answer: “we have always gone to Church.” or Why not? Others say Christianity is a “white man’s religion.”
Many Africans who have migrated to developed countries have been disappointed with Church. Even though there are genuine churches, some are like businesses. Not many nationals are interested in attending and somehow feel disappointed that the people who introduced us to it are not interested today. They feel cheated.
Firstly, lets look at the statement that some of us used to believe and confessed often; ‘Christianity is a white man’s religion.’ Wait a minute, Christianity has its roots in the Jewish nation and as far as we know, Jews are not white, so this notion is incorrect. The white man brought it to Africa, some in obedience to what the Lord Jesus told His Jewish followers in Matthew 28: 18-20 and others as a tool to accomplish selfish motives. We shouldn’t throw the genuine because we encountered the fake. The fact that the white people introduced Christianity to us and now on the average are not interested in it does not make it wrong. It is like a lot of Zambians who were introduced to traveling to places like Dubai, Hong Kong, etc for business, some of the ones who started it no longer go for some reason or another, but for some who were introduced to it, it has worked out to be profitable and still travel. The thing is not about the one who introduced it but is it real to you?
Why attend Church?’ Hebrews 10:25 encourages us ‘not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together … ’ The main reason is for fellowship and teaching. Church life must begin with having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:20, Ephesians 3:17-19) and that’s what will make us guard our faith jealously and Church will be meaningful.