Our disfigured image

9 09 2010

The reassuring myth amongst Western Christians is that our historical legacy will be continued on in Africa and other places where we once carried the white man’s burden. Even if our religion is proving to be a spectacular failure in many places on the “home front”, the fact that it is prospering elsewhere signifies that we were right all along. Though bittersweet, the increase in numbers in the Church in places like Africa seems like a vindication of those ideologies that once governed our society. Perhaps, we think, they will come again to evangelize us. In many places, it already seems to be happening.

Far be it from me to rain on other people’s parade, but in the contemporary Christian consciousness, the Church in Africa seems to be the church over there. It is the Other par excellence. It doesn’t really matter how they are really like, since their denominations carry the same names, and they are under the same ecclesiastical authority. One should just assume that they are just like us, even if a little backward. The fact is that they are a new church, and are experiencing some “growing pains”, but soon they will shake off all of those evil superstitions and become the legion of traditional conservative Christians that we could never be. Or so we hope.
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