The Gospel and Systematic Good

At church last night Rick Atchley, Chris Seidman and a guy named Drew Sherman talked about their recent trip to Africa. It was a great kind of living room conversation, that was funny and insightful. But what they talked about was nothing less than amazing.

I struggle with being at an institutional church from time to time. Not because I dislike where I am at, but because the impulse to go and do something more on the front lines is something Leslie and I both face. But tonight I got to see how it’s possible to do both.

We’ve known for some time that RHCC was involved in starting a University in Uganda. But I had no idea just how big of a deal that actually was. See Uganda has the lowest median age of any country in the world. There are over 7 million children right now that in just a few years are going to be ready for a college experience. And only 100,000 kids will be able to get in.

And unless these kids hit the jackpot and has someone bankrolling them to the States, Europe or another African country, they aren’t going to get to go anywhere. That means that only 4 out of every 1000 kids will get a chance to go to school.

And so a vicious cycle of poverty and low education will continue.

And as a follower of Jesus that seems unacceptable.

So some of our church leaders have been working with the people there to help them build, teach and maintain their own university. It’s by African’s for African’s. It will produce health clinics, doctors, lawyers, and judges.

All because Jesus wants us to.

Dedricht Bonhoeffer once said that if a monster is going down the street wounding people, it’s not enough to just go behind the monster bandaging the wounds. Eventually someone has to take out the monster.

I think what he was getting at was that when you are dealing with systematic evil, you have to do more than just dealing with the effects of it, but actually go after the root of the cause. And that’s why this is so inspiring to me. We are being pro-active as a church. We are attacking a problem 4 years before anyone is going to be seeing it.

We are talking about pursuing systematic good.

And that’s what the gospel looks like in action in Africa.

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