Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Why Do Some Places That Have Been "Christianized and Churched" Remain Corrupt?

A friend of mine sent me the following message: "[Your blog] raises a very interesting issue. Is corruption thriving because of the godlessness of the world systems, or is it thriving because of the lack of Christians engaging ethically, morally and courageously in their spears of influence. Who has the most influence…a little sin…or a little mustard seed of faith?"

He went on to quote a Jamaican Christian leader we both know and respect who made the following observation: “What do Kingston (Jamaica), Manila (Philippines) and Lagos (Nigeria) all have in common? They are the three most Christianized and churched cities in their parts of the world and are also the three most corrupt, crime ridden cultures in their parts of the world. I am not sure we can blame corruption on those outside the faith or those with no faith at all, as much as we can blame it on 'Godless' living out of truth and morality by those who call Christ Lord.”

My friend then added this sobering remark: "A couple of years ago, three of the seven or nine finance ministers in Nigeria were brought up on corruption charges and lost their government positions. All three were evangelical pastors."

Sobering indeed.

It is easy to look at the broken-down economy of Eastern Europe and connect it with several generations of Godless ideology. It is easy to look at the poverty of India and connect it with the effects of Hinduism, or to connect the robust development of South Korea with the growth of Christianity there. But why do some places that have been "Christianized and churched" remain corrupt?

I have only been to Kenya twice, and I'm in no position to criticize that country. What I found interesting, is that Christian music is played over the public address system inside the Nairobi International Airport, and churches are ubiquitous. A friend of mine who works in Kenya tells me the government council meetings in his area open with prayer. Yet, corruption in government and business is commonplace, and poverty abounds.

Why is it that in some places that have been "Christianized and churched," we do not see the kind of effects of Christianity that occurred in India following the Wesleyan revival, or in Wenzhou, China, today?

A penny for your thoughts!

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