Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Radical Depravity of Man

This morning I listened to a sermon called, "The Radical Depravity of Man", preached by a Pastor named Conrad Mbewe. He is a Pastor in Lusaka, Zambia, which is a cultural and religious context quite similar to that in Uganda. He is also known as "The African Spurgeon."

This sermon helped to to understand things a bit better about the religious context I am ministering in. He said that in this part of Africa you will see many pray the 'sinners prayer', or 'give their lives to Christ', especially when missions teams come in, or when there is a big outreach meeting, but you will rarely see any of those 'converts' after their initial decision. 

The reason for this is that our hearts are naturally disinclined from God. The main passage for this is found in Romans 3:9-18. Here Paul writes that “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God." The reason that people don't stick around after a supposed conversion experience is that people need to be transformed supernaturally by God. They cannot do this on their own because on their own they will never seek God.

These are not necessarily new truths for me. But it was insightful to have them applied to the religious context that I currently find myself. What a gift of God that gospel truths can be applied to each culture and context we find ourselves! 

For anyone who will be doing ministry in the global south in the next little while, I would highly recommend this sermon to help your theological lenses more accurately interpret the culture.