Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The problem of Charismatism and African syncretism

Pastor Conrad Mbewe has posted an interesting blog post on one reason why Charismatism has grown so much in African culture, namely that Charismatism does not challenge traditional African spirituality but merely baptizes it with a veneer of Christianity. An excerpt:

Many explanations have been given for the explosion of the Charismatic movement in Africa. Many have seen this as a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit. Whereas there is probably more than one reason, I want to add my own observation to this for what it is worth. In this blog post, I do not refer to the old conservative form of Pentecostalism once represented by the Assemblies of God churches. I have in mind the current extreme form that is mushrooming literally under every shrub and tree in Africa. How can one explain this phenomenon?

I think that one reason why the Charismatic movement in Africa has been like a wild bushfire is because it has not challenged the African religious worldview but has instead adopted it. It has simply baptised it with Bible verses and Christian words that previously meant something totally different.


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