Lovelyn Nwadeyi is described as a young, public intellectual and she was a keynote speaker at this years Winter School in Stellenbosch. She started off by telling her own story and her involvement in the student protests last year. She described her own disappointment when her church did not support her effort, or engage in conversation with her, during this time.
She believes that churches cannot be neutral in politics. The youth will not be at home in church if there is no voice about social injustice. The church will lose the youth if it does not engage in the issues that the youth struggle with. She asked the question: “Why were certain churches silent or passive in the conversation and protest on US campus (#feesmustfall or #openstellenbosch)?”
She explained her view that the fact that the gospel reached Africa through colonization, influenced the interpretation of the gospel. She raised the questions: How did history influence Christianity in Africa and how does that hinder the church being a home for all?
She is convinced that a homogene church is problematic! How would a church look like where one (male) person does not lead, but where everyone has a voice? How would a church look like decentralized? How would a multicultural church look like with ALL types if people included equally?
She left us with some challenging questions…
Jesus overturned the tables… What would He do today?
When is political conversation needed and when is action needed?
How do we as Christians act when we cannot control the space?
Is there a place for violence?
She quoted Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
She concluded by quoting her favourite jazz singer Gregory Porter’s song “Illusion”:
“I’ve been trying to find reality
a grip on the illusion that I lost you
when you left me”.
Read the lyrics: Gregory Porter – Illusion Lyrics | MetroLyrics
This speaker was challenging in her views and left me to consider what should the church’s voice and role should be in politics and social transformation.