Articles on Nations:
Alcohol Prayer Initiative 2009, New York
CAN EUROPE BE SAVED?
CHURCH SUPPORTING POLITICS
CONGO-KINSHASA, A REMARKABLE CONFERENCE
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AFRICA
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AMSTERDAM
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AUSTRALIA
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF BELGIUM
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF BRAZIL
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF FRANCE
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF HUNGARY
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF KOREA
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF SOUTH AFRICA
CORPORATE IDENTITY of SWEDEN
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF THE USA
COVERING AN AREA WITH PRAYER
Dialogue with Jacques Ellul
DURBAN II ≈ EVIAN III; NEW ANTISEMITISM
EUROPA – AFRIKA; Indrukwekkende Conferentie
EUROPA – AFRIKA; verzoeningsconferentie dvd
EUROPE - AFRICA; Berlin Congo I: Hist. Overview
EUROPE - AFRICA; Berlin Congo II: Report
EUROPE - AFRICA; Neo-Imperialism
Gebed voor de koning
GEBEDSBEDEKKING VAN EEN GEBIED
GOD'S COVENANT WITH ALL NATIONS
HOW TO DEFEND WHICH BORDERS OF ISRAEL?
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 1
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 2
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 3
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 4
Landbelofte of staatbelofte?
LOVING THE CITY GOD'S WAY
MIRACLES AT CITY SCALE
NATIVE AMERICANS, THREE DRAMA'S
NESTOR AFRICAN PRESIDENTS FORGIVES EUROPE
SLAVERY AND HEALING
SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
THE CITY AS BEAUTIFUL AS SHE COULD BE
THE CITY, AND WHY CITY PRAYER?
TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PACIFIC
TWO CITIES DEDICATED TO KING JESUS
ÜBERSETZUNG THE NATIONS CALLED
VERZOENING MET NATIVE AMERICANS
WHY IS AFRICA SO POOR?
ZES LANDEN RIJNPROJECT
ZONDER VERZOENING GEEN TOEKOMST
Articles on Society:
A REVEALING UN-MEETING
A strategic assault on this generation of children
BOEK BOS ANTIDEMOCRATISCH?
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD TARGETED
COPENHAGEN – Five questions
COPENHAGEN - No bread from stones
Copenhagen, where do we go from here?
DE ANDERE AGENDA VAN DE DALAI LAMA
DE OLYMPISCHE SPELEN
EU: HUMANISME VERSUS “GOD”
EUROPA, WAAROM DIE NAAM?
EUROPE, WHAT'S IN THE NAME?
EVROPA - CO SKRÝVÁ TO JMÉNO?
EYPΩΠH, TI KPYBETAI ΣTO ONOMA
HER-MYTHOLOGISERING INTERNATIONALE POLITIEK?
Informed intercession for the UN
Jezus dienaar van Moeder Aarde?
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 1
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 2
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 3 (EU-Referendum)
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 4
Massa op Malieveld; nee toch?
MICRO FINANCING AND GRACE
MONDIALE SCHUDDINGEN I
MONDIALE SCHUDDINGEN II
Obama 1: Obama en het leven
Obama 2: Door Obama een les voor de kerk
PRAYING FOR THE G8
PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 0 OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS?
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 1: CHURCH-STATE/GOD-STATE
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 2: GOD-STATE LINK IN OUR TIME
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 3: EU AND UN “COVENANTS”
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 4:GOD-STATE IN NEAR FUTURE
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 5: WHAT ABOUT GOD’S MASTER PLAN
THINKING AND BELIEVING IN THE CHURCH
THINKING, BELIEVING AND SCIENCE
UN-DUURZAAMHEIDS TOP IN JOHANNESBURG
WHAT HAPPENS AT UN CONFERENCES?
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
A NATION AS A TREE?
Belijden van de zonden van je land?
BIDDEN VOOR HOOGGEPLAATSTEN
BLOED SCHREEUWT VAN DE AARDE
GODEN DER VOLKEN
'GODS OF THE NATIONS'
HERSTEL VAN HET ALTAAR
HET KRUIS VAN JEZUS
JEZUS KOMT - drie voordrachten
NBV, COMMENTAAR OP ÉÉN ASPECT
OOK TOPCONFERENTIES IN DE BIJBEL GAAN OVER VOLKEN
THE CROSS OF JESUS
THE GLORY OF HIERARCHY
TITHING AND ETERNITY
by: Pieter Bos
Category: Bible Studies
Outline of the sermon preached on Sunday June 23rd 2008,
in l’Église la Louange, Kinshasa, Dem. Rep Congo, the heart of Africa,
on the occasion of the 4th Europe – Africa –Reconciliation Conference.
This is my 22nd trip to Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the 13th African nation that I visit. I feel privileged to be here. I have come to love this continent very much.
I am very much aware that I am white, and that the focus of my earlier trips to Africa was the reconciliation between Europe and Africa. So I know something of the gap between the races and continents and of the history that has caused it. This trip, the second time in Dem Rep. Congo, is also devoted to reconciliation, but this sermon goes beyond that. It is a good thing to get to grips not only with the past, but to look towards the future and be encouraged by the great things that our heavenly Father has put into Africa, into her very roots and character. We may look forward to the harvest of Africa and to see her coming into her wonderful inheritance. Not only Africa, but all nations and continents are not yet what God is calling them to become.
The first three times I came to this continent the focus was reconciliation. The fourth time I came, was not at my initiative but on invitation to teach, in Kampala, Uganda, in 1998. For that occasion I asked the Lord for a word for this continent, to esteem her and encourage her. I was looking for something more than “You are black, but yet you are nice”, the European paternalistic attitude. I wanted a word direct from God into the heart of Africa. In fact I prayed whether there was such a thing as a “Corporate Identity” of the continent, or of the black race. Is there a God-given characteristic that expresses who Africa is in God’s sight, that expresses the image of God in which Africa originally had been created?
To my surprise and joy God immediately gave a clear answer: “SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY”. And also immediately, too quickly for my mind to grasp, I knew in my spirit how terribly true and how wonderfully true this word, this “Corporate Identity”, is for Africa.
It is terribly true:
– Ancestor worship, spread all over Africa, is Spiritual Authority indeed, but implemented by the spirits of the past instead of by the God of the future.
– Witchcraft, spread all over Africa, is Spiritual Authority indeed, but implemented by evil spirits instead of by the Holy Spirit.
– Dictatorship, erupting time and again in Africa, with much cruelty, is Spiritual Authority indeed, but implemented by Man separate from God instead of Man under God.
– Male dominance inside marriage and in society, spread all over Africa, is Spiritual Authority indeed, but it is not the true taking on of responsibility under God as the caring Source of Life.
– Slave trade and
– Colonialism were suppressions and denials of the God-given Spiritual Authority by intruders from outside. How terribly has true “Spiritual Authority” been distorted throughout the history of Africa, even to the present day.
But also wonderfully true: At least during the last ten years the Lord has raised up spiritual leaders in Africa with wide international recognition, sometimes admiringly labeled “the Black Prophets”, men and women like Langton Gatsi from Zimbabwe, Emeka Nwankpa from Nigeria, Laban Jjumba from Uganda, Huson Mukunza and Mrs. Judy Mbugwa from Kenya, Kwabena and Mrs. Darko from Ghana, Andre Quiala from Angola (now working in Brazil). And there are many more. These men and women are gifts of God to the world!
So in my spirit I could easily and enthusiastically receive what I felt the Lord gave.
[See also full description of the “CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AFRICA”.]
[The theology for the understanding of Corporate Identity can be found in chapter 3 of my book "THE NATIONS CALLED; A Theology of the Nations and their Redemption."]
[An inspiring article on Africa is also "AFRICA'S POVERTY AND HER HOPE."]
Now let us consider what “Spiritual Authority” might include. Let us look at one Bible figure as our example.
Elijah, a man of Spiritual Authority.
1Kng 17:1a, “Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead…”, that is: from the Trans-Jordan region. So Elijah was a man from the countryside, where there are no universities or big companies, no big congregations or conferences; a man from the bush, so to speak.
--> Spiritual Authority has nothing to do with leadership or with hierarchy or with titles or with achievement, and certainly not with seeking your security in any of these (visible) attributes!
>1< Spiritual Authority has every thing to do with security in God.
A pastor who needs his black suit and entourage of disciples/servants may be less secure and have less spiritual authority than an “uneducated” family man, remaining invisible to the world, who takes care of his wife and children.
1Kng 17:1b: “Elijah … said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word".” Another translation for “Whom I serve” is: “whom I attend, before whom I stand (to serve)”. That means: You, King, may not know who I am, but that is not important, I am not going to explain myself. All you need to know is whom I serve, that is all the brief I need, before you.
--> Spiritual Authority does not need any explanation, and certainly no excuse.
>2< In Spiritual Authority one is only directed by God, and only responsible to God.
This is an awful responsibility. No ancestors or evil spirits may interfere, nothing else may interfere. And it is God himself who holds the person with spiritual authority responsible. The danger of independence and arrogance is near, the danger of pride is real, but that is why it is spiritual authority: it is a position in the unseen world.
1Kng 17:3-4: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." Elijah is to be utterly dependent on God for all his needs: both for company and for food. A man who tries to be a leader in his own strength, needs people around him. He needs disciples, followers, yes-men, and wants to be in control of the situation. Elijah is led to a lonely place, and is to depend on God only to provide food. God even uses ravens that naturally are not supposed to gather, let alone eat, bread. It is beyond natural means, and beyond spiritual manipulation too: it is also beyond witchcraft.
--> Spiritual Authority does not need confirmation through human company, or wealth or control.
>3< In Spiritual Authority one needs closeness to God and rests in dependence on God.
Elijah could pray for the king and for the people of Israel, because he was at peace in this peculiar and challenging situation.
1Kng 17:13-14 “Elijah said to her, "Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’"
1Kng 17:17-19 “Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" "Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.”
The Lord told Elijah that the widow would “supply … with food”, so he had confidently expressed his wish and could confidently assure the widow about the flour not diminishing. The Lord told Elijah that the widow would take care of him, so when she came to him with her problem, he knew that God was not “reminding her of her sin”. So again, in faith, he could take the boy and did not stop crying to God until the boy revived!
--> Spiritual Authority does not question God’s character, but
>4< In Spiritual Authority one knows God’s character and is secure enough to act on that”.
Of course it was a challenge for Elijah’s faith, but he stood the challenge, because he trusted God as he had come to know him! (Moreover: this - first ever?- raising from the dead was an opportune preparation for the public ministry which was about to come soon: confronting the occult powers of the day.)
1Kng 18:17-19 “When [the king] saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?" "I have not made trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table." The prophet does not explain himself, does not try to be politically correct, but simply and straightforwardly confronts the king with his sins(!), and even orders (!) the king to set up the confrontation with the priests, of all the priests, with no other goal than to show God.
--> Spiritual Authority is not concerned with the self, but
>5< In Spiritual Authority one is concerned to confront lies and to show truth, even to show God’s power.
Application and Conclusion.
Take note again of the distortion and abuse of Spiritual Authority in the historical and modern African context, listed above. Each of these dramatically goes against each of the five principles of Spiritual Authority in the life of Elijah.
Spiritual Authority has nothing to do with hierarchy or pride. It has to do with security in God, which releases the humility to serve, to ask forgiveness, even of your wife or child, to encourage others and… to be alone. Leaders with little Spiritual Authority seek ranking and status, seek (weak) followers and yes-men around them, cannot stand criticism, let alone ask forgiveness of their “subjects”.
Spiritual Authority is God’s gift to Africa, or rather, it is the image of God in the African race. That does not mean that every African automatically has Spiritual Authority, but that
A] every African, because he is African, has the potential to learn it… through obedience, as Elijah learned it through obedience. And also, every African
B] has the potential to abuse it, in one of the ways indicated above. Or
C] has the potential to just not use it at all and slide into passivity and dependence in a “poor-me” mentality.
Each of these three options A, B and C are very much in evidence throughout Africa.
-- Colonialism has caused the C option to thrive: it caused a total suppression of Spiritual Authority, thereby turning it into passivity and dependence in a “poor-me” mentality. This option are also very evident in the church: pastors who beg the western world for money, pastors who dominate.
--The human flesh has caused the B option to thrive: abuse and distortion of Spiritual Authority in ruler’s dictatorship, in ancestors’ and (grand-)parents’ dictatorship and in witchdoctors’ dictatorship and in male dominance.
–The Spirit of God wants the true Spiritual Authority to be restored, the A option, first of all in the church. When pastors and elders have their security in God and in God alone (not in rank or entourage, in position or possessions) God will make the church grow deep roots. He will make the church his Partner to settle racial tensions, and He will make the church his workshop to experiment societal stability. God will raise some up to become apostles who serve their tribe and their governments and the world.
God is restoring Africa unto her destiny. Africa will be a blessing, modeling true Spiritual Authority bearing fruit in society, even all over the world. (Some of the largest churches in Europe are led… by Africans!)
Africa: discern what you have done, discern who you are, and now: rise to the challenge of your destiny!