0302 - Not Political Correctness But What the Bible Says (w/ Ken Mbugua)

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Host: Isaac Adams

Overview: But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. (Obadiah 12)

Join Isaac as he heads to Kenya to talk with Pastor Ken Mbugua about tribalism and its hidden faults. Kenya, along with some of its churches, has wonderful diversity as there are 42 tribes there. And every five years Kenyan pastors of multi-ethnic churches are reminded of their diversity. Why? 

Because every five years there is an election. 

Mbugua discusses the animosity between tribes such as the Luo and Kikuyu, and how confrontations and conflicts occurred over accusations of rigged elections and police brutality. "Kenya descended into an intense time," Mbugua said, reflecting on the 2017 Presidential Election. 

One tribe felt disenfranchised. Another felt confused and perhaps callous. And Mbugua discusses how he led his church through this difficult time. He explained why, "You need to do a better job convincing me of your plight," is anything but a helpful response. 

Mbugua goes on to talk about Western missionaries and how, though the Lord has used them, some have unwittingly done great harm. Nonetheless, Mbugua takes hope because "the Lord sometimes does a lot of good through us but often despite us."

Links & Show Notes:

3:45 -- The Challenges of Ethnic Diversity
9:22 -- "No one is tribalistic in Kenya"
14:20 -- Kenyan Presidential Election
20:53 -- Strength & Weakness in Addressing the Church
31:24 -- Reflections on the State of Race in America
37:00 -- Missionaries & Race
45:00 -- Prayer

1. Meet Ken Mbugua

Produced by Josh Deng

0301 - My Great-Grandfather Sold Slaves (w/ Saidi Chishimba)

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Host: Isaac Adams

Overview: "And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great." (Job 2:13)

Come hear a man reckon with the hard history of his lineage: His family sold slaves. To kick off Season 3, Isaac Adams travels through Africa to pray with and learn from African pastors about race, the local church, and politics.

In this episode, Isaac sits with Pastor Saidi Chishimba, a pastor in Zambia. Chishimba relays his family’s history through the lenses of the sovereignty of God, the complexity of sin, and the power of lament. How can God be sovereign and slavery exist? How can a man sell another man? How can a pastor smooth tribal lines even in his preaching? How can a president make an effort to break tribal lines? Zambia and the Bemba Kingdom might teach us a lesson.

As season three is about politics, race, and the local church, Chishimba offers insights on the relation between tribalism and politics. “Tribal lines…usually hinge on politics,” he suggests, as he goes on to explain the concepts of cousinship and the good that comes from integration.

While much good was discussed, Chishimba and Isaac lament the death of Isaac’s father, and Chishimba explains why silence is good medicine in Zambia. “It’s not how much you hug me or kiss me,” Chishimba says in light of someone’s death, “it’s how long you sit in silence with me.”

If you’ve ever wondered how to wrestle with individual sin vs. corporate sin, Chishimba offers a faithful model. Come pray with these two brothers, that no tribe would be more devoted to their own tribe than to Jesus.

Links & Show Notes:

5:00 – My Great Grandfather, the slave-trader
14:30 – What is “tribalism” and “cousinship”
23:20 – Tribalism & Zambian churches
30:39 – Lament: You are the Chief Mourner
38:05 – How Chishimba responded to his ancestors trading slaves
44:10 – Prayer

1. Central African Baptist College & Seminary | This is the seminary Isaac traveled to in Zambia. They’re doing great work. (Isaac may have called it Central African Bible College in the episode!) 

2. Article: “My Great-Grandfather, The Nigerian Slave Trader” | It’s striking to compare and contrast how Saidi processes the legacy of his family with the author of this piece in The New Yorker.

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Produced by Josh Deng