I loved the title in SojoMail last week which said "I am a social justice Christian." It reminded me of a programme that was filmed in Zimbabwe by a BBC reporter. The program was on the growing gap between the rich and poor in Zimbabwe. One of persons being interviewed was a very rich man who showed the interviewer his large house and fleet of luxury cars. The interviewer asked him how he could be so extravagant in the context of so much poverty in Zim. The answer was "God gave me this wealth and that is why I am enjoying it. I am a blessed child of God."
I have no doubt that the man worked hard to amass his wealth, and I have nothing against him. What struck me was that his faith in God and amassing of wealth was in line with a brand of Christianity that preaches wealth and health as the right of Christians. The self-definition of such a Christian is "I am healthy, wealthy, and blessed," and I wondered what would happen if the definition was changed to "I am a social justice Christian." A dangerous option in Zimbabwean context but certainly a challenge for us all -- so thanks SojoMail!
Nontando Hadebe, a former Sojourners intern, is originally from Zimbabwe and is now pursuing graduate studies in theology in South Africa.