Strength of the Revival Movement (Achievements) 

Strength of the Revival Movement (Achievements)

  • Those who have joined the Balokole movement become special people who are assured of being forgiven their sins
  • The movement has contributed to stable marriages and families with disciplined children because of emphasizing monogamy.
  • It has promoted equality between men and women because even women are allowed to serve God through preaching the gospel just as men.
  • The movement has enabled people to become born again hence enjoying leaving a new life in Jesus Christ.
  • It has helped in the offering of education to many people in East Africa through the schools it has built hence fighting illiteracy and ignorance.
  • It discourages individualism among Christians and it has called upon Christians to live the life of concern for one another.
  • It has imparted good values into its members such as integrity, honor and hard work and this has enabled the Christians to get jobs hence improving their standards of living. (SOL)
  • The movement has promoted Christian rural services like in Buganda were it provides literacy lessons, scientific agriculture, bee keeping etc to the people in rural areas.
  • The movement has got a strong, entertaining and exiting church worship not like the cool and boring worship in traditional churches.
  • It is credited for performing miracles using the power of the Holy Spirit and this has strengthened the faith of Christians in Jesus Christ.
  • The movement has promoted indigenization of Christianity through allowing African cultures in the church e.g. they play African music and drama and use African drams during worship.
  • It has given comfort and company to the people with serious problems like widows and orphans hence regaining hope in life.
  • The Balokole movement allows all groups of people to pray active roles in church affairs i.e. men, women, children and the aged all get involved in church activities like worship prayer, testimony, church choir etc.
  • The movement gives church leadership to Africans unlike in the traditional churches where leadership was given to the whites in the past.
  • The movement is also credited for its mixed approach on culture i.e. it allows some cultural practices which are good and discourage those which are dangerous like polygamy.
  • The movement has uplifted the status and dignity of women by giving them respected positions in the church just as men.
  • It has led to modernization and development in the country through putting up churches and schools in different areas.
  • Many Balokole churches have put up medical centers in various places that provide health services to the sick East Africans.
  • The revival movement is also credited for its charitable works towards the needy. It is has collected a lot of items like clothes, food etc and taken them to the needy people in the camps.
Weaknesses of the Revival Movement
  • In many Pentecostal churches, people give insincere/false testimony to the public in order to bring more people to the church.
  • There is also forced public convection/repentance of sins in order to get favour and sympathy from the Christians.
  • Most leaders of the balokole are not trained in Bible interpretation especially in Uganda and this has led to wrong Bible interpretation.
  • The revival movement is against some African practices like polygamy, bride prices, African medicine etc which the independent churches had accepted.

The movement has failed to bring about complete discipline among its fellowersi.e. most of the Balokole fornicate, steal, practice adultery etc. Between 1960s, and 1970s, there was a break away of the “Bazukufu” (Re-awake) from the balokole which weakened and discredited the balokole movement

Christians in the revival movement have always been reported to have committed sexual sins during the fellowship meetings organized at night

  • Church leaders of the balokole tend to involve themselves in politics by campaigning for political candidates during preaching. This has ended up dividing the church.
  • The movement has a weakness of over condemning the bad behaviors of people likes drinking and smoking at the expense of emphasizing the positive goodness of God’s love and grace.
  • The movement advocates equality of all people in the society and this has threatened the authority of traditional leaders.
  • The colonial authorities also had negative attitudes towards this movement in Uganda because of emphasizing equality which threatened colonial rule.
  • The movement is known for having unexamplary church leaders who practice adultery and take away husbands of their Christians which has promoted immorality.
  • The movements aim at getting many followers which has brought all sorts of people with bad behaviours in the church like prostitutes, homosexuals etc and this has spoilt the image of the church.
  • Some born again Christians have turned the church into a business were by they ask for money from the Christians to pray for them and perform miracles.
  • The movement is also known for forging miracles by pastors in order to gain prestige and popularity.
  • Some church leaders of the Balokole use magic/satanic powers (illuminatism) in their churches which has discredited the Balokole movement.
  • There are a lot of conflicts and misunderstands among born again churches based on different bible interpretations, miracle performance etc e.g. pastor Ssempa and male one time accused pastor Kayanjaof homosexuality.
  • Some pastors of born again churches tend to be proud of themselves. Actually some praise themselves and their powers other than praising God.

Question:

1. Comment on the strong and weak points of the revival movement in East Africa. (25 marks) 2. What has been the impact of the revival movement on the Christian in East Africa? (25 marks)

  • What are the strength and weakness of Balokole movement in Uganda? 
  • Examine the success and failure of the revival movement in East Africa. (25 marks)

Indigenization of Christianity In East Africa

Indigenization is the same as Africanization. It refers to the allowing and acceptance of some African cultural elements into church. The church in East Africa has been indigenized/ Africanized/enculturised in a number of ways as shown below.

  • There is a rapidly growing African population in the church compared to the small population of the whites.
  • Africans have become church leaders replacing the white missionaries hence indigenizing the church. E.g. Arch Bishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of the Catholic Church in Uganda.
  • There is use of local languages during worship in the church today like luganda, Kiswahili etc hence Africanizing the church.
  • There is also playing of African music dance and drama and singing of African songs during church worship.
  • Christians today worship from any place like from markets, on streets and play grounds thus indigenizing Christianity.
  • Many Africans are serving as missionaries moving from one place to another spreading the gospel.
  • During baptism, African names are given to those being baptized thereby Africanizing the church.
  • Circumcision, an African practice is still being practiced by the Christians and it’s allowed by the church.
  • There is recognition of any day as a day of worship besides the Sabbath brought by the missionaries.
  • African items such as chicken, goats, cows etc are offered to the church hence Africanizing the Christianity.
  • The church in East Africa recognizes customary marriage to the extent that with out it the couple cannot be wedded in church.
  • In the church today, there is still use of African music instruments such as drams, xylophones etc hence indigenizing Christianity.
  • Christians also dress in African wears and go for church services e.g. they put on kanzus, gomesi, Mushnana etc hence Africanizing the church.
  • Religious books like Bibles have been translated into local languages an evidence that the church has been indigenized.
How He Church Is Not Yet Indigenized
  • However, there are still some European elements in the church of East Africa as shown below.
  • Many African Christians prefer to use European Christian name like Stephen, Getrude, Helen, James, Samuel, Simon, Richard etc.
  • Many African Christians believe in one God instead of the gods.
  • There is belief in Jesus Christ among Africans who is not an African.
  • Most churches in East Africa use European music instruments like keyboards, Guitars etc during worship  Africans believe in the resurrection of the dead which is a foreign idea.
  • African Christian so much believes in the Bible which is a foreign book.
  • Most African Christians believe and go to a specific house/building called a church for worship which is also foreign.
  • Monogamous marriages are highly emphasized in church rather than the polygamous marriages.
  • There is increased celebration of Christmas and Easter days by Christians an idea that came from Europe.
  • There is taking of the Holy Communion i.e. sharing of the body and blood of Jesus by African Christians.
  • There is giving of money as offertory in the church which is foreign.
  • There is a lot of foreign church funding from European countries like America, Britain etc.
  • Foreign languages are still being used during church services especially English.
  • Church leaders like Reverends, priests, Bishops and Arch Bishops put on robes which originated from Europe.
  • There is use of foreign objects like rosaries during worship by the Africans especially the Catholics.
  • The world heads of Churches are whites and Africans Christians believe in them so much.eg the pope for the Catholic Church.

Question  

  1. To what extent has the church in East Africa been indigenized/ Africanized/ enculturised? 25 marks)
  2. Howfar has the enculturisation of Christianity been realized in East Africa?

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