Thursday, August 23, 2007
A Maasai Creed
One of the great strengths of the Christian gospel, in my opinion, is it's ability to be translated into new and different cultures. Missiologists call this "contextualization" and it is rooted in a doctrine of the Incarnation - the idea that God did not just teach us timeless spiritual truths, but that he instead came and took on human flesh and dwelt among us in a particular time and place and culture. If Jesus and his message were incarnated in the Jewish culture of first century Palestine, then we can say that culture itself can be a vehicle for communicating the gospel, and that it is possible to re-contextualize the gospel to new cultures. (After all, none of us live in the culture of first century Judaism anymore.)

All this to preface an interesting Maasai creed that I came across recently. The Maasai are a tribal people in east Africa, and this creed is an example of contextualization. It recognizes a need to not only "Christianize Africa" but to also "Africanize Christianity".

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created man and wanted man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in the darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the Bible, that he would save the world and all nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing that the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He was buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from that grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love, and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.


posted by Mike Clawson at 11:30 AM | Permalink |


At 8/23/2007 09:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

A beautiful confession of faith:)


At 8/30/2007 10:51:00 PM, Anonymous Becca

brilliant and beautiful.


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