29 Aug 2017
A letter from a friend, servant of the church and a brother in Christ in response to
The State of the ACW - Fr Felix Montréal Canada
Presiding Archbishop Hartley,
I just read "Today" column on your website. And of course the topic of ACW and Africa caught my attention.
1. It is true that the church in Africa runs at a different pace and logic compared to the western-world and realities.
But one reality is that in most African-countries for a church or ministry to operate, they must be registered and recognized by local authorities and their government. Anyone, who claims to lead a church in Africa and cannot find official and verifiable letters from the government, is fake or usurping powers authority they have not and are imposters.
One thing, that is often the case in my own experience, with the different churches and countries in African I have worked with and visited: is the fact that due to corruption in many countries people can have official documentation with many false claims. I have also seen this in Canada, USA and Europe, churches with incredible websites,
The second, is so common in most of our former British African colonies, but the French speaking countries are also catching up. We have many people who love titles. Somebody wakes up today and he starts preaching and he calls himself Brother, Evangelist, Pastor, Bishop, Archbishop, apostle, doctor, professor etc.
In such cases, in Africa we have a way of validating some of the information. Except for the refugees or displaced people. For many years now, I have never heard of anyone who was ordained publicly (apostolic-succession or not) who does not have a picture of the event. And from there, one can always find a lead or a starting point.
3. My final point is on one crucial point, that one of the articles got right to the point. And I do believe we have already, exchanged on the phone over the topic. (accountability) Education is the key to helping Africa and African-Churches. You cannot imagine, how hard it is to deal with a church with more than 90% of the clergy with no basic high-school education, without talking about biblical-or-theological training.
Yours in Christ,