Moratorium, cultural revival, and human rights have been much-debated issues in some African church circles the last three years, but the week-long trienniel general assembly of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar (AEAM) held July 28 to August 3 in Bovake, Ivory Coast, passed them all upfora less sensational but more practical topic—the Christian home.
When the theme was announced, some critics said AEAM was shying away from Africa’s major issues. The emphasis, however, turned out to meet an African-felt need that also spoke to the major issues of the day.
“We are not running away from current issues,” declared AEAM president Samuel O. Odunaike, a 43-year-old Nigerian oil company personnel manager, in his opening address. “It would be irresponsible for us to fail to raise our voices against issues plaguing the continent. We cannot pretend what is taking place in Zimbabwe [Rhodesia] and South Africa is none of our business. It would also be wrong for us to be ‘evangelically silent’ on the brutalities in Uganda—especially as evidence gives credence to the allegation that the senseless killings are mainly directed against Christians. However, nothing could be more relevant today than the Christian home. It is the bedrock of the nation—the expression of a people’s cultural, political, and social values, and God’s center-piece for evangelism, revival, and renewal. May this assembly swing the pendulum of the African Christian home back to the heart of God.”
A discussion on polygamy continued late one night in dormitory rooms after Gottfried Osei-Mensah, a Ghanaian who is executive secretary of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, questioned the practice of withholding baptism from a polygamist who ...1
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