I had such a privilege this week during a nearly two-hour lunch with Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, one of the leading religious leaders in Nigeria, who was in Tulsa to speak at two churches. (My thanks to the Rev. Briane Turley, Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican, for arranging the one-on-one time.)
Here are some edited excerpts of our conversation:
How central is the principle of freedom to Christianity?
Freedom is the best gift God has given to man. Once there’s no freedom, anti-freedom is simply slavery.
Why do you consider secularism the real danger to Christianity?
Secularism is a self-centered religion, self-serving, very selfish, and the cousin of capitalism. It is about to take over capitalism, which emphasizes hard work and excellence. The distinction between a capitalist economy and secularism is thin.
Secularism has taken away family discipleship, children learning right behavior from seeing their fathers treating the family well, looking after the family, saying their prayers in the morning and evening. That made Muslims admire and respect us as Christians, because being a Christian meant being honest, being humble, being courteous, being able to live with people, so we could win people to Christ.
Secularism throws all of that out the window. It says you don’t have to be a gentleman, just be who you are.
Secularism has no response to Islam. None whatsoever. As long as any nation elevates secularism, it’s only a matter of time, because radical Islam knows how weak secularism is. The only thing they don’t know what to do with is the Christian gospel.
Secularists and violent Islam agree together that the problem is Christians. They are both opposed to Christians.
Why do most African Christians oppose same-sex marriage?
I believe this is a revisitation of colonialism. It’s colonialism coming in another way. Why should the West, because she decides that she no longer needs the Bible, and homosexuality is right, why should they ask me to believe what they believe? They’re denying me the very freedom they preach, and they’re denying me the freedom I already have in Christ.
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