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List of contents

Pages

Preface                                                                                               iii

Chapter One: Christian approaches to work                                  1

Meaning of work and vocation                                                          1

Traditional African attitude to work                                                  1

Christian attitude to work                                                                  2

Problems of changing  African attitude to work                               3

The disntiction between professions, trade, crafts, careers, guilds, jobs      4

Professional ethics                                                                 5

Moral duties and responsibilities of employers & employees                     7

Employment and the wage system                                                    11

Trade unions                                                                           12

Strike Action (Industrial Action)                                                       13

Unemployment and self employment                                                15

Chapter Two: Christian Approaches to Leisure                             16

Meaning of leisure                                                                 16

What the Bible says on leisure                                                          16

Various uses of leisure                                                                       18

Christian criteria for evaluating the use of leisure                            18

Problems of leisure                                                                19

Abuses of leisure (I) Drunkenness                                                     20

Drug use and abuse                                                                23

Chapter Three: Christian Approaches to wealth and money         24

Wealth                                                                                                24

Money                                                                                     24

Reasons for wealth                                                                 24

The impact of the money economy in the African situation             25

Biblical teaching on wealth                                                   26

Christian attitude on how to acquire and use wealth                         29

Affluence and Poverty                                                                       30

Causes of poverty                                                                   31

Foreign aid to help alleviate poverty                                     32

Insurance and investment                                                                   33

Corruption e.g. bribery

Chapter five: Christian approaches to law, order and justice       34

The unity of mankind                                                             34

Order and justice in the society                                                         35

Purpose for law in the society                                                            35

Biblical teaching on peace, love and unity                                        37

Causes of social disorder                                                                   42

General remedies to social disorder                                                  42

Christian participation in the socio-economic and                           50

Political life of the nation

 

Chapter Six: Christian approaches to issues related to                  51

Modern science and technology                                           51

General Christian attitude to science & technology                         52

Caution on science and technology (Christian view)                                    53

Science and human beings                                                                 55

Science and the environment

 

Chapter Seven: Christian Approaches to Sex,’                              57

Marriage and family 

Traditional approaches to human sexuality                                       57

Christian approaches to human sexuality                                          58

Traditional African understanding of marriage                                60

Traditional marriage                                                              61

Christian understanding of marriage                                     62

Family life                                                                              63

 

CHAPTER 1

 

CHRISTIAN APPROACHES TO WORK:

MEANING OF WORK AND VOCATION

 

        Work:

Work refers to the use of bodily or mental powers with the purpose of doing or making something. It can also refer to what somebody does to earn a living e.g. employment.

Work is the opposite of play or recreation. We work in order to try and change our environment for the better.

 

     Vocation:

Vocation is a feeling or a conviction that God has called one for a certain kind of work. The interest one may have in medicine may convince him that he has been called by God to be a doctor. If one has an urge to train for a particular job or profession then he may look at that profession as his vocation.

 

Traditional African attitude to work:

Traditionally work was done as a means to earn a living. Through work one could feed his family with good food from one season to another. Those who could not feed their families well were despised.

For one to attain plentiful harvest from his work he had to offer sacrifices to different gods who were incharge of the land, rain and fertility.  Therefore work has a religious significance.

Sacrifices had also to be offered to the gods before harvesting could start as a way of showing respect and appreciation  for the gods for the good harvest they had given us.

People were happy in their work and this could be seen in the songs sung during work.

One could decide for himself which kind of work he could do at what time although mostly they went to their farms early in the morning and went back home when the sun was overhead.

Africans could display their creativeness, arts, and skills through work well done and this acted as a source of pride and satisfaction.

They did not undermine each other in work as work was personal with

no supervisors. They were not striving for promotion either.

The Africans did not do the same kind of work but there was division of labour according to age and sex. Men had their specific kind of work distinctive from the work women did. Boys and girls depending on age also did different forms of work.

 

 

 

 

Christian Attitude to work:

What the Bible says.

Old Testament.

The Old Testament is the foundation upon which the New Testament was built.

The New Testament is the guiding factor for Christian attitudes on many subjects.

In discussing the Christian attitude to work it is necessary for us to see what the Old Testament says about work.

In the creation story recorded in the book of Genesis God commanded man fill the earth and subdue it. The only way in which the earth can be subdued is through work. Therefore work is acceptable to Christians.

God rested on the seventh day from all His work meaning that in the six days that God was creating the world and all that is in it, He was working.

In the book of Exodus 20:9 God commands man to labour but only for six days for the seventh day has to be kept as a sabbath to the Lord.

The book of Psalms 104:23 says, “Man goes forth to his work and to his labour until the evening”.

Work only become a curse as a consequence of disobedience from Adam and Even. Work is held very highly in the rest of the Old Testament.

  • Hard and honest work is blessed by God.
  • In Exodus 35:30-35 Moses tells the people of Israel how God has blessed Bezalel with the skills of craftsmanship and filled him with the ability to do every sort of work. For Christians this shows that our ability to perform different kinds of work is a gift and a blessing from God.
  • In both proverbs 6:6 and 26:13 – 16 a sluggard (lazy man) is made fun of and condemned. As Christians we should not be lazy but we should be hard working.
  • Proverbs 31:27 praises a hardworking woman.
  • Solomon’s building of the Temple and his house are appreciated and praised 1 Kings 6;7:1-12
  • However Solomon is condemned because of using forced labour.
  • In Samuel’s words of warning to the people against an earthly king he indicates that the King would subject them to forced labour and this was not good.
  • The Hebrews were subjected to forced labour and slavery in Egypt and this is condemned. Exodus 1:8-14, 2:11-15.
  • The prophet Jeremiah condemns those who make their neighbours serve them for no pay. Jeremiah 22:13
  • Workers should not be heavily taxed as this would deny them the right to use the money thus have earned through their labour.

 

 

(ii) In the Hippocratic oath the doctor should observe the following:-

As knowledge changes from time to time and discoveries are also made from time to time, the doctor should keep up with these changes and act accordingly. He should be able to know and to use the new drugs not just the ones he learnt in school.

He must always use the safest medicine possible with very minimum side effects and might only take to dangerous remedies if it is very necessary.

A doctor may only use dangerous drugs if he feels that it might treat the disease or save the patient from death but first he must ask the patient’s consent e.g. operation.

A doctor should not use extraordinary devices to prolong a patient’s life. If it is death then he should let the patient die. It is wrong to use electrical devices to prolong a patient’s life because it is God who decides on death.

A doctor should always tell the patient the truth at a time when such truth can be told.

Should know how to keep secrets regarding the patients.

Finally a doctor should be competent in his work in order for patients to have confidence in him.

 

Moral Duties and responsibilities of employers and employees

Duties of employers

An employer has a duty to conduct his business in an efficient manner not only for his own benefit but also for the benefit of employees and the society at large. For example one who has a factory should run it well so that the employees are assured of their jobs and the society providing the raw materials then they should be assured of market in the factory. For example the Miwani and Ramisi Sugar factories greatly affected both the employees and the farmers as they were not run efficiently and this led to their collapse in 1998.

At the same time employers have a duty to respect those whom they employ as human beings and see them as an end in themselves rather than just using them as a means to achieve your own ends. This respect should come out in:-

  • Paying them well depending on what job they are doing for you and what profits you make from their sweat. An employer should not exploit his employees but underpaying them. Some employers use very cheap labour to obtain vast profits. Such an act is wrong and should cease. Examples are those who are employed in ‘shambas’ who do so much but earn too little. The security companies should also pay their employees well as it is the employees who make them get profit.

 

 

 

  • The health conditions of employees should be safe guarded. The work environment should be conducive to good health. Medical allowances should be considered by employers.
  • The safety, conditions of work for employers should be of paramount importance. If the work involves too much risk to the life of the employee then he should be insured by the employer and should be paid higher wages. For example those working in mines face a danger of losing their life any time.
  • An employer has a duty to cater for the social welfare of employees by establishing centres for social amenities and such related issues.
  • Working hours should be limited to enable the employee to have time for other social, political, religious obligations. Working for 18 hours a day is definitely wrong as this is tantamount to exploitation. However, through free agreement the employees should be accorded overtime payment for extra working hours. The overtime should at least be double the normal payment.
  • The amount of work to be done should be reasonable. For example asking a teacher to teach over 35 lessons a week may be too much and this can lead to total exhaustion and frustrations and therefore inefficiency.
  • Work without rest is a bore so employers have a duty to grant holidays or leave for employees to enable them rest and refresh themselves ready to start again. Weekends or at least Sundays should be a free day for workers except in circumstances where their presence is inevitable (a must).

They have a duty to consider the welfare of their employees especially

When they grow old and can work no longer. This should be seen in the provision of pension in old age or sickness that leads to a permanent disability.

At times the employers have a duty to share their profits not only with the employees but also with the general public who provide them with raw materials that enrich them. If there is bumper profits then the coffee board or the tea board or any other group of employers should share with both farmers and employees.

It is possible that business may fail and if that becomes the case then the employers have a duty to try and find new employment for their faithful employees if possible as they have influence with the other contemporary firms.

The employers also have a duty to respect other firms and to cooperate with them.

If the company is booming in business then the employers have a duty to sale some shares to the workers so that the workers might feel more involved and work harder in order to attain maximum profit.

Rights of employers

An employer has a right to conduct his business in a free atmosphere where the government does not come in with undue pressures.

He has also got a right to carry out his business without too much interference from trade unions pressurizing increase of salaries to employees even when the business is not doing well.

He has a right to fair taxation from the government even if he is making profit. The government should not overtax them.

They have a right to make maximum profits and to enjoy these profits without unnecessary condemnations from politicians or individuals.

A right to honesty by employees who should do a fair day’s work to receive their pay. Some employees do very little especially if they are not supervised and this is unfair practice to the employer who pays the salaries.

An employer has a right to associate with his fellow employers in the same business and a right to cooperate with them at will.

The government should protect the employers from unfair competition from international firms.

 

Duties of employees

Every employee has a duty to be truthful to the terms of his employment. At all times, even without supervision he should adhere to his duties as was agreed on the day of employment. To expect his pay at the end of the month or at the end of the day then he should ask himself if he deserves that payment. Has he done a fair months work or a fair day’s work or has he just been lazing about?

In order for an employee to work fairly he should always report to his work in good time. He should not report to work late as is always the case with most employees.

He should not absent himself from duty as his services are very vital and it is from his services that he earns his pay.

The employee has a duty not to waste time in order for hours to pass without working.

Some employees leave their places of work before the accepted departure time. They have a duty to work until the time accepted before they can leave for home or for other purposes.

Employees should always do their best in their duties. It is wrong to put in less efforts when you are capable of more.

It is wrong to be careless with the property of your employer. For example some employees misuse the property of the employer.

 

Questions:

Give as many examples as you can in circumstances where employees have misused the property of the employers.

 

 

 

Question:

What would be your advice to such employees misusing or using their employers property carelessly?

 

An employee has a duty to respect the property of the employer. They should realise that if the employer’s business fails then they are also out of employment. It is common place to find employees stealing equipment from places of work or back door selling of the employer’s property.

 

Question:

List different situations where we find employees interfering with the employer’s property. One case can be inMatatu’s where some drivers or conductors withhold some money from the employer. Or in Asian shops where some employees sell property from the back door.

The employee has a duty to promote the business through hard work, creative thinking and attracting customers to that particular place of work.

The employee should also respect the employer even if his experience and education is above that of his employer. He should not discredit or insubordinate his employer in all circumstances.

In case an employee is called upon to join the workers union for common and justified interest then he has a duty to do so.

An employee has a duty to satisfy his family in providing their basic needs like food, shelter and clothing.

He has a duty to provide for his dependants.

Finally he has a duty to fulfil what the society expects from him.

Should work hard to promote the interest of the society.

 

Rights of Employees:

First and foremost an employee has a right to fair pay for a fair day’s work.

The conditions of work should be fair in the following respects:-

  • He should be given just enough work but not being overworked as is common with most employers. They expect maximum work from employees and they don’t pay them accordingly.
  • The number of hours per day should be reasonable. Working for 18 hours a day may be overworking your employee. If he extends working hours then the pay should also extend accordingly.
  • The working environment should be conducive to good health for the employee. Unhealthy working environments should be improved.
  • Safety of the employee is necessary. If his work involves personal risks on his life then the employee has a right to be insured.
  • An employee has a right for annual leave with full payment and probably leave allowances.
  • Prodigality – Is the condition of being wasteful, spending or using too much e.g. L.k. 15:11.
  • Acquisitiveness – Is the condition of valuing the possession of more and more material things. Forming a habit or being fond of acquiring.
  • Miserliness – Is the condition of loving wealth for its own sake and spending as little as possible. One who is stingy with his wealth.

This condition is an abuse of wealth as wealth is supposed to be used for man’s benefit.

Acquiring of wealth to use for pleasure also leads to abuse of wealth in gluttony, drunkenness and sex abuse.

  • Gluttony – Condition of one eating too much more than he needs. One being greedy for food. Forming a habit or practice of eating too much.
  • Drunkenness – Is a condition of being in the habit of drinking, being often drunk.
  • Sex abuse – Seen in men who have been called sugar daddies. They love young girls or confuse them with money and material things then they end up having sexual relations with these school girls which leads to pregnancy and dropping out of school.

Those who acquire wealth to attain power end up dominating all affairs in the society. Economics, social, cultural and political domination. This is an abuse of wealth.

 

The impact of the money economy in the African situation

Originally, in the African Traditional Societies, Africans used the barter system which was a sufficient, simple self maintaining family economy.

  • Barter – Is the direct exchange of goods/property for other goods like exchanging wheat for millet.

Later Africans begun to use money in the form of cowrie shells before the colonists came. It was still a simple method for buying goods and making payments.

But when the colonialists came they created an urgent need for the use of money. Money was needed:-

  • For the payment of hut-tax or poll-tax. Tax was a method used by colonialist to exploit Africans and to force them work in European farms in order to get money to pay. Failure to pay money (tax) could lead to imprisonment.
  • For buying the new items that Europeans had brought with them like matches for lightning fire, paraffin cloths, soap and food. To possess these items Africans had to work and earn some money.
  • For paying alms in church as well as paying school fees for the new education that they come with.

Because of the need for Africans to earn money for the above reasons some missionaries encouraged Africans to work as they were spreading the

gospel and preaching to them about the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of these missionaries themselves became employers of Africans and paid them as a result of their labour.

Some other people who employed the Africans were settlers who wanted Africans to work on their farms. The sole aim of these settlers was to enrich themselvesusing the African cheap labour.

This kind of exploitation still goes on in Kenya today.

Companies also employed the African cheap labour in the process of manufacturing products that were later sold to Africans at exorbitant prices.

As the colonial administration expanded, they needed clerks and other semi-skilled workers like Askaris to help them with administrative duties. They therefore employed Africans and paid them salaries. So money was becoming important as people could now not do without it.

As development continued there was diversification of opportunity. Thus trained Africans could be employed as Agriculturalists, medical assistants, police, teachers, skilled craftsmen. All these were paid positions.

Because of education offered to Africans they started having expectations of a higher standard of living. Because of employment and earning of salary Africans joined the world economic order. This has resulted into division of the African societies into rich and poor which never existed before. This has brought about disturbance as people are struggling to acquire more and more wealth. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening.

This struggle for survival for the fittest has led to bribery and corruption in the distribution of jobs.

Africans have failed to understand the nature and use of money hence the cropping up of such abuses related to the use of money.

However, despite all these problems, the money economy has come to stay and as Christians we must learn the proper use of money and form pressure groups against those abusing the use of money.

 

Biblical teaching on wealth:

Wealth in the Old Testament

Material prosperity was a sign of God’s favour. Wealth was considered as a gift from Yahweh.

In the book of Genesis 12:7 Abraham was Promised Land which is wealth.

When Jacob blessed Joseph in Genesis 49:22-26 we see wealth is implied.

If the Israelites observed the covenant then they would be rewarded with material blessing from Yahweh. The land they are given is said to be flowing with milk and honey which means there is plentiful in the land.

The prophets have something to tell us on wealth. In the book of Amos 9:11-15 the Lord promises to make the Israelites prosperous. See verse 13. This clearly indicates material well-being (wealth). Part of verse 14 also suggests wealth.

The book of Hosea has similar suggestions on material wellbeing for the Israelites from Yahweh. This is found in Hosea 14:5-9.

For one to lead a wholesome life he should have wealth. This is seen in the book of Psalm 34:10 which says that those who love the Lord lack no good thing.

In the Old Testament we find God enriching those He loves. He enriched David because He loved him. When He asked Solomon to choose whatever he wished to have Solomon chose wisdom. As a result, God was so happy with him that God gave him wealth although he did not ask for it. God had thought that Solomon would ask for wealth. This is a good lesson for us today. We should love God first and do His will then God will give us all the rest.

Yahweh is the source of wealth. This is seen in the book of Proverbs 10:22.

As we have seen from the story of Solomon there are certain qualities that should be preferred to wealth. Wealth is not everything.

From the book of 1 Kings 3:11-13, Solomon is praised for asking for wisdom rather than wealth. This means that wisdom is better than wealth.

Also to be preferred to wealth are:-

  • Peace (ii)  Good name   (iii)  Righteousness
  • Health (v) Love

 

Question: Include the above five points and suggest others then discuss how these ones should be preferred to wealth.

Wealth cannot purchase many things. Wealth will buy you a good bed but will not give you sleep. You may be sleepless in your expensive bed if you don’t have peace of mind.

Death comes to us all, even to the wealthy it comes. This means that wealth cannot bribe death off. We don’t purchase eternal life with wealth. We may be wealthy yet fail to enter God’s Kingdom.

The Old Testament also reminds us that God is the source of all wealth and we should recognise this fact by giving alms or tithe. The book of Deuteronomy 12:6-7.

Today wealth may not be necessarily in terms of the flock. It may be in the form of money and other possessions. We should still give tithe to our churches in terms of money.

Even alms (especially to the suffering) should be given today. Also see Deuteronomy 14:22-27;

Finally on wealth in the old Testament, the book of job tells us how God

gives wealth to those He loves. After Job’s trials God doubled all his wealth as he had proved trustworthy to God.

 

       Wealth in the New Testament

From the example of the birth of Jesus we see that his mother Mary was a poor village girl. This we see in Mary’s song of prise to God. Luke 1:48 and verse 52, and verse 53.

Joseph, the father of Jesus was a carpenter and this was a lowly position.

When Jesus was presented to the Temple, the offering made was that for the poor. See Luke 2:24.

In one of his most important sermons, the Sermon on the plain, the poor are blessed whereas the rich are condemned see Luke 6:21.

Jesus warns on the dangers of wealth. See the book of Mathew 19:23-26. This statement made by Jesus does not mean that the rich cannot enter the Kingdom of God. It just shows that it is difficult for them to enter as they are likely to be preoccupied with riches and forget about God.

For those who are rich Jesus demands the selling of property and giving to the poor. This is found in Mathew 19:16-22.

According to the teaching of Jesus the Kingdom of God is better than all material wealth. What does a man gain to possess the whole world and eventually lose his soul?

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man burns in hell as he did not share his possessions with the poor. Luke 16:19-31.

Jesus, though the example of the rich fool, teaches that we should not lay all our hopes in material possessions. The rich fool told his soul to eat and be merry yet he did not know that he was to die that same day. Read Luke 12:16-21.

The only acceptable and true riches are not material possessions but the Kingdom of God in Christ, compassion, kindness, patience, long-suffering, wisdom and knowledge.

In the book of 1 Timothy 3:3 love for money is condemned.

A man’s life does not consist on the abundance of his possessions. This is seen in the story of the man who asked Jesus to bid him share property with his brother. Luke 12:13-15; Jesus tells him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?’

In Luke 12:22-32 Jesus teaches that we should stop worrying about food or dress but put our trust in God. God provides for the birds yet they do not sow. How much more will God provide for us if we put our trust in him?

On one hand wealth is regarded as a blessing from God. On the other hand it is seen as dangerous especially those who put all their trust on material possessions.

Wealth should be seen as a temporary thing given to us in a way of a test for God to see if He can entrust us with greater things.

 

 

investing. One’s salary nowadays cannot meet all his obligations due to the rising cost of living.

Investment can also contribute to the economic stability of a country or that of an individual.

Insurance is the investing of part of one’s income to provide against the uncertainities of the future or the occurrence of a certain kind of eventuality e.g. death.

Since one has a duty to provide for himself and others, insurance is good as it will help one provide for himself in case of disability may be due to an accident and one is no longer able to work. It will also provide for your dependants in case of one dying or being disabled.

The rules governing insurance are laid down by the state such that there are certain assets that have to be insured against certain dangers. For example a third party motor insurance is compulsory in our country as it would pay the person or the property damaged by an insured vehicle. If one has to be knocked down by a vehicle then he should claim from the company that has insured that vehicle for damages.

Insurance is a form of investment by certain individuals or groups of people whose sole purpose is to benefit. They don’t pay people easily especially in this country where many people still do not know their rights and only a few people use the services of lawyers to advice them.

It is therefore necessary for one to seek the advice of a lawyer in case of certain misfortunes and find out if they should be paid by these insurance companies or not.

Some people insure their lives and die but are not paid up because the relatives are ignorant and don’t pursue these matters.

Huge investments should be insured against any dangers like fires, theft or loss. If one insures his vehicle and in case of the vehicle being stolen he will be paid by the insurance company. If an accidental fire damages an insured building then the cost of that building will be paid by the insurance company. Important firms like banks should be insured.

Questions: List and discuss with your teacher all-important things that need insurance. In each case say why these should be insured and the possible outcome if they were not insured.

 

Corruption e.g. Bribery

Corruption is the luring of a government (public) servant or other persons in responsible positions to misuse their positions in return for gain, money, favoursto the advantage of whoever offers something in order to be considered. In almost all cases they end up being considered even if they are not qualified for that particular favour.

Bribery is a free gift of money, goods or favours in return for some

 

 

advantage for the person (group) offering the gift.

One may accept a bribe because of greed but the consequences are normally very far reaching. For example one might be taken to court and charged for offering or accepting a bribe. It will spoil his good reputation or name and he may end up losing his position and therefore his means of livelihood.

Corruption and bribery are evils that Christians should avoid as it leads to suffering of innocent and competent people who would otherwise have gotten those favours.

Bribery leads to the deterioration of the country’s economy and reduces efficiency as unqualified people bribe their way through to important positions.

In some countries the rate of corruption is so high that one has to bribe his way in every matter. Doctors have to be bribed to treat a patient well and give him proper (government) medicine.

One has to bribe a post office attendant for his letter to reach its destination. If you just post your letter in the normal way it won’t reach its destination.

After booking a hotel room one has to bribe the hotel attendants, otherwise you will find your bed sprayed with water. You have to bribe the nearby attendant to exchange the water-logged beddings for you.

For one to be cleared at the airport you have to bribe the attendants otherwise you will just be delayed there. Some of these countries are known (no naming of names).

Question: In line with the above mentioned cases of corruption and bribery list situations where bribery is common in this country and suggest ways in which these practices can be eliminated once and for all.

Question: Propose the possible dangers to the country’s economy if corruption and bribery were to be encouraged.

 

CHAPTER 5

CHRISTIAN APPROACHES TO LAW,

ORDER AND JUSTICE

The unity of mankind

 

The main causes of disunity of mankind can be seen in such concepts as race, nationality, colour, religion, war, ideologies, economic oppression, apartheid, revolutions e.t.c.

People live in fear of one another because of race or colour or because one is tempted to feel that he is superior and the other feels that he is inferior because of their different levels of development.

This disunity should come to an end as the world is becoming a very small place due to modern technology seen in the faster means of communication and transport.

 

People now meet or communicate to one another easily and this can improve their relationship as they will not be suspicious of one another as the case has been.

There are different organisations like the Frontline States who try to pursue the independence of Namibia and to rid South Africa of apartheid which is a stumbling block (hindrance) to the unity of mankind.

Such organisations like the O.A.U. (Organisation of African Unity) are the examples we can give of organisations within the African Continent that are helping towards pursuing unity for mankind.

The Preferential Trade Area (P.T.A.) and the (East African Community) (E.A.C.) and the Arab League of Nations (A.L.N.) are the other examples.

The United Nations Organisations (U.N.O.) the World Health Organisations (W.H.O.), the European  Economic community (E.E.C.), the Common Wealth are examples of the international organisations whose aim is to foster the unity of mankind.

The unity of mankind has its roots in the Old Testament when the Prophet Isaiah says, ‘All Nations shall come together to worship God.’ Isaiah 2:1-4; ‘there will be no war Nation shall not lift sword against Nation, neither shall they learn how to fight any more.’

God used the Jewish people only as His instruments to effect the salvation of all men – the whole world.

Jesus came to save the whole world as recorded in John 3:16; ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal like.’

Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach the word to all the corners of the earth beginning of this topic must go in favour of peace, love and unity.

 

Order and Justice in Society

To ensure that order prevails in our society we must have some set rules or law.

Law is the set rules or a code of rules laid down to ensure the smooth running along in the society.

 

Purpose for law in the society

The law is meant for maintaining order in the society. It protects human life as the law commands us not to kill. The law in turn has a system of punishing those who break it.

Law regulates the way human beings behave. It ensures security for all.

 

It brings about an atmosphere of peace which helps in social advancement in society.

The law also protects property whether private or communal. Wilful damage to property or stealing is forbidden by law.

The law helps in regulating how an individual  relates to others.  It tries to undercut a line beyond which an individual should not pass. This ensures peace and in the society.

It helps maintain the balance between rights and privileges in the community.

N.B. (a) All would want to live in a society where law and order prevails (is maintained).

Obedience to the law ensures the maintenance of law and order. So as Christians we should obey the law so long as it is not repugnant to the law of God.

In some countries e.g. Kenya, the police force is given the responsibility of maintaining law and order. In case one is suspected to have gone against the law one is arrested and charged with the offence. He then appears before the court for judgement. He is innocent until proven guilty by the court.

A situation where law and order is maintained, security is enhanced hence people cease to live in fear thus they are peaceful.

Things also run smoothly and in the right way.

(b) God is the original source of law. This we see in the laws he gave to Moses for the Israelites on Mount sinai.

In modern society it is parliament which gives the laws and the court or judiciary enforces those laws.

 

Why need order and justice in society

In order for any society to develop socially, economically, order and justice should be there.

Order and justice stabilises the society. For instance it safeguards the society from exploitation. That is to say it curtails any advance by the entrepreneurs to exploit consumers by fixing high prices of some commodities hence protecting low income earners. If not for the laws prices would shoot to the sky (would be very high).

The prophet Jeremiah has a word for us on justice. In Jeremiah 22:23; 8:8-11; 14:13-15 there should be no exploitation or oppression to the alien. There is condemnation of unjust gain.

The prophet Amos has been referred to as a prophet of God’s justice as he vehemently condemns social injustice in his society, Israel.

Order and justice encourages freedom of worship in a society. In some countries there is order without justice and this has led to the persecution of Christians especially in some Muslim countries.

 

Church leaders also attend and conduct funeral or burial services.

They attend social functions and gatherings with the rest of the society e.g. they attend games like football matches.

They decorate church premises and buildings with the national flag on national days.

Churches play a major role towards the upkeep of the poor. They visit the sick in hospitals and pray for them.

They attend to prisoners by conducting church services in prisons.

Church members are engaged in business activities thus they promote the country’s economy.

Some church leaders/members are also very successful businessmen.

 

Negative participation

Christians should not fully participate in the socio-economic and political life of nation. They should act as a watchdogs against certain evils taking place socially, economically and politically.

They should not attend excessive drinking sprees even in case of weddings and should condemn drunkenness and the abuse of drugs.

They should preach against certain government principle like the use of contraceptives by school girls and the sterilisation of males to reduce and check population growth.

The church should not fear the states. Some churches fail to adopt a critical approach to state matters and they blindly and they blindly bless any action taken by the state.

Sometimes politicians warn churchmen to keep off politics especially when they are being opposed against certain actions.

Church leaders should vehemently oppose pornographic films which the state still allows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

CHRISTIAN APPROACHES TO ISSUES

RELATED TO MODERN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

General Christian attitude to Science & technology

 

In the Genesis story of creation we see God’s work as a science. All God’s creations are scientific in nature.

From the scientific study of the universe we see God a the greatest of all scientists as everything he created was orderly.

 

 

 

The way the plants go round the sun is scientific.

The science of photosynthesis helps plants to manufacture their own food and it is God who created plants with that scientific ability to manufacture food.

The creation of animals and even human beings is scientific in nature and a very complicated form of science indeed.

God did not have to create human beings every now and then like the modern human scientists make vehicles and other scientific machineries.

He created in human beings and other animals complicated scientific structure (device) where man has to reproduce by himself through the woman instead of God having to make him now and again. This device has enabled man to be co-creatures with God and that is why children are called upon to respect and honour their parents. It is through their parents that God’s gift of life was passed on to them.

Therefore, God being such a great scientist, man should emulate him and improve the environment through scientific and technological methods.

God commanded man to subdue the earth and this can only be done through research and making scientific discoveries and inventions.

The scientists should be confident and make more scientific discoveries as this helps in uncovering God’s works in creation. Scientific discoveries can make a man understand better the purpose of creation of the universe and therefore use it better. By these innovations the scientists subdue the earth in obedience of God’s command.

Since science is God’s work and God being the greatest scientist, Christians should support the work of science and technology.

 

Caution on science & technology

It is true that man discovered so many scientific facts. He has taught himself to create and combine the most powerful of technologies. However he has not taken pain to learn about their consequences. Today the consequences of scientific discoveries is threatening to destroy man.

A Christian should oppose the negative use of science and technology and its consequences that is already threatening to destroy man.

            So, in addition to designing new research tools or new ways to understand and improve our environment we must also design institutions for guaranteeing safety.

            These institutions should promote or discourage or even ban certain proposed technologies if that particular technology threatens man’s safety.

            In fact Christians should advocate for a machinery for screening machines.

The aim of all scientists in inventing certain technological equipments is just the economic profitability but not the consequences.

 

 

 

Our present method of depending on the alertness of individuals to foresee danger and to form pressure groups against certain dangerous technological inventions is not adequate. A technological ombudsman should be designed to be charged with receiving, investigating and acting on the irresponsible application of technology.

This ombudsman could serve as an official sounding board for complaints. It could alert the public against companies or governments or scientists who have applied new technology irresponsibly or without adequate forethought.

The technological ombudsman should be armed with the power to initiate damage suits and this can help deter technological irresponsibility.

By the turn of the new century Christians have the responsibility to fight for the creation of such an agency if irresponsible use of science is to be checked and put under control.

Scientists are racing blindly into the future but the big question is; where do they want to go? Right now, no one, not even the greatest and the most brilliant of all scientists really knows where science is taking us. To hit the nail on the head, as far as science and technology is concerned, no one is in charge.

 

Science and Human beings.

Science is very essential for human beings as it is the only method under which they can improve their lot.

We have both positive and negative effects of science on human beings.

 

Positive effects of science on man

The science of medicine has greatly improved the health conditions of human beings as they can now be treated when they are sick.

The discoveries of such instruments for x-ray and others have really helped improve the health of man.

However, there are some diseases which have no medicine yet that can treat and cure them. Such diseases like cancer or AIDS. It is therefore a great challenge to scientists to come out with medicines that can cure these diseases. If scientists trust in God He will open their minds to discover these medicines. It is therefore the task of the church to pray not only for the discovery of these medicines but also for human beings to stop immorality which is the main cause of AIDS.

Science has improved the housing conditions of man and now man can live in good houses as opposed to living in caves and very poor houses in the past.

At the same time science has improved agriculture tremendously. New scientific machinery has helped man cultivate large pieces of land that has

brought about the improvements in yields. This has helped in feeding the increasing population. The discoveries of different forms of fertilizers has improved yields as well. The use of irrigation has enabled dry areas to produce food. The irrigational tools are scientific discoveries.

Pests and locust which destroy crops have been checked by the discoveries and manufacturing of insecticides which when sprayed kill these pests.

Soil erosion which had hindered man from cultivating land has been checked through the scientific discoveries.

On livestock we see that science has improved breeds of different animals which has increased protein supply.

However it is important to note that despite the improvement in agriculture masses of men have died every year due to famine. It is the task of scientists now to discover other venues to help improve and increase food production. Aqua-culture, which is the scientific cultivation of the oceans food resources should go alongside agriculture to help in producing food from the sea to help feed the increasing population as land is becoming smaller and smaller.

Question: Is it only science to blame over famine? List other causes of famine and suggest the possible ways in which famine could be averted.

In education science has played a leading role to improve it. The discovery of printing was a great breakthrough to proper and meaningful education as the printed work (book) could be used in teaching.

The discovery of computers and other related machines has greatly easened education of the youth. It is common knowledge that education is very vital for life.

Science and technology has also improved communication and transport and man can now travel to all parts of the world.

Telephone has been of great use to man and many transactions now take place through telephone. This has helped save a lot of time. Other scientific methods of communication include satellites, fax, telex, radio, T.V, mobile phones etc.

In the field of transport, science has been of great use to human beings.  Transport is very important as it creates mobility of people. All exports and imports have been made possible through science and technology. Other means of transport include; trains, cars, matatus, lorries, buses, aeroplanes, ships, boats, rockets, the skylab just to mention but a few.

The discovery of power is without parallel in the field of science. Power has helped in practically all the industrial undertakings apart from providing light.

Question: List as many fields or areas as possible where science has been seen as a useful tool to mankind.

 

           Negative effects of science to man

         Despite the advantages that man has enjoyed from science, some

 

 

They were to live in union because a woman was created as the best

company to man therefore they were to play sex. God is the author of human life and through sex we see man as a partner with God in creation.

God uses our parents as an instrument through which we are made therefore sex is necessary for protection.

St. Paul has a message to pass to us. Husbands should love their wives and one of the ways to show this love is sexual intercourse.

He further says that sex is acceptable.

However, like African traditional societies, Christians are opposed to other forms of sex.

Fornication, which is sexual intercourse outside marriage, is condemned by Christians. Sex has to go with responsible for such children? Young men and women should be cautioned against this practice which is very prevalent today. It is normally an embarrassment to the girl and it has led to many girls dropping out of school. Some even commit suicide or throw away these babies. It is therefore important for girls to know that if you play with fire you get burnt. If they play with young boys who are not yet ready for family life they suffer the consequences.

Adultery, which is sexual intercourse outside marriage by a married person is also prohibited. The book of Exodus 20:14 says, ‘You shall not commit adultery. Adultery normally leads to breakage of families and the children are the ones to suffer.

Having sex with a member of the same sex is also forbidden as it never leads to the bearing of any children by the parties involved. It is called homosexuality – between men and lesbianism – between women.

Prostitution is also seen by Christians as a wrong practice. It is the offering of one’s body (especially female) for sexual purposes in return for money and/or other gains. It is wrong because there is no natural love as one goes to bed with anybody who offers her money. Our bodies are the temples of Christ and if we join our bodies for purposes of prostitution then we are defiling the Temple of Christ. Prostitution also leads to the acquisition of venereal diseases and it enhances the spread of such diseases. It leads to abortion as prostitutes would not want to have children. Prostitution is a major cause of immorality.

Other forms of sexual practices that Christians abhor include:

  • Masturbation – It is a process whereby ones reaches orgasm or obtains sexual satisfaction by manipulation of ones own sexual organ. It is the forward and backward moving of hands of ones penis in case of boys at which time they concentrate their thoughts on sexual encounters with other people the result of which is the production of sperm.

This practice is common among young people who have reached puberty but who cannot satisfy their sexual needs as it is prohibited by God’s

 

 

 

law. But because sex is a primary need which has to be met they resort to masturbation. The solution to this problem is self control on the part of those who do it. One can also concentrate ones thoughts on more useful things.

This will enable him forget about sex. In fact sex is a difficult theme to deal

With as it is not controlled by reason.

  • Concubinage– Is a situation where a man takes a second grade wife

Who lives with him without any official or recognized form of marriage. A

Man may leave his legally married wife home and decide to ‘marry’ a town wife without the legal procedures. This wife may even have children with the man.

  • Polygamy – Here a man seeks sexual satisfaction by marrying more than one wife. Traditionally among the Africans it was accepted but Christians reject it as they argue that one man can only be married to one wife.

 

Traditional African understanding of marriage

Marriage can be defined as a mutual agreement made between two people, a man and a woman to live together  permanently supporting each other. It can also lead to the bearing and bringing up of children. However, it is important to note that bearing of children is just a gift of marriage.

In traditional African society marriage was compulsory and not only brought two people together but also brought two families together.

Bearing of children was an important part of marriage in traditional African Societies and a barren woman was not held high esteem. In fact she was looked down upon and the husband would take another wife to bear him children.

The inability of men to bear children was not noticed in the tradition societies as men could and would help one another in case of need. When a man was unable to bear children his brothers or relatives would lend a hand. This was a confirmation that if a family would not bear children then it was the wife who was barren.

Marriage was to be permanent and divorce was very rare in African traditional societies. This was mainly because:

  • Proper plans (arrangements) were made before marriage.
  • Barrenness was rare and polygamy was allowed in case of barrenness.
  • Bride price was paid and this acted as security against divorce as bride-price would be demanded back in case of divorce.
  • Women were submissive to their husbands and could not complain even if mistreated by husbands.
  • There were very few cases of unfaithfullness as men were allowed to add if they felt like.

 

  • There were no economic difficulties as a woman could simply be given her farm and cattle and she would then work hard to ensure that her husband and children were properly fed.
  • In any case divorce was not allowed because marriage was aimed to be permanent and so there was no room for divorce.
  • Marriage was a communal affair but not an individual affair. For example the wife was said to belong to the community not just an individual. So in case of any disputes the whole society would come in to resolve it not just husband alone.
  • Both parents were properly consulted in marriage and any problem between the two, parents were there to solve them hence no divorce.
  • Finally, there was a go-between in marriages. This go-between was familiar with both the wife and the husband. In case of any problem he could be consulted and so he could counsel the two to reconcile.

A part from the bearing of children which was very important for

African traditional marriage, marriage was also seen as serving the social function of championship and sex.

Marriage, which led to the bearing of children was seen as the focus of the living dead who were believed to be part and parcel of the society could continue to grow and the old people would be reborn through the children being named after them.

It was through marriage that the young would be born to pour libation for the living dead who were believed to be part and parcel of the society.

Marriage also brought families together and extended kinship ties to include fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters-in-law.

 

Traditional marriage

First and foremost marriage arrangements were left in the hands of elders and the young people themselves had very little say in marriage. It was believed that it was the parents and the elders who were wise enough to find good partners for their children. Some couples even marry before meeting at all.

The marriage was seen as a covenant which involved two families and/ or two communities.

Bride price was paid in marriage as a sign of appreciation to the parents of the girl for the good care they had taken of their daughter. It was also to make marriage last as it would be returned in case of divorce. The parents of the girl were not ready to return the dowry as it would already have been used by the time of divorce. Bride price also served as a compensation forthe brides family for the loss of a useful member of the family as the girl would transfer her services to the boy’s home.

N/B. It is important, however, to note that the main purpose of bride price was not to ensure that the woman stayed where she was married but it was to bind the two families together.

The principle aim of marriage was the procreation of many children to increase the number of people in the family and to replace those who died.

The alternative for barrenness was the addition of other wives who would give birth.

Divorce was not encouraged although it could take place but only under very serious circumstances.

In case of the death of the husband the wife was to be married / inherited by the dead husband’s brothers or close relatives.

Polygamy was allowed in African traditional societies. In fact it was encouraged because it was regarded as prestigious for one to have a long line of wives. A man’s wealth and fame could be judged in terms of how many wives he married.

Polygamy was good as it enabled many women to get married as opposed to these days where many women cannot find husbands because of monogamy. This has led to prostitution. Christians are opposed to polygamous marriage.

Polygamy reduced immoral sexual behaviour and unfaithfulness on the part of men. This was because a man could turn to his other wives in case one was sick or pregnant. Men are known to be more aroused sexually than women.

 

Christian understanding of marriage

Christian marriage is seen as a covenant made between a boy and girl who decide to live together for mutual help and love.

This covenant is made before God by a priest in the presence of witnesses.

The marriage is meant to last until death separates them.

Marriage is seen as a free choice except that for a Christian one must just marry other another Christian. Marriage with members of other religious no longer becomes a Christian marriage.

For Christians, the principle aim of marriage include; bearing of children, companionship and mutual love which is attained in sex.

Christian marriage encourages equality as the husband and wife are partners in marriage and are supposed to be complementary.

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