The Role of the Pentecostal Church of Tanzania and the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church in Society. Gender Equality, Peace Building and Environmental Care


Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2020

143 Pages


Excerpt


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

DEDICATION

ABSTRACT

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES

LIST OF APPENDICES

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

1. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Background to the Study
1.1.1. A Brief History of Pentecostalism
1.1.2. Description of FPCT and TPBC
1.1.3. Description of EHBC and PTC
1.2. Statement of the Problem
1.3. Purpose of Study
1.4. Research Questions and Hypotheses
1.5. Significance of the Study
1.6. Limitations of Study

2. CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Theological Perspectives on Church and Society
2.2.1. Secularization and the global agenda
2.2.2. Theories of Church and society
2.2.3. Pentecostalism and social engagement
2.3. Exegetical and Hermeneutical Lacunae in Treatments of Biblical Issues Related to Gender, Peace Building, and Environmental Care
2.3.1. Gender
2.3.2. Peace Building
2.3.3. Environment
2.4. Summary

3. CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Research Methodology
3.3. Research Design
3.4. Study Area
3.5. Study Population
3.6. Sampling Procedures
3.7. Data Collection and Recording
3.7.1. Focus Group Discussion
3.8. Validity and Reliability
3.9. Data Analysis
3.10. Ethical Considerations

4. CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH FINDINGS
4.1. Introduction
4.2. Conflicts, Gender, and Environment in Ethiopia and Tanzania
4.2.1. Conflicts
4.2.2. Gender
4.2.3. Environment

5. CHAPTER FIVE: ANALYTIC DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Findings in the Material
5.2.1. Conflict
5.2.2. Gender
5.2.3. Environment
5.3. Discussion of the Material
5.3.1. Theology and practices
5.3.2. Spiritual and unspiritual
5.3.3. Bible and rights
5.3.4. Conservative and progressive

6. CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1. Conclusions
6.2. Recommendations for Future Research
6.2.1. Making further studies
6.2.2. Understanding and advocating the power of the Church as a change agent
6.2.3. Developing, together with partners in the global South, theology, motivation and a language for the Church to be a change agent in the world
6.2.4. Creating programs and projects with the partners in the global South to develop both understanding of and a capacity to work with conflict, gender, and environment within and through the Church

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1: LEADERS’ QUESTIONNAIRE

APPENDIX 2: FOCUS GROUPS’ QUESTIONNAIRE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank the following people for helping with this research project: First of all, I want to thank all the members of my family for their patience and encouragement throughout the period of my study. My greatest thanks go to my parents Elia Kabarata and Agnes Mwendi, who have had, from the moment that I was born, unwavering faith in me, supported me no matter what it took, and with extraordinary love and support that gave me the confidence to make dreams reality. This is your achievement as much as mine. My deep appreciation goes out to my wife Hoitha Mlay, and to our lovely children Ebenezer, Baraka, and Nathanael. I am also profoundly grateful for the hard work of my co-researchers and their substantial contribution to uplift the studies presented in this thesis. Thanks, Dr. Ulrik Josefsson, Director of Academy for Leadership and Theology (ALT) and Institute for Pentecostal Studies (IPS), and Dr. Fredrik Wenell, Senior Lecturer in Faith and World View studies from Academy for Leadership and Theology (ALT/IPS). I am delighted to have worked with you and I look forward to working with you again.

I would like to say my heartfelt thanks to FPCT leadership for their encouragement and support and for always being so supportive of my work. I want also to sincerely thank PMU and co-hosts for extending an invitation to me to visit Sweden to participate in a research methods seminar at PMU in Stockholm, Sweden. Many thanks to Andreas Dagernäs and Björn Strömvall (Interact), Lena Tellebo from Philadelphia Church (Filadelfiakyrkan) in Stockholm, Andreas Henriksson, advisor for research and learning at PMU, and Ulrik Josefsson (ALT/IPS), for coordinating my visit to Sweden.

I am grateful to all group discussion participants and interviewees, who spent their time giving me an account of their experiences and perspectives of the role of the Pentecostal Church in both countries, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Their responses went a long way in filling one of the many gaps in the study undertaken. I also want to thank Mr. Bahru Kassa from the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church’s Pentecostal Theological College (EHBC-PTC) for his huge effort to support and facilitate in the data collection process during the research period. Special thanks go to my officemates and co-workers at TPBC, who provided me with a friendly and inspiring environment to work and have fun. I wish you all the best. May God bless you all.

DEDICATION

This PhD research thesis is dedicated to all members of my family, especially to my father, ELIA KABARATA; mother, AGNES MWENDI; wife, HOITHA MLAY; and children, EBENEZER, BARAKA, and NATHANAEL.

ABSTRACT

In order to improve the state of the world, there are many actors that are working for this in different ways. Through the UN, the efforts towards a better world have been formulated in the 17 Global Goals 2030 for Sustainable Development, covering fundamental areas and emphasizing the need for global cooperation. There is a consensus in that the UN budget alone will never be enough to reach the goals and that there is a need for interaction among many different partners and actors if change should truly be obtained.

A big portion of the actors that could contribute to the fulfillment of the Global Goals 2030 are faith based, and the majority of the world’s population is religious. Among the religious groups, Pentecostalism is the fastest growing and probably among the strongest social movements in the world. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to research Pentecostal churches as faith-based organizations in Tanzania and Ethiopia. The aim is to research the relationship between the FPCT church and the Tanzanian society and the EHBC church and the Ethiopian society, with a special focus on three of the goals in the Global Agenda: conflicts, gender equality and environment.

The study is conducted through interviews with focus groups in Tanzania and Ethiopia and written responses from church leaders on the subject in the two countries, all from two Pentecostal denominations. The study aims at investigating how Pentecostal churches understand their role in the society and in what way they can be change agents. Three fields from the UN Global Goals were chosen as a focus for this study: conflicts, gender, and environment.

The study and material is presented together with some theories for a deeper analysis. From the field of social science, the study introduces scholars like Roland Ingelhart and Pippa Norris, and Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon. From the field of Pentecostal studies, the study refers to scholars like Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori, as well as Dena Freeman and Elizabeth Brusco.

Ingelhart and Norris show that the majority of the world is religious, and that the Swedish secular individualism is a strange bird globally. Hauerwas and Willimon argue that the Church needs to be Church continuously. Freeman shows that the power of Pentecostal action and advocacy both lies in the common faith, and the theological moral legitimacy in the confession of the Church. Brusco shows that the personal conversion and the connected behavioral changes do not only affect the individual and the actual family but has the power to reconstruct society. Miller and Yamamori have found that in many cases, this is already happening in a big group of Pentecostal churches. All this together is very promising and if the Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia get the support to deepen, broaden and implement their theology, they have a good potential to be important change agents in their societies.

The general result of the study is that the Church is and wants to be an active partner in building a good society. The Church discusses fields of both contribution and improvement based on the foundation of faith and with arguments from the Bible. It is obvious that faith comes first and social theory thereafter. If the Church is going to be a change agent in society, there is a need to use the power in the religious logic.

Throughout the study, the informants see the church as an important part in the process of bringing and maintaining peace in the society. It is argued that all, men and women, are created in the image of God, saved by an endless grace and filled with the same Spirit. Women in leadership are motivated by the theological themes of Pneumatology, creational theology, and leadership gift. The most frequent passages related from Scripture are Gen 1:26-28, Gal 3:26-28 and Acts 2. Other passages are for example Joel 2, Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12. One obvious conclusion is that there is nothing from a theological perspective that seems to speak against women in leadership positions.

The study shows that there is a strong agreement on that the Bible views humans as stewards of creation. But the created order is primarily for the benefit for humans, it has no value in itself. That does not mean that humans can do whatever they want. The stewardship gives them responsibility to God in taking care of His creation. The informants see this world as God’s creation and all humans, especially the Church, as God’s stewards in maintaining it. The solutions come in taking the stewardship and the Church’s opportunity in society.

The study concludes by showing that Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia are well equipped for a deeper theological understanding of their role to promote development in the areas of conflict, gender, and environment. They need to improve the implementation of the ideals into constructive and theologically consistent practices in the lived religion. From the church partners’ side, especially from the Swedish side, there is a need to support the churches in this process. This should be done not only by forming social projects but also by deepening the theologically based identity to help the Church to be Church.

The Church is an excellent arena to promote knowledge and has a strong motivation in its own theology . It is recommended that relevant steps be taken to address the fields discussed. The implementation is an important task for the Church and for those who want to support it to be a change agent.

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES

Figure 1.1 Illustration of Thematic Scope of the Study

Figure 5.1 A Conservative-Progressive Line

Table 5.1 A Graphic Model of a Constructive Cooperation

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix 1 Leaders’ Questionnaire

Appendix 2 Focus Groups’ Questionnaire

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

CUMPT Chama cha Ujamaa cha Makanisa ya Pentekoste Tanzania (Pentecostal Churches Social Association in Tanzania)

EHBC Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church

ET Ethiopia

FPCT Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania

NIV New International Version

L Leader of the denomination

NKJV New King James Version

PCAT Pentecostal Churches Association in Tanzania

PCSAT Pentecostal Churches Social Association in Tanzania

PMU Pingstmissionens U-landshjälp (Swedish Pentecostal International Relief and Development Agency)

PTC Pentecostal Theological College

RFG Rural Focus Group

SFM Swedish Free Mission

SPM Swedish Pentecostal Mission

TFG Bible School/College Teachers’ Focus Group

TPBC Tazengwa Pentecostal Bible College

TZ Tanzania

UMPT Umoja wa Makanisa ya Pentekoste Tanzania (Pentecostal Churches Association in Tanzania)

UN United Nations

WFG Women Focus Group

YFG Youth Focus Group

1. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background to the Study

The Pentecostal movement is a global movement and is estimated by several scholars to be the fastest growing movement in the world. It is not a homogenous group that is easily defined and it is not unified organizationally in any particular way. Despite the difficulties in defining Pentecostalism, there is a growing interest in studying Pentecostalism as a phenomenon; its spread, theology, social dynamics, and effect on the society. The purpose of this study is to research the relationship between the FPCT and the Tanzanian society and the EHBC and the Ethiopian society with a special focus on conflicts and peace building, gender equality, and environmental care. The author of this study believes that the Pentecostal Movement has a heavenly mandate to spread God’s Kingdom in this world, a duty with origins from Jesus’ commandment to His disciples. This study can bring important insights into how the Pentecostal movement can do this more effectively. The study includes two main sites for observation, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Since the study of Pentecostalism has gained in significance in academic and development aid circles, this study turns its gaze into more specifically what it means to be a development actor within the Pentecostal family. In a way, it is a study of the practical theology of the Pentecostal churches.

Figure 1:1

Illustration of Thematic Scope of the Study

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1.1.1. A Brief History of Pentecostalism

The Pentecostal Movement grew out of the Holiness Revival of the second half of the nineteenth century. The Holiness Revival produced a hunger for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (a divine empowerment of believers) and for other spiritual gifts promised to the New Testament church such as healing and prophecy.1 The first “Pentecostals” in the modern sense appeared on the scene in 1901 in the city of Topeka, Kansas in a Bible school conducted by Charles Fox Parham , a holiness teacher and former Methodist pastor. In January 1901, Parham had asked the students at the Bible school to study the Bible to find out the scriptural evidence for receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Using the Pentecost account in Acts chapter two, they concluded that speaking in tongues was the confirmation of receiving the Holy Spirit . Thus the Pentecostal movement began during the first days of 1901 just as the world entered the Twentieth Century. The first person to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit was Agnes Ozman , one of Parham's Bible School students – she spoke in tongues on the very first day of the new century, January 1st, 1901. According to J. Roswell Flower, the founding Secretary of the Assemblies of God , Ozman’s experience was the “touch felt round the world,” an event which “made the Pentecostal Movement of the Twentieth Century.”2

It was not until 1906, however, that Pentecostalism achieved worldwide attention through the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles led by the African-American preacher William Joseph Seymour . He learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a Bible school that Parham conducted in Houston, Texas in 1905. Invited to pastor a black holiness church in Los Angeles in 1906, Seymour opened the historic meeting in April 1906 in a former African Methodist Episcopal church building at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los Angeles.3

What happened at Azusa Street has fascinated church historians for decades and has yet to be fully understood and explained. For over three years, the Azusa Street “Apostolic Faith Mission” conducted three services a day, seven days a week, where thousands of seekers received the Holy Spirit. Word of the revival was spread abroad through The Apostolic Faith, a paper that Seymour sent free of charge to some 50,000 subscribers. From Azusa Street the revival spread throughout the United States, Europe, and eventually Africa. People from different places who were present at Azusa carried its message back to their churches and countries.4

Pentecostalism arrived in Sweden in November 1906 with the first missionary to depart from the Azusa Street movement of Los Angeles, a Swedish citizen named Andrew G. Johnson. He began his work in his hometown of Skövde in south western Sweden, where the “Upper Room” of the Elim Church gradually became a centre for the revival. The evangelist Johnson, like other emissaries from Azusa Street, traveled indefatigably from place to place and in a few months had spread the ‘Pentecostal fire’ from Skövde to Örebro, Stockholm, Gothenburg and a number of other places.5

In 1910, the Seventh Baptist Congregation, also called the Philadelphia Church (Filadelfiakyrkan), was founded in the capital (Stockholm). A young pastor named Lewi Pethrus was soon established himself as a leading preacher with strong ties to the New Movement. He established strong relationship with the Norwegian leader T. B. Barratt. Pethrus soon also presented a challenge to the other six established Baptist congregations in Stockholm and in 1913 he and the Philadelphia congregation were expelled from the Baptist Association.6 The congregation had practiced “open communion,” which in practice meant that they had celebrated Holy Communion with other baptized believers, regardless of their membership. As a result of the expulsions, the Stockholm congregation became a symbol of “the persecuted believers in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and stronger ties with other “free” congregations, such as the ones in Adelöv or Skövde, were established.7 Through a series of other expulsions and splits, a new identity naming themselves ‘Pentecostals’ emerged and served to unite free congregations within the New Movement, which in due course were also identified by others collectively as the “Pentecostal movement.”8

All Pentecostal denominations have retained an interest in overseas missions. Up until the 1980s, missionary work expanded until around 100 countries were reached by over 1,000 Swedish Pentecostal missionaries.9 According to Jan-Åke Alvarsson, “Tanzania is the country that has received more Swedish Pentecostal missionaries than any other country in the world.”10 Since then, the character of the movement’s activities has changed, however, from being missionary-centered to that of a cooperative enterprise, building relations with Pentecostal churches all over the world.11

The Pentecostal movement is by far the largest and most important religious movement of the twentieth century. Beginning in 1901 with only a handful of students in a Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, the number of Pentecostals steadily increased throughout the world. During the Twentieth Century until by 1993 they had become the largest family of Protestants in the world.12 It was estimated that in year 2018 Pentecostalism had some 683 million adherents in the world.13 This number was about a quarter of the world’s Christians. This figure is predicted to rise to 796 million adherents by year 2025.14

It is argued that Pentecostal movement is a growing and increasingly active global development actor. This is evidenced by the fact that “it has a strong web of local congregations and is increasingly connected internationally. It has a solid compassion for poverty reduction and social justice and a potential to contribute in the thinking on wholistic engagement in local communities.”15 Pentecostal churches have been successful in mobilizing and empowering people on the grassroots level in the society. Mikael Jagerskog states that Today you’ll find Pentecostals on various positions in the societies and not seldom in top positions such as in Ethiopia with its prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, a devout Pentecostal that was sworn in during 2018. globally, different parts of the Pentecostal movement run TV-channels and radio-stations, start social development programs, engage with humanitarian assistance, run schools and health clinics, conduct programs for HIV/AIDS-patients, work for women empowerment, engage in peace building initiatives, are in inter-faith initiatives, are mentors to presidents, and in many places fill up football stadiums when meeting up for annual meetings or prayer meetings.16

This indicates that the Pentecostal movement is vital and is succeeding in reaching the society. Its impact in the societies is significant and goes beyond the local grassroots level. Its impact is also evident to its global networks. It appears that many expressions of Christianity today are also becoming pentecostalized. This means that many churches are inspired by the charismatic expressions and style of Pentecostal church life. Therefore, Pentecostalism is adapted by more traditional churches. “In many countries, such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Burundi, Rwanda, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Korea, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria, Pentecostalism is gradually becoming the most common expression of Christianity.17

1.1.2. Description of FPCT and TPBC

The Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT) was founded in 1932 by the missionaries ordained and sent out to Tanganyika by the Pentecostal Churches in Scandinavia under the auspices and name of Swedish Free Mission (SFM).18 The Swedish Free Mission was incepted in Tanganyika at Nzega district, in Tabora region, by the early Missionary pioneers commissioned by the Swedish Free Mission in Stockholm, Sweden for the purposes of planting local churches and performing social work.19 Their mission was to plant churches in Tanzania (Tanganyika by then) and minister to people with social needs. The Swedish Free Mission was incorporated as a Mission Society in 1955 under the Laws of Tanganyika for reasons aforesaid.20

After Tanganyika’s political independence in 1961, the Swedish Free Mission volunteered to hand over the portfolio and did establish a Trust and executed a transfer of the Mission properties and those of individual missionaries, to the Trustees of the Pentecostal Churches Social Association in Tanzania (PCSAT) or its Kiswahili translation “Chama cha Ujamaa cha Makanisa ya Pentekoste katika Tanzania” (CUMPT). The said PCSAT registered a Trust on 9/5/1964 to manage the Trust properties thereof in accordance with a Trust Deed and Constitution under which the local Churches were run and also under a common Constitution for the Association under which the local Churches were associated. The said PCSAT was registered as a “Society” under the Societies Ordinance and registration No. S.O. 535 on 20/7/1967. The said PCSAT changed its name to be the Pentecostal Churches Association in Tanzania (PCAT/UMPT) and changed its registration number to be S.O. 6640 on the 29/1/1986.21

The concept of “membership” as constituted by the said Association of local churches under PCAT was replaced by the more doctrinal concept of membership within the spiritual Body of Christ. On the 9/12/2000 the registered name changed from Pentecostal Churches Association in Tanzania (PCAT/UMPT) to “The Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania,” also known by its acronym of “FPCT.” A new constitution was also adopted on that date. PCAT changed its name to be the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT). Local Churches recognized and those to be recognized later by the FPCT Central Board according to this constitution were united together and called the “Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania.” The Swedish Free Mission (SFM) no longer exists in Tanzania as such and all its properties, assets, objectives and functions were legally assumed by PCAT which is now known as FPCT.22

The vision of the FPCT is to be a self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating church working in unity as a sign of unity in Christ. The mission of the church is to preach and spread the gospel of Christ by words and deeds, to make disciples of all those who believe, and in that way, fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.23 The FPCT is also involved in social services in the society such as health services, education services, and relief services. The FPCT church is spread in all districts of Tanzania reaching many sub-districts and villages. It has also managed to cross borders and plant churches in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Sudan. Efforts are underway to reach other nations. The Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania has around 500,000 registered members today and new churches are still being planted. There are more than 237 mother churches, 953 parishes, and 4,761 branches. There are more than 3000 ordained pastors, 2,737 church elders and other 13,663 church ministers. FPCT’s network of mission work is spread all over the country including in the Isles (Zanzibar and Pemba). In some of the regions such as Singida region and Kigoma region the number of church members is large and the church is found in almost every village. The spread of FPCT in such a way is one of the dynamics of the church of Christ in the world.24

Tazengwa Pentecostal Bible College (TPBC) is a faith-based, theological school of the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT), which was established in 2005 by the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT). The researcher and author of this study is the principal of that college. TPBC in this research has assisted him in the data collection process.

1.1.3. Description of EHBC and PTC

The name of the Ethiopian church included in the study is the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church (EHBC), which means Light of Life Church. It was founded by Swedish missionaries 1960 in the southern regional capital Awassa. Today, the head quarter is placed in the capital Addis Ababa, with the theological college in the same property. The denomination has around 3.5 million adherents.25 Pentecostal Theological College (PTC) is also a faith-based theological institution of the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church (EHBC). Mr. Bahru Kassa is the principal of that college and he has assisted in the data collection process of this research.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Much need to be done to improve the state of the world, and many actors are working for this in different ways. Through the United Nations (UN), the efforts towards a better world have been formulated in the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, covering fundamental areas and emphasizing the need for global cooperation. There is a consensus in that the UN budget alone will never be enough to reach the goals and that there is a need for interaction among many different partners and actors if we should truly obtain a change.

A big portion of the actors that could contribute to the fulfillment of the Global Goals are faith based, and the majority of the world’s population is religious. Among the religious groups, Pentecostalism is the fastest growing and probably among the strongest social movements in the world. There is an immense opportunity here to use the power of these churches and support them to be change agents in the society where they are situated. However, in order to do so, one will need to understand how these groups function, how they construct their daily life and how they perceive the different aspects of the Global Agenda. The aim of this study is to research Pentecostal churches as faith based organizations in Tanzania and Ethiopia. The study is interested in understanding the relationship between Pentecostal churches and the Tanzanian and Ethiopian societies, with a special focus on three of the goals in the Global Agenda: conflicts, gender equality, and environment. A specific question or problem that this study will be seeking to answer or solve is: “What is the motivation for the church to be a part of peace building and conflict solving, gender equality issues, and environmental care?” By this it means how the church is called to internal deals with gender issues, peace building, and environmental care.

1.3. Purpose of Study

The main purpose of this study is to better know the Pentecostal churches regarding their practical theology, their views, position, and action on thematic areas of gender equality, peace building, and environmental care. The study aims at understanding how these Pentecostal churches/movements can be mobilized for sustainable change in the society. An equally important purpose of this study is to use the experiences of this study, and the relationships and platforms that are established as a result of it, for future studies. In summary, this research is conducted to achieve the following objectives:

1. Deepened understanding of how Pentecostals in Tanzania and Ethiopia are motivated by their faith to act for social justice;
2. A deepened understanding about how to mobilize the Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia for increased gender equality, peaceful societies and environmental care;
3. Through the understanding of Pentecostal churches in Ethiopia and Tanzania, consider what can be applied for Pentecostalism’s views and understanding on gender equality, peaceful societies and environmental care; and
4. Establish new opportunities and platforms for further research on Pentecostalism and development.

1.4. Research Questions and Hypotheses

This study analyzes the relationship between Pentecostal churches and the Tanzanian and Ethiopian societies, with a special focus on three of the goals in the Global Agenda: conflicts, gender equality, and environment. The guiding research questions are:

1. How do Pentecostal churches understand their role in society?
2. How do they understand their role in the fields of conflict, gender, and environmental issues?
3. How can their understanding of these fields help them to be change agents in their societies?

A hypothesis is defined as “the tentative prediction of outcome of the results. It is the statement of the expected results.”26 Hypotheses can be stated in two ways: null or research hypotheses and alternative hypotheses.27 While a null hypothesis is a one that is stated in negation, i.e., it indicates “no” relationship between the variables, an alternative hypothesis is stated to indicate the actual expectation or relationship.28 This study utilizes the alternative hypothesis. The study seeks to research the relationship between the FPCT and the Tanzanian society and the EHBC and the Ethiopian society with a special focus on conflicts and peace building, gender equality, and environmental care. It aims at understanding the role of the Pentecostal churches in the two countries in mobilizing sustainable change in their societies. Therefore, in this research, it is proposed to test the hypothesis that if, they implement their theology, Pentecostal churches have a good potential to be important change agents in their societies.

1.5. Significance of the Study

The hope is that this study will generate a report with academic quality building on the empirical data from the field which can be used for learning and advocacy work in Tanzania and Ethiopia. The study will also create learning opportunities for all concerned stakeholders in research and advocacy work.

1.6. Limitations of Study

The research was carried out in Tanzania and Ethiopia. Its focus was also limited to Pentecostal churches in the two countries. In Tanzania, the study was conducted with members from the Free Pentecostal Churches of Tanzania (FPCT). In Ethiopia, the study was conducted with members from the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church (EHBC). Focus group interviews and the semi-structured questionnaire were used to answer the research question. The responses were also subject on the personal knowledge and experience of the respondents with regards to how Pentecostal churches are viewing and acting on issues relating to peace, gender equality and environment. These and other confounding circumstances may limit objectivity of the results. The findings might therefore not be similarly applicable to other countries and other churches. The research is of course too limited to draw any general conclusions, but the theories used in the study confirm the results of the research. It would be of great interest to further deepen this kind of research.

2.CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE

2.1. Introduction

Chandran defines literature review in the context of a research as simply relating the already acquired and available knowledge from other existing sources to the current research.29 This chapter represents literature review drawn from various studies on the relationships between the Church and the society. It discusses the theological perspectives on church and society and presents exegetical and hermeneutical lacunae in treatments of biblical issues related to gender, peace building, and environment care.

2.2. Theological Perspectives on Church and Society

The world is becoming more and more a kind of a global village, but there are still significant differences in the way people view society in different parts of the world. In this section, some important theoretical framework will be presented. First, the study looks at the Western secularized understanding of the world in a global perspective. Secondly, it presents Stanley Hauerwas’ and Willimon H. Willimon’s theory on the relation between Church and society.

2.2.1. Secularization and the global agenda

The secularization thesis has been highly influential in the world. Described shortly, it represents the idea that if a country becomes more developed, this will result in a decrease in religious influence, both regarding religious affiliation and cultural influence.30 The logic behind this is a theory of supply and demand: it could be expected that economic growth will lead to a lower demand of religious ideas and influence.

The political scientists Ronald Ingelhart and Pippa Norris are responsible for the global study known as World Value Survey. They claim that the secularization thesis still holds scrutiny, but it must be slightly adjusted. They add two axioms to the thesis: first the security axiom, and secondly the axiom of cultural traditions. According to the security axiom, a nation with a high degree of security in terms of economy, regulations, government and environment will experience a decline in religious affiliation.31 The axiom of cultural tradition has to do with the prevalence of for example a religious culture, or other ideologies.32 It is assumed that if a society has been influenced, for example, by a protestant church, Protestantism as a culture will remain influential even when people are no longer actively practicing their religion. Instead of being transmitted through churches, the values connected to the religion in question will instead be transmitted through schools and mass media. Ingelhart and Norris claim that these two axioms explain why secularization is increasing in the northern part of the world, while religious values still are prevailing in the southern hemisphere, possibly even more than before.

[D]ue to demographic trends in poorer societies, the world as a whole now has more people with traditional views than ever before – and they constitute a growing proportion for the world’s population. Rich countries are secularizing but they contain a dwindling share of the world’s population; while poor societies are not secularizing, and they contain a rising share of the world’s population.33

These two axioms can help us understand the cultural gap between the Western part of the world and the global South. The gap is about financial resources as well as the cultural context. Poorer countries often have a higher degree of insecurity than richer countries. The insecurity results in a higher affiliation to religious groups than in countries with more financial resources. Ingelhart and Norris conclude that “the expanding gap between the sacred and the secular societies around the globe will have important consequences for world politics, raising the role of religion on the international agenda.”34 This conclusion, although not yet confirmed, raises concerns about a cultural clash over values. Poorer countries in the global South will not easily accept values from richer countries in the West, since their religious affiliation results in other values – values that will have prevailing influence in the years to come. This difference makes it even more important to take the religious world view into consideration for the implementation of the Global Agenda.

Auli and Mika Vähäkangas refer to this problem in their article Religious Communities – a resource or a liability for development? 35 They claim that some values that are promoted by the West are seen by many in the global South as foreign values that would destroy the local culture. This is reasonable given Ingelhart’s and Norris’ theory of the security and cultural axioms. In this perspective, is it likely that the Global Agenda 2030 can also be understood as promoting Western values. It is therefore important to understand how religious communities such as Pentecostal churches perceive the Global Agenda 2030.

Vähäkangas and Vähäkangas write that in the global South, a person is much more likely to be viewed in the frame of a community.36 This does not necessarily mean that people in the South are more part of an anonymous collective than people in the global North, but rather that they see the individual primarily as part of a specific community. In a Western context, the individual is often the focal point in his or her own right. However, the Jewish scholars Daniel and Jonathan Boyarin claim that this Western view is just another kind of collective identity, that is, the idea of the autonomous individual which becomes a value that is held by the Western society as a collective.37 One interesting thing with relevance to this article is that even though Pentecostal churches in the southern part of the globe do emphasize personal conversion, it seems that communality is still central to them, but it is connected to a new kind of family and belonging.38 It is therefore important that change in a society must come from a communal understanding rather than being directed to the individual. How is this applicable when it comes to change in a society with reference to the Global Agenda 2030? How could the engagement in society be viewed from a theological perspective in the context of a faith-based community such as Pentecostal churches?

2.2.2. Theories of Church and society

One of the most well-known theories of Church and society is Richard H. Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture. 39 It has had an enormous influence on theologians and ethicists since its publication in the 1950s. Niebuhr’s theology has several advantages but also some flaws. One of its more important insights is that the political view affects theological convictions. Niebuhr also accurately suggests that Church cannot reject or escape culture but is always a part of it. One of the most problematic aspects in his theory is that it presents an either-or situation: either, Church must accept what happens in society or it must reject it. That is a false opposition. A better way to treat the relation between Church and society have been put forward by the American ethicist Stanley Hauerwas and the Methodist priest William H. Willimon.40 They claim that there are three ways in which the Church has been present in society through history: (1) The Activist Church, (2) the Conversionist Church, and (3) the Confessing Church.41 The Activist Church is characterized by a belief that radical change in society is possible, and that the Church should work through human organizations: “It [Church] calls on its members to see God at work behind the movements for social change so that Christians will join in movements for justice wherever they find them.”42 God is seen as acting behind the scenes through the progressive forces in society, and the Church should be a part of these forces. The Activist Church tends to have a positive view of the possibility for change in society and its primary engagement takes place through already existing political structures.

The Conversionist Church tends to have a negative view of the possibility for change in society. It doesn’t matter how much the church works with the political structures; it will not stop the effects of human sin. Involvement in political activities becomes secondary, or at best a spin-off of converted individual. The individual must be converted, and the society will change only if more people become Christians. The political structures are therefore not a matter of priority for the Conversionist Church.

The Confessing Church is an alternative to the other two. This alternative rejects the conversionists’ emphasize on the individual as well as the activists’ focus on the progressive forces within society. “The Confessing Church finds its main political task to lie, not in the transformation of individual hearts or the modification of society, but rather in the congregation’s determination to worship Christ in all things.43 This does not mean that they reject personal conversion or the work for a better society. According to this group, personal conversion leads to participation in a visible Christian community – a community that can work together with other organizations in society, but that always have the eyes on what the faith leads them to do. ”It seeks to influence the world by being the Church.”44 This should certainly not be understood as a withdrawal from the world, but as another kind of engagement which creates alternative political structures.

2.2.3. Pentecostalism and social engagement

Pentecostalism is described as one of the largest Christian groups, and the fastest growing. Although with big internal differences, it is a specific entity with a strong focus on experiential spirituality, conversional Christianity and high expectations on supernatural experiences.45 The different Pentecostal groups are often divided into three categories: Classical Pentecostals, Charismatics and independent Pentecostal churches.46 This study is working with two denominations within the Classical Pentecostalism. In the steps of the growth of the movement, even the scholarly interest has been increasing and today Pentecostalism is a major field for academics, both theologians and social scientists. This study is not about defining Pentecostalism, but aims to analyze the social engagement and impact of this group. For that purpose, five perspectives of the study of Pentecostalism will be introduced.

The first perspective is taken from the Harvard professor Harvey Cox. He wrote the groundbreaking book Fire from Heaven in 1994.47 After having predicted the decline of the Christian Church, he admitted that he had been wrong and wrote about the globally fast-growing Pentecostalism. Among many other things, Cox is mentioning two aspects that are interesting for his study. The first one is contextualization. Pentecostalism must be understood in its context. It is described as a religion made to travel, meaning that out of a core of values, Pentecostalism seems to take shape in its context. It is one type of Christianity with many different forms.48 The second one is Cox’s way of describing Pentecostalism as primal spirituality. Pentecostalism has all the signs of a formal religion with structure, doctrinal statements, rituals and so on, but Cox means that the essence of Pentecostalism has reached beyond confessions and ceremonies to a primal faith. He talks about speaking in tongues as the holy breaking of the barriers of the language, a spirituality blurring the border between cognitive and emotional and an eschatology where the future hope is present.49

If Cox is right, then we need to study the core of Pentecostalism beyond the written documents and the formal statements and structures. We need to dig into empirical material close to the lived religion. We also need to understand both the contextual dimension and the fluid nature of Pentecostalism, a religion based on experiences of the holy in the ordinary world and the personal spirituality expressed in the communal life lived in this world. If we want to take the specific identity of Pentecostals seriously, we cannot use a formal religious framework and impose it on people’s reality. Instead, we must develop our knowledge in cooperation with practitioners in each context.

The second perspective on Pentecostalism is brought in by the two scholars Donald Miller and Tetsauno Yamamori in the book Global Pentecostalism. They asked missiologists around the globe for churches with a strong social engagement and discovered that over 80% of these churches were charismatic. They also saw that not all Pentecostals were socially engaged and used the term “progressive Pentecostals” for the ones that were. They argued that these churches of progressive Pentecostals deliberately offered a new self-understanding with dignity to people living in poverty. This was based on a theology where God is the owner of the world, mankind created in His image and the life, with all its hardship, can be lived in the presence and victory of God.50 Miller and Yamamori argue that the social engagement is not based in programs or in the task to solve a social problem. For the progressive Pentecostals, social engagement is founded in theology and religious experience. These groups experience the holy primarily in communal worship and personal prayer. The encounter with the holy enforces action in both personal piety and service for others. Miller and Yamamori see a development where the Pentecostal groups are enlarging the arena for their social action, not abandoning the task to ease the individual suffering, but expanding into more structural arenas like politics and advocacy. For progressive Pentecostals, this is not about being political but to put their faith into practice in a new and broader scale. To summarize their findings, the progressive Pentecostals shape their social engagement in the light of worship and lived religion.51

The third perspective brought into consideration is taken from the American sociologist Elisabeth Brusco and her study from Colombia, The reformation of Machismo. It is a well-known phenomenon that many groups in evangelical Christianity show a social upward mobility. From a Weberian perspective, this is based in theological convictions, a modest lifestyle and possibly an interplay with international capitalism. Brusco is arguing that the new conversional lifestyle is instead redirecting the income back into the household and thereby raising the living standard for women and children. One interesting aspect of Brusco’s analysis is the faith-based liberation for women. She is showing that the new conversional logic of life gives women a dignity founded in the religious value system. Women are viewed as created in the image of God, liberated by the power of God and filled with a new life by the presence of God through the indwelling Spirit. With this new identity, women are much better off to take leadership position in both families, church and society. Brusco is pointing out a social reformation from below or from within that is giving men, women, and children an opportunity to form new roles and new identities. This can in the long run lead to sustainable structural changes in society.52

Dena Freeman, a British social-anthropologist at London School of Economics, brings in the fourth perspective to this study. Her research in Africa shows both the logic and the effectiveness of different groups working with community development. Her analysis is that some Pentecostal groups are “rather more effective change agents than are development NGOs“ based on structural economic theories. The study is done on empirical material from Ethiopia and the result cannot be generalized. However, her analysis of the inner logic of the power for development, can be generalized. Freeman is putting together a chain of interdependent factors in the process of development. The personal conversion, transformation and empowerment is both individual and communal. This experience is connected to the behavioral change and moral legitimacy of the group. Even if the new conversional behavior is clashing with traditional values, the Church is offering a new worldview and a framework for the social change. This kind of interpersonal community is shown to be essential for the sustainability of personal transformation and can even be a power to structural, economic and political development.53

As already mentioned, the academic interest in Pentecostalism has exploded in the last decade. The first studies were mostly interested in historical aspects of the origin and development of the movement.54 Today many scholars from social science are working with Pentecostalism to understand its impact on the field of Humanities.55 In this field, the interest of Pentecostalism is growing rapidly.

Within the field of theology, the interest in Pentecostalism as a social change agent has been weaker. One of the pioneers is the American theologian Douglas Petersen with his groundbreaking book Not by Might nor by Power. 56 The fifth perspective in this article is that in recent years, theologians have been engaged in developing a theology for social change. Among them, Amos Yong with In the days of Caesar is important. Yong places Pentecostalism in relation to other political theologies and shows that a Pentecostal contribution must take the starting point in the theological distinctives of the movement.57 Most recently, the two volume work The Holy Spirit and Social Justice has been published.58 The different articles are elaborating on Pentecostalism as a social reform. Two major things are obvious in that study: the empowering experience of the Sprit is seen as the driving force, and a radical holistic view on the message is the framework. Together this concept of Pentecostalism is forming a strong theological motivation for the Church to be a socially engaged change agent in the world.

2.3. Exegetical and Hermeneutical Lacunae in Treatments of Biblical Issues Related to Gender, Peace Building, and Environmental Care

2.3.1. Gender

Definition

Gender can be defined to refer to “the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.”59 It is the cultural and social understanding of the biological differences between men and women. This means that gender is based on ideas about how we should be as men and women. Tracy Ore believes that “gender is constantly created and re-created out of human interaction, out of social life, and is the texture and order of that social life. It is a human production that depends on everyone constantly doing gender.”60 This means that human beings in their daily activities and interaction do gender without thinking about it.

Uniqueness of men and women

The Scripture teaches about the uniqueness of men and women. Both men and women have been made in the image and likeness of God. Genesis 1:26-27 records, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Thus humans are different from other created beings like animals. Both man and woman are equally made in the image of God. Both are blessed by God, told to multiply and subdue the earth, and given stewardship over creation. They have the same relationship to God and to nature. According to Bonnidell Clouse and Robert Clouse, this principle can be termed as “ontological equality or equality in being.”61

Differences between men and women

While created in the image and likeness of God with equality of worth and value, men and women are different by design and function. God created male and female equally with only a functional differentiation in the sense that they have different obligations. The male person, for instance, is the head of the household and should care for the family (Eph. 5:23). Some of the differences between man and woman result from biological differences. “The physical differences between the sexes show that God designed their roles in society to be different. A man, for example, cannot bear children. Thus, such differences are not a product of the Fall to be redeemed; they are part of the created order to be nurtured.”62 Other effects may be from birth order, the influence of parents, cultural conditioning by society, level of education, or other factors such as the interaction with those who have some type of influence on one’s personal life. However, the differences between the man and the woman were intended to be complementary, not supplementary. It was not good for a man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). This was an indication of man’s dependence on or need for woman. The man was alone, which meant that a part of humanity was lacking. Therefore God created a helper fit for the man, the woman. “The help for the man would therefore designate what was lacking, necessary for completion. The functional differences, therefore, that distinguish man from woman are in no way to be construed as superior or inferior but as complementary.”63 Bonnidell Clouse and Robert Clouse state that “Though the way the woman was created does not indicate inferiority, it does indicate a difference in function. The woman is functionally subordinate to her husband. She was created to help her husband and her function is dependent on him.”64

Women in the Old Testament

There are many biblical examples of women who took various roles in their communities.

Right from the Pentateuch, women are full members of the community. According to T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Of the 187 chapters that comprise the Pentateuch, 107 (or 57 percent) have some direct mention of a woman or women.”65 Much of the material within the Pentateuch relates to the whole Israelite community of men, women, and children. Women were as much a part of God’s chosen people as the men; they joined in worship; and they received blessings. They were also involved in musical aspects of worship (Exodus 15:20-21). Both men and women were involved in the craft work necessary for the construction of the sanctuary (Exodus 35-36). Deuteronomy 12:12 and 14:26 speak of whole families involved in sacrifices and sacrificial feasts.

From early on, women were affirmed as leaders. Miriam is a good example. She is portrayed as a leader (Num. 12:15). She was a prophetess who played a major role in the Exodus; she led worship singing and dancing. She is commended as “a prophet sent by God to join her brothers in leading Israel out of Egypt and redeeming them from the land of slavery. Her memory is celebrated by the community of faith for the leadership she provided at this crucial juncture in Israel’s history.”66 During the period of the Judges, Deborah assumed a variety of leadership roles, including prophet (Judges 4:4, 6-7), judge (4:5), who led Israeli troops into battle with Barack, and mother of Israel (Judges 5:7). The book of Judges reveals that Deborah was the only woman among the twelve judges in Israel, living in a male dominated culture and whose achievement indicates that women can provide leadership. She was the only judge out of the twelve who was also a prophetess. Like other prophetesses in Scripture, Debora performed prophetic functions such as speaking for God, foretelling, and urging Barack to action. Similarly, Hulda was a prophetess during the reign of Josiah. She provided leadership during the time that prophets Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Nahum, and Habakkuk were active (2 Kings 22:13-14). Anna was a prophetess (Luke 2:36-38). These women were divinely called to lead, were affirmed by their religious communities, and were specifically recorded in Scripture as part of God’s revealed truth.

A Case of the five daughters of Zelophehad

Numbers 27:1-11 narrates the successful resolution of a legal dispute regarding the inheritance of land by the five daughters (Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah) of the man named Zelophehad. Zelophehad had died without leaving a son as a male heir. The decision affirms the important value of maintaining land with each family so that the economic base for each family is secured for the future. The daughters expressed concern for the preservation of their father’s name and their own inheritance claims. The daughters, who are mentioned by name four times in the Scripture (Numbers 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; and Joshua 17:3), posed a keen legal question of what should happen to a father’s patrimony if he died without a male heir. This question was immediately recognized as one likely to occur in the future and affect subsequent generations. The women presented their petition in a public setting and used cogent arguments (Num. 27:3-4). Upon hearing their arguments, Moses did not choose to decide their question on his own, but instead he chose to seek the Lord (Num. 27:5). The Lord answered on the side of the daughters by telling Moses “You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relations and turn their father’s inheritance over to them” (Num. 27:7).

In Numbers chapter 36, the same daughters through the family heads of the clan of Gilead, asked Moses about marriage partners for them. The Lord again provided guidance. The Lord commanded Moses to tell the leaders of Gilead that the daughters of Zelophehad could marry whom they pleased within the tribal clan of their father (Num. 36:6). The Lord further stated that no inheritance was to pass between tribes, which means no inheritance was to pass from tribe to tribe; but that each Israelite was to have the tribal land inherited from his forefathers (Num. 36:7-9). The text recounts that the daughters followed the Lord’s command and married within their father’s clan (Num. 36:12). This action ensured that Zelophehad’s name would not be lost in Israel. These noble women, who were concerned for their father’s name and their own place in the land, obeyed the Lord. They fought for their rights to maintain their equity in the society but in the right way.

The specific case of Zelophehad’s daughters and its relation to women’s roles in the church shows that God wants the gifts He has given to women to be valued among his people, the church, and in society. The ruling in favor of Zelophehad’s daughters applied to other Israelite women as well. “The daughters showed notable exegetical ability in presenting their case. Jewish tradition praises them for their virtue and the care they showed in choosing husbands. The youngest, for example, did not marry until aged forty, when she found a worth husband.”67

Women in the New Testament

The New Testament makes it plain that Christian women, like men, have been given spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11). The women among Jesus’ disciples were enabled for witness just as men were (Acts 1:8, 14-15; 2:17-18). Most women named by Apostle Paul in his epistles were church leaders with different roles. These include Phoebe (Rom. 16:1-2), Andronicus and Junia (Rom. 16:7), Prisca (Rom. 16:3-5; 2 Tim. 4:19), and Nympha (Col. 4:15). In 1 Timothy 3:8-11, Paul mentions the same qualifications for both women and male deacons. “That Paul is speaking of women in a recognized leadership role (1 Tim. 3:11) is apparent not only from the listing of credentials but also from the fact that these credentials are duplicates of those listed for male deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-10.”68 Paul uses exactly the same language of colleagues in ministry be they male or female. “There is no indication that men and women functioned within any hierarchical leadership framework in the New Testament church.69

Women were very active in the missionary enterprise of the early church: Lydia was a business woman, who became a central leader in the Philippian Church. Priscilla helped Paul establish churches at Corinth and Ephesus (Acts 18:1-3). She was a teacher who corrected Apollo’s preaching (Acts 18:26). It appears to be Priscilla, rather than her husband, Aquila, who led in such ministry roles as explaining the way of God to the eloquent Apollos (Acts 18:26). Phoebe was a deacon and was commended by Paul for her service to the church (Rom. 16:1-2). Euodia and Syntyche were church workers who worked beside Paul telling the Good News (Phip. 4:2-3). Junia was an apostle (Rom. 16:7); and other women were prophetesses (1 Cor. 11:5).

Jesus’ treatment of women

Jesus’ treatment of women represents a radical break with the Jewish cultural tradition of His time. Jesus knowingly overthrew custom when he allowed women to follow him. The presence of women in the inner circle of Jesus’ followers was an unprecedented happening in the history of that time. The encounters of Jesus with women illustrate not only his respect for them as persons but also his appreciation for their intelligence, service, and faith. His conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-30) shows his willingness to dismiss the cultural conventions of his time. Jesus’ encounter with a Canaanite woman provides another example of his appreciation for women’s intellectual and spiritual capabilities (Matt 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30). Other encounters of Jesus with women further demonstrate his appreciation for their faith and love (Mark 5:25-34; Luke 7:36-50). The encounter with the repentant woman at the home of Simon is most revealing of a woman's faith and love in action (Luke 7:36-50). “Undoubtedly, Jesus treated women as they should be treated – as persons of worth, made in the image of God.”70

The role that some women filled in the ministry of Christ is absolutely unique. It is remarkable that while Christ ministered to men, women are shown as ministering to Him. Whenever the Gospels speak of ministry being rendered directly to Jesus, it is the ministry of either angels or women. (This does not imply that all women are angels.) After the temptation “angels came and ministered to him” (Matt 4:11; Mark 1:13). All the other instances speak of the ministry of women. After Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, “she arose, and ministered unto them” (Matt 8:15, KJV). Mention is made of a band of women who followed Christ constantly and who “ministered unto him of their substance” (Luke 8:3). On two occasions it is recorded that Martha served Jesus (Luke 10:40; John 12:2). Jesus treated men and women alike with full seriousness, with no suggestion of discrimination.

Paul’s teaching on equality in Christ

In light of Galatians 3:28, Paul’s declares that in Christ all distinctions are erased. Therefore no one should rebuild the divisions and barriers that Christ broke down. All who have been baptized into Christ are clothed with him, wrapped up in him, and incorporated into him so that Christ becomes one’s primary identity marker. All other identifiers fall away, for “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (3:28).

The Babylonian Talmud includes a morning blessing to be recited by every Jewish man, thanking God for not creating him a gentile, a slave, or a woman.71 While it is not certain that this prayer pre-dates Paul, it demonstrates the power these three categories held in the ancient world. According to Bonnidell and Robert Clouse, “A rabbi could not speak with a woman in public, and it was thought better to burn the Torah than to give it to the woman.72 ” Paul’s declaration that in Christ there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female, is a radical dismantling of these primary identity and boundary markers. Differences in ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status do not magically disappear, of course, but Paul declares them to be irrelevant in the body of Christ. For one to be baptized into Christ means being clothed with Christ and finding one’s primary identity and value in Christ. “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (3:29). All who belong to Christ share fully and equally in the inheritance of God’s promises and the call to live as God’s children and heirs.

Gender in the church

Within the church, this ethical issue of gender is most clearly seen in the question of whether women can be ordained to leadership positions. To be true to the New Testament, the contemporary church needs to honor the varied ministries of women and to encourage women to pursue them. Women, like men, are to use their gifts to minister to the body of Christ (1 Pet. 4:10); their ministries are indispensable to the life and growth of the church (1 Cor. 12:12-26). Specific circumstances in the local church that required Paul to write 1Timothy 2:11-15 should not prevent women from service. For example, Paul wrote 1Timothy 2:11-15 in specific ways. The concern here will not be to generalize those specifics but rather to set out the issues that Paul addressed and those that Christians must consider in the church today. “Viewed in this light, the real issues are not gender but propriety and learning – neither of which need restrain women’s voices in the church today.”73

2.3.2. Peace Building

Meaning

Peace building is a process that starts in within the individual and is connected to how people act. Peace starts in the heart of the individual and expands to the family. “The concept of peace is attached to the concept of justice and is dependent on it. Without justice in society and at the international level, there can be no prospect of real peace.”74 Justice is a sine-qua-non condition of the achievement of real peace. The Hebrew word for “peace” (shalom) abounds in meaning. It signifies “salvation, wholeness, integrity, community, righteousness, justice and well-being.”75 From Psalm 85:10 and James 3:18, we learn that there is no peace without justice and no justice without peace. “Peacemaking is intimately related to setting at liberty those who are oppressed.”76 Christian compassion calls us to be concerned for peace on earth. The church is called to be a caring and sharing community of God’s peace. It is the channel of God’s peace in the family, congregations, communities, and nations.

Righteousness and justice in the Old Testament

The Old Testament declares that the LORD is the God of justice. Deuteronomy, in one of the oldest pieces of poetry in the Bible, the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32, compares the LORD to a Rock, in the strength of his trustworthy justice: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deut. 32:4). Psalm 33:5 affirms that “The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” The root meaning of righteousness is “straight,” which refers to “something fixed, and fully what it should be. So it can mean a norm – something by which other things are measured, a standard.”77 It means “rightness, that which is as it ought to be, that which matches up to the standard.”78 When applied to human actions and relationships, it speaks of “conformity to what is right or expected.”79 Righteousness indicates “right behavior or status in relation to some standard of behavior accepted in the community.”80

Leaders in Israel, at all levels, were charged with the primary function of maintaining or restoring righteousness and justice in their various senses. In the account of the delegation of Moses’ authority to different levels of local leadership in Deuteronomy 1:10-18, the main task laid upon these wise, understanding and respected men was that they should exercise justice with integrity and impartiality, recognizing that they were in fact executing the judgments of the LORD (Deut. 1:15-17). The point is made even more emphatically and rhetorically later in the book: “They shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Deut. 16:18-20). Christopher Wright writes that “Wherever human beings in any culture consider primary ethical concepts, justice will be to the fore.”81 He states: The concern for justice pervades the entire Old Testament. It is found in the historical, legal, prophetic, and wisdom literature, and in the Psalms as well. It is found throughout the entire history of the Old Testament literature. The evidence shows that the concern for justice was one, if not the central, factor by which ancient Israel’s multifaceted societal life was united throughout its historical changes. No sphere of Israel’s life was exempt from concern for justice, and the LORD was known to be at work in all its spheres.82

The Old Testament goes further and shows that when justice is violated and pervasively trampled upon, then the very foundations of livelihood in the society crumble. “If justice perished, the foundations of the whole cosmic order would disintegrate, because justice is fundamental to the very nature of the LORD, the creator of the universe and to the core of God’s government of history.”83 For Israel, then, justice was not an abstract concept or a philosophical definition. “Justice was essentially theological. It was rooted in the character of the LORD, their God; it flowed from his actions in history; it was demanded by his covenant relationship with Israel; it would ultimately be established on the earth only by his sovereign power.”84

The duty of maintaining justice was even more clearly laid on the shoulders of Israel’s kings. David is a good example of kings who established justice and righteousness in his kingdom. He is taken as an exemplary king to be compared to all future kings who reined Israel. The climactic statement about David’s reign is found in 2 Samuel 8:15. It states, “David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.” A better translation of the second clause would be “and he began to establish justice and righteousness for all his people.”85

The Prophets’ methodology

The prophets insisted that those who lived in ways that denied or trampled on justice were not acceptable to God in their worship. Worse, the worship of such people was an abomination to God (Amos 5:21-24; Isaiah 1:10-17; 58:2-7; Jer. 7:1-11). “Righteousness expressed in justice is the indispensable qualification for worship – no justice, no acceptable public religion.”86 The duty of justice to the afflicted was so central that if it was not fulfilled, God would not even accept the divinely ordained sacrifices and worship. When they fail to carry out justice, people do not have the true God as the object of their worship and devotion (Jer. 22:15-16). Justice on earth flows from justice in heaven (Psalm 85:12; Isaiah 45:8). Peace and righteousness are said to kiss one another (Psalm 85:11). God shows himself mindful of the cry of his afflicted and humiliated people. The worship of God becomes fruitless if it is not associated with the practice of justice, ignoring the crude reality of the poor and innocent sufferer in their cry of agony. “Yahweh is hailed as the savior of the oppressed, the liberator God, the guardian of justice, the protector of life.”87

The impact of so much material emphasizing the necessity of doing justice, as a requirement from God, shows that for God, doing justice means particularly attending to the needs of the weak and poor. This is clearest in the prophets. The prophets uncompromisingly adopt an advocacy stance in favor of the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the dispossessed and the victimized, claiming to speak for the God of justice as they do so. The language of the extension of the Lord’s law and justice to the ends of the earth is a repeated theme in Isaiah 42:1-9. “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1). The failure of so many of the historical kings to deliver the justice that was their mandate led, within Israel, to the growing longing for, and predictions of, a future coming son of David. This expected, eschatological king would achieve what the historical kings had failed to – the establishment of justice and righteousness, and by that means alone the reign of genuine peace. “So the messianic hope, found in various strands of the prophetic literature, sees the ultimate achievement of social justice on earth as the work of the eschatological king, the one who would come finally to ‘earth’ the cosmic justice of the LORD.”88 Jeremiah and Ezekiel both declared their hope for a Davidic king, raised up by God. Jeremiah even named him ‘Yahweh our Righteousness’ (Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 34:23-24).

The character of God is shown in Jesus Christ as redemptive, reconciliatory, and peace-making (Matt. 5:9; Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:17-20). Jesus Christ is our peace and the bringer of peace. The epistle to Ephesians heralds the beautiful news that the one who is our peace made peace between bitter enemies, Jews and gentiles, by destroying the dividing wall of hostility (Eph. 2:14). “Reconciliation is more than just a nod to politically correct terminology but joins security and state-building measures as a key element of post-conflict stability.”89 Melanie Garson defines reconciliation as “a process by which parties transform the attitudes underpinning their conflict identities in order to develop new networks and relationships that contribute to sustainable peace.”90 It is the process that allows for the building of new relationships and peaceful relations. In the context of peace-making, “reconciliation constitutes a step beyond conflict resolution.”91

All expressions of conflicts in the society and church must be correctly understood. For example, the root of anger and violence lies in the rebellious state of humanity, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson describe the kind of church that is “willing to step outside the safety net of our church pews and cross the street into real-life, real world acts of service in order to share the truth of Jesus Christ.”92 Building a bridge from the church to the community is possible for a congregation at any stage of life, but not necessarily easy. Jeremiah 29:7 says, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Israel was on the way to exile and the Lord told them to settle down and seek the peace and prosperity of the city. The church can take this as the way they think about themselves. They need to settle and seek the welfare of the community. Just as bridges and cities go together, churches and communities are linked. God’s people are to be connected to the city, the community, and the world. First Peter 2: 11, 12 promise a beautiful view from the summit of the bridge we build to our community and people in need of God’s grace. It records, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which wars against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

Relationship between God and humankind

God’s perfect will for men and women is for them to have a good relationship with them. Jill Southern puts this truth in this way; he states, “God always intended that our primary relationship should be with him. We were created with a God-shaped hole that knows no satisfaction outside of him.”93 This relationship between man and God can be termed as vertical relationship. Southern states, “Our vertical relationship with God is to be one of reconciliation, harmony, and peace through Jesus Christ, where we receive his love.”94 Therefore, it is necessary for Christians to understand that the most important relationship is their involvement with God. This interaction will influence every other relationship that they have. The Christian’s relationships include their relationship with their spouse, children, extended family, the church, and community.

There are various views of how to understand and maintain these relationships, as well as, how to restore those that are strained or broken. “God’s perspective on relationships is very different from a secular or humanistic approach to building and maintaining healthy relationships.”95 Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp highlight the differences in this way: We want to highlight the unique lens God gives his children to look at their lives. This lens will help you make your way through the intersection of sin and grace in relationships. Without it, you will remain naïve or grow cynical. When you face problems, you will be left only with human wisdom and techniques that produce short-term solutions, but can’t promise lasting personal and interpersonal change.96

God’s will is for a man to relate to God as the source of all things. Deuteronomy 6:5 states, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (NIV). Trusting in human wisdom to building and maintaining peace and healthy relationships is not sufficient. Lane and Tripp make a comment, which is especially important to note. “The fatal flaw of human wisdom is that it promises that you can change your relationships without needing to change yourself. When that perspective rules, you end up settling for far less than what God desires for your life and your friendships.”97 They also remark:

When we reflect on Genesis 1-3, it becomes clear that the primary relationship Adam and Eve were intended to enjoy was their relationship with God. This vertical communion with God would provide the foundation for the horizontal community they were to have with each other. Everything God made pointed Adam and Eve to the primacy of their relationship with him. All of creation was to function as an arrow pointing to God.98

Therefore, in any relationship, the first priority should be an established relationship with God, where communication and spiritual relationship form the foundation for all other relationships. While human strategies and techniques are not sufficient in maintaining and restoring broken and strained relationships, “the Bible says something very different. It says that Christ is the only real hope for relationships because only he can dig deep enough to address the core motivations and desires of our hearts.”99 Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) records, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Nieder and Thompson write, “God wants to use you to help the helpless. His heart is revealed in the words of the psalmist: ‘Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the; poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked’ (Ps. 82:3-4).”100

Reconciliation and forgiveness

According to Nieder and Thompson, reconciliation is “the pursuit of peace allowing for the restoration of a relationship according to the will of God. It means to bring into agreement.”101 Walter A. Elwell defines reconciliation as a “change of attitude or relationship. It is where estrangement or enmity is overcome and unity restored.”102 Romans 5:8-11 records: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received the reconciliation. (NKJV)

The Scripture also declares that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). According to David W. Augsburger, reconciliation is “a joint process of releasing the past with its pain, restructuring the present with new reciprocal respect and acceptance, and reopening the future to new risks and spontaneity.”103

The instructional methods used by the prophets

Judaism maintains that God did not only reveal himself to Moses and the people of Israel at Sinai but also he revealed himself at times to other select individuals, the prophets. Prophets characterized the period until after the destruction of the first temple (in 586 B.C.), when prophecy came to an end. Thereafter, states the Talmud “prophecy was given only to fools and children!”104 Prophets, who were also identified as religious educators, emerged at a time when the Hebrew people were in a time of crises. Prophets by definition were “a class of men known as nabiim, or speakers, who uniquely fulfilled the function of uttering the divine will of the people. At times such a one bore the name of roeh, or seer. This speaker or seer is the prophet.”105 They were men and women called and led by God to declare a message to a people.

The prophets used a variety of instructional methods to communicate God’s message to the people. Such techniques used by the prophets included argumentation, exhortation, dialogue, and visions. Those techniques, according to Charles Ashby can be arranged into six categories: object lesson, dramatic approach, direct address, story telling method, written tracts and epistles, and apocalypses.106 In using the object lesson approach, prophets used such objects as garments and wooden yokes while other prophets such as Isaiah went barefoot to give force to their message to target people.

The dramatic approach was closely tied to the object lesson method. Ezekiel used this technique when he cut his hair, scattered a portion of it, beat the rest of it with a sword, and then gathered a few pieces to indicate the very few who would survive the consequences of their perverted actions. The direct address, as a teaching technique, was greatly used by the prophets. Under this teaching technique, there were a number of various teaching methods. These included poetic forms as in Nehemiah 2:1-6, Amos 3:7-8, and Isaiah 40-66; oracles as in Amos 4:1-3; bitter incentive as in Hosea 4:1-2; woes as in Isaiah 5;8-10, 20-23; doom songs as in Isaiah 2:11-13, 17-18; paronomasia as in Micah 1:10-13; argument as in Amos 3:3-6; exhortation as in Jeremiah 3:22a; 4:14a; and monologues as in Jeremiah 8:1-3.

The story method of instruction employed by the prophets used stories that were simply told but dramatically presented the human nature of all generations. Amos 2:10-12 serves as an excellent example of the story method. Although most of the prophets did not write down their own prophecies, however, written tracts and epistles were used by some. Amos appears to be the first to use this method at a time when he had been prevented “by Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, from speaking in public to the men of northern Israel” (Amos 7:10-15). Apocalypsis, as a teaching method, appeared to have been a departure from a personal and human touch to a mystical detachment toward man. Through this method prophets presented their teachings in a symbolic form.

The purpose of the teaching methods was to present God’s message to the people and secondarily, to predict future events. This means that the primary role of the Hebrew prophets was not chiefly to be foretellers of the future. “They acted not so much as predictors of what was to come but primarily as stern guardians of individual and national conduct. They acted as the living Hebrew conscience and as the poets of statesmanship.”107 Their importance is due to the part they played in public affairs and to their service as public teachers. They declared the will of Yahweh to the people; “they entered to the arena of public affairs for the need of religious and social reform.”108

The impact of the teachings of the prophets left a significant mark upon the personal, religious, and social structures of their day. Through their teachings, peoples’ hearts were laid open in order that God might reveal to each individual his true nature and desires. God established the principles of love, mercy, and justice for all people through the teachings of the prophets. Swift states: Through their public addresses and writings they became creators of national religious and social ideals, critics and inspirers of public policies, denunciators of social wrongs, preachers of individual and social righteousness, and the source and channel of an ever loftier conception of Yahweh and of the mission of Israel. They were the public conscience of Israel, the soul of its religion, the creators of public opinion, its most convincing teachers.109

2.3.3. Environment

Beginning from the book of Genesis, the Bible shows that the natural order is fundamentally and in origin good, as the work of the single good God. After creating humans, God charged them to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28). This mandate from God brought humans into a relationship as stewards of the creation and, thus, responsible for the care of the environment.

By definition, “Environment is the space you occupy, your place, your natural and social surroundings.”110 The word environment comes from the French word meaning “circle” or “surroundings.” Thus, The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines environment as “the conditions that surround someone or something; the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, and progress of someone or something.”111 The contemporary society uses the term “environment” to indicate “a whole range of issues which involve the relationships of humankind to the animate and inanimate world.”112 The imperative to care for the environment is one of the ethical issues related to the stewardship of creation.

Stewardship, by definition, “emphasizes our responsibility to the One who is the rightful owner of everything. A steward is not the owner but has been entrusted with the resources of the owner and must give an account to the owner for the way in which those resources have been utilized.”113 It is a word that speaks of the management of things, rather than of caring relationships. The teaching that we are supposed to be stewards of creation points to the fact that we are not owners of the earth. Rather, it has been entrusted to our care by the One who truly owns it. Christians need both love and knowledge to exercise their stewardship of creation. Humankind is directly responsible to God for the use of the earth and its resources. As stewards or tenants, people are responsible for the use they make of property which is not their own.

Other ethical issues related to the stewardship of creation include the issues of wealth and economics. Christopher Wright agrees that land and its resources have become the greatest single cause of strife and warfare. He writes, “Possession of resources, instead of being used as an opportunity for mutual sharing, as of an unmerited gift, has become a matter of conquest and seizure, a tool of oppression, greed and power.”114 The Old Testament portrays the arrogance of kings and emperors who claim the right of ownership over their resources as if they themselves had created them. Ezekiel 29:3 states, “I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, you great monster lying among your streams. You say, ‘The Nile is mine; I made if for myself.’”

The earth is full of God’s glory because what fills the earth constitutes his glory. Psalm 104:23 treats humans simply as one of the many kinds of living creatures for whom God provides. It depicts the world as a shared home for the many kinds of living creatures, each with its God-given place. It states, “Then man goes out of his work, to his labor until evening.” Similarly, Psalm 104:31 puts God’s glory and God’s works of creation in parallelism: “May the glory of the LORD endure for ever; may the LORD rejoice in his works.” Although the earth belongs to God, it was created for humans and exists to serve their needs. Human beings are related biologically and are dependent upon the other aspects of creation for their existence. As such, they must take the stewardship role far more seriously and work to preserve the environment. “Humankind is directly responsible to God for the use of the earth and its resources. As stewards or tenants, people are responsible for the use they make of property which is not their own.”115

Our role within creation

Biblical values are based on relational connections. Human beings have been created as relational beings. They are supposed to experience happiness and self-actualization, while they are establishing relationships with God, other humans, and the entities in the natural world. “The unique role of human beings in nature derives from their unique identity as biophysical beings in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). As biophysical beings, humans are part of the natural world that is their environment; as the image of God they are personally related to the Creator and morally responsible to him for fulfilling their calling in ruling the earth for his glory.”116 Christian responsibility for the environment will not be motivated by the ecological crisis but by each person’s particular relationship with God and the created world, including humankind. As a channel of God’s love, human beings are supposed to take care of the natural world with the same compassion and love that God has shown them. Caring for the created world is based on love toward God, who created the earth and everything in it. God originally designed human beings to develop their characteristics and intelligence in the process of taking care of His world. “God did not place everything under the humanity’s feet to be trampled on. The purpose is to further God’s glory by an intelligent, respectful, obedient governance that images God’s own love and care for the earth.”117 There should be no separation between caring for God’s world and caring for the people whom God entrusted to them. Both ministries are based on compassion and love.

The work of the Spirit of God in the preservation of the created order (a work of providence) is clearly indicated in one primary passage. Psalm 104:30 notes that “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth” (NIV). The context refers to the created order, naming animals in particular, and their need to be preserved and nourished. In context, Psalm 104:30 discusses the role of the Spirit in providential care of the created order (verses 24-30). The ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in sustaining life is in this way highlighted by the Psalmist who “speaks the sober truth of God’s maintenance of all life.”118 Wright believes that Christian environmental involvement can have powerful evangelistic results. He states: We care for creation because God has declared its value to himself, and because we have been instructed to do so as part of our kingly function as the species made in the image of God. Creation care is a fundamental dimension of our humanity, not an optional dimension of our Christianity. In this, as in so much else, to be Christian is to be called to be more human, not to behave as if the first great responsibility that God laid on the human race somehow does not apply to us.119

The apostle Paul finds in God’s earth keeping an evangelistic point of contact. He states, “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17). Jesus incorporates this perspective in his teaching. He speaks of God, the heavenly Father, who shows his love to people without distinction. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45). He recalls how the heavenly Father feeds the birds and clothes the lilies of the field (Matt. 6:26, 28). His eye is on the little birds sparrows, and he cares for them (Luke 12:6).

The fact that human beings have a responsibility to love one another carries the implication that they must take care for the world so that it can continue to provide space and food for people to live. “Responsibility has two sides: we are responsible both to someone and for something. We are responsible to God, Creator of heaven and earth, who is making us responsible to himself. We are responsible for the part of God’s creation over which we human beings can rule.”120 Psalm 24:1 records, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” However, human beings are responsible to take care of the world as they demonstrate their love to God, the Creator. Wright comments: The greatest commandment is that we should love God. This implies that we should treat what belongs to God with honor, care and respect. This would be true in any human relationship. If we love someone, we care for what belongs to them. To love God (even to know God at all, Jeremiah would add, 9:24) means to value what God values. Conversely, therefore, to contribute to, or collude in, the abuse, pollution and destruction of the natural order is to trample on the goodness of God reflected in creation. It is to devalue what God values, to mute God’s praise and to diminish God’s glory.121

The church needs to maintain the biblical mandate for creation care. Human beings alone are created in the image of God and they alone have been given a special dominion or stewardship of the earth (Gen. 1:27-28). Human beings’ position within the rest of the created order is by divine purpose and mandate. God created the humankind with the intention that they should occupy such a position and He equipped them to do so. Human dominion over the rest of creation is to be an exercise that reflects God’s own authority. Wright comments: Care for creation does not need such consequential justification in relation to humanity. It has its own mandate and validity. We care for creation because God has declared its value to himself, and because we have been instructed to do so as part of our kingly function as the species made in the image of God. Creation care is a fundamental dimension of our humanity, not an optional dimension of our Christianity.122

This earth belongs to God; human beings are responsible to Him for the earth. We are stewards of creation, responsible to the Creator for our treatment of the environment. Genesis 2:15 says God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden “to work it and take care for it.” This command has not been canceled since then. Human beings are still being charged to govern the earth responsibly under God’s sovereignty. “Although exiled from the garden for disobedience, humankind is still called to dominion as stewardship. Life may be harsher after the Fall, but that does not justify the reckless disregard of ecology, the delicately balanced interrelationships of the whole natural order.”123 God created the world and took delight in it; He expects the special creatures made in his image and likeness to share this concern. “God’s people are expected to live wisely with renewed minds, and they must surely use their God-given intelligence and insight in doing their work responsibly and in an enlightened manner.”124

2.4. Summary

The study and the findings from the literature review cover much in finding solution to the research problem. The purpose of this study is to research the relationship that exists between the Church and the society. The study seeks to know what is the motivation for the church to be a part of peace building and conflict solving, in gender equality issues, and in environmental care. The aim is to investigate how Pentecostal churches understand their role in society and in what way they can be change agents. Three fields from the UN Global Goals have were chosen as a focus for this study: conflicts, gender, and environment.

In the first part of the literature review, the study and material have been presented together with some theories for a deeper analysis. From the field of social science, scholars like Ingelhart Norris, and Hauerwas Willimon were introduced. From the field of Pentecostal studies, the study has referred to scholars like Miller Yamamori, Freeman, and Brusco. The second part of the literature review has dealt with exegetical and hermeneutical lacunae in treatments of biblical issues related to gender, peace building, and the environment.

The general result of the study is that the Church is and wants to be an active partner in building a good society. The Church discusses fields of both contribution and improvement based on the foundation of faith and with arguments from the Bible. It is obvious that faith comes first and social theory thereafter. If the Church is going to be a change agent in society, there is a need to use the power in the religious logic.

A strong religious foundation is that God reconciled the world and that forgiveness is at the heart of Christian faith. All, men and women, are created in the image of God, saved by an endless grace and filled with the same Spirit. This world is seen as God’s creation and all humans, especially the Church, as God’s stewards in maintaining it. The religious ideals are in place and deepening both the theology, the communication and the implementation is an important task for the Church and for those who want to support it to be a change agent.

When this study is read in the light of some theorists, the perspectives become even clearer. Ingelhart and Norris show that the majority of the world is religious. Hauerwas and Willimon argue that the Church needs to be Church continuously. Freeman shows that the power of Pentecostal action and advocacy both lies in the common faith, and the theological moral legitimacy in the confession of the Church. Brusco shows that the personal conversion and the connected behavioural changes do not only affect the individual and the actual family but has the power to reconstruct society. Miller and Yamamori have found that in many cases, this is already happening in a big group of Pentecostal churches. All this together is very promising and if the Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia get the support to deepen, broaden and implement their theology, they have a good potential to be important change agents in their societies.

3.CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.1. Introduction

The purpose of this study is to research the relationship between the FPCT and the Tanzanian society and the EHBC and the Ethiopian society with a special focus on conflicts and peace building, gender equality, and environmental care. This chapter focuses on the methods and procedures employed in the research. It gives details on how the collected data was analyzed and presented. The research methodology and design was informed by the scope and purpose of the study.

3.2. Research Methodology

According to Paul D. Leedy and Jeane Ellis Ormrod, a research is “a systematic process of collecting and analyzing information (data) in order to increase our understanding of the phenomenon about which we are concerned or interested.”125 Advantages of the research approach include guiding the researcher in various stages of study; helping to structure the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; and enabling the researcher to come up with solutions to the problem.

According to Leedy and Ormrod, research methodologies fall under three categories: qualitative research, quantitative research, and historical research. However, many researchers tend to categorize research studies into two broad categories: quantitative research and qualitative research.126 Qualitative research is a method of inquiry that develops understanding on human and social sciences, to find the way people think and feel. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research. Qualitative research is empirical research where the data are not in the form of numbers. It is used to answer questions about the complex nature of phenomena, often with the purpose of describing and understanding the phenomena from the participants’ point of view.127 Qualitative research encompasses several approaches to research that are, in some respects, quite different from each other. The purpose of qualitative research is therefore to describe, to interpret, to verify, and to evaluate.128

Quantitative research is a research method that is used to generate numerical data and hard facts, by employing statistical, logical and mathematical technique. It is a research method that gathers data in a numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement. This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data. Quantitative research falls under the broad heading of descriptive quantitative research. It involves either identification of the characteristics of an observed phenomenon or exploration of possible correlations among two or more phenomena.129

Research method is not just the research approach, but also how the researcher views the social world. The choice of the research approach was therefore a deliberate attempt to position the study within a particular tradition of social research that revealed the researcher’s own philosophical attitude on epistemology. Considering the investigative nature of this study, qualitative research method was used while a descriptive approach was adopted for data analysis.

3.3. Research Design

Research design is the “complete strategy of attack on the central research problem.”130 It provides the overall structure for the procedures that the researcher follows, the data that the researchers collects, and the data analyses that the researcher conducts.131 The rationale of design in any research lies on its ability to control extraneous variables that in one way or another may affect the result of the study.132

The saying goes, “There are many ways of skinning a goat.” There are so many ways of collecting data. The different ways of collecting data depends on how the researcher designs the study. Generally, there are two broad ways of data collection, namely, quantitative methods and qualitative methods. Quantitative approach utilizes research designs such as survey, evaluation, developmental study, and correlational studies, and experimental methods.133 Qualitative research can be conducted through such research designs as case study, focus group discussion (focus group interview), observation, documentation, ethnography, historical research, grounded theory study, and content analysis.134 When a study is qualitative, it means the data to be obtained are not ordinarily expressed in numerical terms. This does not mean that numerical figures are never used, but that description is emphasized. This study employed the focus group discussion methodology to collect, analyze, and interpret the data.

3.4. Study Area

Several Pentecostal churches and groups exist both in Tanzania and in Ethiopia. In this study, denominations with a strong historical connection to Sweden and the Swedish Pentecostal movement have been chosen. Both denominations can be categorized as classical Pentecostal churches and a majority of their adherents live outside the bigger cities. All the participants in the study have a connection to either one of these two denominations. Both denominations have had a lot of different development projects in cooperation with PMU135 and local Swedish Pentecostal churches.

In Tanzania, the study was conducted with members from the Free Pentecostal Churches of Tanzania (FPCT). The name shows a direct connection to the organizational name of the mission branch of Swedish Pentecostal movement, Swedish Free Mission. The denomination was founded in 1932 by Swedish missionaries and has churches over the whole country with stronghold in the central and eastern rural districts. The denomination has around 450,000 adherents.136

In Ethiopia, the study was conducted with members from the Hiwot Berhan Church (EHBC). The name of the Ethiopian church included in the study, Hiwot Berhan Church (EHBC), means “Light of Life Church.” It was founded by Swedish missionaries 1960 in the southern regional capital Awassa. Today, the head quarter is placed in the capital Addis Ababa, with the theological college in the same property. The denomination has around 3.5 million adherents.137

3.5. Study Population

A population is a group of individuals who have one or more characteristics in common that are of interest to the researcher.138 The population of this study comprised of the four focus groups from each country (Tanzania and Ethiopia): one rural group (RFG), one group of women (WFG), one group of youths (YFG), and one group of bible school/college teachers (TFG). It was decided to complement the focus group interviews with five written interviews (questionnaires) with leaders of the denominations (L). The leaders of both denominations were all men. Sixteen men and seventeen women participated in the Tanzanian focus groups. Seventeen men and ten women participated in the Ethiopian focus groups.

3.6. Sampling Procedures

A sample, on the one hand, is a small group of respondents drawn from a population out of which the researcher is interested in getting information and drawing conclusions. The results obtained from the sample can be used as representative of the entire population.139 The advantages of drawing a sample from a population are that it saves time and expenses in studying the entire population.140 There are about three factors that are taken into consideration in deciding about the sample. These include the availability of the population, methods of sampling to be used, and financial resources. In considering these factors and the nature of the study, the selection of four focus groups from each country was deemed important.

Sampling, on the other hand, is the process of obtaining information about the entire population by examining only part of it.141 Generally, the components of the sample are chosen from the large population by a process known as random selection. Random selection means choosing a sample in such a way that each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected.142 Using simple random procedure, four focus groups from each country were sampled.

The choice to use focus group interviews rather than individual interviews was motivated by the number of informants that could, in this way, be included in the study given the short research period. The small number of focus groups made it impossible to draw any conclusions by comparing the different groups. This was also not the purpose of the study. The idea was rather to gather information from different kind of groups (women, youth, rural population, and Bible School teachers) to get a broader picture of what the Pentecostal churches think.

3.7. Data Collection and Recording

The collection of data for this study was by use of focus group interviews (focus group discussions) and questionnaires. Interviews (discussions) were conducted with questions used to obtain focused and relevant details from the respondents. In Tanzania, the interviews were conducted by the author of this thesis and in Ethiopia by Bahru Kassa. An interview guide was constructed together with Kabarata and Kassa, and several cultural perspectives were discussed. The interviews were conducted in Swahili and Amharic and then translated into English and transcribed.

Interview guides were used to collect information from the informants. A recorder was used to record the interviews. When using a recorder, it was taken into consideration that the recorder can work as an intimidation for the interviewee. To alleviate this, the respondents were assured that the purpose of recording was only to help the researcher recall what was said. They were asked if they accepted to be recorded and if they would feel free to participate and give their comments while being recorded. All respondents accepted.

Translating is of course a methodological problem since the translation in itself is an interpretation, but as mentioned above, conducting the interviews in English would have led to other problems. Translating is of course a methodological problem since the translation in itself is an interpretation, but as mentioned above, conducting the interviews in English would have led to other problems. The transcription was sent to Ulrik Josefsson and Fredrik Wenell in Sweden. They coded the interviews in a computer program (Dedoose) to recognize similarities, trends and overlapping themes. Again, the main focus was not to compare the groups but to see trends and common themes in the groups.

After the process of coding, the analytical process took place. An inductive approach was used to identify certain themes in the interviews. Three areas were identified, which were used to dispose the material. The first area was to look for the theological motivation. What theological motives were used by the informants in relation to conflicts, gender, and environmental issues? The second area was to analyze what the informants saw as the major barriers for the churches to work in these areas. The third area was to look at whether the informants saw any solutions to the respective area.

The result of the analytical process was presented in two documents, one for each country included in the study. They were distributed to a group of leaders and pastors in the two countries, where the results were presented and discussed. This was done in a two days’ seminar in each country. The purpose of the seminars was to let pastors and theologians react to the results, and give some further perspectives. The overall impression was that the seminars confirmed the analysis of the material. The seminar participants contributed with some explanation as well as additions, which are presented in the discussion section of this study to give some further insights in the results.

3.7.1. Focus Group Discussion

Focus group discussion is a technique where a researcher assembles a group of individuals to discuss a specific topic, aiming to draw from the complex personal experiences, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes of the participants through a moderated interaction.143 Focus group discussion is frequently used as a qualitative approach to gain an in-depth understanding of social issues. The method aims to obtain data from a purposely selected group of individuals rather than from a statistically representative sample of a broader population.

A focus group is different from a group interview in that the researcher is interested in the conversation that emerges within the group, the interaction between the informants and the knowledge that is produced in the conversation. Therefore, it is not possible to know in retrospect which of the informants who made a particular statement. The purpose of a focus group is not to search for the opinion of the individual, even though different views among the participants can be of interest because it can encourage a broader dialogue, but to listen to the opinions that come from a communal interaction.144 In this study, however, some parts of the interviews could be characterized as group interviews rather than focus group interviews. Focus group discussion consists of four major steps: research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting of results.

Research design

In focus group discussion, the process begins with identifying the main aim and defining the key research objectives of the study. The composition of the group will depend on the main aim of the research. It is suggested that participants should share similar characteristics such as gender, age range, ethnic, and social class background.145

The researcher of this study chose to use focus group interviews to answer the research question. The questionnaire was semi-structured, which means that we decided in advance which areas to talk about but also let the informants’ views lead the progression of the interviews. The benefit of doing a qualitative study, like this one, is that the scholars get more insights in how people reason, as opposed to just recording what people think. On the negative side, the result is not possible to generalize. This is very much applicable to this project, with a rather small number of focus groups, which are also possibly not representative for the denominations. The informants of this study seemed to be educated and progressive. They were chosen by the author of this thesis and Bahru Kassa, leaders of theological schools in Tanzania and Ethiopia respectively.

Data collection

Focus group discussion requires a team consisting of a skilled facilitator and an assistant. The facilitator is central to the discussion by managing existing relationships and creating a relaxed and comfortable environment for unfamiliar participants.146 The main methods of data collection during a focus group discussion include audio and tape recording, note-taking, and participant observation. It is important to consider the duration of the meetings. Participants are likely to suffer from fatigue when discussions are longer. The rule of thumb is c. 1–2 hr, based on the complexity of the topic under investigation, number of questions, and the number of participants.147

Data analysis

Focus group discussion usually uses both qualitative and observational data, where analyses can be demanding. In data coding, the researcher lists emerging ideas, draws relationship diagrams, and identifies keywords used by respondents frequently as indicators of important themes.148

Results and reporting

Once all the data are analyzed, the researcher needs to consolidate the results into a coherent report for dissemination. The findings should be shared with the participants of the study – to increase the credibility of the report or study.149

Advantages of focus group discussion methodology

Focus group discussion is perceived to be a “cost-effective” and “promising alternative” in participatory research offering a platform for differing paradigms or worldviews. In a focus group discussion, researchers adopt the role of a “facilitator” or a “moderator.” The researcher facilitates or moderates a group discussion between participants and not between the researcher and the participants. The researcher takes a peripheral, rather than a centre-stage role in a focus group discussion.150 Focus group discussion, as a qualitative research method, is comparatively easier to conduct since all the target participants and the researcher are readily available in one location at the same time. Under resources constraining conditions, focus group discussion technique minimizes traveling between locations. Focus group discussion is a flexible technique and is adaptable at any stage of the research. Focus group discussion offers an opportunity to explore issues that are not well understood or where there is little prior research on the topic.151

Disadvantages of focus group discussion methodology

In conducting a focus group discussion, there is a risk of raising participants’ expectations that cannot be fulfilled. Participants may be uneasy with each other. They may not discuss their feelings and opinions freely or hesitate to participate in the topic of interest to the researcher due to social stigmatization.152

A successful focus group discussion will require the researcher to provide a clear rationale for the choice of focus group discussion. The researcher should focus on facilitator skills. This is because a focus group discussion relies on facilitators or moderators to guide the group’s discussion. The researcher should be aware of biases affecting group discussions. They must ensure a clear pathway between the data obtained, coding and subsequent analysis of data. While focus group discussion can be a cost-effective and a quick approach to data collection, they require proper planning and organization.153

3.7.2 Questionnaires

Five written interviews (questionnaires) were administered to leaders of the denominations of the two countries. The leaders of both denominations were all men. This technique was preferred because of its usefulness in collecting data from leader respondents. With this technique, the leader respondents had adequate time to think and respond to the questions. The information sought from the denomination leaders was on their understanding and experiences on what Pentecostal churches understand their role in society in the fields of conflict, gender and environmental issues.

Questionnaires were given to five denomination leaders of each of the two countries, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The questionnaires were open ended questions and were used in collecting information from the church leaders. All leaders returned the questionnaires. Ten questionnaires were distributed to leaders and all were collected and returned.

3.8. Validity and Reliability

Validity and reliability are very essential for the effectiveness of any research or test. Validity refers to the quality that a procedure or an instrument (tool) used in the research is accurate, correct, true, meaningful, and right.154 It implies that the researcher wants to obtain what it is supposed to be measured. Reliability refers to how consistent a research procedure or instrument is. It means the degree of consistency demonstrated in a study.155 Hence, reliability implies stability or dependability of an instrument or procedure in order to obtain information.

This study utilized a qualitative method instead of a quantitative method. It employed the focus group discussion methodology to collect, analyze, and interpret the data. The benefit of doing a qualitative study is that one gets more knowledge of how people think in detail. On the negative side the result is not possible to generalize. This is very much applicable on this particular study. The number of informants is too small. A focus group is different from a group interview in that the researcher is interested in the conversation that emerges within the group, the interaction between the informants, and the knowledge that is produced in the conversation. It is through interaction between the informants that the researcher wants to obtain information.

3.9. Data Analysis

Data analysis is the process which implies organizing, perusing, classifying, and synthesizing data so that they are amenable.156 The data gathered in Kiswahili and in Amharic translated into English and transcribed. The transcription was read thoroughly a couple of times and decided which codes should be applied to the text. The interviews were then coded in a computer program (Dedoose) to recognize similarities, trends and overlapping themes. After the process of coding, the data were analyzed together. Certain themes were identified in the interviews and excerpts were interpreted together.

The next step was to write cohesive texts for Tanzania and Ethiopia by using the corporate analyze. Every field of the study is divided into three parts. The first part was to recognize what foundational motivation for FPCT and EHBC to work with the different three fields of study, namely, conflicts and peace building, gender equality, and environment. The second part was to search for obstacles that hindered the engagement, while the third part was to look for solutions that the informants saw. These data were analyzed and presented in a narrative form. In the next chapter, the findings of the research are presented and analyzed.

3.10. Ethical Considerations

The respondents were invited to voluntarily participate in the study of their own free will. A detailed explanation on the purpose of the study was made to all respondents. They were also not required to append their name or identity for the reason that they would be biased to present ideal rather than factual experiences. This also protected them from being overly subjective with regards to responses that were personal to them. A commitment was made to them with regards to use of the findings for academic purposes only and that the researcher would maintain utmost confidentiality with regards to the information generated from the respondents.

4.CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH FINDINGS

4.1. Introduction

This chapter is arranged around the three themes of our study: conflict, gender, and environment. The findings within each theme are presented based on the questions that were discussed by the focus groups. The first question to be asked was about foundational theological motives: How do these faith-based organizations motivate their view in each area in relation to their faith? The reason for asking the theological question first is that religious groups in general are to a high extent motivated by their religious ideas and practices. The second area discussed, given the theological foundation, was what kind of barriers the participants could see for promoting peace, gender equality, and a more environmental friendly life. The third and last area had to do with the kind of solutions that are proposed or already happen.

4.2. Conflicts, Gender, and Environment in Ethiopia and Tanzania

4.2.1. Conflicts

There are political conflicts both in the Tanzanian and Ethiopian societies, but the causes of the conflicts are different according to the informants. In Tanzania, the conflicts mainly have to do with economy. The economy has weakened in general in the past few years and people have become poorer. The difficult economic situation has caused political conflicts. In the Ethiopian society, conflicts are not related to the economic situation. The social and economic situation in Ethiopia has actually improved in recent years. It is instead ethnic divisions which is the main concern. Some of the ethnic groups have historically had more access to political power. The ethnic division has also caused tension between different groups within the Church.

Theological motivation

The focus groups in both countries emphasize that peace is at the center of the Christian faith, and that Pentecostal churches therefore have an important and crucial role to play in conflict resolution. However, the theological motivations for doing so differ. The Ethiopian focus groups emphasize God as the Spirit of Creation, the giver of peace to society and to the individual. The informants in Tanzania emphasize primarily God as a ruler. God rules the society and should therefore be obeyed.

The informants from EHBC view peace as a gift from God given to the world through the Holy Spirit. One of the main reasons why the Church should be involved in society transformation and do good things is because God has created all men and the whole earth.157 God has put principles in his creation that humans should hold on to. We need the Spirit to manage to live according to these creation-given principles. Since the Spirit is the giver of life to the creation, the Church, as the bearer of the Spirit, is expected to bring new life and higher perspectives to society.158 Life in the Spirit is expected to lead the believer to condemn sin and promote truth, righteousness, and peace. This relation between the Spirit of creation and Spirit in the believer makes the informants say that “the Church has to be influence-maker and solution-provider.”159 The Church is the primary holder of these godly principles of peace after which the whole creation is formed. The Church ought to show the principles of the kingdom of God and live according to them as an example for the world. The Christian and the Church is therefore responsible to show the life of the Spirit publicly.

In principle, the Church should be exemplary in preaching peace, and living in peace. For this truth to be realized in the community, it must be manifested by advocating, by example, first by teaching the true principles.160

However, life in the Holy Spirit is not something that an individual chooses by him or herself, it is a gift of grace: “Peace comes by God’s help through the Holy Spirit.161 The receiving of the Spirit is viewed as a process which starts through a change of a human’s heart. It starts from within in the individual. The inner peace results in a strength to make a change in the surrounding society. According to the informants, the possibility for change in society thus lies in the gospel.

A person does not change himself or herself. […] The gospel has a power to deliver people from their problem. It can deliver us as well. If the people cannot deliver from bondage, there will be not change. The power which can change our country’s politics or other issues is the gospel. The gospel means Jesus.162

This change caused by the Holy Spirit is expected to have consequences in how the person relates to society in general. The Church is thus viewed as the children of Spirit and therefore part of God’s mission to build and restore the world by living and showing the principles given by God in creation.163

The focus groups from FPCT motivate the engagement and Church responsibility slightly different. They also emphasize the individual’s inner peace created by God. Peace starts when the heart of the individual changes. If the heart is changed then the peace will flow from the individual person and he or she will not be affected by the negative circumstances from outside.164 But primarily, the Tanzanian informants relate peace in society to God as a ruler. God acts justly through his providence. The conviction that God rules in society should not lead to passivity. On the contrary, because of God’s providence, the Church must work hard to promote peace. Church need to obey God and do what God has told them to do. “As the Church we need to teach to trust in God, but also to work hard. They need to utilize their time well, and not to waste it. And the resources they have they need to use in a proper way.”165 The providence is the reason and motivation for the Church to do their part. To work hard and to live in accordance with God’s rule is to live with integrity, and the Church has a calling to do this.166

According to the Tanzanian group, God also rules the society through hidden “natural” orders. The natural order is seen both in the morality and in the democratic election. God has put in some moral rules, or principles, to follow in the human life. These rules and principles are given in creation but are not related directly to the Spirit but rather to the creational theology. The rules in creation are understood as an expression of God’s rule and should be obeyed. Society must be in line with these moral norms before peace could be established.

For that reason, the task that we have as Pentecostals, people who know God, is to teach people, instruct them, and direct them on how we can live close to God, so that we can allow God to change the situations.167

The natural orders also have to do with democratic elections. God controls society through the democratic process, and by means of the elections, He will install the leaders that the society needs.

The solution lies in preparing and teaching people that even in political elections God can give us leaders from any political party. That is the solution that I can see. Another solution is to agree with the results of the elections. The unjust leader will be replaced by the just one, but we need to be patient. This is the only solution. We need to let God to intervene.168

The Church should therefore trust the result of the election and act so that the democratic election becomes more legitimate. The understanding of God’s intervention here seems to be ambiguous. Is God intervening directly or through the election? There is a great trust in that, through the democratic process, God will replace leaders who are not righteous. This is a part of God’s hidden rule and the Church therefore needs to bide its time.

To conclude, the Ethiopian informants’ foundational motive to promote peace in society is life in the Spirit, since the Spirit is the Spirit of creation who gives peace to the individual as well as to the Church. In the Tanzanian case, God is seen as the ruler, through natural moral orders as well as democratic elections. The Church needs to obey God’s rule and the natural orders.

Barriers

The informants are of course aware of problems within society as well as in Church. They see barriers that hinder Church from promoting and contributing to the peacebuilding process in each country. The barriers are, in some sense, the opposites of the theological motivations. In Ethiopia, they are connected to the lack of inner peace, while the Tanzanian groups see disobedience or lack of faith in God’s providence as the main obstacles. One barrier which is frequently mentioned by informants in both countries is the view of politics as something unspiritual, and therefore something in which the Church should not be involved. This issue will be further discussed at the end of this section.

The Ethiopian informants put emphasis on peace as interpersonal relations as well as inner peace. Peace is seen as something more than the absence of conflict, it is a lack of “reliable peace in people’s hearts.169 In this regard, peace in society is directly connected to the presence of the Spirit in the Church. When the Spirit is not allowed to work freely, peace is expected to diminish. A lack of Spirit is therefore viewed among the informants as a major barrier for peace.170 “When we see lack of peace regarding our country, we need to know the reason that the Church is not working with the Holy Spirit. If we are able to know the problem, the solution can also be known.”171

Another obstacle to reach peace according to some of the informants is the presence of evil spirits. They understand the effects of the evil spirit as a cause of conflicts and divisions. This is especially mentioned with reference to tribal conflicts. The focus groups talk about these conflicts as “the works of the evil spirit.”172 Racism and tribal conflicts are perceived as some of the major areas of conflict in the Ethiopian society. These conflicts are seen between regions and/or different tribes. An idea of hierarchy between tribes creates a mentality of supremacy of one group over the other.173 The idea of supremacy is not exclusively a societal problem; even the Church is affected by tribal and ethnic conflicts. The informants see racism as a major problem and as “a threat not only to our church, but to our country.174

The argument from the Ethiopian focus groups could be described as follows: if the Church is strongly present in the society and gives the Spirit room both in Church and in the society, inner peace could be expected to grow and conflicts in society would, as a consequence, be reduced. If, however, there are conflicts in Church, then this is not just a problem for the Church itself but for the society as well.175 As one of the informants in the rural focus group puts it: “Regarding this, it is impossible to bring peace if the Church itself is the cause of the problem.”176

In Tanzania, the doubt of God’s providence and the disobedience to his rules are perceived as the primary barriers: without a faith in the rule of God there is no foundation for acting with integrity in being “yeast” in society.177 One of the persons in the focus group from the countryside put it quite clearly: We who are in the church can be yeast for changes in the society. This is because if I myself am a source of peace in my family, people surrounding me will learn good things from me. But if I become a source of disturbances, chaos, and disorders, and at the same time I am a church member, people surrounding me will learn nothing good from me. Instead I can cause the name of the Lord and the church to be insulted.178

The lack of faith could lead to disobedience and threaten the integrity. A lack of integrity will make the work for peace much harder.

There are political tensions in the Tanzanian society. The lack of trust in that God rules through the democratic processes can also open up to political tension within the church. These tensions seem to challenge the calling to be a community of peace. One of the informants tells a story of when someone suspected the pastor of promoting a specific political party. This caused political tensions within the church. “If the church is uncertain or shows weakness in this, that weakness or uncertainty may cause peace breakage in the church.”179 According to the Tanzanian informants, the Church should not be a part of political tensions and should therefore not promote a specific political party.180

Both nations share the view that politics is unspiritual. At least, this is an opinion held by some in the churches included in the study.181 The material and bodily world are often regarded as something that should not be a part of the spiritual life. In the Tanzanian groups, this causes trouble since they also mean that Christians must be allowed to take part in the political life. A Tanzanian informant explains: We need to take part in leadership of the country just as Daniel and his friends. We should not think that working in the government system is sin; we should not exclude ourselves and leave the leadership to unbelievers alone.182

On the one hand, according to the informants there are groups in FPCT that do not think it should be allowed for Christians to work politically. These groups fear politics and promotes that Church should focus on spiritual things and deal with the inner peace of people. On the other hand, others in FPCT claim that it is important that Christians can work politically since the have the right virtues. In the focus groups, the informants seem to agree that politics, and consequently peace issues, is generally perceived as unimportant in their churches, and that faith is seen as something that only concerns the inner life of human beings. Most of the informants challenge this opinion but say that it is a quite common view and therefore a barrier in the peace process.

Solutions

The Pentecostal churches want to be a part of the solution of the conflicts in the society. They see themselves as important in this matter. In fact, in their own view they are the most important actors. The reason for this is that they think God is interested in bringing peace to the society, and they want to listen to and obey God. On the other hand, they are hesitant towards the idea that Church should be involved in politics. There is a dualism here that will be further discussed in the following chapter. In this section, we will look at the practical solutions that the focus groups suggest.

The Church must understand what role it should play to get involved. In relation to this task, the informants in EHBC talk about responsibility, courage, and tolerance as major factors in a constructive mentality. They also talk about building ability within the church.183 “Therefore, when we consider the current situation of our country it is not time for us to isolate ourselves and only claiming self-salvation. Instead, it is time to teach many people and expand the good news to others.”184

In both countries, salvation is perceived as something that starts with the individual. People need to be reconciled to God. One of the Tanzanian groups suggests what needs to be done, and in what order, to achieve peace, and this view is shared by the Ethiopian groups. They say that peace starts with preaching the gospel: “The first role is to preach the gospel to people so that they get reconciled to God. This is our main task.”185 The second thing is to pray. But prayer has a slightly different purpose in the two countries. In Ethiopia, it has to do with the spiritual climate. Christians need to pray to change the spiritual situation, in Church and in society. Prayer is a responsibility for the Church and the primary instrument to bring peace and reconciliation. It is seen as “our mandate and it is a command.”186 It is primarily through prayer that churches influence and build up the society and bring reconciliation and peace. The Ethiopian informants see prayer as an action that changes circumstances and situations. Prayer gives God a space to act in individuals, Church and society. But they can also see that the person who prays will be personally involved in the peace process.187 Prayer thus has two outcomes: God is acting as a response to prayer, and the one who prays will change and start to work for peace.

Prayer in the Tanzanian context relates to God’s rule, not the spiritual climate. To pray has to do with God’s intervention in specific situations. “We should not be in line with those who do not know God, those who only and always claim that life is hard, as if we do not have God who can intervene and change the situation.”188 God can do something about the situation. Those who do not believe in God do not have the hope in God’s action.

Integrity is an important issue in the Tanzanian groups. It also applies to solutions. If the Church want to have something to say about how the country is led, they must also take part in the leadership. They cannot just have opinions about politics from the outside but must participate. Otherwise they do not speak to the power with integrity. “We need to pray for the peace of the country, but we need also to take part in the leadership of the country.”189

The groups from FPCT have faith that God is in control and will not leave them, and that is the reason for them to pray.190 But there is a tension. Some of the informants seem to claim that people should be satisfied with the present leadership. “But on the side of the church, true believers are happy with the present political leadership. They are saying that this is what they were looking for a long time – having a government system where justice is done, and people live a just life.191 Others are worried by the present political situation, both when it comes to how governing is executed and regarding the hunger for power. Some think there is too much hunger for power, that nepotism and corruption are too widespread.192 This negative view on politicians asks for Christian involvement. It is important that the Church does not escape the responsibility to lead the country.

Church members should be allowed to take positions in the government system. If unbelievers will be left to be leaders of the country, there will not be real genuine peace. We need to pray for the peace of the country, but we need also to take part in the leadership of the country.193

The country needs leaders which lead justly and with integrity. Christians must therefore take on the responsibility to be political leaders. It shouldn’t be regarded as a sin.

Another area that is emphasized by the groups from FPCT is education. The reason for this is that conflicts in society arise from questions that have to do with economy, unemployment and moral issues.194 Christian education is therefore needed in many areas. One interesting thing is the divide between the spiritual and the unspiritual. In some areas, the informants are worried about the fact that some things are unspiritual, but that does not seem to apply here. Even entrepreneurship is perceived as connected to Jesus. To escape unemployment, people need to learn how to start their own business, and this can be done through Christian education. The informants also have a belief that faith in Jesus will lead to a better economic management on the public arena. Consequently, Pentecostals have a responsibility to teach economics as well as business, in order to help people out of despair, thereby building peace in society.

The pastor can prepare special sermons about economy or he can invite other people to share economic knowledge to the church. This will help people to have a good life – to earn money. Money increases the peace of mind. Peace (shalom) is more than a common peace; it is being well of and prosperity.195

The last solution proposed by the Tanzanian informants is Church as a peace building community. This both has to do with Church as a unity in plurality, and its work for peace in society. As mentioned above, the Church has a calling to bring peace to society. To accomplish this, it is important that Church lives in peace internally. Political division should not be a part of Church. Peace starts in the family, and in the Church.

I think the Church is the source of positive changes in the society and in peacekeeping. It just needs to have this awareness created in the people. We who are in the Church can be yeast for changes in the society. This is because if I myself am a source of peace in my family, people surrounding me will learn good things from me.196

The Church must live in unity. This does not however mean that the Church just should focus on internal questions. The Church is part of the public arena and has a calling to be a peace builder.

“So this is a tough subject – to love your enemy and to pray for his peace and prosperity. But the secret behind is that when you are seeking the peace and prosperity for your enemy, then you are seeking peace and prosperity for yourself too.”197

There is no room to just be busy with internal questions in the Church. Peace in Church and society are interrelated, and therefore, peace in society and in Church are mutually dependent. ”The Church needs to go out to serve the society with the message of peace. The Church is responsible to restore peace to all families, even to the unbelievers’ families.”198 The Church is in this sense dependent on what is happening in society. Christians also need to be servants of the society and take part in the process to acquire peace.

Conclusion

In Ethiopia, peace and conflict are spiritual things in the sense that God has given some foundational principles in creation. Spirit is the life giver to creation, and as a consequence, to reach peace there must be more of a spiritual life. This life in the Spirit starts in the inner life of an individual, and from that life follows an outer change and positive effect on society. A lack of a spiritual life, which can be described as evil spirits or a poor life with the Holy Spirit, will hinder peace in society. According to the Ethiopian focus groups, in order to achieve peace, the Church must first of all preach the Gospel to salvation and secondly pray that God will give peace.

FPCT emphasizes God’s hidden rule rather than life in the Spirit. God’s providence is seen in natural orders both as moral laws as well as democratic elections. Obedience to God is the Tanzanian solution and lack of the same is the barrier to building peace. The Tanzanian informants also claim that peace starts with inner peace through salvation and then prayer. But they also mention Church as a community of peace, and that the inner communal peace will be a sort of sign for the Tanzanian society. Church must be a peace building community.

4.2.2. Gender

Gender is an ambivalent area. The informants in Tanzania make a difference between equality in the public sphere and in the domestic area. While there is generally a lack of support for equality in the domestic area, there is a massive agreement theologically on the equality of men and women in the public sphere. The logic here is the notion that leadership is a God-given gift. In practice, however, much remains to be done when it comes to equality even in the public space, and there seems to be a risk that arguments from the domestic area, like the notion that the father is the head of the family, are used to limit women’s public influence. This leads to some special barriers as well as solutions, although not so many solutions are mentioned by the informants.

Theological motivation

Neither in the groups from EHBC nor from FPCT is there any objection to female leadership. On the contrary, all of the focus groups agree that God intends for both men and women to be leaders in church. The theological motivation for this is basically pneumatological in relation to the intended equality in creation. God does not discriminate. It is the outpouring of the Spirit that shows that God wants women and men to have equal opportunities, at least when it comes to leadership.

Among the informants, leadership is not viewed as a matter of position or power, but rather as a matter of calling and a gift from God. In that sense, there is not, and should not be, any difference between men and women. The logic is that the work belongs to God. One of the informants in Ethiopia says, “a woman who has been given the gift of leadership can lead the church and the country.”199 Some informants in Ethiopia use the language of equality and discrimination in this matter, but the subject is more often related to God and not to the language of human rights. To repudiate a person with a leadership gift is perceived as a rejection of the giver, that is God. If God “does not give the gifts by discrimination, that means that He has given to all equally.”200 This is a way to base all leadership in God himself, and that kind of motivation is something that leads to a general acceptance in church.

The strongest theological motivation among the informants from EHBC is found in the life of the Spirit. There is a chain of connected argument starting with leadership as a gift by grace, continuing to the outpouring and experience of the Spirit which leads to ministry and leadership. Female leadership is founded in pneumatology. The individual experience of the Spirit is viewed as a proof of God’s approval and therefore as a way of achieving legitimacy. “When the Holy Ghost poured down to the Church, it was on all men and women, and on all flesh. When this Holy Ghost poured down, and gave the gift of ministry, it was given to all.201 At the same time, the informants talk about other views on ministry, which do not permit women to be leaders. They see these opinions as a misunderstanding of what the apostle Paul teaches in his epistles. As a response to these misinterpretations, they refer to what God does and that women are filled and used by the Spirit as leaders.202

There is a similar argument in Tanzania, affirming that women, as well as men, can function in leadership if they have the gift of leadership. Even in this context, this is mainly related to pneumatology and vocational theology, and not first and foremost a question of rights, although there are some who use rights as motivation.203 The issue does not have to do with sexes, but depends on whether a person has the gift of leadership and the anointing to be a leader.

The text says, “so that they may rule over.” It says so to both of them: a man and a woman. So, all of us have been given equal power. Also in Joel 2:28 it says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” So the Spirit has been poured both to men and to women. Both men and women can do work – be it preaching, pastoring, etc. We can.204

Even though the informants primarily argue for gender equality through the affirmation of the Spirit, the focus groups from FPCT also use arguments from Baptistic theology, emphasizing that equality is a consequence of baptism, which restores the equality between the sexes which God intended in creation.

Galatians 3:26-28 makes it clear: “For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, women should not be excluded from church leadership. From a biblical perspective one should not exclude a woman from any position of authority solely because of her sex or gender.205

In other passages of the material, the interviewer asks the informants to reflect over this text from the Galatians. Their spontaneous reaction is to reason over gender equality, and we can see no hesitation in the material to apply that text to gender equality. It comes naturally.

The informants in Tanzania tend to be hesitant towards the talk of fifty/fifty, or equal sharing of power and opportunities between men and women. They are also cautious about using rights language, even though is important to note that this does not mean that they omit human rights as a motivation.

Yes. We do teach. We teach them to know and claim their rights. We teach them what the Scriptures say about them; but we are also praying that the society comes to an understanding and awareness for women to possess property. There is no need to fight; we just pray believing that peacefully we will get what we are missing.206

The informants are not ignorant or unaware of the gender equality discussion, but to them, the Bible functions as the norm. A reasonable interpretation of this is that they want to take human rights in consideration but have a critical stance since the Bible is more important to them. As a consequence, if human rights and the Bible appear to contradict each other, they follow what they perceive as the teaching of the Bible. According to most of the informants, however, the Bible and human rights do not contradict each other, but rather mutually confirm each other.

There is another kind of argument in the groups from FPCT when it comes to equality in families. In families, the differences between the sexes are emphasized. The motivation is not biological or pneumatological but has its origin in how the Church means that Scripture views families. The informants claim that the Bible teaches that family needs a head, and the head should be the father.

Gender equality does not mean that women are to be heads of the family. It means that women are able to do those things that men are doing and which were thought that women cannot do. We were being segregated. […] They think that it means women to be over men, women to be husbands. That is wrong. What we mean is that activities that men do women can also do.207

If women and men are seen as equal in relation to public work, there are nevertheless differences in duties and in the relations within the family. It is a common view that in marriages, there is a need for a head, a party that has the ultimate responsibility for the family, although this authority is not unrestricted since ultimately every authority is subordinate to God.208 This view was confirmed by the FPCT focus groups and denomination leaders in Tanzania. The informants emphasized this and pointed out that the Bible is clearly claiming that the husband must be head. If women were to get the same role as the man in the family, this could lead to confusion and dissolution of the relations within the family. In the women’s focus group, this subject was addressed as a problem within the society in two ways. On the one hand, it causes problems for children to grow up in a family which does not have enough stability. On the other hand, there are many problems within marriages because of men who do not use the authority in a good way. This is also related to the problem with economy. It is difficult to get enough food or salary, and this causes many problems in marriages and by extension in families.209 “The man will continue to be the leader of the family, supervisor of the family, and head of the family as prescribed by God himself. The man will be responsible to God as the head of the family. A woman is the helper. The Bible says she is to be submissive to his husband in every good thing.”210 Again, as always, the focus groups refer to God as the ultimate relation. The man is head of the family, but he is subordinated to God.

Barriers

Despite the total agreement on gender equality in theory, this is not seen in practice. One of the informants from the rural focus group in Ethiopia puts it quite frankly: “When this Holy Ghost poured down, and gave the gift of ministry, it was given to all. It looks that the Church has not accepted this fact.”211 Both countries see the same problem: they have a theology that promotes equality, but a practice that works against.212 In Tanzania, this is viewed in the context of integrity. The informants note that there is a difference between what they believe and what they do. It had happened that when women lead thriving churches, men came and took over the churches.213 Why is it so in both countries?

Both the groups from FPCT and those from EHBC refer to the surrounding culture, but in somewhat different ways. In Ethiopia, the informants point to patriarchal culture and lack of knowledge, even though government works for gender equality. They mention three things connected to tradition or a traditional patriarchal culture: male leadership, traditional roles in the family and an influence of Jewish culture. One informant says that “I am very sad it is the influence of culture. […] There is a tendency to put men over women.”214 The informants mean that the hesitance towards women in leadership is founded in traditional patriarchal culture and not in the Bible.215 They say that Church lags behind the government in this area, for instance when it comes to accepting women in leadership.216 One participant says: “I think the Church should learn from the government of Ethiopia.”217 The informants talk about the Church as the co-builder of a good society, and stress that it can both contribute and learn from a deeper involvement in the society.

The informants in Tanzania come back to traditions and customs of the society in general. They claim that the reason for the unequal situation between men and women is not primarily an incorrect theology but that Pentecostal churches are too much influenced by the surrounding society. Some informants relate to the theological concept of sin. “What I can see from these texts is that from the beginning God purposed man and woman to cooperate without any segregation. Differences which we can see today I think it’s not the plan of God. I think these differences result from sin and traditional cultures.”218

The theology is speaking for gender equality, but the cultural construction in society works against that. These traditional values are sociologically motivated. Most domestic activities seem to be connected to femininity, and are therefore perceived as impossible for men carry out. One of the informants says that there is a prevalent fear that if boys are taught domestic work, they will become “cowards.”219 In addition, we can see that activities associated with men have a higher cultural value than things traditionally related to women, and women’s opinions are often regarded as less important than those of men. All of this shows that women have a lower value in society. This difference is slowly disappearing but still has influence, which affects the Church and not least the possibility for women to be leaders.220 “Also in case of conflict resolution, it is taken at face value that a woman cannot resolve conflicts involving men. In that sense, a woman is underrated or put in a second class that she cannot be a leader in the society.”221

To conclude, both in the groups from EHBC and in the groups from FPCT point to a difference between the what they hold to be the proper theology regarding gender and what they see in practice. The groups refer this barrier to the surrounding society in different ways. Another barrier applies to the specific Tanzanian perspective on gender equality in families. Education is, as will be described below, one of the solutions, but for others it is perceived as a threat. It is understood as a new kind of knowledge which will change the relations between the sexes and the orders in the family. Because of this, some people in the denominations oppose education about gender and equality. “When we try teaching these things, they say that these things are not for them; they are only for the educated people! They say that this knowledge that we are trying to impart to them it will damage them and their children.”222

Solutions

It is difficult for the informants to suggest solutions or discuss what could change the situation for women. In Ethiopia, they discuss a special department for women in the denomination. One step forward could be to strengthen that department or ministry and give them the task of teaching about equality and the role of women.

“Thus, it is necessary to strengthen women ministry as an independent wing of the Church through convincing all bodies found from top to bottom. It is possible to lead women ministry towards its intended goal by preparing and giving diverse trainings to local church leaders, youth, and the whole Church.”223

Some of the informants from FPCT claim that the women’s department has make it harder for women to be leaders in general. The denomination seems a bit proud of the department and thinks they have solved the problem.224 The Tanzanian focus groups say that there is a need for education. The problem with integrity result in an urge for teaching what the Bible says to a larger extent. Education is expected to bridge the gap between theology and practice.

Education in the churches should of course be grounded in the biblical narrative. But it seems to the informants that they are working against the cultural tide. Culture is not promoting gender equality and the Church becomes affected by this. Education in what the Bible says when it comes to equality between women and men is therefore needed. “Another thing which is affecting this is our culture. This is how people have inherited from the past. But our task in our church is to educate the church members. All in all, women can do any work and they can rule over together with men.”225

There appears to be a kind of duality. On the one hand, gender equality is practiced well and on the other hand, Church (and society) needs education. Christians are aware of what the Bible teaches, and they know what to do but there are difficulties when there are customs and traditions that work against. The groups mean that the solution to this is education. It is possible to be equal in more areas than today even though some things will have to change.

What I can see in this area, education is needed. Education is needed more so that even men will tune themselves to know that women are capable. This education for awareness should be given to both men and women. They should know that both men and women are responsible for childcare and upbringing. Everyone can do these responsibilities. In other countries, a husband takes care for little children.226

Conclusion

The theology described above is advocating gender equality in Ethiopia as well as in Tanzania when it comes to leadership, but not in the family. In practice, there is much to be done before equality is obtained. It is harder for women to be recognized and function as leaders. According to the informants, the solution basically lies in taking theology seriously and let that theology criticize practice. Almost all informants believe that the Bible teaches equality between the sexes. But they claim that the practice in the church is influenced by patriarchal structures, traditions and customs in society. They also believe that equality can be reached through education.

4.2.3. Environment

God is viewed as the origin and owner of the creation. To take care of the environment is to take responsibility for God’s property. From this perspective, all informants agree that it is a Christian virtue to take care of the environment. The care for the creation is based in a holistic worldview with no sharp boarder between spiritual and physical. Christians are obliged to be stewards of creation. For the Church, the foundational motives to engage in environment are responsibility and stewardship, but also to be a light and example in the world. This is however framed in two different ways in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Theological motivation

In Ethiopia, the informants are describing how God has reconciled the world and how the salvation has an impact on the physical world and the environment. God works to restore his creation through his Spirit. This could be described as a holistic pneumatological soteriology, or in other words that God is saving the world by his work of grace and the presence of the Spirit. In Tanzania, caring for the environment is rather described as a matter of discipleship, and obedience is emphasized also in this area. Humans’ disobedience in taking care of the environment is the fundamental problem.

Nature is a gift from God and as his children, humans are responsible to look after the creation and care for the nature. Failing to do so causes guilt. The Ethiopian focus groups argue that Church should be at the forefront in protecting the creation and “include environmental protection in our sermons and lessons and teach the Church so that it will protect it.”227 One informant talks about how we lose ourselves as Christians when we destroy nature. The logic is that the Spirit brings compassion and when we are acting badly towards the nature we are acting against the nature of the Spirit and are running the risk of losing the Spirit.228 Environment is seen as a foundational theological topic and should be handled as such. It is a responsibility of the Church but also of its members. One informant is referring to actions of the prime minister and the government as examples for the Church. Yet the Church is the one with the mandate from God and the responsibility to act: “This is our responsibility. We have forgotten our responsibility.”229

The Church is an example in the world, or in biblical terms, salt and light. The informants talk about the Church as God’s representatives in the world and as stewards of the creation. “Whether it is in spiritual or social life, the Church is still responsible.”230 This thinking is based on the understanding that the care for nature is biblical, and a responsibility of the Church: “So, according to God’s Word, man is responsible for the care of nature.”231 “If we do not do this we do disobey one of God’s commandments and we are accountable before God; to disobey God’s commandment is sin.”232

The Ethiopian view can be summarized as follows: God is the creator of the world. He commands the Church to protect the creation. To fail in that protection is a sin.233 The stewardship is based on a biblical foundation and should be performed in every situation. When there are new aspects of a suffering creation, the Church must act in new ways on the same foundation.234

It is also clear that the Tanzanian focus groups believe that God wants humans to take care of the environment. They see that as a commandment from God which Christians should obey.

What I know is that if we don’t obey that command of preserving the environment, we are not right. It’s our responsibility to preserve it. If we don’t take care of it, there will be a problem. I don’t know if it’s a sin or not; but basically, we should obey the scripture just as it tells us. We need to preserve our environment for our betterment – so that it will benefit us.235

However, the focus groups point to a hierarchy in creation. Humans are seen as being on top of this hierarchy, and the created order is there to benefit humans. “So the purpose of God to create the environment is for the man to enjoy it; it is for the development of man.236 This could of course be a problematic view since it has historically meant man’s exploitation of creation. However, the informants claim that it should have been natural for the Church to teach about the perseverance of the nature because of what the Bible already teaches. The policies from government are not the focus, because Church already has the instruction from the Bible.237

The Church has a special responsibility according to a Tanzanian leader. He says that “God is our father and we are sons and daughters of the kingdom. Therefore, we are responsible to keep his creation in the good way.”238 The theological reason for this is not the creation in itself but humans as children of God. The motivation is the special relationship between God and human beings. Theologically, caring for the environment is often seen as a part of the notion of being created in the image of God, especially in the Western theological tradition. But in this quote, the stewardship is related to being sons and daughters in the kingdom of God. Shortly said, stewardship is normally a part of the first article of faith, not as in this case the second and third article of faith.

The problem, however, is that man has misused his precedence over creation. Man has misinterpreted what it means to be a steward.239 This misuse is understood by many focus groups as a kind of sin. One informant in the women’s focus group from FPCT explains this clearly: What I can see from the light of this scripture is that it seems human being has forgotten to play his part. We have been lazy in keeping the environment. We are not working hard as the Bible instructs us. That’s why we have reached the point that we are starting to say life is hard. It is because we do not stand on our position that the Bible directs us. The other thing, in my opinion, is that we are experiencing the difficult situation now as a way of God to discipline us. There might be the purpose of God behind the situation.240

The hard time which is caused by climate changes is interpreted as a result of disobedience. The informants claim that the changes should be seen as a correction from God so that the people of God and creation will turn back to him again. The rural focus group shares this idea, but also connects the climate changes to morality and faith. They say that people have turned away from God, and as a consequence, God has let this happen.241

There seems to be a difference in what the groups describe as a “spiritual sin” and “natural sin” because of disobedience. There is an ambivalence operating here.242 Natural sin is described as having to do with natural consequences of human intervention in the environment. When people fail to obey God’s commandment of being stewards in a responsible way, they are indirectly being punished when their actions, like for instance the excessive cutting of trees, lead to consequences such as deforestation. This effect on the nature is a natural consequence, but is seen as a punishment.243 “When God orders us to do something, and if we do not obey that command, there must be a punishment. It might be that we will not face punishment when we appear before the judgment seat of God, but indirectly, on the way we live in the environment we are somehow being punished.”244

The Bible is regarded as the source that shows the correct way to interact with the environment.245 The positive side to this is that if humans become better stewards, nature will “benefit us”246 and people can “enjoy environmental graces.”247 But not caring for the environment is also connected to sin against future generations. The informants point out that when people cut trees because of economic needs, this will affect the environment for their families in the future. On the one hand, this is a kind of Christian view on the material world, but it does not seem to be counted as spiritual. On the other hand, environmental destruction is seen a consequence of the poor relationship people have with God, and in that sense spiritual. However, in this quote, it is mentioned that God’s rules apply to all humans, not just the believer.

The natural causes are connected to God and a kind of “spiritual” consequences of God’s direct punishment. It has both to do with poor relationship to God as well as moral depravity.

We have been lazy in keeping the environment. We are not working hard as the Bible instructs us. That’s why we have reached the point that we are starting to say life is hard. It is because we do not stand on our position that the Bible directs us. The other thing, in my opinion, is that we are experiencing the difficult situation now as a way of God to discipline us.248

Some see the environmental problems as a way for God to discipline the people because of their disobedience. This disobedience is both caused by not living in accordance with the rules of creation and by not obeying the duty as sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God. Both these perspectives could be understood as sin, one natural and the other spiritual sin.

Barriers

The major concrete environmental problem in Ethiopia as well as in Tanzania according to the informants is deforestation. The talks about air and water pollution, and about climate change, are related to the dominating problems of deforestation and drought.249 Informants from EHBC claim that the main problem is a lack of knowledge and ignorance. They say that one of the problems regarding theological motives is that the Church does not see environment as a part of its discipleship.250 The preaching about life in the kingdom is there, but the environmental dimension is lacking. The informants point to a clear distinction between what is seen as spiritual and unspiritual. Church is supposed to deal only with the spiritual and leave the material to the government. Environment is seen as something material and therefore not something that the Church should preach about. The Church is “full of leaders who say: ‘this is the role of the government, what we have been given is preaching the gospel.’”251

Lack of knowledge is also mentioned by the groups from FPCT, but in their case it is rather related to a lack of knowledge about nature.252 The same distinction between the spiritual and unspiritual is however operating in Tanzania as well. To engage in environmental issues is seen by some as an unspiritual question and something that is a part of politics. “We do not speak about physical things because we think doing so is being unspiritual. Sometimes if you speak about environmental issues, the church counts you as a politician.”253 It is the same ambivalence as in the area of conflicts. According to some in the Pentecostal churches, Christians should not have anything to do with environmental issues. Consequently, it is rare to hear a preaching on this topic. Environment is instead connected to programs and special initiatives254 or teaching, “in small parts.”255 This may seem a bit strange in the light of the idea of stewardship that was discussed in the previous section.

It seems like there is a difference of opinion about where the issues of environment should be dealt with. One can see this distinction between politics and spiritual when it comes to preaching, teaching and projects. Some of the informants have themselves preached about environment and some have heard a sermon about climate issues. But the majority claims that it is not a usual subject, and some have never heard preaching about environment.256 It is not in the central practices of the Church but related to special programs. Is there a real difference here in what is counted as spiritual and not spiritual? Is this the reason to not preach about the environment?

In Tanzania, the declining economy is mentioned as the most important obstacle for the Pentecostal Church in many aspects, also when it comes to environment. All the focus groups point to a rapid change in relation to deforestation. The economic situation has driven people to cut down trees in order to have things to sell. They are aware that this will cause troubles, but see no other solution. People know about the benefits about planting new trees and are motivated to do this, but this still does not solve their personal situation.

Solutions

It is a matter of fact that both in Ethiopia and in Tanzania, the Pentecostal churches want to be a part of the change in relation to environmental issues. However, they see their contribution differently. In Ethiopia, the informants point to a chain of logic that could be described as thinking and acting in line with the pneumatological salvation described in theological motivation section above. The basic motive is also in this area a pneumatological one. The theological foundation talks about the Spirit as the giver of life and a salvation that includes the whole creation. The solution lies in a Church that understands it and acts in line with this. Once again, the Ethiopian focus groups ask for a view that relates to the Spirit. Churches have to live closer and experience more of the Spirit to manage to live in an environmentally friendly way. The focus groups ask for more teaching and deeper understanding of how environment and the Christian faith are interrelated. In their view, this would lead to a more holistic gospel. The Church “needs to, not only lift the fallen man, but to lift the fallen mission.”257 This requires a bolder action from the Church to preach and live the full gospel of redemption for all creation.

In Tanzania, education is seen as the primary solution. Almost all the groups and leaders emphasize that Church is important arena for education, also when it comes to the area of environment.258 FPCT in Tanzania wants to be an arena for education in environmental issues. Here is an opportunity that seems to be connected to the motivation. A church is more likely to be engaged on long terms if the motivation and foundation for engagement is based on theology, which is the Bible. When it comes to environment, there is a strong conviction among the informants that the Bible has something important to say on this matter. For informants in the women focus group it is a question of obedience. Do they obey what the Bible tells them or not?

What I know is that if we don’t obey that command of preserving the environment, we are not right. It’s our responsibility to preserve it. If we don’t take care of it, there will be a problem. I don’t know if it’s a sin or not; but basically, we should obey the scripture just as it tells us. We need to preserve our environment for our betterment – so that it will benefit us.259

The strongest motivation is of course that they see that they can obey the Scripture, and this will be for their best. If they take the responsibility given by God in the Bible, the nature will also be better off. That will, in the long run, also be the best for the society in general.

Conclusion

God has created the earth and put humans to be stewards in creation. Stewardship means to take care of creation in a responsible way. That is in short what the informants in both Ethiopia and Tanzania say. But the constant reference to Spirit in Ethiopia and obedience in Tanzania applies also to this area.

In Ethiopia, a pneumatological soteriology is the foundational motive. God has created the earth and given life through the Spirit, and therefore God’s people, and others, must live according to the Spirit of creation. The Spirit will give compassion and push Christians to take care of the environment. They will not manage to take care of the environment if the Spirit does not have the possibility to influence people. The proposed solution in Ethiopia is therefore to live more in relation to the Holy Spirit.

In Tanzania, obedience is the most important thing. People have to obey both the moral and the biological principles of the creation. If they do not, nature will be destroyed. This is also understood as a judgment from God because of moral depravation. If disobedience is a barrier, then the solution is education, but education in environmental issues is not in the center of the practices of the Church. It is instead related to special projects and activities. That seems to be somewhat strange since there is a strong agreement that the Bible teaches about taking care of nature. It should not be that remarkable to preach these texts also in a Sunday worship service.

5. CHAPTER FIVE: ANALYTIC DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS

5.1. Introduction

In this part, we will describe some of the findings in the study that seem important to discuss a little bit further. We have chosen areas in which the material shows some kind of tension, and topics that seem to be a challenge for a Western partner in working with Pentecostal churches in Eastern Africa. We have chosen to maintain the disposition from the previous chapter, in that we discuss the three issues of conflict, gender, and environment separately. After doing this, we will also discuss our findings in relation to the theoretical perspectives introduced in the beginning of this study, trying to see how the Pentecostal view on society could be understood theologically, and if and how Pentecostal churches could be actors for change in their countries.

5.2. Findings in the Material

5.2.1. Conflict

It is obvious that the focus groups find their motivation in the Christian faith. The interviewer asks them to reflect on what kind of conflicts they recognize in society and the reasons behind these conflicts, and they almost immediately start to discuss from a Christian perspective. The conflicts have to do with spiritual things. In the groups from EHBC, the perspective is mainly pneumatological, while the groups from FPCT focus on God’s providence.

In EHBC, conflicts are interpreted as sign of a lack of Spirit or a neglect of the life in the Spirit. Too little of the Holy Spirit in Church and society leads to tensions. The participants representing church leaders in Addis Ababa recognized this division between what was regarded as spiritual in contrast to the unspiritual, and explained that it was something they have inherited from the early missionaries. The native tradition holds more of a holistic perspective. It could seem that there is a duality at work in the current view on conflicts. The Church has a primarily spiritual view of the consequences of conflicts, and consequently the solutions are also spiritual. One could ask: If the consequences are not only caused by a lack of Spirit, could the solutions be holistic? Put differently, could the Holy Spirit be integrated in political structures which promote peace?

For the groups from FPCT, a lack of moral awareness is perceived as something that leads to God’s action and judgment. The spiritual and material worlds are seen as closely related, although this does not seem to affect the view of politics. Politics is a part of what informants call the “unspiritual,” and they say that according to many members of the denomination, a Christian should not engage in unspiritual things. The focus groups, however, think that it should be permitted for Christians to take part in democratic elections and work politically.

There is a strong belief in democratic elections in the Tanzanian focus groups. They see God working behind the democratic processes. The reason for this is their strong belief in God’s providence. This could lead to a problematic view on democratically elected leaders. For democracy to function, it is important to have working processes that guarantees that elections are conducted in a correct way. If God is seen as working behind the democratic process, could this lead to an uncritical affirmation of the leaders? What theological instruments do the churches have to evaluate both the process and the elected leader? And does the Tanzanian government approve critique? There are also tendencies in the Tanzanian material which promotes church as another kind of community, which must work on its internal peace. In this regard, the church could function as a kind of micro society which becomes a model of how a democratic process should work.

The emphasis on education in the groups from FPCT is an interesting perspective here. They claim that church is an excellent arena to educate people in different subjects. This could also relate to democratic election. The Church could, in that sense, function as an agent for change in the society. However, a question must be raised here about what education means, and how it should be managed.

5.2.2. Gender

The most obvious tension in the material when it comes to gender is between practice and theology in both countries. Every focus group has a strong conviction that God has given leadership gifts to both women and men. Furthermore, in both countries equality is motivated by the Spirit and God as the giver of gifts. There is also a reference to equality in creation. The groups from FPCT also refer to baptism as a motivation for equality. All of this shows that there is obviously a widespread idea that equality is motivated by theology. So the problem is not the theology, but the practice of equality. In reality, women do not have access to leadership position in the same way as men. There are no women in leading position in the denominations neither in Ethiopia nor in Tanzania. In both countries the groups claimed that the surrounding culture has a negative influence on the practice of equality.

In Tanzania, a double rationality is at play: one in the public life another in the domestic sphere. There seems to be two kinds of logic here. When we discussed this circumstance in both countries, the informants explained that the difference is motivated by how the Bible is interpreted. Regarding female leadership, informants from FPCT pointed out that the texts of the Bible must be read in their cultural and historical context. The same principle was not applied to the domestic life. According to the focus group participants, it was clear in the Bible that a family needs a head, and that is the father. One could ask if the idea of a head in the family and the notions related to that idea is not influenced by the patriarchal context in each country. What happens if one reads the text about the man as the head of the family in relation to what it means that husband and wife become one flesh? Or if one asks what happens with the male authority if they read the idea of man as a head in the context of Ephesians 5:21-33? Paul urges husbands to love their spouses as Jesus loves Church. What kind of authority is implied there?

The informants do not treat human rights as the primary source for change or motivation in any of the areas. The informants first refer to the Bible and the Christian faith. If human rights seem to contradict the Bible, they follow the Bible. This is also seen in the way they discuss. They start in the faith and Bible spontaneously in every area even if the interviewer asks an open question without any explicit mention of faith or Bible. It is the faith and the Bible that is their first motivation and source for change. In the Ethiopian focus groups’ discussion, it was discussed why human rights are not viewed as a natural source or motivation. The participants’ opinion was that most of the members of the Pentecostal churches view human rights as Western values which are not compatible with the Ethiopian culture.

5.2.3. Environment

The focus groups claim there are different opinions in the denominations about whether the environment is a question for faith. A distinction between spiritual and unspiritual is operating among some believers. Working with environmental issues is by some regarded as something that Christians should not be involved in, but in the focus groups there is an agreement that God wants humans to take care of the environment. The question is thus not seen as unspiritual by the informants, but by many others in the churches.

Despite the conviction within the focus groups and among the leaders’ responses, that taking care of environment is a part of faith, this is not something that is preached in the two denominations. In FPCT, environmental issues are dealt with in special projects and programs. One way to understand this is to look at central and fringe practices. Central practices are things that the Church does to be a Church, and fringe practices are things that depend on the context that they are a part of. Preaching is a central practice, cleaning the neighborhood from waste could be a fringe practice depending on the context. But cleaning is a part of environmental issues.

The motivation to engage in environmental issues should be a part of the central practices but how this engagement manifests itself is a question of context. The problem here is that even the work with environment is placed in projects and programs and not in the centre of church. Programs and projects could be very different, but the motivation must be a part of preaching and teaching in the church. Programs and projects do not seem to motivate the Pentecostals to work for the environment, but preaching will.

It became clear when it was discussed that there is a difference between what could be called conservative and progressive groups in the churches. Most of the participants in the focus groups seemed to be on the progressive side, but they talked about and mentioned others who were more conservative. It is not possible to say if this difference is related to age or location. The clearest suggestion was mentioned in the groups from FPCT, who thought, and had heard, that the difference has to do with the level of education (this was mentioned in relation to both gender and environment). They also suggested that the Swahili speaking pastors were generally more conservative. The Ethiopian material indicates an ambivalence regarding gender. The rural group thought that there were better conditions for women in the city and vice-versa.

5.3. Discussion of the Material

The findings show that there are some similar trends in EHBC and FPCT, and other things that differ. In this last part of the analytical discussion the material will be analyzed in relation to the theoretical perspectives introduced in the first part and answer the question: Can the way Pentecostals in Ethiopia and Tanzania understand the three areas of conflict, gender, and environment help them to become actors for change in their societies?

5.3.1. Theology and practices

Ronald Ingelhart and Norris Pippa have shown that there are differences between the southern and the northern parts of the world. The religious influence is much stronger in the southern parts. Therefore, to understand social change and the views of people from the South on the questions that the researcher of this study is working with here, one must understand how their religious conviction affects them. Ingelhart’s and Norris’ thesis about the axioms of security and cultural traditions are applicable to our study. When the informants discussed human rights, they showed hesitance in using them as a motivation for change. The reason was, according to the seminar attendants, that people understand the concept of human rights as promoting Western ideals that are not perceived as compatible with their own cultural axiom, but rather connected to Western moral decadence. On the other hand, it is interesting that in the area of both gender equality and environment, the informants saw no contradiction between the Bible and human rights. On the contrary, human rights just mirrored what they already knew from the Bible. How could this be understood?

One way to understand this is to look at the context of theology and practice. The churches in this research emphasize the lived religion. It is not written texts or dogmatic formulations that show what people really believe. Rather, the lived religion in the personal life as well as the communal life in churches is the main concern to them. In the material there is clearly a tension between theology and practices. The informants have a well-argued theology about for example gender equality, but the practices seem to contradict the theology. In practice, women do not have the same opportunities as men, neither in public nor in the domestic domain. One can ask what theology is really operating here. In Pentecostal churches it is the lived religion that is the primary source for theology. It is thus possible to argue that the actual theology is not promoting gender equality but works against equality even though people hold ideas about gender equality in principle? In any case, practice does not appear without context. What is the ground for this contradictory view on practice and theology? It is of course difficult to give a definitive answer to that question, but the author of this study believes that the theories introduced above can give some insights.

It is not enough for Pentecostals to have the right theological ideas; the ideas must also be established in the church practices. According to the moral philosopher Alisadair MacIntyre, practice is “a socially established human activity”260 that shapes the individual who participates in a practice. This means that an individual is always part of a collective and cannot be seen as an autonomous individual. This is in many ways confirmed by research in Pentecostal churches, especially in regards to social change. Miller and Yamamori claim that one of the most important things in Pentecostal spirituality is its ability to capture the imagination of the believer. It does not only speak to the rationality but most of all to the affections.261 The inner logic of the practices gives motivation to why the theology is worth living. It is in the practices that the individual becomes part of a new structure which makes a Christian way of life meaningful and possible.

Vähäkangas and Vähäkangas state that Pentecostals show the ability to connect the personal conversion with a more African communal tradition. Becoming a Pentecostal in eastern Africa does not mean to leave the community but to become a part of new community. As Hauerwas and Willimon claim, a church that functions like the Confessing Church has the possibility to create a new “radical [political] alternative”262 in society. The informants in the focus groups’ discussions hesitate to talk about the Church in political terms, both in the interviews. Politics is by a clear majority of the informants understood as democratic elections and parties. In Tanzania there are problems with different affiliations to specific political parties. There is a need to broaden the understanding of what it means to be political as Church.

The Belgian political scientist Chantal Mouffe has argued for making a distinction between the political and politics. The political in her theory is the struggle between different claims and solutions to conflict solutions, economy, social relations in a society, and politics is the institution and the governmental structures that deal with these questions.263 The Church could, in this sense, work with the political without being part of the politics. Is there a need to work with the distinction of the political and politics in FPCT as well as in EHBC? The biblical reference to Daniel and his friends is interesting with regard to this. The context of the story of Daniel and his friends is that they had no official political power but were recognized as influencers by the ruler anyway. They held on to their Jewish faith within a hostile society, and as Jews they contributed in their way to society. Regarding education, this could mean that church is not just important as an arena for cognitive education but also as a corporate body where people learn the democratic virtues by being part of democratic processes in the church. According to Stanley Hauerwas’ and William H. Willimon’s theory about the three different ways that churches have related to society, this would be an example of the Confessing Church.

If the Pentecostal churches are what Hauerwas and Willimon describe as activist churches, then the programs and the projects are consistent with their preaching. The preaching motivates the work with other organization for justice in general. Preaching and projects are related in working with God’s agenda. But as we saw above, the work with the three areas studied in this study were not part of the communal worship or preaching even though the informants hold that the Bible had much to say in all areas. That is somewhat strange. It is therefore suggested that the Pentecostal churches in this study could be described as Confessing Churches according to Hauerwas’ and Willimon’s characterization. They have for example, as Auli and Mika Vähägkangaas point out, a strong emphasis on personal conversion, they are highly communal, and relate everything to the Christian faith. In the Tanzanian material it is expressed, in relation to conflicts, that Church in itself has to be a community of peace first of all, before they can promote peace in society. That is conceptualized in the idea to live with integrity.

Donald Miller and Tetsuano Yamamori have shown that it is the communal worship that motivates and gives progressive Pentecostals motivation to be involved in society. None of the three areas of interest in this study were part of the centre practice of the Church according to the informants. In Hauerwas’ and Willimon’s theory, the argument in short form would be: let the Church be Church. That is, if Church takes the faith to all parts of life, it will contribute since it will give new insights to society that cannot be known elsewhere. That does not mean that other NGOs, for example, can work in the same way as the Church. If other organizations work with the same issues, the Church can cooperate with them. But the first calling of the Church is to be Church, and that includes promoting peace in the midst of society.

5.3.2. Spiritual and unspiritual

One of the things that changed the Western world in direction towards a more secularized society was the distinction made between the spiritual and unspiritual. Modernity created a culture in which God was made unnecessary. The informants in this study have a more holistic world view.264 According to them, everything is related to God, but they also refer to members in their churches who do not want to be a part of politics or work with environment because they claim that this is unspiritual. They say that there are tendencies among other groups in church to make a distinction between the spiritual and the unspiritual. Why is it so?

Leaders in both countries referred to a more holistic heritage in relation to environmental issues. They meant there had been a more holistic view on creation before the Western missionaries came and taught the Church to focus primarily on conversion because it was an important spiritual matter. The missionaries were more of what Hauerwas and Willimon would call the Conversionist Church. That inherited perspective seems to have created a tension. There are, on the one hand members, who hold on to the missionaries’ ideal of the duality between the spiritual and unspiritual. The focus groups, on the other hand, show much more of a holistic world view, but, as argued above, the practices in the church works against this holistic view. Ingelhart and Norris use the difference of cultural axioms to explain the gap between the southern part and northern part of the world. Could it be that the state-funded aid that often uses human rights and international conventions as their guiding principles have continued, and maybe strengthen, this separation between spiritual and unspiritual?

In the former section, it was discussed about the distinction between church practices and theology. Could it be that the projects and programs, if it’s not closely related to the central practices of the church, consolidate this distinction even more? Is there a risk that the projects, if they are motivated by human rights and international conventions, are understood by the East-African Church as being founded on a foreign cultural axiom? An axiom that, according to them, in some areas speaks against the Christian faith. Or at least it lacks the necessary components that motivate them to do what is intended. The motivation to reach the goals from the Global Agenda must be biblically founded and integrated in the central practices of the church. If this is a reasonable conclusion, then it seems to be important to work from within theological founded church practices to reach the goals of Global Agenda 2030.

5.3.3. Bible and rights

Throughout the material and analysis, it is obvious that there is a tension between different discourses or axioms. This tension can be described as a double layer tension. First, there is the geographical one between East Africa and Sweden. Based on Ingelhart’s and Norris’ cultural axiom, it is understandable that the differences in culture and language are considerable. Of course, neither Sweden nor East Africa is homogeneous, but with that said, the task of translation takes on several dimensions when work crosses these kinds of cultural boarders. Secondly, there is an organizational difference between the faith based denominational discourse and the right based developmental discourse. Both in Sweden and in East Africa there is a tension between these two logics based on differences in the point of departure. Both of these tensions need to be understood and analyzed in the light of how the different perspectives can best be put into a constructive cooperation. Put into a graphic model, this can be described as such:

Table 5.1 A Graphic Model of a Constructive Cooperation

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

There are problems in all kinds of structured analytical models. In this case there is the question about the Swedish faith-based relief organization, PMU. Is this organization following the discourse of denomination or development? Since it works with governmental funded relief, it is here proposed to place it in the developmental discourse although with deep understanding and relation to the sphere of faith-based logic in both Sweden and East Africa.

The material in this study comes from two Pentecostal denominations in Tanzania and Ethiopia. In both cases the denominations are started by Swedish missionaries and the main international relation of the two African denominations is with Swedish Pentecostal churches. This study, however, is constructed based on the developmental logic and structured from three prioritized goals among the 17 UN Global Goals. This does not automatically lead to a conflict but it creates a need for some deep consideration based on the tension between the discourses described above.

What about the desirable ideal in the respective discourse? How does the different discourse’s view on authority and use of language affect their understanding of the Global Agenda? Out of the study we want to draw a preliminary conclusion and test a thesis. There seems to be a high degree of consensus about the ideals and desirable goals, but there seems to be a difference in the view on authority and thereby in the use of language. With reference to discourse theory, it is important to note that a discourse produces certain knowledge. The discourse sets the norms to what is regarded as important, not important, what a word means, and what kind of logic that seems to be reasonable.265

Discourses even affect what individuals think are their basic needs. This is what Michel Foucault calls the disciplined self, or self-governing.266 The logical result of this is that if the Pentecostal churches situated in an Eastern African context are producing other kinds of knowledge than a human rights discourse. This perspective on discourse analysis can explain why the informants hesitate to see the Human Rights language as something given and universal. The informants in the focus groups, even though they generally agree with the desirable ideals of the Global Agenda, perceive the discourse in the human right and the Global Goals as foreign.

Both discourses want to see an improvement of the social life in society and strive to make the world a better place. They might differ in detail regarding what could be seen as a good improvement but in general there is an agreement. Both discourses want gender equality, reconciled and peaceful relations, and an ambitious responsibility for the environment. In general, it could be expected a smooth cooperation based on agreement in ideals and goal, but to capture the Pentecostals’ imagination, or hearts, it seems important to work with the Bible and faith instead of approaching these questions from a human rights discourse. Even if the differences in discourse are relatively easy to bridge in groups like the focus groups of this study, this does not necessarily mean that the denominations in general agree to the values put forward by Western development organizations. The informants of this study refer to other people in their dominations, like Swahili speaking pastors in Tanzania or the not so well educated members that do not agree with the values in the areas studied in this study.

If one looks at the issue of authority, the picture becomes more diverse. Whereas the developmental discourse is based on human rights, UN documents and international treaties, the denominational authority is the Bible, faith, and the common confession of the Church. If this tension is taken into language there is an impending risk of misunderstanding and disagreement. So, if this is an ongoing process, cooperation can be misled not because of disagreement on ideals and goal, but because of misunderstanding, different value systems and cultural barriers. This is a tension that can be seen in the material and that comes to the surface in the discussions in both countries.

The three different models proposed by Hauerwas and Willimon all take the starting point in the identity of the Church. Different logic, identity and theological positions in churches form different relation and function in society. The models differ on what they propose as the primary calling for the church. In the third model, the Confessing church, it is the church as church that is emphasized. In short form, let the Church be Church. Ideals and positions are not to be imposed on the church from outside. This issue might be extra sensitive if one takes the Inglehart’s and Norris’ cultural analysis into consideration. In a Swedish context this has been clarified by Niklas Holmefur who shows that religious perspectives and language is marginalized in the developmental discourse.267

This position of letting the Church be Church seems to be essential in the analysis of Pentecostalism. Freeman talks about the social power in the Pentecostal value system that makes these kinds of religious groups effective as change agents. The power to change lies in the combination of moral theology, a strong internal social network and the religious experience of transformation and empowerment. In other words, the strength lies precisely in being Church.268 Or to make away with the distinction between projects and central practices like preaching, Miller and Yamamori argue in the same way. In their analysis of what they call progressive Pentecostals, they point out worship and the religious imagination as the key to understanding their role as change agents.269

To conclude this reflection on the diverse discourses we need to say that this is not a matter of right or wrong, there is just a difference. The discourses have, in many ways, the same ideals but differ in authority and language. The key to cooperation between the two of them is a double listening and an awareness of things that could be lost in translation. It is important to acknowledge the Pentecostal churches as change agents in their own right. International support should be concentrated on strengthening their inner logic. At the same time these churches need to understand the legitimacy of the right based discourse in government and international agencies. Learning and understanding the rights based language can be very beneficial for the Church both to deepen their own identity and to broaden their role in building the good society. This process of double listening requires the building of trust and bold culturally bilingual organizations like PMU.

5.3.4. Conservative and progressive

One question raised during the work with the material is whether Pentecostalism should be described as conservative or progressive. This is a very complicated question to answer, it depends on several factors. The face of Pentecostalism is diverse. It is in many ways a religion deeply depending on the context.270 It is also obvious that the term Pentecostalism needs further specification as Allan Anderson shows.271 Miller Yamamori use the term progressive for Pentecostal groups engaged in social work and community transformation. The term progressive could form a picture of a non-conservative, namely liberal, group. However, the term progressive means, in this case, engaged in social work and is not a reference to the theological statement of the groups. This shows that terms like conservative and progressive needs to be specified when used to define Pentecostals.

Looking theologically at Pentecostal groups we normally end up with some kind of conservative implication with emphasis on the authority of the Bible, the necessity of salvation and high expectations on moral standard among believers. Pentecostalism is a kind of evangelical conservative charismatic Christianity.272 At the same time, it is not a branch of fundamentalism. The theological logic of Pentecostalism is more experiential pragmatic than literal rationalistic.273 Theologically Pentecostalism is conservative.

If we instead look at the social structure of Pentecostal churches, the picture is slightly different. Scholars have argued that the identity of Pentecostalism is formed by the poor social situation of the adherents.274 Walter Hollenweger shows that Pentecostalism is formed with a radical identity and Donald Dayton is enforcing this by pointing at the holiness heritage. Politically, the original Pentecostal identity is progressive.275 Likewise, scholars argue that Pentecostalism has an immense power to raise people from poverty and to bring about an upward mobility. Even if, in many cases, this starts in a personal process of liberation and empowerment, it has the structural impact of the progressive power.276 This implies that to understand Pentecostalism, it is important to discuss if the terminology, conservative or progressive, is useful when it comes to Pentecostals.

Today, political observers do combine the traditional right – left definitions with the more culturally based Gal-tan-scale.277 In the same way, the field of Pentecostalism is in need of a more faceted and nuanced analysis. The term conservative needs to be balanced with the term liberal regarding theological statements, and with the term progressive regarding social engagement. Almost all Pentecostals would be considered conservative in theology, but not with the same value system and methods as fundamentalists. In the areas of cultural understanding and social engagement, Pentecostals would be found all along the line from conservative to radical progressive.

Figure 5.1 A Conservative-Progressive Line

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The material in this study is not giving precise answers to this kind of questions. But the discussions among the participants show an essentially conservative Pentecostal theology combined with a progressive element in their approach towards social engagement in church and society. The terminological distinction discussed above would need a deeper study, and such research could be helpful for the Pentecostal groups in the global South when they get more involved in social and political action with a sustained conservative theological identity.

6. CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

6.1. Conclusions

In this last section of the study, some conclusions will be drawn. There has been a good learning process throughout the research. The study aimed at wanting to understand how Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia view their relation to society with focus on the three fields: conflict, gender, and environment. The research was conducted with Pentecostal denominations in the chosen countries, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The method of focus groups both gave material for the analysis and became a vehicle to deepen the reflection among the participants.

In the study, the researcher has worked with the material mainly generated in the focus groups. This was a new method for everyone involved and the work with collecting material was an important part of the learning process. The process can also be described as action research, where all the participants are also a part of the field that is studied. With all this taken into consideration, the study has provided a good and qualitative material to work with. It has given possibility to see some clear tendencies. The material is contextual, and the conclusions are tentative, but they point to some fields that would be suitable for deeper study, and to some important aspects for implementation.

The material in the three fields of special interest in this study gives some very important insights. The participants in the focus groups showed a deep interest in the study, and it has been seen that the knowledge and readiness to take action is growing. In all three fields, there is a common theological understanding that is clearly progressive. The informants argue for a theologically grounded identity where the Church should be a socially engaged change agent in society.

The material also shows that there is a distance between the theoretical idea of the theology and the lived theological practice in all the three fields studied. In this case, one must ask the question whether the theological ideal or the lived practice is leading the development. In the terminology of Hauerwas and Willimon, there seems to be a tension between on the one hand a conversionist preaching, and on the other hand more activist programs and projects. One explanation for this could be that the social engagement is more a result of different programs when the more church-oriented worship is centered around personal conversion, discipleship, and personal encounters with the Spirit. This division does not match the traditional African holistic theology. Neither is it in line with the historical Swedish Pentecostalism, with a socially engaged gospel inherited from the Pietist and Holiness traditions.

If one goes to the leading scholars on Pentecostalism today, like Miller and Yamamori, Brusco and Freeman, they all emphasize the religious logic as the power of Pentecostal change-agency. The challenge is to keep practice and theology together instead of pulling them apart. The power of Pentecostal social action seems to be to hold spirit and body, worship and action, personal experiences of encounters with God, and structural social changes together. It could be helpful to further research how to use Hauerwas’ and Willimon’s theoretical concept of the Confessing Church to better understand Pentecostal churches, and to develop their theoretical framework.

To conclude this study, the Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia are well equipped for a deeper theological understanding of their role to promote development in the areas of conflict, gender, and environment. They need to improve the implementation of the ideals into constructive and theologically consistent practices in the lived religion. From the international partners’ side, there is a need to support the churches in this process, not only by forming social projects but also by deepening the theologically based identity.

Ingelhart and Norris show that the majority of the world is religious. Hauerwas and Willimon argue that the Church needs to be Church continuously. Freeman shows that the power of Pentecostal action and advocacy both lies in the common faith, and the theological moral legitimacy in the confession of the Church. Brusco shows that the personal conversion and the connected behavioral changes do not only affect the individual and the actual family but has the power to reconstruct society. Miller and Yamamori have found that in many cases, this is already happening among a big group of Pentecostal churches. All this together is very promising and if the Pentecostal churches in Tanzania and Ethiopia get the support to deepen, broaden, and implement their theology, they have a good potential to be important change agents in their societies.

6.2. Recommendations for Future Research

From the findings presented in this study and conclusions drawn, it is recommended steps be taken to address the fields discussed. A lot of things could be stated but it has been decided to pick out four fields of recommendations which are thought to be among the most relevant.

6.2.1. Making further studies

This study only focused on the relationship between the FPCT and the Tanzanian society and the EHBC and the Ethiopian society with a special focus on conflicts and peace building, gender equality, and environmental care. There are a lot of themes that would need a deeper study based on the findings of this study. Some examples could be conduct a similar study in other countries; deepening the understanding of the three main fields in this study; and developing the model of this study for a better and sustainable self-understanding among the international partners of the churches.

6.2.2. Understanding and advocating the power of the Church as a change agent

It is obvious that there is a developmental power among the religious actors in general and among Pentecostals in particular. Both the material and the scholars in this study show this. In the context of a secular developmental discourse this can be very important, and actions to further understanding in this domain could include activities like the following: (1) deepening and expanding the knowledge of this field in interaction with other developmental actors in the globe; (2) advocating that it is both right and reasonable for the Church to be Church in relation to the Pentecostal churches in the two countries and foreign governments; and (3) partnering with other international Pentecostal development agencies in the global arena.

6.2.3. Developing, together with partners in the global South, theology, motivation and a language for the Church to be a change agent in the world

There is a need for deeper theological consideration among the Pentecostal churches as well as the international partners in the global South. This could include: (1) producing material to express and deepen the theological understanding of a Pentecostal theology for social engagement; (2) arranging seminars to discuss and implement the findings of this study, and forthcoming studies; and (3) assigning a deeper study on how to merge the theological language in the Church with the right-based language of development in the light of theories like language game, discourse analysis, and post-colonialism.

6.2.4. Creating programs and projects with the partners in the global South to develop both understanding of and a capacity to work with conflict, gender, and environment within and through the Church

In this study, a dichotomy between projects and preaching has been seen. It is essential to put the social agenda and the self-understanding of the Church as a social change agent at the heart of the Church in preaching and worship. Still, there is a need for ongoing projects and programs within the field. This work could include: (1) conducting seminars around the themes together with global partners; and (2) creating courses and curriculums for bible schools and colleges among partners in the global South.

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Olwa, Alfred. “Pentecostalism in Tanzania and Uganda” in Synan et al. Global Renewal Christianity: Spirit-Empowered Movements Past, Present, and Future, Volume 3: Africa. Lake Mary, Florida: Charisma House, 2016.

Ore, Tracy. The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 2000.

Petersen, Douglas. Not by Might nor by Power: A Pentecostal Theology of Social Concern in Latin America. Oxford: Wipf Stock Publishers, 1996.

Pierce, Ronald W., and Rebecca Merril Groothuis, eds. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy. Downers Groove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

Poewe, Carla. Charismatic Christianity as a Global Culture. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press,1994.

Prosén, Martina. “Överflödande liv” in Josefsson Wahlström, Teologi för hela skapelsen: En studie om teologiska grunder för engagemang i miljö och samhälle. Alvik, Stockholm: Institutet för Pentekostala Studier, 2017.

Rusaw, Rick, and Eric Swanson. The Externally Focused Church. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2004.

Said, Dalton Henriques. Longing for Justice: A Study on the Cry and Hope of the Poor in the Old Testament. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1987.

Southern, Jill. Sex: God’s Truth. Lancaster, England: Sovereign World, 2006.

Swift, Fletcher H. Education in Ancient Israel: From Earliest Times to AD 70. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 1919.

Synan, Vinson, Amos Yong, and Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu. ‘Pentecostalism in Ethiopia: A Unique Case in Africa,’ in Global Renewal Christianity, vol. 3: Africa ed. by Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2016. S. 128-146.

Tripp, Paul David. Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012.

Vähäkangas, Auli, Mika Vähäkangas. “Religious communities: A Resource or a Liability for Development?” in Odén, Robert. For Better for Worse: The Role of Religion in Development Cooperation. Halmstad, Sweden: Swedish Mission Council, 2016.

Vondey, Wolfgang. Pentecostal Theology: Living the Full Gospel. London, England: Bloomsbury T T Clark, 2017.

Walvoord, John F. The Holy Spirit: A Comprehensive Study of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1978.

Warrington, Keith. Pentecostal Perspectives. Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1998.

Wibeck, Victoria. Fokusgrupper: om fokuserade gruppintervjuer som undersökningsmetod, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2010.

Williams, Williams C. They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2003.

Wright, Christopher J. H. Old Testament Ethics for the People of God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

Yoder, John H. “A People in the World; Theological Interpretation” in James Leo Garrett Jr. The Concept of Believers Church, ed. James Leo Garrett, Jr. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1969.

Yong, Amos. In the Days of Caesar: Pentecostalism and Political Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2010.

Yong, Amos. Renewing Christian Theology: Systematics for a Global Christianity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014.

“History of the Pentecostal Movement,” in Christian Assemblies International. https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/history-pentecostal-movement. (Accessed on October 12, 2020).

UNPUBLISHED SOURCES

Constitution of the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT). Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2000.

FPCT Strategic Plan: 2014-2024. Arusha, Tanzania: Habari Maalum Press. 2014.

Garson, Melanie Esta Sarah. The Third Pillar: The Role of Reconciliation in Supporting Peace Agreements. Ph.D. Thesis, University College London, 2017.

Vision and Mission Statements Document of FPCT.

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1: LEADERS’ QUESTIONNAIRE

We would like to ask you to answer the following seven questions. Do not use more space than 200-300 words per question, and therefore, start with the most important things and motivate why you think in a certain way.

1) What are people around you talking about in your neighborhood – for example their hopes, worries, etc?
2) A text we usually use in church when we talk about church and society is Jeremiah 29:7, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city”? What does it mean in your local context and country?
3) Have you seen any changes in the environment, e.g. climate, in your neighborhood? If so, what kind of changes and what do you think are the causes?
4) Is there anything a woman cannot do because she is a woman, and can women be leaders in the church, why or why not?
5) What kinds of conflicts are going on in your area, country? How do these conflicts affect your church?
6) Can you describe what you mean is the duty of the political leaders in your country?

APPENDIX 2: FOCUS GROUPS’ QUESTIONNAIRE

Introduction

Ask a question that will get the informants started, a question that will have their voice heard in the group. A question should be simple that will not take any time to think about or have right or wrong. (This is not part of the interview).

Short questions (start the transcription from this part):

What are people around you talking about (your neighborhood)?

- What do people hope for?
- What do people worry about?
- If you think about what your church focuses on – what is the most important change the people need?

Bridge

A text we usually use in church when we talk about church and society is Jeremiah 29:7, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city.”

- What does it mean in your local context and country?
- How is that done?

Theme 1: Environment

Have you seen any changes in the environment in your neighborhood? If so, what are the causes?

Is it a responsibility for humans or church to make something to these changes?

Genesis 2:15 records, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” How is this text put into practice in your church?

Provoking statements (which could be used if you need to trigger them to talk and discuss):

-The environment has no value if it does not benefit human society.
-Nature without humans would be better off.
-Lack of care for the environment is a sin that will be punished by God.

Theme 2: Gender and Sex

Is there anything a woman cannot do because she is a woman? Genesis 1:26-28 states:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

- How is this text put into practice in your church?
- Does the text have any implication to society?

Galatians 3:26-28 states that “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith; for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

- How is this text put into practice in your church?
- How do these texts relate to for example abortion, female leadership, birth control, unpaid work, and sexuality?
- Is there a difference in how we are dealing with this in church and society?

Direct questions to have a reaction:

- Can women have any kind of leadership in church/society? Is it different in the church or in society? (Ask them to explain their view).

Provoking statements (which could be used if you need to trigger them to talk and discuss):

- Gender roles are socially constructed, i.e., made up by humans through culture and customs.
- If a woman is raped, it is usually because of her own behavior.
- To achieve gender equality, women should now be prioritized as leaders before men, until the gender gap in leadership is closed.

Theme 3: Peace

What kind of conflicts are going on in your area, country? What are the causes for these conflicts?

Psalms 34:14 states, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

- What does this text mean in your church?
- How does the church pursue peace?
- What role does the church have in peace keeping?
- What role should the church have in an armed conflict?
- How would the church react if some other groups that you, maybe do not agree with were threatened?
- What is the role of the church in reconciliation processes?
- What if the church is part of the conflict and the oppression, how can it strive for peace and reconciliation?

Theme 4: Government

In Romans 13:1, the apostle Paul says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

-How can this be seen in your church?
-Can you describe what you mean is the duty of the political leaders in your country?
-Can you think of any situation when you should not obey the political leaders/ governing authorities?

Concluding question:

Is there anything you want to add, change, or emphasize in what we have been talking about?

[...]


1 “History of the Pentecostal Movement,” in Christian Assemblies International. https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/history-pentecostal-movement. (Accessed on October 12, 2020).

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Jan-Åke Alvarsson. “Research on Pentecostalism in Sweden,” in Approaching Religion, Vol. 5, No. 1, May 2015, 16.

6 Ibid., 16-17.

7 Ibid., 17.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid., 21.

10 Ibid., 28.

11 Ibid., 21.

12 “History of the Pentecostal Movement,” in Christian Assemblies International. https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/history-pentecostal-movement. (Accessed on October 12, 2020).

13 Odén, Robert, and Tore Samuelsson, eds. For Better for Worse: The Role of Religion in Development Cooperation. Halmstad, Sweden: Swedish Mission Council. 2016, 101.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid., 102.

18 The Constitution of the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania (FPCT) 2000, 3.

19 Ibid., 3.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid., 3-5.

23 Vision and Mission statements document of FPCT.

24 FPCT Strategic Plan 2014-2024, 15.

25 Haustein, Jörg. “Pentecostalism in Ethiopia” in Synan, Yong Kwabena, Global Renewal Christianity, vol. three, Africa, 2016.

26 Enon, Julius Caesar. Educational research: Statistics and Measurement. Kampala, Uganda: Makerere University. 1998, 11.

27 Ibid.

28 Ibid.

29 Chandran, E. Research methods: A Quantitative Approach with Illustration from Christian Ministries. Nairobi: DayStar University, 2004.

30 Ingelhart, Roland, and Pippa Norris. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. 2011.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid., 13-17.

33 Ibid., 25.

34 Ibid.

35 Vähäkangas, Auli, and Vähäkangas, Mika. “Religious communities - a resource or a liability for development?” 2016, p181–193.

36 Ibid., 183.

37 Boyarin, Daniel, and Jonathan Boyarin. “Diaspora: Generation and the Ground of Jewish Diaspora.” 2003.

38 Vähäkangas Vähäkangas,163–175.

39 Niebuhr, H. Richard. Christ and Culture, 1951.

40 Hauerwas, Stanley, and William H. Willimon. Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, 1989.

41 They develop a theology from Yoder, John H. “A People in the World; Theological Interpretation.” 1969.

42 Hauerwas and Willimon, 45.

43 Ibid.

44 Ibid., 46.

45 Jacobsen, Douglas. The World’s Christians, 2011; Hollenweger, Walter. Pentecostalism, 1997.

46 Anderson, Allan. An Introduction to Pentecostalism, 2004. In recent years the model has been developed with a fourth category of the indigenous Pentecostal Churches in the Global South. See Jacobsen 2011; Anderson 2010.

47 Cox, Harvey. Fire from Heaven, 1994.

48 Cox. 1994; Poewe, Carla. Charismatic Christianity as a global Culture, 1994; Dempster, Klaus Petersen. The Globalization of Pentecostalism, 1999.

49 Cox, 1994.

50 Miller and Yamamori. Global Pentecostalism, 2007.

51 Ibid.

52 Brusco, Elisabeth. The Reformation of the Machismo, 1995.

53 Freeman, Dena. Pentecostalism and Development, 2012.

54 Like Bloch-Hoell, Nils. Pinsebevegelsen, 1964; Hollenweger, Walter. The Pentecostals, 1972; Dayton, Donald. Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, 1987.

55 See for example Pentecostal studies under the Europea research network GloPent.

56 Petersen, Douglas. Not by Might nor by Power, 1996.

57 Yong, Amos. In the Days of Caesar, 2010.

58 Harris Palmer, The Holy Spirit and Social Justice, 2019.

59 Odén, Robert, ed. For Better for Worse: The Role of Religion in Development Cooperation. Halmstad, Sweden: Swedish Mission Council. 2016, 144,

60 Ore, Tracy. The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company. 2000, 106.

61 Clouse, Bonnidell and Robert G. Clouse, eds. Women in Ministry: Four Views. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. 1989, 72.

62 Williams, Williams C. They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House. 2003, 98.

63 Ibid., 97-98.

64 Clouse and Clouse, 72-73.

65 Alexander, T. Desmond, and David W. Baker, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. 2003, 898.

66 Pierce, Ronald W., and Rebecca Merril Groothuis, eds. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy. Downers Groove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2004, 111.

67 Alexander and Baker, 914.

68 Pierce and Groothuis, 122.

69 Ibid., 125.

70 Clouse and Clouse, 77.

71 Cousar, Charles B. Galatians. Louisville: John Knox Press. 1982, 82.

72 Clouse and Clouse, 77.

73 Pierce and Groothuis, 171.

74 Said, Dalton Henriques. Longing for Justice: A Study on the Cry and Hope of the Poor in the Old Testament. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Edinburgh. 1987, 376.

75 Atkinson, David J., David F. Field, Arthur Holmes, and Oliver O’Donovan. New Dictionary of Christian Ethics Pastoral Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. 1995, 655.

76 Ibid.

77 Wright, Christopher J. H. Old Testament Ethics for the People of God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2004, 255.

78 Ibid., 256.

79 Ibid.

80 Ibid.

81 Ibid., 253.

82 Ibid.

83 Ibid.

84 Ibid., 254.

85 Ibid., 275-276.

86 Ibid., 267.

87 Said, 195.

88 Wright, 276.

89 Garson, Melanie Esta Sarah. The Third Pillar: The Role of Reconciliation in Supporting Peace Agreements. Ph.D. Thesis, University College London. 2017, 3.

90 Ibid., 38.

91 Ibid., 19-20.

92 Rusaw, Rick, and Eric Swanson. The Externally Focused Church. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing. 2004, 12.

93 Southern, Jill. Sex: God’s Truth. Lancaster, England: Sovereign World. 2006, 18.

94 Ibid., 19.

95 Caszatt Jr., Clinton F., Carl W. Chrisner, and Evon Horton. Relationships for a Lifetime of Ministry. Springfield, MO: Global University. 2013, 14.

96 Lane, Timothy, and Paul David Tripp. Relationships: A Mess worth Making. Greensboro, Canada: New Growth Press. 2008, 7.

97 Ibid.

98 Ibid., 10.

99 Ibid., 11.

100 Nieder, John W., and Thomas M. Thompson. Forgive Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2010, 148,

101 Ibid., 171.

102 Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic. 2001, 992.

103 Augsburger, David W. Conflict Mediation across Cultures: Pathways and Patterns. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press. 1992, 282.

104 Eckstein, Yechiel. What Christians Should Know about Jews and Judaism. Waco,Texas: Word Books. 1984, 51.

105 Ashby, Charles. Biblical Education: Past and Present. 2nd ed. Springfield, MO: Global University. 2000, 44.

106 Ibid., 48-50.

107 Lawson, Margaret. Education in the Bible: Graduate Study Guide. 1st ed. Springfield, MO: Global University. 2003, 31.

108 Swift, Fletcher H. Education in Ancient Israel: From Earliest Times to AD 70. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company. 1919, 35.

109 Ibid., 38.

110 English, Paul Ward. Geography: People and Places in a Changing World. Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA: NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, Inc. 1997, 31.

111 Misch, Frederick C. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster Incorporated, 2005.

112 Atkinson, David J., David F. Field, Arthur Holmes, and Oliver O’Donovan. New Dictionary of Christian Ethics Pastoral Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. 1995, 349.

113 Crabtree, Charles T., Carl W. Chrisner, and James H. Railey Jr. Ministerial Ethics: The Bible Confronts a Changing World, Graduate Study Guide. Springfield, MO: Global University. 2012, 50.

114 Wright, 127.

115 Atkinson et al., 350-351.

116 Elwell, 817.

117 Ibid., 817-818.

118 Walvoord, John F. The Holy Spirit: A Comprehensive Study of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 1978, 5-7.

119 Wright, 127.

120 Berry, R.J., ed. The Care of Creation: Focusing Concern and Action. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. 2000, 108.

121 Wright, 116.

122 Ibid., 127.

123 Elwell, 818.

124 Berry, 97.

125 Leedy, Paul D. and Jeanne Ellis Ormrod. Practical Research, 7th ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2001, 4.

126 Ibid., 100.

127 Ibid., 101.

128 Ibid., 148.

129 Ibid., 191.

130 Kothari, C. R. Research Methodology, Methods, and Techniques. New Delhi, India: Wiley Eastern Limited. 1985, 39.

131 Ibid.

132 Ibid., 7.

133 Enon, 20-22.

134 Ibid., 24-25.

135 Swedish Pentecostal International Relief and Development Agency. In 1965, the Pentecostal Churches in Sweden established PMU InterLife which was originally called, Pentecostal Mission’s Third World Aid. It is owned by the Pentecostal church in Sweden and cooperates with many churches globally. See on: https://www.wusgermany.de/en/global-education/european-global-learning-database-englob/pmu-swedisch-pentecostal-international-relief-and-development-agency

136 Olwa, Alfred. “Pentecostalism in Tanzania and Uganda” in Synan, Yong Kwabena, Global Renewal Christianity, vol. three, Africa, 2016.

137 Haustein, Jörg. “Pentecostalism in Ethiopia” in Synan, Yong Kwabena, Global renewal Christianity, vol. three, Africa, 2016.

138 Leedy, 210.

139 Ibid.

140 Kothari, 187.

141 Ibid., 189.

142 Ibid., 211.

143 Nyumba, Tobias Ochieng, Kerrie Wilson, Christina J. Derrick, and Nibedita Mukherjee. “The use of focus group discussion methodology: Insights from two decades of application in conservation ,” In Methods in Ecology and Evolution. British Ecological Society. 2018, 21.

144 Morgan, David L. Focus Groups as Qualitative Research, 1997; Wibeck, Victoria. Fokusgrupper: om fokuserade gruppintervjuer som undersökningsmetod, 2010.

145 Ibid., 22.

146 Ibid., 23.

147 Ibid.

148 Ibid.

149 Ibid., 24.

150 Ibid., 28.

151 Ibid.

152 Ibid.

153 Ibid., 29.

154 Enon, 29.

155 Ibid., 32.

156 Myneni, S.R. Legal Research Methodology. New Delhi, India: Allahabad Law agency. 1997, 161.

157 ET.WFG.

158 TZ. YFG; C.f. also TZ, YFG; TZ. WFG.

159 ET. RFG; ET. RFG.

160 ET. TFG.

161 TZ. RFG; C.f. also TZ. WFG; TZ. TFG.

162 ET. WFG.

163 ET. YFG. See also ET. RFG; ET, RFG; ET. RFG; ET. YFG; ET. TFG; ET. RFG.

164 TZ. RFG.

165 TZ. WFG.

166 TZ. RFG.

167 TZ. RFC.

168 TZ. RFG; C.f also TZ. TFG.

169 ET. RFG. See also ET. RFG.

170 ET. RFG; ET. RFG.

171 ET. RFG.

172 ET. YFG.

173 ET. YFG; ET. TFG. See also ET. YFG.

174 ET. YFG; See also ET. YFG; ET. TFG.

175 ET. RFG.; ET. YFG; ET. YFG; ET. WFG. ET. TFG. ET. TFG.

176 ET. RFG.

177 C.f for example TZ. TFG; TZ. YFG; TZ. WFG.

178 TZ. RFG.

179 TZ. RFG.

180 TZ. RFG.

181 ET. WFG; TZ, RFG.

182 TZ. TFG. The reference to ”Daniel and his friends” refers to the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. This will be further explained later in the study.

183 ET. RFG; ET. RFG; ET. YFG; ET. RFG; ET. YFG; ET. RFG; ET. WFG; ET. WFG; ET. TFG.

184 ET. WFG.

185 TZ. TFG.

186 ET. WFG.

187 ET. WFG; ET. RFG; ET. WFG; ET. WFG.

188 TZ. RFG; C.f also TZ. RFG; TZ. RFG; TZ. WFG.

189 TZ. TFG.

190 TZ. WFG; TZ. RFG.

191 TZ. YFG.

192 TZ. L; TZ. WFG; TZ. RFG.

193 TZ. TFG.

194 TZ. WFG.

195 TZ. YFG.

196 TZ. RFG.

197 TZ. TFG.

198 TZ. WFG.

199 ET. L.

200 ET. RGF; See also ET. RGF; ET. WFG; TZ. WFG.

201 ET. RGF; See also ET. WFG.

202 ET. WFG; ET. RGF.

203 Especially in the focus group from the rural area. TZ. RFG; TZ. RFG.

204 TZ. RFG; C.f. TZ. RFG; TZ. RFG; TZ. TFG; TZ. L.

205 TZ. L.

206 TZ. RFG.

207 TZ. RFG.

208 TZ. TFG.

209 TZ. RFG.; TZ. WFG.

210 TZ. TFG.

211 ET. RFG.

212 TZ. TFG.

213 TZ. TFG.

214 ET. WFG.

215 ET. RFG; ET. WFG; ET. TFG; ET. TFG.

216 ET. WFG; ET. RFG; ET. RFG; ET. WFG; ET. TFG.

217 ET. TFG.

218 TZ. TFG.; TZ. RFG.

219 TZ. WFG.

220 TZ. RFG.; TZ. TFG.

221 TZ. L.

222 TZ. TFG; TZ. WFG.

223 ET. RFG.

224 TZ. RFG.

225 TZ. RFG.

226 TZ. WFG.

227 ET, RFG. See also ET. RFG; ET. RFG.

228 ET, RFG.

229 ET. RFG. See also ET. RFG; ET. RFG; ET. RFG.

230 ET. RFG. See also ET, WFG.

231 ET, YFG. See also ET. YFG; ET. YFG.

232 ET. WFG. See also ET, RFG; ET. YFG; ET. RFG; ET. WFG; ET. TFG; ET. YFG; ET, TFG.

233 ET. RFG; ET. YFG.

234 ET. YFG; ET. YFG.

235 TZ. RFG.

236 TZ. TFG.

237 TZ. WFG; C.f TZ. TFG; TZ. TFG.

238 TZ. L.

239 TZ. YFG.

240 TZ. WFG.

241 TZ. RFG. C.f. also TZ. YFG; TZ. WFG; TZ. WFG.

242 TZ. TFG; TZ. WFG.

243 TZ. WFG.

244 TZ. YFG.

245 TZ. WFG; TZ. TFG.

246 TZ. WFG.

247 TZ. WFG.

248 TZ. WFG.

249 ET. YFG; TZ. RFG; C.f. also TZ. WFG; TZ. TFG.

250 ET. RFG; ET. RFG; ET.YFG; ET. TFG.

251 ET. RFG. See also ET. RFG, ET. YFG; ET. YFG; ET. RFG; ET. YFG.

252 TZ. RFG.; TZ. WFG.

253 TZ. RFG; C.f. TZ. YFG; TZ. YFG.

254 TZ. RFG.

255 TZ. TFG.

256 TZ. YFG; C.f. also TZ: YFG; TZ. WFG.

257 ET. YFG

258 TZ. L; TZ. RFG; TZ. L; TZ. L; TZ. WFG.

259 TZ. WFG.

260 MacIntyre, Alasdair C. After virtue: a Study in Moral Theory. 2002, 184.

261 See also Land, Steven J. Pentecostal Spirituality: a Passion for the Kingdom, 1993.

262 Hauerwas Willimon. 1989, 45–49.

263 Mouffe, Chantal. On the Political, 2005.

264 Kalu, Ogbu. African Pentecostalism, 2008; Prosén, Martina. ”Överflödande liv” in Josefsson Wahlström, Teologi för hela skapelsen, 2017.

265 Dean, Mitchell. Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. 1999, 17–21.

266 See for example Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality Vol. 1. The Will to Knowledge. 1990, Ch. 4.

267 Holmefur, Niklas. Den Osynliga Religionen. 2016.

268 Freeman. 2012.

269 Miller Yamamori. 2007.

270 Cox. 1994; Demspter et al. 1999.

271 Anderson. 2004.

272 See for example Warrington, Keith. Pentecostal Perspectives, 1998; Yong, Amos. Renewing Christian Theolog y, 2014; Vondey, Wolfgang. Pentecostal Theology, 2017; Kalu , Ogbu. African Pentecostalism 2008; Jenkins, Philip . The New Faces of Christianity, 2006.

273 Archer, Kenneth. Pentecostal Hermeneutic for the Twenty-first Century, 2004. For a deeper study on fundamentalism and Pentecostalism se also Crapanzano, Vincent. Serving the Word: Literalism in America, 2001.

274 Anderson, Robert. The Vision of the Disinherited, 1979.

275 Hollenweger. 1997; Dayton. 1987.

276 Martin, David. Pentecostalism, 2002; Bergunder, Michel. ”The cultural turn”, 2010; Brusco, Elisabeth. ”Gender and power”, 2010; Synan, Yong Asamoah-Gyadu. Global Renewal Christianity vol three, Africa. 2016.

277 Hooghe, Marks Wilson. “Does left/right structure party positions on European integration?”. 2002. p35.

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Title
The Role of the Pentecostal Church of Tanzania and the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church in Society. Gender Equality, Peace Building and Environmental Care
Author
Year
2020
Pages
143
Catalog Number
V1252816
ISBN (eBook)
9783346754073
ISBN (Book)
9783346754080
Language
English
Keywords
role, pentecostal, church, tanzania, ethiopian, hiwot, berhan, society, gender, equality, peace, building, environmental, care, spiritual, unspiritual, Swedish Free Mission, pentecostalism, pentecostal movement
Quote paper
Reuben Kabarata (Author), 2020, The Role of the Pentecostal Church of Tanzania and the Ethiopian Hiwot Berhan Church in Society. Gender Equality, Peace Building and Environmental Care, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1252816

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