The Paradox of Jenta

Right now there are at least 100 people in the side of Jenta which we call “The Jungle,” either smoking, drinking, or maybe even fornicating.

There is almost nothing bad that is not done there.

In less than 15 hours from the time of this writing (which will be Sunday, 11th November, 2018) not less than 11 churches will open their doors for Sunday Worship. A short walk away from The Jungle is one of the oldest and most populated churches in the community, ECWA Church Jenta Mangoro.

COCIN (Church of Christ in Nations) has two branches here. ECWA has four, the Catholic church has two, there is a Methodist church, there is an Anglican church. and there are no fewer than 20 Ministry Fellowships here.

So how is it that The Jungle keeps expanding, even more than these churches? In a community such as this, with so many churches…and yet the rut keeps getting deeper. Will someone provide an “exegesis” of what’s wrong here?

One reason I responded to altar calls when I was much younger was a single line in the preachers sermon, “Accept Jesus and your problems will go away.” That’s not true.

Christianity is not a magic wand, it does not eliminate problems.

Deeply rooted in this community are problems that seem to conquer the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. They continually stare Christians in the face. But we have developed such a sophistication, that these problems no longer make us question whether it is Christ that has failed…or it is us.

While Jenta stands as a great testament to a community being called “Christian,” it also stands as the worst example of anything that we can ever attempt to associate with Christ.

The Christianity of this place has no Christ in it. It’s no wonder a small band of passionless, confused, young men and women are dominating the socio-cultural definition of our community.

When I arrived the gates of Christendom, I was certain I didn’t want to be like the Christian I had seen modeled in my hometown. I told Him, “Lord, make an extraordinary Christian or make me nothing.” I am not an extraordinary Christian yet, but I am quite sure that part of what will doom this place is a brand of Christianity that has no Christ in it, no Holy Spirit in it, no passion, no wisdom, and no full gospel.

We must lay down our arms, the ones of doctrines that we’ve used to shoot each other for a long time now, and acknowledge that we are not fighting a doctrinal or sectarian battle. We are up against “a way of life” and only Christ can change lives into something greater.

I’ve asked myself again and again, if Jesus (in me) walks this street, what will He do? And how different will this street be? Am I not Christ to this street?

About the author

Lengdung Tungchamma

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