Here are some things I’ve been thinking about in response to the comments on “Preachers from My Country”:
- The Protestant Church in Mozambique is, for the most part, charismatic.
- Most pastors are untrained.
- People, in general, are uneducated. An “educated” person is someone who has completed secondary school. And any education a person has received is not quality education.
- Therefore, people do not read. They might know how to, but they don’t really have access to books or the time to read them. They listen to radio and CDs and watch TV and DVDs. An average Mozambican Christian could not be expected to sit down with C.S. Lewis, for example.
- John Stott is not shown on the God Channel (as far as I know). Joel Osteen is.
- Churches or auditoriums filled with thousands of people are impressive.
- Big-name evangelists have huge budgets to broadcast themselves into many different countries and be translated into many different languages.
- Many missionaries also like these evangelists.
- Other American imports that Mozambicans love: Early 90’s love ballads (How often have I found myself singing along to “Everything I Do”?), hip-hop (“What?! You don’t know Akon? But he’s from your country!”), cheesy action flicks (“Jen, do you watch Rambo? What about Van Damme?”)
- Most things cheesy have an appeal to them because they are simple, catchy, and cross-cultural.
- By knowing this much about America, Mozambicans actually know far more about America than most Americans know about Mozambique.
- Whether we like it or not, Joel Osteen, Rambo, and Akon represent America as much as Rob Bell, Garden State, and Norah Jones.