A worldview, put simply, is the way a person views the world. Sadly, while a person may claim to have a Christian worldview, they may do things that are inconsistent with the Bible. That is why, in Romans 12:2, Paul says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (ESV). Hence, our worldview needs to be constantly renewed by the Bible's worldview so that our thinking can be transformed so that we can please God with our lives.
From September to December 2009, TWR (in partnership with Mercy Ships, Theovision, SIM and PAACS1) engaged unbiblical worldviews in West Africa through the production and broadcast of 52 mini-drama audio episodes of 3-5 minutes each. This campaign was truly an Ephesians 6:12 ( ... we do not wrestle against flesh and blood ... ) and 2 Corinthian 10:5 ( ... we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God ... ) affair. Over these four months, TWR went to battle against the principalities and powers.
Operation World points out that in West Africa, "Christian religious profession is a value system steeped in the old ways - fetishism, ancestor worship, idolatry, etc."2 This not only hurts communities spiritually, but can also lead to incorrect beliefs about how to deal with real-world problems, for example, HIV/AIDS. Relying on things like amulets (bracelets), potions and sexual relations with virgins will only further the spread of disease and death in Africa. Africans need to hear the truth and how it impacts their daily lives, spoken in ways they will understand culturally. These programmes are doing just that.
The programmes were translated into seven languages (Mina, Bariba, Goun, Fon, Yoruba, Dende and French) and apart from being broadcast over TWR's medium wave transmitter in Benin, they were used on-board a medical ship called Africa Mercy in Benin and Togo, and moreover, in some clinics in Gabon. Over and above the medium wave broadcasts which reach millions in West Africa, more than 16 000 patients were exposed to the programmes aboard the ship. Furthermore, diseases that were regarded as a 'curse' from the 'gods' which often led to people being cast out of their communities, were brought to the medical ship for treatment and the victims were given hope in Christ.
The Way Forward
These programmes will be developed for use in more countries using the same languages so as to maximise the investment in the project and, more importantly, to reach more people with the One who is the way, and the truth and the life (cf. John 14:6). In the meantime, we echo Operation World's plea - "Pray for the powers of darkness to be bound in Jesus' name, and pray that Christian leaders and churches may challenge these powers and not succumb to them."2 Pray that the seeds planted through these programmes will take root and grow to maturity in the lives of those who have heard and who will hear them.
1. Pan African Association of Christian Surgeons.
Published: 28 September 2010