Transcendence in the context of abject poverty in informal settlements in Mangaung, South Africa
The confession that Christ is verily God is usually regarded as high Christology which is not readily accepted as relevant to the situation of those in abject poverty. Rather, Christology from below, from the perspective of Christ’s humanity is regarded as relevant to the poor. However, this needs not be the case. The confession of Christ as verily God has implications for the poor and the sick. Christ is deeply concerned with the life of the person exactly because He is God. His kingdom, although not of this world, is the kingdom of God of salvation and renewal. Christ is the One who is God in profound relation with the person in deepest need. People in informal settlements in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) suffer serious challenges. Research in these areas shows that the churches in these areas need to address the challenges head-on in order to be of value to the communities. Should they only try to alleviate poverty or should they deal with the people in all their needs? The early churches proclaimed Christ as God and honoured Him for that. However, they also influenced the whole community through their love and service. Honouring Christ as God means that the church should be present in the community as the body of Christ in love and renewal of the sinner. A new future is only possible by acknowledging Christ.
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