Equipping Christians living in an "unequally yoked" context : a practical theological study
Theron, Petria Magdalena
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Believers in Jesus Christ are often “yoked together” with unbelievers because they have to work and live together. This situation is not always easy, therefore Christians need to be equipped so that they can persevere and have a positive influence on the world around them. The practical theological model of Zerfass (consisting of a basis theory, a metatheory and a practical theory) serves as the theoretical framework to research this issue and consequently propose guidelines for a model to equip Christians for their task as witnesses in the world. The article format has been used in this thesis and consists of six articles. From the Old Testament (Article 1) and the New Testament (Article 2) it is clear that Christians may not practice their religion in isolation as God has called them to be witnesses in the world. They may even experience unjust suffering, but they should remember that suffering is never a sign of God’s absence, but of His presence. God does not always deliver his children form danger, but always protects them in it. A personal relationship with God enables believers to experience a fulfilling life. To be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ, believers should take note of the challenges which the postmodern context presents in order to engage appropriately with unbelievers (Article 3). Christians need to show authentic love towards others and need to have an integral Christian worldview which impacts on the whole live of the believer, to obey and honour God in every area of life (Article 4). The attitude of Christians is extremely important. They should be humble, people of integrity, living exemplary lives and practice what they preach (Article 5). Christians collectively (the Church) also have the responsibility to be Christ’s representatives in this postmodern context and to respond to the renewed quest for meaning and spirituality. The church has to give attention to inter alia the quality of relationships, the transmission of the message and leadership (Article 6).
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