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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versão impressa ISSN 1017-0499

Resumo

MPOFU, Sifiso. The theological dilemma vis-à-vis the moral options for relevant and practical ministry today: Lessons for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2015, vol.41, n.1, pp.67-85. ISSN 2412-4265.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2412-4265/2015/v41n1a6.

There are many misconceptions about the role of the church in society. This is because the church is neither a political institution nor a social organisation but a mystery of grace. The church can best be defined or understood in terms of its mission or its work. This article will explore the mission and work of the Christian church; specifically the church in Zimbabwe. One cannot talk about the Christian church without reflecting on Jesus Christ's mission. The church is the body of Christ, the true representative of the broken body of Jesus Christ. Paradoxically, while church leaders say that they are concerned about the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, they seem not to fight against harmful socioeconomic and political structures that dehumanise many of God's creation. The church, as God's compass to direct humanity for the total good of all creation, should always advocate in favour of peace and social justice. Christian leaders have a moral and social responsibility in their proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in an environment which is characterised by despondency, uncertainty and fear. This paper identifies moments of prophetic resistance to social evil. It is to be noted that such a prophetic dimension is an enduring reality of the life of an authentic church, despite the complex (and at times compromising) relationship between church and state. This article proposes possibilities for a new paradigm shift in Christian ministry with a view toward a rebirth of a socially conscious church within the established platform of Christian ministry.

Palavras-chave : Zimbabwe Council of Churches; Christian church; theological dilemma; role of the church; moral responsibility; prophetic responsibility.

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