Have the courage to challenge the prevailing norm

Have the courage to challenge the prevailing norm

“I believe that courage is the most important virtue, the foundation that underlies and gives reality to all other virtues and personal values. Without courage we become conformists. Conformity is not the fibre good and courageous leaders are made of . . . Do not be frightened by the alones that may come with you holding unpopular positions.  It is in aloneness that wisdom will visit you and smile upon you.” – Mamphela Ramphele, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1991.

Quoted by Matthew Clark, a South African Pentecostal, in his article titled, “Questioning Every Consensus: A Pleas for a Return to the Radical Roots of Pentecostalism,” Asia Journal of Pentecostal Studies 5:1, (2002): 73-86.

True Pentecostal discipleship is a call to prophetic critique of the prevailing norm and the envisioning of a better world order.  Our relevancy in the world we live in lies not in trying to fall over backwards to be on the “cutting edge” of cultural relevancy.  Our relevancy to the age we live in is only achieved if we are willing, as Clark says, “if we operate critically of he very consensus rather than be co-opted in the [prevailing] consensus itself.”  This ability to critique and speak forth a better dream is the true mark of following Jesus.  If we cannot embrace the our call to critique the world around us and project a better world, then we are not embracing our role as ambassadors of God’s kingdom; we are not embracing our role as “witnesses” to the kingdom.  And if we are Pentecostal, we are certainly failing to enrich other Christians with the gift which God has entrusted us for the edifying of the entire Church of God.


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