Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God. – Luke 9:60
There is a village on the Gold Coast of West Africa, called ‘Achimota’. It lies seven miles from the infamous Christianborg castle where slaves were held for the slave ships. Across a wooded hill above the village runs a path trod by thousands of slaves headed for a life of misery. This hill was the last chance of escape before they reached the dungeons from which they would be shipped across the Atlantic. Sometimes slaves would manage to escape the chains and would be cared for by villagers. The name ‘Achimota’ literally means ‘Hush, don’t speak of it”.
Today, Achimota is the site of Ghana’s first great college where young people are educated for the future life of the free state of Ghana. The first vice-principal, James Kwegyr Aggrey, was known internationally for his work of racial reconciliation. The crest of the new college bears one of his parables: “On a piano you can play a tune of sorts on the white keys and a tune of sorts on the black keys, but for real harmony you need both black and white.” Its motto, ‘Ut omnes unum sint’ (That they all may be one), calls for one family of diverse races. Achimota College’s goal supports God’s long-term plan for humanity.
We Christians are often told that it is at best in poor taste and at worst bigotry to attempt to “proselytize” others. “It is alright for you to believe that way, but you shouldn’t push your beliefs on others” we are told. But what if vice-principal Aggrey had followed their advice? What if he had simply held to his beliefs about the miscarriage of justice that was the slave trade and had not tried to convince others? What would have happened if each of those villagers had simply believed fervently without acting upon their faith? Where would Ghana be today? Those few poor souls that did manage to escape the slave traders would have starved to death in the bush, dying alone and miserable. All the good things that we have in life have come because someone somewhere had a good idea, a firm belief to which they held contrary to the prevailing view. We are able to profit from their ideas because of their tenacity.
Each of us should try to convince his neighbor of the right view, the right action, the right belief. Is that not the very essence of democracy – survival of the fittest theory – Darwinianism at its best? As each idea is tested, some fall by the wayside, others flourish until they become a veritable ideological forest – providing shelter, food, lumber, shade, holding the water in the ground. Only through spiritual reproduction will we not only maintain but improve the condition of the human race. A one tree forest is doomed to die.
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