Choices

Students at Gindiri Theological Seminary

Students at Gindiri Theological Seminary

On Tuesday our group visited Gindiri School of Theology.  Some of the team members facilitated a discussion regarding  the appropriate pastoral response to HIV/AIDS concerns.  Traditionally, Nigerian women are taught to be submissive to their husbands.  The question being asked was –“If a woman comes for pastoral counseling concerned about having sex with her husband because he is HIV +, what advice do you give her?”  That question triggered animated discussion. Some students expressed the need to protect and advocate for the woman, but the opposite point of view was also voiced.  One suggestion was to advise the woman to return to her husband and submit because the marriage should be kept intact and as long as she was being obedient to God’s command to be submissive, God wuold protect her.  Obed Dashon, the college president, made some closing remarks.  He commented that we have a choice–a choice to follow culture or Christ.  That comment was made in the context of African culture and response to HIV/AIDS epidemic.  But that comment took root in my thoughts as I prepare to return tothe U.S. I also will have a choice–to follow my culture with its emphasis on materialisam, its waste of natural resources and its tendency to avoid dealing with social/justice inequalities.  Or I can choose to follow Christ and His teaching to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God.

Lois Lyndaker

11/19/08

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