PAULINE THEOLOGY OF THE CROSS IN EPHESIANS 2:11-22 AN ANTIDOTE TO TRIBALISM: LESSONS FOR THE CHURCH IN AFRICA
The Church in Africa is challenged by the phenomenon of tribalism, although it consists of believers who are seeking to transform the country through the Good News of Jesus Christ. Africans in general and Nigerians in particular, have excluded others because of the tribe they come from and the language they speak. This has been a wall and barrier in the society and the tendency for us to carry it into the church is high. This is due to lack of proper understanding and use of our differences or diversities that are both physical and socially constructed The Cross speaks to those tendencies and divisions created by such attitudes which we shall integrate as a theological solution to the issue. This paper integrates the theology of the Cross with the problem of tribalism for church life in Nigeria, which is our methodology, as posited by Paul G. Heibert who says. “In seminaries we need to begin by examining the worldview of the culture in which we ourselves live and how it shapes the way we think. We need to compare this against a biblical worldview in order to transform ours in the light of the gospel.” The paper concludes that all forms of division, alienation, barriers and walls have been annulled by Christ on the Cross. There is therefore no room for tribal of linguistic ethnocentrism. As Christians, our attitude towards others that do not speak the same language with us must transcend and be transformed by the Cross of Jesus Christ.
KEYWORDS: Christian, Cross, Church, Reconciliation, Antidote, Tribalism, Lessons, Divisions, Transformation.