In my travel to Haiti last week our group met with Jean Valéry Vital-Herne, the national coordinator for Défi Michée (Micah Challenge, Haiti), which represents Haitian protestant churches and works to eradicate poverty. Valéry spoke to us about his vision to see the church active in advocating for social, economic and political change in Haiti. His vision for the Haitian church is also applicable and needed for churches here in the United States.
Here’s an excerpt from a theological reflection by Valéry:
There is need to rethink our theology. “Theology cannot focus solely on the individual and his needs but must go one step further to discern the will of God in relation to the world in which the church is called to live out the gospel.” There is a need for a fresh look at the Holy Scriptures, a look that will lead the church to proclaim “God’s redeeming power to every dimension of life.” At a time where everyone is talking about a renewal for Haiti, the danger of simply maintaining the status quo is omnipresent. The church must be an active agent in this change that we all long for. A change where “justice flows like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” To get there, the church will have to risk much: reputation, riches, etc. It will have to live dangerously. We are called to live dangerous lives. The Haitian theologian Joel D. Alexandre puts it well: “One understands that the Christian life in something dangerous.” Living dangerously for God and His cause – this is our destiny.