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1 - Church versus Revival?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2022

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Summary

Introduction

When Ugandans converted because of the preaching of the Balokole, they, by and large, did not leave the Church of Uganda. To be saved—during the late colonial era in Uganda, at least—was to be (or to become) Anglican. And to separate from the Church of Uganda was tantamount to becoming “cold” in salvation, which revivalists sought to avoid. While independency was seemingly an option for Ugandan Balokole, especially in the contentious years of the early to mid-1940s, the basic convictions of the revival and the general tendency of the movement were to fight to remain within the Church of Uganda and not to form an independent church apart from it, as frequently happened in colonial Sub-Saharan Africa. Conversion within the revival, therefore, meant transformation of the person and the church, but not separation from it. The Rt. Rev. Erica Sabiti described revivalists’ dispositions toward the church in an interview in 1972:

Well, those who had the blessing [i.e., Balokole], knew the Lord and the experience of His saving power felt that the church was theirs, they were baptized in this church and felt that they would remain in this church. By their remaining there, God has used them. Where there is light, that becomes contagious. Some others experienced the same, came to know the Lord through the ministries of these who had accepted.

Sabiti's explanation, given nearly 30 years after the tumultuous years of the 1940s, has the benefits of hindsight and the process of institutionalization of the revival within the Church of Uganda. He was, after all, both an early revival convert and the archbishop of the Church of Uganda when he gave the interview, which demonstrates the extent to which the revival's antagonism toward the Church of Uganda had abated by the time of independence in 1962. Others interviewed in the early 1970s as well as Balokole interviewed more recently (in 2012) tell a comparable story. Today, revivalists will often speak about the unity of the Church of Uganda and compare it favorably to the fissiparous competition of the newer Pentecostal churches that are sprouting up in Uganda.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2017

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  • Church versus Revival?
  • Jason Bruner
  • Book: Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda
  • Online publication: 05 October 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781787440616.002
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  • Church versus Revival?
  • Jason Bruner
  • Book: Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda
  • Online publication: 05 October 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781787440616.002
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Church versus Revival?
  • Jason Bruner
  • Book: Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda
  • Online publication: 05 October 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781787440616.002
Available formats
×