Scope Magazine is an on-campus church collaboration initiative that operates through the local church network in different parts of South Africa. At the moment this is largely happening in the Cape Town and Stellenbosch regions of the Western Cape.
Everyone who comes to varsity is looking for some or other group that they can belong to. Simunye, which in Zulu means ‘we are one’, is a desire for the up-and-coming generation to belong to a community radically changed by the love of God who demonstrate what real unity in diversity looks like.
Unity in diversity is an ideal that many seek, but few ever experience. The reason for this is because when one group insists that the way they do things is the only way, they refuse to relate to another group whose way may be different. So, there will indeed be diversity in the differing of worldviews, but no unity in those beliefs. Is it possible that instead of differences in worldview dividing, we could allow other perceptions of reality to broaden our own?
Unity is not when people from the same financial bracket and neighborhood with the same skin colour and cultural norms conveniently get on well with each other. On the contrary, it is the ability to find commonality in the seemingly uncommon. It is when two people from completely different backgrounds and walks of life can sit at the same table and break bread together. Whatever differences they might have are recognised and respected as the two celebrate the unique image of God in each other, pointing to the remarkable truth of Ephesians 2:14 – “For [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”.
With less and less young people interested in going to church nowadays, it’s the responsibility of the Church to go to them. It’s time for unity in diversity as the Body of Christ to be evidently seen by all at university so that the Gospel will advance in whatever faculty of study they may be. Jesus’ words in John 13:35 hits the nail on the head: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Each individual church has a vital role to play in God’s mission of calling every nation to Himself, but imagine if the Church started to think less as individuals and more as a team? It’s only the love of Christ that can do this and it’s only through partnership that this will be seen best.
So, Simunye is as much about Christians from various churches functioning together with the same mission of making Christ known as it is about those outside the Church witnessing their genuine care for one another. The love that the world should see in the Church is what should draw them to the Father from where this love flows from. Scope Magazine is simply that medium to see this happen locally, nationally, and even internationally.