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CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA - SOME THOUGHTS

 

Today, most of the sub-Saharan Africans –notably the Bantous and the semi-Bantous-- would refer to themselves as Christians. These people go to church on Sundays, pray to Jesus and patiently believe that the Lord will someday, somehow answer their supplications and bring about the realization of the profound desires of their hearts and make their lives better –even without them having to take any actions--.

 

There is no doubt that praying to Jesus --to God, to Allah, to Buddah, whatever you call Him—will unquestionably bring some relief to human heart. Many Christians today have found peace and love in the Lord Jesus through the prayers, the recitations, the chants , the supplications that they bind to the rhythms of the Universal alchemy. The book of creation informs us that God created the Universe and everything within it. If creation is based on this premise, then it would be unwise –not to say shear stupidity—to think that the Creator is not in control of His creation nor can He influence it--. So our people would be right to have a spiritual dimension to the their lives, and Christianity appears to be the primary if not the only choice in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

 

However though, the version of Christianity that was taught to the sub-Saharan African people was introduced by the ever and overly present colonial master in our lives today. At the time of the Christian brainwashing, it can be conceded that the African people were not knowledgeable enough –or rather not curious enough-- to conduct any rigorous analysis and serious examinations of the philosophical principles of this newly introduced religion. Our people did not seek to find the rationale behind the teachings of this religion. They were naively contented to just have the master direct their lives in every way, shape and form.

They were told that God was white, and that it was ungodly to question any teachings of the white master. They were taught that God wanted them to be un-conditionally subservient and submissive to the master. They were taught that when slapped on one cheek, God wanted them to show the other cheek to be spanked even harder. They told us to love our enemies and never erect our knowledge against the teachings of the master, not even against his most heinous acts upon us. They brought effigies and icons of a white Jesus and the Madonna. The stage was perfectly construed –just as the CFA franc is today-- to enslave, to exploit  and conquer these inept and unsophisticated people at the time.

It would be intellectually honest to point out the good deeds of the church in Africa. Notably, the Catholic church came, not just with the deceitful and deceptive teachings, but equally with some good intentions and positive deeds for which we must be grateful to the extent that it warrants. The Catholic --Roman Catholic-- mission built churches, primary and secondary schools, hospitals and several non-profit structures to uplift, emancipate our people and make their lives better. I must confess that I attended a RMC primary school, and many people that I know attended schools like St Joseph College Sasse, Saker Baptist College, Okoyong, Secret Heart, just to name a few. The Catholic mission built these infrastructures of learning, trained and paid the teachers of these institutions. So it would be intellectually dishonest not to recognize these incredibly philanthropic undertakings, not to be thankful and give credit for these extraordinarily good intended projects of emancipation of the African people, --who for the most part, lets face it, were living in the shear darkness of ignorance--. We would probably not be where we are today, if it were not for what the catholic missionaries brought to our shores.

But lets face it, times have changed and so are the thought processes, the ingenuity and the creativity of the African people. If you are a devout Christian, please stay a Christian because the promise of salvation, the peace and joy that the comforting teachings of the Lord --Jesus Christ-- bring to your heart certainly outweigh the pejoratives of this religion, for which the colonial master alone, bares sole responsibility and is to be blamed. But I like to encourage you to be a progressive Christian. Be a gnostic Christian. Be a Christian who seeks knowledge, meaning, reason and understanding behind the words of wisdom --attributed to the Lord Jesus-- on which you are betting your salvation on. Because the one who seeks to exploit and enslave you might use it as a conduit to control your mind and make you subservient to his will.

Let no one tell you that God does not want you to debate Him. Let no man tell you that God does not want you to think and analyze any words that is attributed to Him or to His prophets. For if that was the case, He wouldn’t have given you this incredible anatomy of a brain to think, to reflect, to analyze, to introspect, to reject, to accept and to grow. If the creative Universe gave you a mind, you would be foolish to think that it is not to be used. There is a reason that birds use their God given wings to fly.

In this article, I like to examine some of the teachings of Christianity as it was taught to the sub-Saharan people. First, we must understand how the Bible –and its successive versions-- that the colonial master brought to us came to be. Then we must examine the way it was being taught to the African people.

First, understand that when Jesus the Christ walked the surface of the earth, there was no such a thing as Christianity. Jesus never said that His mission on earth was to create a new religion called Christianity. When Jesus lived on earth, he diligently studied the Holy Torah, he went to Jewish temples --synagogues-- to pray and worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, just as the people before him did. He worshiped the same God that the prophets before him --Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others-- worshiped. He called himself a Jew --from Galilee--and followed the teachings of Judaism as inscribed in the Holy Torah, as interpreted and taught by Moses and other prophets before Him.

--And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.—Luke 21:37

The Lord Jesus never said that his mission was to bring a new teaching for a new religion called Christianity. The first Christian doctrine –hence the first Christian church-- was only created some 150 years after Jesus had been crucified. His philosophy was not meant only for some future religion called Christianity, but the teachings were meant to be Universal and for all people and all religions to come. The principles he taught are Universal and are not uniquely Christian principles. These same principles are found in all orthodox religions today. Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism all teach the same principle taught by Christ is some shape or form. The principle of unconditional love for your fellow human beings, the principle of forgiveness, the principle of obedience to your parents, the principle purifying the body, the mind and the spirit through fasting, can all be found in other religions. You may know that every year, the Muslims fast for the whole month of Ramadan. So the teachings of Jesus are not peculiar to Christianity, they are found in all the other popular religions in the world today, albeit phrased slightly differently.

Second, the Bible that we all carry today has gone through several revisions and translations over the centuries. The original texts were said to be in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. The early scriptures are known to comprise of several books, some of which were revised, translated or removed. The very early version of the Holy Bible that emanated from the Council of Nicea –under the Roman Emperor Constantine— is significantly different –in the number of books and translation—than the one the sub-Saharan African man carries so proudly today. I urge the African people to take the time to research the book on which you are betting your salvation. It is just as important as the food you eat or the water you drink. We need knowledge, but it is incumbent upon us to seek the correct kind knowledge. If your knowledge is flawed and inaccurate, so is your mindset.

Let us pause for a moment and examine a few scripture that can only be found in the version of the Christian Bible that the colonial master brought to Africa. It must be noted that no other holy scripture –Torah (Judaism), Coran (Islam), Tipitaka (Buddhism), Vedas (Hinduism) – has such remarkable teachings. And quite frankly, teachings that incite rebellion and stirs contradictions with the human instincts. The questions are: Did the Lord Jesus really said these things ? Is this what he really meant ? Was the original meaning lost in the numerous revisions and translations ? Or did the Romans simply made it up, to quiesce the rebelliousness of the people and brainwash the masses for Imperial domination ?

--Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.—John 14:6

Some proud Christians will let you to believe that –John 14:6—means that you must be a Christian to be saved. It is the only way to go to Heaven. Well, that is not true. Remember that Jesus prayed in the Synagogues –Jewish Temple—and not in a Christian church. In fact there was no such a thing as Christianity during Jesus’ lifetime, hence there were no Christian churches. So, this statement could not mean that only Christians would be saved. --at least not literally-- Remember that the Lord Jesus was a Jew –meaning someone who practices Judaism—and not Christianity.

So John 14:6 is either a translation mishap or can’t be taking literally. Bible scholars today agree that the statement meant that the teachings of Jesus were Universal, and that salvation can only be achieved through that kind of teaching and not necessarily through him as a person. Again use your God given mind to analyze these “millennia aged” words that the colonial master “cooked” to trick and deceive you in order to control your mind and submit you to his dominance.

--But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.–Matthews 5:39.

Some weak minded Christians will tell you that, this statement from Jesus meant that you don’t have the right to self-defense. When the master smites you, hurriedly beg him to slap you even harder, and then plead that he spanked you even harder so you get knocked out. When do you stop then ?. God forbid ! Don’t turn the other cheek to anyone who aggresses you physically. Not even your parents. It is not a natural instinct to let another beat and humiliate you to irrelevance, and it is certainly not what the Lord meant. The colonial master taught you to show the other cheek ? What kind of man would ask you to disarm and let yourself physically humiliated without you having the God given right to defend yourself ? Even animals in the forest, somehow know instinctively to defend themselves. Why wouldn't this be true for humans ? Only the man who smites and enjoys beating you will teach you such a senseless principle right ? That perhaps explains why the sub-Saharan African people can’t stand up to France which is draining and exploiting all of our resources, enslaving our people while we stand idly bye, showing the other cheek again and again. No. As a human being, you have the right to defend your country. You have the God given right to self-defense. Self defense is a natural instinct built into the consciousness of all living creatures. All other religions teach you the right to legitimate self-defense, except the version of Christianity that the colonial brought to Africa. The French, the Romans, the USA have had to fight wars in the name of freedom. Why didn’t they just turn the other cheek to Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Ghadaffi or Bin Laden ? Why are they building stock piles of atomic bomb ? Why only the African people must turn the other cheek again and again --in the name of Christianity-- ? The colonial master who taught you this is not following his own teachings. And neither should you.

You see, biblical scholars who have analyzed this statement of the holy scriptures interpreted it as follows: The Lord is saying that you should not use the same methods that your oppressor used to belittle you. For if you use the same methods used to oppress you, you are multiplying oppression onto men. If you hate those who hate you, you are engendering more negative Karmic energy, and you and your oppressor might end up even worse off. So you should learn to respond to hatred with love, but not by loving your enemy. Instead use love to appeal to the better side of human beings to free them from the vices of their own mind such as hatred. And in so doing, we will all end up better off.

Example: Someone who hates you says something very disparaging of your family. What the Lord is saying is that you should not “tit for tat” insult his family too. For if you do, you are no better than the little minded hater who has just engendered negative Karma unto himself. Instead, you could tell the hater that, for respect of his family, you would abstain from escalating the situation to his lovely family who really should not have anything to do with the emotionally hateful small minded guy who insulted you. In so doing, you could compel him to reexamine his thoughts. Another way to respond could be to just ignore him and not dignify his filthy comments with any response. And in so doing, you are not generating negative Karma unto yourself in response, and perhaps giving the aggressor a chance to reexamine his distasteful speech.

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"--Mathews 5:44.

Again use your mind here. These words are not meant to be taken literally. It is simply weak and dangerous to love someone who hates you. You have no moral obligation to love someone who would want to hurt you. The colonial master would only teach us this senseless principle --that came out of the council of Nicea-- to abuse and exploit the meek and naively unsophisticated minds of Africa. This principle is very unfair at face value in the sense that it incentivizes the aggressor to keep on hating, while asking the victim to surrender unconditionally. The more the aggressor hates, the more he is loved and prayed for. Does that make sense to you ? The man who teaches you this nonsensical and foolish principle is the one who wants to brainwash, disarm and deprive you of your right to self-defense, while he exploits and enslaves you.

Now you must remember that the Bible as you know it today was not written in one day. And there is no single Bible. But there are several collections of canonical texts, written over several centuries, some of which differ significantly. This writing is not intended to criticize the whole of Christianity and the Bible as we know it today. My intent is to get you to understand the origins of the words inscribed in the book in which you are betting your salvation today. I like to encourage you to read other scriptures –Coran, Torah, Vedas-- and compare with what the version of your own Bible says, because other Holy literatures have the same teachings but phrased and taught differently than the way the colonial master taught you. Some of the words in your Bible that the colonial master attributed to Jesus the Christ, are simply not verifiable and other Holy literature do not corroborate those teachings. Other Holy scriptures simply don't match the masters teachings to the African people. Don’t surrender your belief to the one version that the colonial master brought to you, because Christianity and the Bible you carry were created by the Romans and have gone through hundreds of revisions and translations over the course of time. And under the reign of Emperor Constantine the first, the Roman Empire adopted Christianity with the goal to colonize and conquer the world. –In these words we conquer; declared Constantine upon establishing the Bible--. I would encourage every christian to read the Holy Torah. Jesus Christ carried the Torah, worshiped and prayed in the Synagogue. The Torah as a holy scripture was never casually translated nor revised. You will find the teachings of the Torah very gnostic and rational. There has been this false perception that the Torah is the old testament. It is simply not true. The Torah is very different from the old testament of the christian Bible. Some of the stories and allegories may be the same, but the interpretation and the teachings are very different.

So we Africans must come to the realization that, when the Christian literature was put together, we had no dog in the fight, we had no stake in the game, and as always we were missing at the table. Therefore, we must at best be skeptical and suspicious --not of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, but-- of some of the very questionable teachings we find in the colonial masters version of the Bible and the Christian iconography he brought to our shores.

However, we must be careful not to throw the baby with the bath water. The teachings of our Lord Jesus will undoubtedly bring salvation to the faithful Christians who abide by the timeless wisdom in the words and teachings of Christ. But Christ himself warned you of the false prophets and those who will come in his name to deceive, to trick and to enslave you. And we have enough empirical evidence to view the colonial master’s Christian teaching with suspicion and a healthy dose of skepticism at best.

 

"Love thy God –the Creator of the Universe—with all your heart and all your strength and love your –proverbial— neighbor as you love yourself. In this lies the rock and foundation of your salvation." --ANST

 

"You don’t have to love your enemies, and when slapped on one cheek, you don’t have to show the other cheek to be spanked again and again. Self defense is a natural instinct built into the consciousness of every living creature. You don't have to needlessly surrender yours." – ANST—

 

"The whole of all the Holy scriptures --the Bible, the Torah (Judaism), the Coran (Islam), the Tipitaka (Buddhism), the Vedas (Hinduism)--, is to guide you to love and make peace  with yourself and all of mankind --whenever justified--" —ANST--

 

 

Powered By the ANST Fraternity Order --ANST--

 

 

 

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