Call me all the names you want but Christianity to me is a project of the whiteman to continue taking possession of the mind of an African. The purpose of Christianity was to break the bond that made a black man strong and united – and break it permanently so that to control and shape a mind of a black man over him.
The life of a black man was always remarkable. A black man lived and worshipped his God in peace, in the form of a circle. A black man does not close his eyes when he prays, he does not look up in the heavens when he calls his Gods but looks down to the earth where he knows his Gods are. Look how black people lived; everything is about a circle. Their houses were round, how they seat together is in the round form, when they dance they make a round form; how they worship together they gather in the round form and how they build their settlements they build them in a way that surrounding their capital. Everything is in the shape of a circle.
There are traces of Africans today, from the Bushmen of Namibia to the native Bantu in the Limpopo who still worship the Sun and the moon. The sun it is round. They worship the moon, it is round and the worship the God of hunting, they dance in round form around the fire. They gather in the round form and prays their Gods. Everything is round, a circle.
When Europeans came in to Africa during the 15th century they found out that black people have built everything in the round form; from houses to settlements. Our parliaments or governance structures as well were structured in the form of a circle. We also worshipped our God in the form of a circle, in what we called “Sebatlabadimo” or a sacred place were we pour traditional beer and smoke. We held hands together as we danced in circle form. Africans still employ this form of sacred dance in the churches today. That is how they used to prays their God; Africans God, mother Africa.
Look at how black people used to build their settlements, it is in circular forms. Look at our traditional houses, our kraals were we keep our stocks, our Kingdoms or palaces, all in the form of a circle. Circle is a gift our God gave us to exist in its form.
Then there came a whiteman; the peril of evil influences. Africa was one of the civilised regions of the world back in the 7th and 8th centuries. The whiteman have learned that Africa was doing great politically and economically; it was trading better with China and the Asian world and better positioned to dominate the global trade. The whiteman was distraught with the wars (Napoleonic wars) he has fought against each other in Europe for years. The history of the whiteman is of battles as we know it and of conquest, against each other. This has exhausted him so much that he needed something new, a new battle. He was tired of killing each other and sick with diseases too.
The whiteman was so broke and hungry that he was overcome with jealous of Africa. He has realized that he could not penetrate a black man with his circle and then decided to break it. So as he introduces his ways of life in to Africa; of wars and conquests. This he employed in the form of religion; Christianity. He came and presented his side of the story in the form of a bible; a long boring story of the whiteness around the earth, for a black man to believe that God is white and only he should obey a white God and shun his.
A lot of people in the world have heard, at least obliquely, of the Rastafari movement. A smaller number know that Rastafarians, in addition to helping to popularize reggae music, worship Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, as an incarnation of God and the messiah. Fewer still know that one of the reasons for Haile Selassie’s popularity among the 20th century Afrocentrist movement that gave rise to Rastafaris was that Ethiopia was the only country in Africa free of European domination. So the blacks where free from religious exploitation back then, that is why they had a black God; Haile Selassie. In the eyes of blacks throughout the world, Haile Selassie’s exuberant coronation, which was attended by world leaders from around the world, was a potent symbol of the power of the African and his believes. Heile Selassie presented to the world leaders his road map; he indicated that the European way of life and way of governance cannot work in African. Africans have their own ways of self-governance and they would not be policed over it; a circle. He reminded the world leaders that Africa was great before the whiteman came to destroy it and that Africa had its God before the whiteman came to present his Jesus Christ; a black Jesus.
But regardless of whether or not the ancient Kings of Africa had some connection to the God of Africa, their achievements are undeniable. They have build Kingdoms in the forms of circles. At their heights, around the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, Aksum (Kingdom of Aksum) had brought much of modern Ethiopia as well as Yemen, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Sudan under its control to teach aboriginals there the importance of the circle, along with smaller portions of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and was regarded as one of the four great empires of the known world after Ethiopia have thought them to build their empires in the forms of a circle (the remainder of which were Persia, the Roman Empire, and ancient China). A major center of trade, Aksum was an important part of the Indian Ocean sea trade that linked Egypt to India, China, and Southeast Asia, controlling the Red Sea through which much of said trade was conducted. African Architects and Engineers traded heavily in the building plans, all which had building structures in circular forms. The trade was good to such extend that Africans constructors where preferred everywhere in the world because of their sophisticated building plans.
Aksum was also one of the first countries in the world to convert to Christianity, adopting the new religion at around the same time as the Romans and the Armenians (the two other main claimants) and then shunning the God of Circle. By end of 7th century the Aksumite kings took their faith quite seriously and considered the welfare of Christians in both Africa and Arabia their responsibility, extending their protection to those experiencing religious persecution.
But the introduction of Christianity to Africans was a total blow for Africa’s independence and self-sustainability.
Christianity may be revolutionary or oppressive depending on who is teaching it. Like any tool, in the hands of the slave master, or the missionary it will justify Africa’s oppression. An African centred reading of Christianity however produces radically different paradigms.
In any multi-faith continent, knowledge of self must include knowledge of our neighbors. Ignorance of each other has been the tool which others can use to create friction. Anyone who does know this will become a victim of the oppressors biggest weapon “divide and rule” In seeking a Pan-African future a constructive dialogue is necessary which deals with Africa today and not a mythical romantic historical Africa. In understanding how and why Africans have valued so much a God of Circle before Europeans taught them Christianity is as well logic in learning how was Africans before Christianity. What culture was there before the whiteman came into Africa. How was it? Was it barbaric or progressive?
We all know that culture has never been static, and certainly no static culture has survived history. The red Indians survived the Whiteman’s guns for generations; they were murdered in huge number much that they nearly went instinct; for rejecting Jesus and sticking to their Gods. A culture which is inflexible in the whiteman’s world is a culture on the verge of extinction. African Culture is not a monolith and while the foundations remain fundamentally unaltered, the interpretation and expression of continues to be a forever blossoming flower. African culture, like that of the red Indians nearly went instinct. But the traces are still there – the traces of our beloved circle. We see circle everywhere today, how native Africans today are building their houses today resembles a circle, how traditional societies are gathering for their meetings resembles a circle and how lobola is negotiated by the elders resembles a circle. It is how we were born. We were born in families, community and society structured in the form of a circle.
At the beginning of the colonial era less than 5% where Christian, after colonialism less than 50% of Africa was Christian, this rapid transformation created a high degree of cultural displacement, unlike with Islam which was steadily Africanised for over 1000 years. Christianity has been plagued with the history of European conquest and today it is yet to escape that legacy and become an agent of true liberation. With the exception of Ethiopia, the intention of Christianity in Africa was never to create development, in any capacity, in the African mind. It was to destroy Africans and divide them forever; to break their circle.
Today Christianity in Africa shares almost equal space with Islam. Both expand at the expense of the native African belief systems. That has always been the way of the world, life and death, and we must accept that reality but also learn from those histories and ancient traditions. Christianity has been a traditional part of the dynamic African landscape for over 2000 years. And beyond argument remains a fundamental sculptor the African cultures in Sudan and Ethiopia. The majority of Christianising in Africa is unfortunately linked to the enslavement and colonization.
With all the devotion to the white God it is strange how most cannot explain one Biblical story or even understand the history of Christianity, or the life of Jesus. They cannot even have an intelligent objective conversation about the religion they hold so dare. As much as they claim to love God and the church, they never ever want to actually discuss anything about the real Bible beyond “what the pastor said.” So extreme is this brainwashed mind-set is they see Muslims, Jews, and even other Christians (who might even be identical to them) as heretics and beyond salvation. Yet they do not know the difference between Psalms and Timothy. And then there is that wonderful mechanism of closing down when challenged about their knowledge of the scripture. That defense mechanism for preventing the pre-programmed pastor message from being eroded by truth.
How is this possible? Because despite the 2% good in these new churches it implants concepts “Have faith“, “Praise the Lord” but in almost every instances it attaches no hard ethics to this rhetoric. So these statements of “belief” are left abstract and floating. It also explains why we see (especially in South Africa) people living such contradictory lives, pastors who sleep with ladies in the choir, drink alcohol and abuse followed by church at 8am, vulgarly dishonest people, stealing and wickedness – just after mass. Because the religion is not actually attached to any true morals or practicality of living in the real world, and while everyone has these issues at least there should be some sense of right and wrong — even when engaged in a “sin.”‘ It distracts the mind from seeking development and consciousness of self. It does not inform people about their history, their culture. It does not stimulate the mind to learn more about anything other than their narrow teaching of a very dynamic and rich Bible. Divorced from reality and in a spiritual or intellectual vacuum black people are better exploited, and content to be passive in the development of their country and continent. But they are not.
The rich narrative of Jesus in the bible happens to be very attractive to an average African poor child. Jesus plays a central role in Christianity, as well as in Islam. And while there is a debate on Jesus was a prophet or a “god” very few realise is that Jesus was a revolutionary, he was a socialist and he was a enemy of imperialism. He was also anti-corruption, and anti-capitalist. Yet very few Christians have that conversation when discussing “No one gets to the father but through me (my way of life).” The harsh question for Christians today is “What would Jesus be doing if he was alive today?” and that one question alone will show the serious spiritual and political detour of many so-called Christians. Would Jesus be driving the latest Lexus? Would Jesus be pro-War in the Middle East? Would Jesus support the invasion of Libya and the exploitation in the Congo by the super powers? Would Jesus be okay with the suffering of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli forces? Would Jesus support the designs of the Oligarchy? Would he marry two gay men in a ceremony? And would Jesus support the exploitation and race based privileges Europeans continue to enjoy? By looking at his ancient message we find all the answers to this basic question.
Until we revert to our circle form of life as Africans we will forever live in slavery. Inside the Bible you have the religious story of the Hebrew Slave in Ancient Egypt. Yet many Africans enslaved mentally and physically could not see the parallels to their dilemma. Follow the Bible and liberate yourself from the modern Pharaoh. How come that obvious Biblical lesson escaped the staunchest Christian? The cry to Pharaoh was “let my people go”, “deliver us out of bondage”, yet somehow for 300 years Africans were given a religion that spoke of escape from bondage yet the most religious accepted this bondage as the natural order of things.
But we refuse to be “saved from the Pharaohs”. We refuse to learn who we are and how we ended up with these religions; Christianity and Islam. Long before the Western Europeans introduced Christianity into Africa, Ethiopia, and later Kush (Sudan) had their strong religions practices. Christianity came from the world that had their hands full of the blood of their own brothers and sisters. They have committed the worst crimes ever in human history against each other before they even came to murder Africans in cold blood. As a tool to aid and justify conquest two readings were engaged in Christianity. One which allowed them to conquer the “savage” (that would mean non-White people), and one to pacify the “savage” (Always referring to people they were conquering). Phrases like “Judge not,” “love your enemy,” and “Turn the cheek”, was for the slave; “Eye for an Eye” was for the slave master. To expand their empires it was “saving souls” and to stop the new souls from fighting back it was “love your enemy.”
If a white man comes to your door and tells you about the Kingdom of God and part of his solution is to sit still and have faith — do nothing to change the power balance or the inequity in the world, but accept the status quo and Africa’s station in the bottom of every demographic. To accept slavery, apartheid, and colonialism, as one day God will come down and sort it all out. This is what is meant by the white man’s religion because it services white people’s hegemony. The problem is the Bible, or Christianity; and worse, the problem is who is reading it to you.
Christianity was adopted by Europeans — it was not created by them—but has become their chief religious agent in sculpting the World (replaced in our times with democracy). They made it their own by implanting their pre-Christian values and agendas onto a Middle Eastern faith—a non-White Jewish faith. This is a natural process as all people with agency seek to balance two things; absorb the benefits of new innovations (religious or otherwise), as well as maintaining their unique cultural identity and power centers. The problem for the African who received this Europeanized version of Christianity is while it worked to secure European interest, it did so at the expense of African interest.
The impact of European Christianity is profound, stretching beyond the boundaries of religion and influencing mainstream western values. A few concepts that it produced. Please note these concepts only apply to the enslaved or controlled populous: 1. Don’t Judge 2. Turn the Cheek 3. Be non-violent with oppression 4. Love your enemy. So embedded in the faith most think these are the theological core of the faith. But these sentiments do not even account for 1% of the Bible, what about the other 99%? These are not Biblical traditions. Of the 1000s of names in the Biblical tradition can one man, Paul and not Jesus, wipe out the entire sentiment of a faith?
If the Bible says “Seek and Yeah shall find,” “know the truth and the truth shall set you free ,” why then are the pastor telling you only to listen exclusively to them? Why would they need to brainwash people with threats of hell fire or some spiritual calamity for consuming broader spiritual information? Why do most know more about the ideology of Christianity but yet cannot tie it to verses in the actual Bible? Are the pastors fearful of the Biblical message to “Let the truth set you free?”
Church in parts of the African world (especially Nigeria, USA and South Africa) is almost a spiritual social club, and in some cases a day time rave; full of magic and circus tricks. It rarely conveys the deeper meaning of the Bible or the true teachings of Jesus. It is a power tool for priest to amass wealth and status by brainwashing unconscious victims looking for deliverance. It is never intended to create people who think for themselves, that challenge and resolve complex issues. It seems to replace that natural awareness, natural curiosity, with blind faith and narrow distorted understanding of reality. It always seems to close down the doors to intellectual development, logic and reason— creating functionites who just act and think in one way. Socialised into spiritual redundancy, ignorance, and at an impasse with mental development.
Until we learn our religion and how we worshipped our God, we are going to stuck with this nonsense for a very long time. The error is in the Bible or the Christian faith and worse in its message of exploitation. Christianity or any religion should develop the soul and the mind; it should inform and create consciousness. So if the only message is “have faith” and “In Jesus name” then that is not Christianity but a selective corruption which keeps the masses ignorant and impotent. Sitting down on your hands “faith” is not faith it is utter stupidity. While not a Biblical verse “God helps those who help themselves.”
Until we find our religion we are going to stuck with this nonsense for a very long time!