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No Miracles for The Black Race

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

Transatlantic Slave trade took place from the 16th to the 19th centuries. As a footnote, for those of us familiar with European history, this was the same era of the Reformation.

In fact the Reformation kicked off in 1517 and ended around 1648. This begs the question if the Reformation was really a religious or a political campaign. Many argue that much like Brexit, the Reformation was simply to break the reins of the Catholic Church over Germany.

Luther himself had major problems with the Jews, his sentiments and ideas in his treaties: On the Jews and Their Lies, will later serve as an important text for nationalists and Hitler in championing the genocide against the Jews.

That aside, according to the Bible the Jews were said to have been enslaved for 400years, following which they were delivered by Moses, metaphysical interventions, in the shape of the plagues, manna, pathing of the Red Sea, cloud and fire etc.

While the writers of the Old Testament argue that God favoured them over the Egyptians because of the covenant with Abraham; Transatlantic Slavery, happened under the watchful eyes of Christian Europe. How come there was no divine intervention for the black race as we saw with the plagues in the Bible, even though many were forcefully converted to Christianity?

How come it took enlightened thinkers to begin to question and challenge church orthodoxy and theology, for public opinion to shift, leading overtime to political change? Many lost power, influence, wealth and their lives in the struggle.

This is not a problem statement or thesis, but something for us to muse over.

Scholars argue that about 1.2 – 2.4 million Africans died enroute to America, and many more upon arrival. The number of lives lost within Africa remains a mystery, but may equal or exceed the number who ended up in the plantations.

The impact on community life was devastating. Tribes were made extinct, culture disappeared, wisdom lost and knowledge ceased. The fact that the continent still exists is really a miracle.

Much like the story of Lazarus and the Rich man, slaves were told by the Church that their reward was in heaven, and that it was better to be a slave on earth like Lazarus, than to suffer in hell like the Rich man. But none of these preachers were willing to be slaves themselves in order to enjoy the vision they projected to our ancestors.

The challenges upon us in the 21st century requires collective action, education, unlearning, reorientation, drive and vision.

We need to rise up from mental slavery, and brake the chains of mediocrity. In the words of Bob Marley, “none but ourselves can free our minds”.

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

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From Order to Chaos: a study on Exodus

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

In their telling of their creation myth, the redactors of the Old Testament, take us on a journey from the book of Genesis, where Yahweh brings order into a chaotic world, to Exodus where Yahweh introduces chaos into the order, in his quest to deliver them from slavery, owing to his covenant with Abraham.

But perhaps the most profound lesson one can deduce from the book of Exodus is centred around the concept of self-offering (Kenosis).

Moses exemplified Kenosis, as he forsakes the wealth, comfort, power and influence of the royal family to fight for the liberation of his people.

This concept is embedded into the fabric of Judaism through these Texts. In fact we also see it in the stories of other key figures, for example, Abraham, David, Esther, Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah and even much later Jesus.

Consequently, as a forethought we will explore ideas from a statement by Martin Buber (philosopher and existentialist), as we build upon foundations laid in our study on Exodus.

Buber notes,

“God does not want to be believed in, to be debated and defended by us, but simply to be realised through us” ― Martin Buber, On Judaism

Join us at 3pm for From Order to Chaos: a study on Exodus

St John the Evangelist Hall, Church Rd, Sidcup DA14 6BX

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

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Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Who truly am I? The quest for a sense of identity: an exploration of the Book of Exodus

In previous weeks, we established that unlike traditional doctrine that the Old Testament was written by Moses, it was in fact written retrospectively by multiple contributors.

Most scholars now agree that the recording of their oral history, compilation and redaction started during the Exile, and was completed at some point after the Exile.

By way of background, amidst the disruption of political and spiritual institutions, and the destruction of The Temple; they needed to come to terms with their understanding of the Divine, and the geopolitics of their time.

Much like we have today, the competing powers of that era were: Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Persia. And as a result of the location of the Israelites (the bottle beck between Africa and the Middle East), geopolitically they became an important nation for these competing super powers.

Consequently the book of Exodus is not historic or biographical, but what is known as a founding myth. Although more comprehensive in terms of depth, it is not dissimilar to the founding myths of African Kingdoms like the Yoruba’s in western Nigeria, which is centred around a mythical figure – Oduduwa.

Therefore, it’s purpose was not to account for what happened in terms of historicity, but as a reflection and commentaries on the historical experience of the exile community in Babylon, and later Jerusalem.

Like all founding myths, the primary goal was to galvanise the people towards a metaphysical and physical identity, and for the purposes of nationhood.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can see the positive impact of these stories on the Jewish people, and in the same vein, the detrimental impact of competing ideologies and beliefs on the psyche of people that have been enslaved and colonised.

In the absence of a central narrative that provides a sense of identity, co-existence and nation building becomes an impossible task.

Here lies the challenges of Africans and our dear brothers and sisters of African descent.

After years of being educated to believe that we are pagans, that we are backward, that we are cursed, that we are black, that we are uncivilised, that we are primitive, that we are uneducated, that we are ugly; and that God was angry with us because we were not Christians or Muslims.

Scriptural focus: Exodus chapters 7-9 (NRSV)

Join us at 3pm

St John the Evangelist Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk