This pain will not kill us, it is building us.

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

Sadly, not many Africans understand that before the intervention from the West and Arabs, Africa had a thriving economy, high culture, backed by sophisticated religious and social institutions.

For those of us who see everything West as superior, those who suffer from White Saviour Complex, those that believe that everything African is either demonic or backward; we existed in tribes, sometimes in kingdoms, and we traded with each other harmoniously and efficiently.

According to missionaries who first visited our shores, poverty was a rare occurrence. But today churches are either manipulating members to give to the church as a way out of poverty, or praying earnestly against the ‘spirit of poverty’.

In terms of intertribal relations, cooperation and trade was fostered by oaths, people were given to marriage, and festivals were used to galvanise communities and maintain peace. Yes, there were occasional intertribal and even civil wars, like other continent on the face of this earth, but the Elders had ways of correcting these problems, and forging ahead.

Hence the Fulanis and the Ilajes did not have any problem traveling through the continent for their business. The former were allowed to graze their cattle and trade, while the Ilajes freely pitched their tents along the coast of West Africa.

Like Europe and Asia, I believe that our socioeconomic systems would have moved towards or even exceed the level of progress we see in dominant cultures today. Thinkers would have emerged who challenged bad norms, appealed for discontinuity of unethical customs, and advocate for more progressive practices.

However, slavery and later colonialism, deposed our monarchs, destroyed our education, philosophy, culture and traditions. Nation states were forcefully created because they were less costly to manage by colonialists. On a side note, you will notice that countries that are doing economically well seem to be smaller countries with fewer tribes and languages.

That said, I hasten to qualify that I am not advocating for the splitting up of countries like Nigeria either, I am simply trying to highlight the level of administrative complications created by colonialism. In fact I believe that we have learnt a lot from these problems, and that Africa is moving into a season of peace and prosperity, as we begin to reap the dividends of our pain and travails.

In the meantime there is so much against the continent. Not to mention the impact of the two dominant faith traditions: Islam and Christianity. It seems like anytime we take steps forward, something else comes up to remind us how much we need to reclaim knowledge from our history. In Nigeria, the brutal civil war, issues in the Niger Delta, Boko Haram, and now Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

Writer and author Terry Pratchett once said:

If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.

He is right.

I hear Mama Africa say: weep not child, a change is upon you. Stand tall, and keep pressing forward!

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

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Jesus in History

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

In a bid to highlight the divinity of Jesus, the writers of the gospel avoided attributes of Jesus’ humanity.

And because their writings are treated as biographical accounts, instead of theological interpretation, their audiences are often misled about Jesus in history.

For example, Jesus is presented as being led by the Spirit, offering prayers, fasting, performing miracles, discerning thoughts, speaking prophetically; but never seen to be engaged in any form of scholarship, not even the Torah, or any of the Jewish commentaries available in that time.

We are not told that Jesus studied under Rabbis, and that he would have been in education from the age of 5 to at least 12, when you learn a vocation for about 2years in preparation for marriage. Those that were exceptionally academic, were allowed to continue till they were 15, which is likely to be the path of Jesus.

The gospel without scholarly theological underpinning presents a grave danger which we see manifested in the Church, especially in Protestant settings.

Sadly, we are not given to much studies, and if ever we do, it has to be the Bible. To make matters worse, in some circles it has to be the King James Version (KJV).

This breeds narrow minded citizens, people void of enlightened thinking. People that are overly heaven centric, and alien to challenges upon humanity in the here and now. These same challenges that draws us to be salt and light, a city set upon a hill, a light in darkness.

So in their bid to project Jesus’ divinity, the unintended consequence becomes a Church that distrusts academia, or any form of rational, or progressive thinking. In fact, a closed Church.

A Church that undermines scholarship, in favour of mediocrity. A Church that uses Scriptures to justify racism, genocide, apartheid, colonialism; and in recent times, separation of children from their parents.

A Church that uses Scriptures to justify mass deportation of innocent people. People who are only trying to better the lot of themselves, their children and extended family.

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

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Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Today we build upon the success of our first seminar last week, in our study of the Old Testament, in particular, the biblical figure, Moses.

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

Perhaps most importantly that it was written as a means of galvanising a people towards a metaphysical and physical identity, and towards nationhood.

To this end, I will be embedding into this theme the concept of The Evil Eye, also referred to in Hebrew literature as The Eye of Evil.

In simple terms The Evil Eye is described as a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. In fact, many cultures believe that receiving The Evil Eye will cause misfortune or injury. Thus, talismans were created to protect against it.

In the Bible, The Evil Eye is synonymous with envy, jealousy and some forms of covetousness. Within the commonwealth of Israel we see lots of examples: Esau and Jacob, Rachel and Leah, Joseph and his brothers, David and Uriah, David and Absalom, Saul and David; and the list goes on.

We also see it in the hostility they face from gentile nations. Thus, the Israelites saw themselves as victims to The Evil Eye, because of their unique relationship with Yahweh. Notable examples include the Book of Esther and other exilic writings.

In relation to their captivity in Egypt, we see Joseph being sold to slavery by envious brothers, and much later, a pharaoh that envied the Israelites in Egypt.

  • What does this mean to us today?
  • What lessons can we deduce from the story presented by the redactors?

Core text: Exodus, chapters 4-6 NRSV

Join us at 3pm

St John the Evangelist Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

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