"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

1 June 2014

What Worshiping God Is About

UNCLE: Knock! Knock!! Knock!!! NZE; are you in?
PAPA: Yes; come in my brother.
UNCLE: NDEWO! (Good day). I have come to see you before you go to the market square for your traditional worship even though today is a Sunday.
PAPA: Well, our traditional worshiping starts after 12noon so I still have some time. And what about you; didn’t you go to Church?
UNCLE: Church? No I have other things to do this morning.
PAPA: Now that you are here; let me ask you; what do you think is the best approach to worshiping CHINEKE (GOD)?
UNCLE: That’s a tough question that nobody could truly answer. It is difficult because every religion claims that it is the only way to God. For instance, Christians insist that you must worship God through Jesus. Jews believe in the Law of Moses and the Prophets otherwise you are not worshiping the true God. Then the Muslims trust the teachings and laws of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). Even your African Traditional Religion believes that they are the true worshipers of GOD.
PAPA: But are we all worshiping the same God?
UNCLE: Yes in my opinion but I don’t know if other religions would agree with me.
PAPA: If we worship the same God why then do we fight each other?
UNCLE: The problem lies in the beliefs of the individual religion. For example, Christians revere the cross on which they claim that Jesus died. Moreover, the Jehovah’s Witness that are a branch of Christianity disagree; they claim that the Greek word ‘STAUROS’ that was translated to mean Cross in the Bible, actually means stake or pole.
PAPA: That means Jesus died on the stake/pole and not on the cross.
UNCLE: You’ll be correct if you follow Jehovah’s Witness’ argument.
PAPA: Which means some words may have been lost in translation.
UNCLE: Exactly.
PAPA: What do Jews and Moslems think of Jesus and the cross?
An Egyptian god holding a cross
UNCLE: Jews don’t recognise Jesus how much more how he died. And for Muslims, they recognise Jesus in the Quran as the son of Mary. Besides, they believe that God saved Jesus from death and so do not believe he died on the cross. In fact, the Muslims knew of a pagan cross called ANKH that predated Jesus, which Egyptian gods used (see the picture). Like the Jehovah’s Witness they consider the cross a pagan practice. By the way, what does African Traditional Religion think of Jesus?
PAPA: Nothing. Our forefathers didn’t know him as he neither visited our village nor the sub-Sahara Africa. It was the Europeans that told us about Jesus. They also insisted that Africans must repent and accept Jesus as the son of God, the Messiah and our Lord and personal saviour.
UNCLE: You are correct. Even Jesus was quoted in the bible – (Matthew 15:24) “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
PAPA: That’s exactly what I am saying. Why would Africans accept that Jesus is their Lord and personal saviour when the man said he came only for the Jews?
UNCLE: Your guess is as good as mine.
PAPA: The problem of Africans in general is the desertion of their traditions. You will be called ignorant if you are unable to speak good English. But the only English the South Koreans know is Galaxy Smartphone while practising their traditional Buddhism. India is prospering with her Hindu god that has several limbs. Japan is an economic powerhouse that believes in her Shinto tradition. Africans are busy destroying their heritage in the name of Christianity.
UNCLE: Even the Europeans that brought Christianity to Africa still protect their ancient sites, traditions, trees even masquerades. For instance, before Christianity, there was STONEHENGE in Britain, which is speculated to be a temple where they worshiped their sun god. Today, it is a tourist attraction that generates income.
PAPA: Did you also say that they have masquerade?
UNCLE: Yes. Their masquerade celebration is called Halloween and it is done in the evening of every 31st October. Children wear marks and solicit treats from house to house just like we do in Africa.
PAPA: But our African Christians are always against our masquerades; they say it is satanic. Anyway, I leave them with their ignorance. But it seems you know about Islam; what did Prophet Mohammed say about education.
UNCLE: The Prophet said: 'Seeking knowledge is a religious obligation for every Muslim (male or female).' (Sunan Ibn Mâjah, Sunan Al-Bayhaqî).
PAPA: It’s unbelievable; then why is BOKO HARAM terrorist of Nigeria killing and kidnapping school children?
UNCLE: BOKO HARAM didn’t say education is sin but that western education is sin.
PAPA: What’s the difference?
UNCLE: None. Religion is politics and according to Karl Marx "it is the opium of the people".
PAPA: What about Apostasy; what did the Prophet Muhammad say about it.
UNCLE: The Prophet stated: “Verily, those who believed and then disbelieved, then believed and then disbelieved and increased in disbelief, never will Allah forgive them nor will He guide them to a right way – (Surah An-Nisa 4:137). Also, a Muslim cleric explained to me that the Quran forbids coercion and so an apostate should be left alone.
PAPA: Therefore the Sudanese woman sentenced to death by a court in Sudan for apostasy should be released immediately.
UNCLE: Well, the Sudanese government has announced that she will be released. I sense that they have realised their mistake. In Islam, death penalty for apostasy occurs only when the disbeliever uses his/her knowledge of Islam to fight the religion such as in the case of the British writer; Salman Rushdie. I have a journal on Islam you must read. I will get it from my office.
PAPA: By the way, where do you work?
UNCLE: I work for BUBU-YAYA INC.
PAPA: What do you do there?
UNCLE: We sell tricks to Church Pastors, Magicians and Charlatans and so on. We also teach Pastors how to perform miracles and floor people with their handkerchiefs etc.
PAPA: And they pretend to use the power of GOD to perform miracles.
UNCLE: Miracle? All of them are tricksters. I just remembered; where’s your son?
PAPA: OH! Please thank CHINEKE (GOD) for me; my so has got a new job. At least I will hear less of his born again stories.
UNCLE: Do you mean he became a born again Christian because he was unemployed.
PAPA: An idle mind is a devil's workshop.
UNCLE: Whatever! At least he has finally received his miracle from his Pastor.
PAPA: Which pastor? I called on CHINEKE through my ancestors and within a week my friend got a job for him.
UNCLE: But would your son accept that GOD gave him a job through your prayers rather than another miracle from his Pastor?
PAPA: But through whose prayer do you think CHINEKE answered?
UNCLE: We may never know whose prayer CHINEKE answered.
PAPA: I thought we are on the same side, by the way what religion do you practice?
UNCLE: Do to others as you would want them to do to you; give to the needy as much as you can and most of all worship only CHINEKE the GOD ALMIGHTY.
PAPA: That’s a long name for a religion.
UNCLE: And that’s what worshiping GOD is all about.