Saturday, 27 February 2016 02:04

Africans are not yet Christians

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Yesterday, I wrote an essay saying that white Americans are not Christians. I explained what it means to be a Christian and showed how judged by that criteria white Americans and Europeans are not Christians.

When Christianity went to Europe it was bastardized and turned into something that it is not. What Europeans and white Americans call Christianity is not the Christianity anyone who reads the Bible would infer to be what Christianity is.

In this short essay, I add that Africans and African Americans are not Christians, either; they are not Christians because like white folks they do not meet the criteria of what Christians are supposed to be, as written in the Bible.

Christianity came to most of Africa in the nineteenth century (the first Christian missions opened at Onitsha in 1851 and at Owerri, Nigeria in 1906) and has not taken root. Christianity has barely completed the task of replacing African traditional religions.

For over two thousand years African religions allowed Africans to sell their people to Romans, Arabs and Europeans (in the Tans Atlantic Slave Trade).

Because African religions permitted slavery whatever good are in them, and there were many good in them, is no longer relevant; all of them must now be swept out and replaced with Christianity.

Even the European brand of Christianity, distorted as it is, is better than African religions. European Christianity, up to a point, teaches respect for human beings; African religions do not respect people; religions that permitted people to sell people are not good religions.

I say this because Africans, out of a sense of nationalism, want to return to their traditional religions. Those traditional African religions permitted Africans to sell their people and in many instances bury their rich folks with life slaves.

Therefore, Africans cannot allow childish pride in their customs to dispose them to return to their past barbaric religions.

Christianity is the way forward for Africans. Christianity will unify all the disparate African ethnic groups into one people.

Eventually, Christianity will change from its present distorted European form to real Christianity. Real Christianity is reflected in my writings. I am here to give the world the correct teaching of Jesus the Christ; Jesus' teaching is my teaching.

God has only one son; that one son is all of us; any one of us who has experienced his real self speaks for the son of God, a son who is one with his father.

The son of God who lives from his father speaks for the Holy Spirit, the father in the temporal universe.  I speak for God.

White folks and Africans will eventually learn to love one another and love their creator. To love is to be a Christian.

When love and forgiveness prevails in the world the world becomes the kingdom of God in the temporal universe.

The Kingdom of God is a world that approximates heaven's love. Heaven is perfect love; perfect love can only exist in the world of formlessness, unified spirit. But it can be reflected in the world of forms, such as the world of light forms. Our world of dense forms can only become somewhat loving but never as loving as the world of light forms (Christians metaphorically call that world at the gate of heaven New Jerusalem or New Israel; see the last chapter of the bible variously called Apocalypse or Revelation), or heaven's perfect love.

God is love; when the world is a loving place it becomes godlike.

Below is the essay that says White Americans are not Christians.

WHITE AMERICANS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS; THEY NEED TO BECOME CHRISTIANS TO SAVE AMERICA

This is a presidential election year. Everywhere one turns one hears politicians talking about how they are Christians and how America is a Christian nation. One of the presidential candidates, the scary looking chap from Cuba, calls himself an evangelical Christian and thinks that those who are not like him are not Christians. But, is he a Christian? Does he even know what it means to be a Christian?

In my judgment, white Americans perverted the teaching of Jesus Christ; they stood it upside down! They transformed his teaching on love to become something that enabled them to enslave human beings and discriminate against people and thus establish the most unjust society on planet earth.

American society is not a Christian society; America is an ego based society, not a Christ based society.

Americans, therefore, need to be systematically taught what Christianity teaches and, hopefully, made Christians; as they currently are, they are not Christians.

America can be saved if the people are made Christians; extant un-Christian Americans are heading towards a collapse, for all non-Christian empires must fall; only a Christian civilization will last for as long as the temporal universe lasts (eventually, the world would be translated into heaven).

WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?

To say that white Americans are not Christians we must first ascertain what it means to be Christian and then evaluate how white Americans deviate from it. What is a Christian?

Perhaps, only the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, can correctly answer that question? As a human being looking at Christians all I can do is read their Holy Book, the Bible, extrapolate what it asks people to do and then see if those who call themselves Christians are living in accordance with what is written in that book.

The Bible is divided into two sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is used by Jews; it is their Torah, their ideas of God and their history.

The story and teaching of Jesus Christ is contained in the New Testament. Therefore, to ascertain what a Christian is we have to primarily look at the New Testament, not the Old Testament; in fact, Jesus said that he came to replace the teaching of the Old Testament and, therefore, it can be argued that the Old Testament does not belong in the same book as the New Testament.

Jesus said that new wine (New Testament) should not be put into an old wine bottle (Old Testament). Mathew 9: 17

Perhaps, those who added the New Testament to the Old Testament did so for historical continuity reasons. Jesus derived his culture from Jewish culture so it was probably felt necessary to tell us what influences shaped his life. Be that as it may, the teachings of the Old Testament are radically different from the teachings of the New Testament.

The Old Testament is largely predicated on the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers; they are said to have been written by Moses.

In sum, Moses and his Mosaic law call for sinners to be punished. On the other hand, the teachings of Jesus Christ call for sinners to be loved and forgiven.

The main difference between the Old and New Testament is that the Old Testament asked for sinners to be punished and the New Testament called for sinners to be forgiven.

If Jesus had not taught a gospel of love and forgiveness his teaching would not be a new dispensation on God; there would be no need for a new set of writings; the Old Testament would have sufficed.

Every which way you look at it, Jesus taught his followers to love and forgive one another. These teachings can be found in the four gospels that constitute his core teaching (the epistles were largely written by Paul; those are not germane in understanding Jesus'  teaching, for one thing Paul did not even know Jesus as a person; Paul was merely offering his understanding of what he was told that Jesus taught his followers).

Therefore, we shall restrict our understanding of what Jesus taught to the four gospels that purportedly captured his teaching in writing.

Where shall we begin talking about the four gospels?  We can start wherever we want to; it does not matter, for all of them showed a Jewish Rabbi talking about loving and forgiving people.

In his famous sermon on the mount Jesus talked about how his followers are different from the followers of the teachings of the Old Testament. Mathew 5:1-48

Jews, that is, believers in the Old Testament, loved their friends and did not love their enemies. Jesus asked his followers to not only love their friends but their enemies. Mathew 5: 38-42

He said that there is no enemy in the family of God; he further said that God has only one family and we all are his children. We must love each other as members of a family do; if some members of a family hate each other that family is divided hence weak and easily defeated. Mathew 5:43-48

Jesus taught his followers only one prayer, the Our Lord's prayer. In it he told them that the prayer is a contract between them and God. The covenant required people to first forgive each other before God forgave them. "Our father, who is in heaven, forgives us our sins because we have first forgiven those who sinned against us."  Mathew 6: 9-13

This prayer simply states that if we want God to forgive us our sins we must meet our part of the bargain by forgiving those who sinned against us.

Jesus said: if a man slapped one of your cheeks turn the other side for him to slap, too, rather than seek vengeance.  Mathew 5: 39-42

He said that if a thief asks for your coat that you not only should give it to him but must give him all the clothing on your body and go naked. Mathew 5: 38-42

He told a parable of a man going to worship God and on his way realized that a neighbor did him wrong. He said that the man must first go home and forgive the wrong doer before he prays to God. Mathew 5: 24

He said that God hears all our prayers and answers them but that we can only receive the answers he has already given to our requests when we forgive those who sinned against us. Mathew 18: 21-22

One of his apostles asked him how many times we should forgive folks who wronged us and he said seventy times seventy times; that is, infinitely. We must at all times forgive those who wronged us if we are to be called his followers, Christians. Mathew 18: 22

The Jews hearing that he teaches forgiveness as the true meaning of love decided to test him, to see if he would be on record contravening the teaching of Moses for sinners to be punished. So, they brought a woman caught in adultery, sin, to him and asked him what to do to her.  John 8: 1-11

Moses required her to be punished.  If Jesus said forgive her he would have publicly disobeyed Moses and could be arrested as a law breaker.

Jesus heard the people's question alright but realized that they are there to trick him into acting as a lawbreaker hence arrest him. Thus, for a while he ignored their question and looked on the ground, writing something.  Finally, he looked up and said: let him who has not sinned be the first to throw a stone at the sinful woman (we all live in glass houses and should not throw stones). Mathew 7: 1-6

He resumed writing on the ground. Since all the accusers are sinners they left. Jesus looked up and saw that the woman was alone with him. He asked her where her accusers are and she said that they are gone.

He told her not to accuse herself of sin but to go home and love all people (he told her to sin no more; that is to love; to not love is to sin, to love is not to sin).

Ultimately, the Jews found a way to arrest him. They accused him of blasphemy. They said that he claimed to be the son of God and being one with God.   John, chapter 14: 9-14

How could a mere human being claim to be the son of God and be one with God? That seems like sacrilege (grandiosity)?

They brought him to their judges and, ultimately, to the Roman ruler of Jerusalem. The Roman official did not see how a man who Claims to be one with God is a sinner; perhaps, he was deluded (psychotic), but sinner, what is the big deal about claiming to be one with one's father?

The Jews insisted that Jesus must be killed so Pontius Pilate released him to be killed and washed his hands of Jews convoluted religious beliefs.

Jews crucified Jesus. Before he died he walked his talk of forgiveness for those who harmed us by asking his father to forgive those who just murdered him because they do not know what they are doing.  Luke 23: 34

You can choose to see Christianity any which way you want but the right way is to see it as a religion that asks folks to love and forgive one another.

Jesus asked his followers to do unto others as they want other people to do to them. We all want to be loved and forgiven so he asks us to love and forgive one another. Mathew 22: 34-46

Jesus said that all the teachings of the past teachers of God, the prophets of God and the laws of God can be summarized in a simple sentence: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Mark 12: 29-31

Love and forgive all people is the essence of Christianity. A Christian is a person who loves all human beings and forgives those who wronged him. John 14: 5-14

DISCUSSION

With the above understanding of Christianity in mind then let us ask if white Americans love all people? Do those who enslaved their brothers love them?

Did white slavers love black slaves?  Of course not, for love includes caring for people. Instead of loving all people white Americans selected the only instance in the New Testament where slavery seems justified. Paul, apparently, had a follower called Onesimus, who was a slave; Paul told the slave that he should serve his master until he is released from his obligations.  Philemon 1:5-23

Did Paul represent what Jesus taught? No. Slavery is not love, besides, the slave did not voluntarily enslave himself; slaves are usually enslaved by other persons, so Paul was teaching his ego, false theology not the theology of love taught by Jesus. Corinthians 7: 21; Ephesians 6: 6-8

Those who enslaved African Americans and to the present discriminate against them are not Christians; perhaps, they are Paulians but not Christians.

What would a political ideology that practiced Christianity look like? The two accepted political ideologies in America are liberalism and conservatism.

American liberals approximate living Christian lives but are really timid Christians; liberalism is tepid socialism.

In so far that a political ideology approximates Christian ethics it is Socialism; the core of socialism is "from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs"; that is, we should care for one another, which is what Jesus Christ taught his followers to do.  See Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto and Capital.

Liberals want to retain the capitalist, dog eat dog society of America while seeming to care for the poor, the losers in their society.  See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

Conservatives are unadulterated egotists; they embrace self-centered existence and do not care for their neighbors; love is the furthest thing from their minds. Conservatives are therefore not Christians.

The view of human beings embraced by conservatives is documented in Thomas Hobbes book, Leviathan, and the slave encourager, John Locke's book, Second Treaty on Government (Locke had monetary interest in the Royal African Company that bought slaves in Africa and sold them in America).

Only robust democratic socialism, as practiced in Scandinavia, in the extant world is related to true Christianity.

The Free Enterprise economy has positive aspects; however,  in truth what is needed in America is a mixture of socialism and capitalism (Franklyn Delano Roosevelt began that journey in the 1930s through his New Deal programs; it has to be completed by making America more like Scandinavia).

If America wants to be considered a Christian country her political and economic structure must change; she must embrace democratic socialism; that is, the system must give people, as a matter of right, publicly paid health insurance and education through university.

CONCLUSION

America must embrace aspects of socialism that is not correlated with dictatorship and retain what is good in her capitalist economy.

America's constitution is good; it just needs to be tweaked and made to serve all Americans; at that point America becomes a Christian nation.

At present it would take perversion for one to say that what white Americans do is congruent with the gospel of love and forgiveness taught by Jesus.  Americans do not love one another; they do not serve one another (see Erich Fromm's little book, The Art of Love, for a correct definition of love).

When Americans correct their economy and use it to serve all Americans instead of a few rich Americans the country would become a Christian nation.

If America becomes a Christian nation it would last long into the future; if not it would collapse and is replaced by another empire. The process continues until people learn to be Christians, those who love and care for one another.

The final stage of human civilization is the rule of Christ; that is a metaphor for saying that then people would love and forgive one another.

The second coming of Christ to the world is when all people love and forgive one another, hence establish the reign of peace and joy on earth.

The last judgment is when we judge the ego and its kingdom of hate and selfishness as wrong and embrace Christ and its reign of love on earth.

The earth would then be transformed into a loving and peaceful place; it would be a place where the will of God (love, which is union of all mankind) is obeyed; it would be a world at the metaphoric gate of heaven.

When we attain near perfect love we awaken in formless heaven, the abode of perfect love and peace, our real home.

The prodigal son finally ends his journey without distance, a journey to nowhere, for wherever he goes he goes in God, for God is everywhere his son goes.   Luke 15: 11-32

Ozodi Osuji

www.livingfromtherealself.org

(February 26, 2016)

(907) 310-8176

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176