Essays on Christianity and Africa’s Advancement (I)

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  1. Christianity, Traditional Knowledge and Africa’s Advancement

I here seek to dispel existing fears, and in its place hopefully proffer reasoning in support of involvement of Christians in the promotion of Africa’s traditional knowledge. At the core of the case made here is that first, there are several direct instructions in the Bible on the need to respect a people’s traditional knowledge as a pathway to advancement. Further, there is a clear-cut distinction between Africa’s traditional knowledge and African Traditional Religion (ATR) and recognizing the former does not translate to embracing the latter.

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2. Are Cursed Africans Laboring in Futility?

I attended a fascinating conference on African development in Washington D.C. many years ago. During the plenary session, one of the keynote speakers, a learned African-American clergy of repute, made some comments that prompted a heated response from some attendees. At his turn to speak, the gentleman began by making it clear to the audience that no amount of intellectual exercise or financial aid can redeem the situation of people of African descent world over. “We are a people under a curse,” he said with deep conviction, pausing to stare at the response of his audience at such a revelation.

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3.  Africans, Should We “Leave Everything to God?”

Karl Marx described religion as the opium of the masses, an illusion of happiness, the soul of a soulless nation and the heart of a heartless people. Perhaps, nothing lends more credibility to this statement than when Africans disobey the Biblical injunction to “Watch and Pray,” (Matthew 26:41) and instead pray and pray, or pray and complain, or just complain.

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4. Recreating Eden: A Mandate for the African Christian

An elderly man from a West African country was visiting the United States for the first time. On the drive home from the airport, he beheld the beauty of his environment and exclaimed, “My daughter, all I want is to lie down on the ground here and rest without being disturbed ever.” A few days after his arrival, he indeed lay down to sleep, but never got up. His daughter insisted on burying him in the United States, since he already indicated the place he wanted to rest undisturbed, forever.  The deceased man was taken in by the technological advancement he saw around him and considered that to be heaven – the desired final destination of every soul.

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5. Sankara, Campaore, Friendship and Trust in the Life of the African Christian

When President Thomas Sankara’s bodyguards asked for permission to arrest his best friend, Blaise Compaore, after intelligence exposed his plan to oust the President through a coup, Sankara’s response baffled them. Thomas Sankara replied that he will never in his life betray friendship and that if Blaise Compaore wanted to oust him in a coup, he could go ahead and do so. The Ghanaian secret service further learned of the plot by Blaise Compaore to not only oust, but to kill Sankara. When JJ Rawlings was informed, he contacted President Thomas Sankara and offered assistance to arrest Blaise and his accomplices. Thomas Sankara’s response did not change; Blaise Compaore was his friend, if he wanted to kill him and take over power, he could go ahead. He was at the mercy of friendship.

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