The African man is continuously in a struggle for emancipation, hence the worship of God is relegated to the realm of socio-political matter, instead of a matter of God and man relationship. This desire makes the African to allude to Christianity as a white man’s religion having been victim of European colonialism, a complex arising from socio political emancipation. Let us recap events of human socio anthropological development. At dawn of Creation, God related with man in a regular fellowship to the extent that he Adam knew the time God will come into the garden and hid himself with his wife Eve, when they heard HIS footsteps, man hid from God, Genesis 4:8-10. This has been the bane of man since his Fall. Man continues to be eclipsed from God due to sin, but God continues to reach out to Man despite his sin. Sin made man a deviant creature as manifest in the case of Cain Genesis 4:6-7, God called out to Cain not to do the wrong he wanted to commit having seen that his sacrifice was rejected by God and that his brother’s sacrifice was accepted by God
. Man having degenerated from grace of God to mundanity, Cain being an example of the depraved Man killed his brother Abel against the counsel and will of God. Cain having sinned ran away from the presence of God to the land of Nod East of Eden, Genesis 4:16. The fall of Man made him brutish, animalistic, parochial and instinctive, as described by Thomas Hobbs, these attributes eclipsed him completely from God, that at the time of Noah God lamented the creation of man, Genesis 6:6-8. God resolved and destroyed the perverse generation in the flood, called the flood of Noah Genesis 7. The more man repopulates His environment, the depraved nature becomes dominant because sin eclipses him from the grace of God. The tower of Babel marks another epoch in perverse nature of man being deviant to the voice of God Genesis 11:1-9. God scattered them throughout to the ends of the Earth. As man continues to pursue a life of eccentric hedonism, brutish, animalistic and parochial violence against his fellow human beings, man becomes more obscure from God and His grace. Roaming the face of the Earth in darkness having been estranged from God, Man became a prey to the devil’s grand deception as indicated in revelation 12:6.
Being estranged from God, man no longer had a clear vision of God, God became an anthropological concept rather than a reality. The fallen Angels driven out of Heaven took advantage of the situation to mastermind the deception, in different communities demons manifest strange actions that bewildered human beings. Man watches trees, animals, stones speak human language, these demons are worshipped. The strangest creature that demons animated is the monster in the family of sharks, half human and half fish, which is referred to as mermaid. The demons divided up the world that they have territories, example in Daniel 10:13 the Prince of Persia, a demon stopped an angel from helping Daniel,W even another demon called the Prince of Athens was waiting to fight the Angel helping Daniel if it gets to Athens. The devil was confident that it told our Lord Jesus in Matthew 4:6 that the world was under its control. The tyranny of the devil was so much that anyone who proposed the existence of only one God was killed. Among the Greeks, Socrates was sentenced to death because he was teaching against the multiplicity of gods among other things.
In Egypt a Pharaoh who built a Temple for the one true God at Heliopolis a city he established for God. He and his wife Nefetiti were murdered and called heretics. Such was the tyranny of the devil that the one true God was eclipsed from men. The call of Abraham was to establish the route through which God is to be known and worshipped, for this purpose, God began a process of cultural reorientation by sending Abraham out of his kinsmen so as to establish a new order. Abraham entered into covenant with God, the one true God. This covenant was transmitted to Isaac and then his father, Abraham gave express instructions not to marry from among the Canaanites. The wisdom was that the wife of Isaac will not be tempted to look at her father’s god but have only one God the God of Isaac, while Divine Providence led Jacob to marry his cousins, Leah and Rebecca in this scenario Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are cut off from their pagan ancestry.
The command not to marry from their immediate environment was to perfect in this new generation a people separated from worship of demons. Hence after four hundred years in Egypt the people were led by the mighty hand of God through Moses out of Egypt to the wilderness were they to worship God. God now established a people that worship the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob a clearly established order. No more the worship of demons, while the rest of the world worship demons in their traditional religions. In this vein Moses declared as unclean all who worship other gods and the Israelites are made unclean through worship of idols. God’s wisdom growing a nation for four hundred years in Egypt and demonstrating His Might and Glorious power was to convince HIS people that HE is the Almighty Invincible LORD and GOD and that there is no other god but HIM. Thus a salvation history was established and the procedure of worship of God was laid down through Moses and Aaron in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers and Leviticus. As earlier on discussed, only Israelites were the only people on Earth that had an uninterrupted worship of the only one true God for centuries before the Messiah came. Letter of St Paul to the Romans 3:12 all have turned away from God, they have all gone wrong’. Being effect of man’s eclipse from God.
Then came Jesus Christ the promised Messiah to dispel the darkness that covered the whole world. John 1:4-5. Jesus is the reason for the call of Abraham by God to save Man from darkness of sin and death. In this darkness the devil was very confident of its hold on the world that it demanded worship from our Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 4:7-9 but JESUS commanded the devil be gone. Because of the darkness that holds humanity, Jesus was rejected by the Jews. Hence the scripture said in John 1:11-12 ‘HE came to HIS own and HIS own disown HIM but to them that accept HIM HE gave them power to become the children of God’. From the foregoing it is clear that Christianity is not a white man religion but a Judeo-Christian religion. The Europeans were converted to Christianity. The European where heathens who opposed Christianity, reading through the Acts of the Apostles see the Evangelical work of the Apostles in Europe Asia Minor.
The opposition to Christianity was such that Emperor Nero was using Christians to entertain the people of Rome by sending Lions to fight Christians with bare hands in Coliseum. Emperor Nero’s absurd entertainment ended when Quo Vadis killed the Lion with bare hands and was not released, the people rioted and killed Nero. Many Shakespearean plays give exposure on European pegan foundation. Macbeth, Julius Ceasar and Corolanus. Even Emperor Constantine was a pegan but allowed Christianity in his empire and later supported Christianity after he had a victory through the help of the Christian God of his wife. And subsequently converted to Christianity. Christianity is white man religion by conversion. The conversion of Europe to Christianity was total and fruitful that all over Europe monasteries that housed more than three thousand young men abound, places where God was worshipped in selfless sacrifice.
During the dark ages Attila destroyed the ancient civilization but did not hurt the Church and the monasteries even though he was a pagan the church through the monasteries became the cradle of modern civilization. The conversion of Europe to Christianity manifest in all aspects of their lives. In Music they promoted musical instruments used in Judaism down to the development of organ and piano. The period of Inquisition was an attempt to perfect deliverance of Europe from the reminiscence of demon worship, even though it was carnally executed. It is a shame that in Africa we are still talking of African philosophy and religion, when I listen to them, they are promoting demon worship, sorcery and witchcraft. Finally Europe having served God in bringing Christianity to different parts of the world fulfilling the mandate of Jesus in Matthew 28:19, received from God the land of America north and south as a heritage. Our religion is Judeo-Christian religion and not an offshoot of European idolatry or paganism.
• Tony Ojeih is a Parishioner of St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos.