By George Kimando
THERE WAS NEVER A COLONIAL JESUS, JUST HYPOCRITICAL AND CONNIVING IMPERIALISTS: FOCUSING ON THE BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST
Last week’s missive on the Biblical vs Colonial Jesus elicited numerous interesting reactions.
Perhaps it’s an opportune time to dissect this one more time as we head towards Christmas next Saturday.
One recurring consensus was that there was never a colonial Jesus, but rather a bunch of connivers, schemers, swindlers, outright land grabbers, harlotous characters, greedy charlatans, insatiable spirits and shameless fellows that convoluted and concocted the beautiful message of Jesus for their selfish agendas.
Truly, no one in their right minds can reconcile this beautiful message of Jesus – love for God and for fellow man – with the atrocities the same carriers and preachers meted out on their African subjects: displacement from their lands, concentration and curtailment of their freedom, shipping of their strongest across the Atlantic as slaves in the West, dehumanisation and debasement in the worst forms and fashions, murders, rape, whipping of adults in front of their children, castration of men, macabre killings of blacks. Name it.
A perusal of Caroline Elkins’ ‘Britain’s Gulag’ would give you the grave picture.
Yet, Africans were meant to forgive and look up to heaven, waiting for their gold mansions in the hereafter while the real gold was being carted away from Africa to put up real mansions right here on earth in Europe, Asia and America.
They were encouraged to be humble, just like Jesus, turning the other cheek and living meek like the sacrificial lamb Jesus was, while the preachers/colonizers haughtily indulged in the most macabre and explicit forms of sinful pleasure; living extravagantly and being served by the African servants. After all, the Bible urged servants to obey their masters, and wait for their reward in heaven, right?
Certainly, colonialism and the preaching of Christianity at that time did not represent the tenets Jesus espoused.
As such, we must isolate the true message of Christ from this bigoted messenger who used it as satan would, making many people see God as a hard hearted fellow, difficult to please, punitive, vindictive; a grumpy old man hiding at a corner waiting for you to commit one small sin for him to jump out with a huge club and bludgeon you to smithereens, a ruthless and unforgiving character you need to keep hiding from unless you need something from Him.
But were Christianity preached and practised sincerely, there could have been no room for atheism. Who in their right minds would stand against the principle and sincere practice of love for all, doing unto others as they would wish to be done unto them?
But don’t we have the same characters today, skewing this beautiful message of Jesus to serve their own selfish interests? In the same way the colonized were subjugated by contorted religion clothed as the message of salvation (dehumanising others, glorifying poverty, inverted modesty and foolish meekness as pass ports to heaven), we have self crafted pastors and self anointed bishops preaching convoluted fear of God to keep meek believers tied to feeding their greed.
The beautiful message of Christ would stand against such, just as it would have stood against the atrocities of colonialism and the fallacious religion that was preached then.
Jesus taught divine courage and boldness, standing up alone if need be, if only for the good of mankind. He articulated justice and equity, challenging rulers to be fair to their subjects, husbands to love their wives like He himself loved the Church, wives to be submissive to these their husbands, children to be respectful to their parents, parents not to make their children bitter and vain…beautiful, beautiful and wonderful messages enriching the quality of life to unmistakable pricelessness.
Being a believer doesn’t mean being a door mat, rather a firm pillar of righteous conviction, unshakeable by the rot of the lot around you. It must be accompanied by love not only heard of but seen in word and deed.
It means standing up for what is right, whether at personal or collective levels, and deliberately seeking good for all.
It’s this friend in Jesus we need to see, understand and follow; this light driving away darkness by His sheer presence and righteous conviction; the one who sets us free from convoluted religious banicles and man crafted enslaving cult like formations; the one who calls out colonialism for the atrocity it was and tells us that we need not abandon our ethical and moral grounds from our cultures; the one who fills us with courageous faith and bold love, who demonstrates that there is no difference of tribe, religion or race in our togetherness with God.
It’s this Jesus we celebrate on Christmas, and must carry beyond the day to a daily walk with Him.
Have a spiritually free Sunday, and a great week ahead.
And splendid Christmas!