Today I again side-step the usual, high-profile “issues of national significance”. Other commentators, including those professional letter-writers who command hundreds of column inches daily, are attending to those “issues”.
Instead I dare to attempt to approach a subject that will forever intrigue me. And it’s a multi-dimensional aspect of mankind’s existence. I refer to religion, faith(s), humans’ search for, then service to, some creator, usually described as “God”; in a word, mankind’s search for a divine-like spirituality, a higher incorporeal State of Being.
I then turn to a specific body of faith(s) – – Christianity. Okay, much of what follows is derived from just cursory research-browsing on the Internet. Then a few paragraphs of my own observations.
Though he was both radical and evangelical, I doubt that the Christians’ Jesus suspected that he would spawn such a massive, universal, long-lasting religious movement founded in His name. after all, there have been other prophets of a Greater God existing before the life, teachings and exploits of Jesus Christ, the Christian Messiah.
The Faith Christianity is still touted as “the world’s largest religion with approximately 2.2 billion adherents”. Jewish in origin, “in the Levant Region of the Middle East, it quickly spread to Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and Egypt…” I end my quote there noting that Christianity has played a prominent role in shaping Western Civilization and that its three major groups have been the Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox and the numerous denominations of the Protestants – those Anglicans from early England and other parts of Europe.
Frankly Speaking, the earliest Black-African Jews, the Ethiopian Christians, were made to fade into relative insignificance where the history of Christianity is concerned. Why is that?
Whenever the perennial, provocative question of Jesus’ ethnicity comes up, we are told that his race and colour are not important. Accept God (the Father) and His Son Jesus as whatever you perceive them to be. Huh? It’s the Faith which matters. But the facts, the image of the Christian Church’s hierarchy speak for themselves to this day. Like the world’s leading political economic and military powers, Christianity’s leaders are made to appear Western, European and “White”. (So hail the Hispanic-Argentinian Catholic Pope!?) Let’s peek to one branch of Christianity’s evolution – its protestant/Anglican denominations.
Like a “white” church
Take Martin Luther. Luther was a German reformer who made it his mission to reform the theology and practice of the then predominant Roman Catholic Church. He succeeded in fine style splitting that Church between the Catholics and the new “Lutherans” in the 1520’s. Thus began the protestant reformation of the Christian Church.
Now note that Congregationalist Churches evolved from the Anglo-American Puritan Movement of the 17th Century. Some were “Baptists” from Germany. Note that a John Wesley started the Methodist separating them from the Church of England; that the Moravians were founded by a Jan Hus who craved to take that brand of Christianity from the Romans back to Moravia and Bohemia (later Czechoslovakia); that the Presbyterians trace roots to Scottish and English Churches who wanted a new governance crafted by John Calvin and John Knox (French and Scots); that the Assemblies of God, originating from the American Pentecostal Revival Movement in 1914; the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the Jehovah Witnesses all emanated in the minds of Caucasian “Holy Men”. (Good for one Black Soul, a Richard Allen, who founded the USA’s African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Body, wanting independence from the White Methodists of America – and discrimination – in 1916.)
So what’s my point? Amazing how millions of non-white folks would cling to a religion largely fashioned by Caucasians after its origins in the Middle East. What? It’s not race or colour, but the divine inspiration of the Word of God that matters? Okay.
Next time I’ll explore all those Churches’ history in Guyana – including the work of the London Missionary Society (LMS)
Not on “our” T.V.?
I am associated with the GNCPP – the Guyana National Council on Public Policy. That’s a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) which aspires to be a pro-active Guyanese policy-oriented “Think Tank”.
Soon, some eminent local names as well as very interesting and influential personalities from the Guyanese Diaspora, will reveal their support for and affiliation to the GNCPP.
Currently, T.V. Stations Channels Six (CNS TV), 67 (HGTV) and Nine (HBTV) are carrying the latest in GNCPP panel discussions. But some media seem unfriendly to GNCPP’s emergence and presence. Frankly Speaking, they don’t carry innocent Press Releases and are hesitant to air the televised/taped programmes.
In the Constitutional Context of our Right and freedom to receive ideas and information, I’ll approach other television stations to air, for a fee, our latest production. There is nothing objectionable, libellous or treasonable in this presentation. Only the constructive views of seven/eight senior and youthful Guyanese regarding our Human Security and Insecurity.
I’ll report next week
‘Til next week’