It is no longer unusual to visit some African Churches and hear Pastors say things like “God is proving to the whites that he is the God of Africans”. The statement sounds harmless but it is very dangerous. While many of these things seem to be the ripple effect of racism meted out on blacks, do we address racism with racism?
It’s no longer new to hear talks about how God has abandoned the whites and is now using the blacks to re-evangelize the whites. These sayings come with the undertone of unforgiveness and hatred, they aren’t necessarily factual. They’re statements born out of hatred, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness.
We need to go back to the drawing board and yield ourselves to the word of God. The Bible says
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8 NIV
Obviously, what is lacking is love. Not that this love hasn’t been made available in us but we aren’t yielding ourselves to it. I see these things and I laugh. Laughter on the surface but sorrow within. How do we say we are “Christ-like” but regard other folks as inferior even when they are our brothers in the faith?
I know that blacks experienced and are still experiencing racism from white supremacist. I understand that in the United States of America, many white evangelicals are only evangelicals in the label but racists within who don’t just hate blacks but hide behind religion to spew their hate.
However, racism isn’t just a white-to-black issue, it is also a black-to-white issue. We don’t fight racism with racism after all and we don’t fight hate with hate. When we say ” two wrongs don’t make right”, that is what we mean.
Racism and bigotry is so rooted in the daily sentences of some African Christians but well hidden under the label of Pan-Africanism when convenient and Ethniticsm when we are angry with our African neighbours.
In Nigeria, the Igbo man will always tell you that “the God of Igbos” will not allow Fulani Herdsmen to succeed in Igboland. Excuse me, is he not also the God of Fulani Herdsmen? I understand that there are so many wicked and heartless folks parading themselves as Fulani Herdsmen but is that enough to hate a people collectively?
On a larger scale, we say certain things in African Churches and I shudder! We say things like “God has a special plan with Africa. He will put the whites to shame.” Sorry to disappoint you, but Jesus was God’s special plan and all men are reconciled in him. Nothing more, nothing less. The Bible says:
“So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:26-28 NIV
God is not an African neither is he American. We need to stop sounding as though the God of Africans is not the God of Americans. We are not being Christ-like when we start prioritizing the interests of our ethnic groups or race against the well being of others.
Africa is not God’s exclusive priority as much as America is not. God is not compounded in a geographical location, He is interested in men whether they come from Africa, Asia, America or Europe! If you are looking for God’s priority on Earth, it is MAN! The Bible says:
“…God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV
God desires the salvation of all men, Jesus was given for all men and none is his favourite above others. Be it Asian, African, American, European or Australasian, God sees MAN in JESUS. Whether it is Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Fulani and so on, God sees the man.
In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile. Doesn’t it make sense when we read it? Or you think “religion export” is the special plan God has with Africa? One thing is sure! God raises men everywhere, whether blacks, whites, reds or whatever colour you which to identify with.
God sees no colour, he sees man! God sees no Jew or Gentile, he sees man!
God has no special package for Africans that he doesn’t have for Asians, he has no special calling for Americans that he doesn’t have for Europeans, he will use Australasians as much as he would use anyone else.
God doesn’t exist in a box, we can’t cage him or wrap him around our religious definition of him. He doesn’t assume the form our assumptions and wishes tend to put him into. He is the God of all flesh and in Jesus, he brought all men to himself.
Being a believer in Christ and preferring a race or nationality above another especially in the household of faith isn’t compatible. It can only happen when we have not so learned Christ!
Let’s come up hither!