There have been soo much controversy on the coming of Christianity to West Africa. Some of the people I encounter often say that Christianity was just a tool carefully designed by the Europeans as a means of colonising West Africa. Their point is, the Bible, which we claim as the word of God, was written by the White man to extinct our rich tradition, make us meek so we (west Africans) can easily submit to slavery. Simply, every Bible story is just a myth. Friends and brothers please how do I answer my fellow Africans.
What is true about the adage "the same ship that brought the Bible also brought the gun powder to Africa "?
The Bible was written by people darker than me and lighter than you. The people who wrote the Bible were middle eastern.
I am sorry about your problem friend. That is not an easy thing to deal with. I wish I could give more advice on how to help you, but this is a problem that I do not have much experience in.
My only advice is to tell them what is actually in the Bible, specifically, the words and life of Jesus. But it may get more difficult before there is a breakthrough and people start accepting what you are saying. I do not know if the people there would get violent, but that is a possibility, I think, sadly.
I would suggest reaching out to your fellow believers about this problem.
This is a most unfortunate perception. Sadly, it seems that people worldwide are quick to find faults with Christianity that, in the end, are really attributable to faults within Christians.
I can think of a few faults with this perception. First, other regions of Africa were historical strongholds of Christianity long before European colonization, and became so while most of Europe remained pagan; North Africa produced some of Christianity’s finest thinkers (ex. Augustine of Hippo, a Berber), and Ethiopia (one of the few parts of Africa that managed to avoid colonization) has Christian roots reaching back to the New Testament and was one of the first nations to adopt Christianity as its official state religion. Secondly, it’s worth remembering that most of the European colonization of Africa occurred in the late 19th century, after the collapse of the slave trade created a power vacuum in the region. Prior to that time, whole empires had arisen within West Africa to supply the European slave market; slavery, which had previously been largely a byproduct of war, had become an incentive for going to war and the foundation of whole nations’ economies. I’m not suggesting that European slave traders were by any means innocent in these matters, but it was largely Africans, not Europeans, who went about capturing other Africans in order to enrich themselves and buy more arms for their slave wars. As Paul rightly wrote, the love of money is the root of many evils.
The Bible has been used to condone all sorts of awful things. But I think it is also important to note that if read in context, the Bible was also the source for people to realize that slavery was wrong. How can you enslave someone when they are equally made in the image of God as you? (Genesis 1:26) How can we enslave others when Yhwh introduces Himself in the ten commandments as “I am Adonai, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2) and insists the sabbath day is a day of rest for everyone, including slaves and even the livestock? (Exodus 20:8-10) God is the Great Liberator, who sets us free.
What was done in the colonization of Africa was despicable and not at all of Christ, though done in His name. Those who oppressed were not true ambassadors of Christ, for if they were, they would have acted as Christ did. “God must be true, even if everyone is a liar, as it is written:
That You may be justified in Your words and triumph when You judge.” (Romans 3:4 HCSB)
This might be a good resource for you: https://jude3project.org/
It addresses if Christianity is a white man’s religion and prepares one to defend the faith as well.
And Amponsa, I am truly sorry that this is even an issue at all. We white people have stained the name of Christ. We have acted in pride and not humility. We have wanted to be the master of all and not the servant of all as Christ was and is. And perhaps that is the sin of all humanity, going all the way back to Adam and Eve. It is high time for all who believe to take up the servant’s role of humility and walk in the ways of Christ.
Thank you for your desire to defend the faith. Here in the USA, the Bible is also seen as mere myth. You are not alone in your struggle.
Am really learning more. Thanks alot guys, for the advice
Thanks for your question Amponsa. I suppose literally taken what the adage means is very clear. Yet that’s where the disbelief and rejection of the Bible as the word of God by some Africans come in.
Ravi said this “don’t judge a philosophy by its abuse”. Which means a lot in this context in the sense that those who claimed to be Christians and used it against Africans did not reflect Christ. They abused the truth(God’s word), but it doesn’t mean the truth is a lie. I also have friends who believe the Bible was European devised. Every learnt and open minded man knows that’s not true. I had the same confrontation but I now know the Bible is not “man written fables”. Just consider the whole consistency, spiritual coherence, transcending wisdom and liberation within the Bible, can this be the work of mere men without the spirit of the Lord. One thing that keeps me going is when I consider the spiritual and supernatural happenings in Church and my own life. This (Bible and Christianity) can’t be a mere deception by man.
Insightful. Thanks Eric
The Jude 3 project is a great resource for this kind of question. I love the fact that African Americans are putting together historically accurate articles and discussions of Christianity in Africa.
Rebecca probably offered the most in-depth resource on African Christianity. https://jude3project.org/
I will just say that the Ethiopian orthodox church claims that it was started by the Ethiopian Eunuch found in Acts 8. That means that the church has been there for over 2000 years before any colonization. Micah did mention one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time Augustine of Hippo, who is from North Africa.
Hopefully, this helps.