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Why Jesus is most likely unhappy with Christians this Christmas

 

 Image of Jesus Christ. [Courtesy]

As Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Christianity, the Church which His followers reportedly founded almost 2000 years ago, is in deep spiritual and moral crisis. It is split into thousands of little claimants to his divinity who quarrel over what to believe, and how, where, and when to worship him. While the quarrel is, at times, doctrinal over interpretation, it is often over such earthly concerns as power to rule, imperialism, wealth, and fleshly desires.

Subsequently, the abuse of faith in Christianity is more pronounced than adherence to its basic tenets. As people of the cloth make statements that run parallel to the truth, they lose credibility and so does the Church.  

Christianity is not alone in failing its articles of faith. Its spiritual relatives are Judaism and Islam. Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, the founders, act as spiritual guides and justifications for what the followers do. The followers commit atrocities in the name of Jehovah, God, and Allah. They behave badly in the place they collectively think of as the “Holy Land” which is in deadly earthly turmoil. The focus for Christian celebration, Bethlehem, is neither peaceful nor spiritually healthy. The sins and atrocities committed, even as Christians commemorate His birth, are probably not amusing to Jesus.  

Although Jesus was raised in Egypt imbibing Egyptian ways, His teachings took root in Roman ruled Palestine. Religiously rebellious, while respecting Roman laws, He was magnetic and had ability to simplify complex concepts by using parables. That ability was the real threat to established spiritual authorities. He not only claimed to have divine links, He also beat people he found trading in a Jerusalem temple and thereby upset lucrative businesses belonging to top religious leaders. He broke no Roman law but because the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, was a weakling who simply washed his hands instead of standing up for what he believed was just, Jesus had to die. That Roman injustice, although prompted by official Judaism, birthed Christianity which now is in crisis of consciousness.

Christianity spread, gained acceptability, became imperialistic. While Paul universalised it, Emperor Constantine changed its character by turning it into state religion as a tool of governance. He defined and married it into Roman ways and produced the hybrid that is Christmas and Sunday worship. With time, Romanised and Europeanised Christianity became a handy tool for imperialism. In colonised Africa, European cultural implants assumed racial superiority, passed for Christianity, and had mission to obliterate African values including identity, plunging Africans into material and spiritual poverty. Subsequently, resistance to racialised Christianity led to anti-colonialism which challenged Euro cultural/racial assumptions.

The challenge led to territorial decolonisation in Africa which forced Church re-assessment in two ways. First was to Africanise Church leadership and to make it relevant to African citizens by eliminating racism. Three main competing church forces in Kenya were American, British, and Italian and they quickly Africanised leadership. Second was to rethink Euro-based ‘theology’ in the light of the irrelevancy of Euro-cultural/racial superiority.

Two clergy stand out stressing the African aspect of their Christianity. Anglican pastor John Mbiti wrote about the validity of pre-colonial African concepts of God. Presbyterian minister John Gatu sparked debates by calling for a moratorium on Euro missionaries in Africa to reduce dependency; Gatu did not succeed. Instead, there was a proliferation of foreign-connected splinter groups, each tolerated while deviating from true faith into such cultish atrocities as Shakahola.

There is a crisis in Christianity. The churches have discredited themselves with spiritual and moral inadequacies. While Jesus exemplified simplicity, Church leaders ‘anoint’ and join crooked politicians in indulging in obscene opulence and encourage poverty creation. A returned Jesus would probably thrash such leaders the way He beat traders in Jerusalem roughly 2000 years ago. Faking commemorating His birth, they are the reason for the crisis in Christianity-the loss of credibility.

 

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