Faith

The Dichotomy Between Religion and Culture for the Believer

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Recently Beyoncé put out a body of work titled ‘Black is King’, which is an over one hour long musical film and visual album. Like with almost everything Beyoncé puts out, this project has raised several debates, both offline and online. But if you have seen clips from the ‘Black is King’ project then you will know the reason for the plethora of reactions.

Beyoncé makes use of a lot African symbolisms in her new work, especially those that center around spirituality and the portrayal of African traditional worship rites. While some have actually condemned some aspects of the imagery as being demonic, others have opined that it  is just another effort by the American singer towards cultural appropriation and promotion of the black heritage. Hence, she has received a lot adoration for her new project.

One reaction that I found worthy of note, came from Nigerian American author and speaker Luvvie Ajayi. I actually find Luvvie hilarious and her best seller ‘I am Judging You: The do better Manual’ is still one of my best reads of all time. But like her and many ‘woke’ individuals who seem to think that the backlash Beyoncé is getting is as a result of white dominance on black minds, I sincerely beg to differ. Luvvie went as far as comparing Christianity to Ifa worship in a bid to draw parallels and excuse the opinions of those who feel some images from the ‘Black is King’ project depict satanism.

It is true that even with those ‘spiritually woke’ individuals there are some excesses in the description of how harmful the work of art is – with all the conspiracy theories and secondary meanings given to rather inconsequential clips of the project. However, with all that has gone down the few days after the release of the project, here are my submissions:

Christianity is Not the ‘White Man’s Religion’

Most of the ‘Black is King’ apologists have been very vocal about their beliefs that Beyoncé is just trying to promote the African view of Spirituality and that Christianity is just the ‘White Man’s’ religion forced down the throats of Africans. But nothing can be farther from the truth. Even if we were to place a racial tag on Christianity, a good study of history won’t bring you to a conclusion that it is a European religion.

If we were to place a racial tag on Christianity, a good study of history won’t bring you to a conclusion that it is a ‘White Man’s’ religion forced down the throats of Africans. Click To Tweet

Jesus Christ who we worship as the author of our faith came into this world and was born into a Jewish family. When his work (Death for sins and Resurrection for Justification) was completed, he handed over what we as Christians call the Great Commission to Eleven Jewish men. The Great Commission as detailed in Matthew 28:18-20 was not to go into unreached territories and make colonies of them, turning their peoples into slaves and raping the women in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather Jesus commanded these eleven disciples to teach the same thing (the gospel of the Kingdom) he had taught them in all nations of the earth.

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 was not to go into unreached territories and make colonies of them, turning their peoples into slaves and raping the women in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Teach the gospel' he said. Click To Tweet

The thing is, Christianity is not a race specific religion, the message we preach reveals a need all men have, regardless of what part of the world they are from. The gospel we preach is that if you believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus you will have eternal life and seeing that death is not peculiar to Europeans or White Americans alone, this message becomes a global message.

The gospel we preach is that if you believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus you will have eternal life and seeing that death is not peculiar to Europeans or White Americans alone, this message becomes a global message. Click To Tweet

 

Christians bring Cultural Practices Under the Scrutiny of the Bible.

One realization every believer must come to in these ‘woke times’ is that we bring everything under the submission of the word of God and when a practice opposes what we know to be true from the Holy Scriptures we discard it. Another way to put this is that your faith in Jesus affects your culture.

One realization every believer must come to in these ‘woke times’ is that we bring everything under the submission of the word of God and when a practice opposes what we know to be true from the Holy Scriptures we discard it. Click To Tweet

This is why we can affirm that some things depicted in Beyoncé’s ‘Black is King’ are satanic. We can’t claim that because those practices emanated from Africa we must accept them, because the Bible warns against idolatry. This implies that whether African or not, as long as you are a Christian you can’t claim to worship Jesus Christ and Ifa at the same time. Duh why do you think we call him Lord, he is supreme, no other idol including Beyoncé (sorry I am coming for your Beyoncé idolizing wigs here) can take or share his place in our hearts. So, instead of letting a piece of art define what is appropriate, we allow the Holy Scriptures lead us on the path of truth and vocally denounce anything that is contrary to what we know to be true from the Bible.

We can’t claim that because some practices emanated from Africa we must accept them. Whether African or not, as long as you are a Christian you can’t claim to worship Jesus Christ and Ifa at the same time. Click To Tweet

This is not saying that African culture in its entirety is evil and should be rejected. I currently live in Lagos, Nigeria and the prevalent culture is the Yoruba culture. One thing I can tell you about the Yorubas is that they are very respectful people, they literally have a greeting for everything and beneath this sense of respect is the cultural belief of the people. I choose to uphold this culture of respect, especially for elders because it aligns with the Bible’s teachings. The word of God teaches us to respect our parents and elders.

 

In conclusion, I urge you who claims to believe in Jesus, but is gradually falling victim for the ‘woke culture’ to reassess what you truly believe in. The prevailing culture doesn’t define what is right from what is wrong, but the Holy Scriptures do.

The prevailing culture doesn't define what is right from what is wrong, but the Holy Scriptures do. Click To Tweet

Stay Blessed and Stay Woke

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4 Comments

  1. This is so apt! Thank you David.

  2. I found this really enlightening and agree 100/100. I’ll definitely be sharing this.

  3. REASSESS WHAT YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN.
    Ifa and Jesus…how ??
    Thankyou

  4. Thank you for this.

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