By Theem Isaac Machar Akot
This is one of the most debated matters in Christian religion over years. It has been since the introduction of Christianity to Africa in the 19th century.
Before I let my dear readers know of what form, I believe God exists, I would like to accept that God exists.
Although scientists do not believe in its existence, or had no one told me about him, I would still know that the nature of the environment around us dictates that there was someone who did and still does this very wonderful work.
For this matter, the Christian religion and scientific concepts are a load of interference in our African traditions and beliefs.
In the first place, we Africans believed that God created the universe and exists. Our belief in his existence was in different contexts. The numerous tribes in most countries in the continent believed God existed, according to their perspective.
In my country, especially in the tribe where I come from, our ancestors believed to have been God whom they called “Nhialic or Achiek”. The words are from the Dinka language and mean different things. “Nhialic” means “The Highest” while “Achiek” means “the creator”, thus, the Dinka tribe believed in the past and still believes now that there is Achiek (the creator).
However, the Dinka tribe also known as Jieng didn’t have pastors or priests. Rather, they had spear masters who were responsible for the Lord’s worship. In addition, there were no churches, but there existed shrines. Therefore, a great man who was believed to have possessed the spirit of a clan’s god did stay in the shrine as pastors, priests, and all those who believed in Jesus stayed in the church.
They timely communicated with God and warned people of their wrongdoings. It didn’t use to take very long to seek God those days. Unlike now when churches take people without immediate or positive impacts on their lives.
When came any natural catastrophe, spear masters could go to their shrines and offer either rams, goats, or bulls. The first beatitudes would be; “Nhialic Wa kony koc ku ba döör bë. This means the gods of my father help your people bring peace, and Achiek responded immediately. This was how the entire Dinka tribe believed to have been God, and I think all Africans, including the herbalists whose work is a spiritual motive, had the same belief.
When Christianity was brought, Africans were fooled into banning their forefathers’ gods and the shrines, as well as completely abandoning the traditions since the Whites perceived them as demons. It’s again among the very Whites, where scientists who claimed non-existence of God emerged. Africans became confused and didn’t know what to do regarding the matter.
From my perspective as an African, God exists in the form of taboos and totems, but no one God as the Christians claim. I read the bible a lot, and I have found out that the God that was brought to Africa by the Whites was also a local god like the ones they called demonic gods of Africans.
Look! In the bible, God is called God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this is because he called Abraham to leave his father’s land and go to the land that he had chosen for him. On another note, God instructed Israelites to attack some nations and plunder all their belongings in an attempt to defend their country. The same God favoured a small boy named David who managed to kill a great warrior called Goliath.
That was a very clear indication that there were specific people who belonged to that God of Abraham (Israelites). However, I call this God Israelites’ God, not Almighty God as they claim.
The doctrine was spread to different parts of the world just to make the rest believe it.
The author is a third-year student at the University of Juba School of Education Department of English Language and Literature.