Ruction over T.D. Jakes sermon on “Believing in God Is Not Enough,” You Must Believe in Yourself!?

Christians all over Social media are ablaze in angst over an sermon made by renowned Gospel Guru Thomas .Dexter (T.D)  Jakes. Bishop Jakes is known for his eloquent delivery of the scriptures to the masses, but a sermon delivered in the woman thou art loosed conference at Phillips Arena in Atlanta could probably be an undoing of Jakes in the eyes of Christian fraternity worldwide.

simple Logic will first tell one to get a definitive meaning of Belief, which according to dictionary meaning is to have a strong conviction, confidence in the truth. In trying to relate the canal logic to spiritual meaning and implication of the assertion many have been left by the road side.

Maybe Bishop Jakes here is taking about the recognition of Self value, in terms of daily living on earth and achieving goals in life.  The thorny issue here in believing in one self instead of believing in God. Is it that I, like many other readers have misinterpreted the message from Bishop Jakes or its just plain old biases that run wild in the world of Religion?

somehow, I am inclined to agree with some of Bishop Jakes critics by citing the bible in Mathew 16:24-25 “Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  I may not be much of a theologian but the statement believing in God not being enough is rather outlandish. The bible equivocally states that we are nothing without Christ; he is the one who strengthens us in our daily journey on this earth.

But something else arises in this whole debate about self worth. For some us the thought of not believing in yourself is deemed as having poor self esteem. It would therefore sound heretic for someone to insinuate that Christians or to be souled out to Jesus Christ one should have low self esteem and I opine Bishop Jakes in his message tries to moot out the importance of believing in one self  to help you realize the purpose of God in your life.

“Believing in God is Not Enough,”You must Believe in Yourself?

Other pundits disagree here and cite Galatians 5:16-22 “ so I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. This sounds the belief in our own self esteem is pitting us against the creator who made us in his own image and likeness. we should not negate the fact that this same creation of man makes the relationship with God prominent .In  some quota man  is represented as Gods’ vicegerent.

Galatians continues to reiterate that the desires of the flesh is contrary to the spirit.But as much as the bible continued explains how the two are  in conflict with each other, Human beings are seen as vicegerents of God the maker of heaven and earth, the same God who gave man dominion over all his creation. If we are deemed as appointed by the ruler who in this case is God the father then Jakes is not wrong in saying that you must believe in yourself as you believe in God.

If we do not believe in ourselves, then there will arise a tendency where as an individual you inspire no confidence in others. without believing in yourself one is doomed to failure and mediocrity. This is what T.D. Jakes was addressing in his sermon at the woman thou art loosed conference as opposed to what most of his critics belief on hints of heresy in the sermon. As Christians we have to have confidence in whatever we undertake. a solid belief in our potential thus will catapult us in realizing our dreams.

Spiritually, a man can not depend on flesh alone to make it into the Kingdom of heaven, the new age Christianity maybe is confusing a lot of hungry souls who are just itching to get some spiritual highs. But for Christians to make intelligent decisions they have to be exposed spiritually so as not to fall into traps of deceit or heresy.

Many Christians are satisfied at their comfort zones hence the subscribing to anything pleasant from preachers whether true or heretic. The tenacity for revival exhibited by Christian’s world over reveal how there is a hunger for the gospel in man. The Devil here is like wounded lion seeking whom to devour hence he is using Gospel to spread his lies and confuse the masses into subscribing to religious hog wash from the new age Christianity.

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The heterotextual male

Communication these days is damn confusing and vague. In the Dating world, all communication has exclusively gone to Texting.

This has made it damn abstract; it seems every one is so much into intense immediacy of the digital age that we just want to say everything in ‘Texts’.

Relationships are harder now because conversations become texting, five or ten minutes of silence can be excruciating! Arguments become phone calls, and feelings become subliminal messages online.

Perhaps our confusion lies in the fact that we might say more, when we sms as opposed to making the actual call. according to some texting fanatics this  is not some combination thermonuclear equation on a chemistry test that one will fail to respond to when you receive. you simply read and respond. maybe the hardest part is getting to know the mind of the females when you indulge them in texting as opposed to talking face to face often.

As if men don’t already battle with understanding the opposite sex which is a hard nut to crack, we intentionally went a step further to complicate the matter by introducing texting to the dating world. This is where we will say something really horrible #SMH, to the likes of Steve Jobs who came up with fantastic gadgets like the iPhone which embed some fancy texting apps making this form of communication really interesting.

The world’s population has purportedly hit Seven billion mark and to think that it would be easy to communicate in a real and personal way, human contact is slowly slipping away and being replaced by  digital communication.

Now Texting has even over taken its predecessor the Voice to be the leader in digital communication. People spend hours looking into their Mobile handset screens and working through the Keys than the actual action of pressing a button to make a simple phone call.

But how is the 21st century man expected to show his affection and love to a nice belle through Texts. This whole idea baffles me, we are supposed to text when we are trying to break the ice with a new catch not over do it while dating.

Maybe, just Maybe when people text you have a lot to say to each other rather than listen to the short messages you can pass through making the phone call. Plus there are those Data plans we subscribe to depending on the Mobile company you are using that allows people to a certain limit of free Texts every day or you subscribe to unlimited bundles of Texts for a fee of course.

some quota argue that, texts are simple and to the point. you should save the deep conversations for face to face communication. This is the only way you will let a woman know that you are thinking of them on a working day and allows for good conversation.

With the world’s population reaching almost seven billion people, you would think it would be easier than ever to communicate in a real and personal way, yet as the population of planet earth increases year on year human contact has been displaced by digital communication. The mobile phone started out as basic portable communication device, but has now evolved into a state of the art messaging center where the human voice is of secondary importance.

But the bone of contention is on these men who insist on Texting all the time as opposed to their fair counterparts “ladies”, or is this the new tech savvy way that the Alpha male is using to evade just about anything in the world of being a player.

Some allege this is just like the classical conditioning of the dog and Bell; disclaimer no pun intended it’s just an illustration am using here, to train the canine to respond to certain hours of feeding and the response to the bell. You train a Lady to loving texts and that’s all you will be doing texting, there will be no fuss in making actual calls but the bummer comes when you ran out of Texts then you are in some shitty situation there.


Corporal punishment yet again reveals its ugly head in Kenyan schools

It had been mooted as the most sadistic mode of instilling discipline in Kenya, yes corporal punishment, a once almost forgotten blight in the life of students in both primary and secondary school has sneaked its way back.

The premise that children are indiscipline has seen the rise of corporal punishment in schools, a culture that was long forgotten.   The Children Act 2001 categorizes corporal punishment as a form of violence against children. It is against this understanding that the Act outlaws it.

According to article 37, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), states that children have a right to protection from torture, and other cruel  inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

In Kenya, the most common method of corporal punishment involves teachers striking students with a “cane”. Canning of students was rife in the nineties which led to a huge out cry from both parents and pupils affected. Some had it rough where other fellow students “prefects” were given the authority to cane their fellow students in the name of punishment and it is these numbskulls that went over board and started badly injuring or even killing the supposed delinquent pupil in the process.

Canning has over the years been regarded as violence against children that often went unspoken. Here teachers use caning, slapping, and whipping to maintain classroom discipline and to punish children for poor academic performance. The recent case that was highlighted in a Kenyan local daily dated 14th march 2012 on a young boy who later died after the teacher hit him at the back of his head for supposedly skipping a page in his homework book.

According to a study conducted by the Human Rights Watch, (1999) Spare the Child: Corporal Punishment in Kenyan Schools,in http://www.unhcr.org, such severe corporal punishment violates both Kenyan law and international human rights standards and is incompatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the world’s most widely-ratified human rights treaty.

The study also reveals that according to the Kenyan Education discipline regulations provided by the ministry of education, it is viewed as un warranted for any one to administer corporal punishment haphazardly on students but may only be administered by the headmaster and the cane or strap used must be of regulation size, hitting boys on the buttocks and girls on the palm of the hand

In 1996 the then Director of Education reportedly issued a statement banning the imposition of corporal punishment, but this just fell on deaf ears since nothing much has been done and those accused of administering the merciless punishments on students are usually transferred and no disciplinary action met against these teachers.

The Biblical precept, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”  Has cast deception on majority of adults in Kenya who experienced this heinous form of punishment. We have been led to think that the Bible advocates for smothering children to kingdom come in the process instilling the fear of ‘god’ in them in the name of a cane. We are cheated to even fathom that someone will change when pain is inflicted in them, instead this just makes the student more aggressive toward their fellow students. Some even in turn start canning other students since they were also canned and this is where all hell breaks lose.

The Teachers’ Service Commission should always investigate any allegation put in their office on incidences of corporal punishment to avert mishaps.

The teacher being investigated upon here should not be transferred but suspended from active duty until they are cleared by the teacher’s service commission of the allegations or face prosecution for inflicting harm on these innocent children.

It is highly recommended that teachers use only non violent means of punishing children.  This was we will avoid those inadvertent deaths and injuries that are slowly creeping back into our education system because of the re-introduction of corporal punishment.


A glimpse of teen life in ancient Rome


Tana Delta clashes a smoke screen for Kenyas Political Oligarchy

the aftermath of clashes between two communities at the Tana delta : courtesy of eastafricanstandardphotos

Kenyan Politics is vested only in a few privileged individuals who apparently were mentored and  inherited their political careers. This privileged cadre is what is ruining this country because some communities still remain maligned in the struggle for economic empowerment.

This inheriting of power and political regions is grossly attributed to   the  gradual accumulation of unchecked economic power in Kenya, causing many curious and concerned individuals like me think that Kenya is not a Democracy as we always think but a political oligarchy.

The type of democracy we envision seems far fetched since most of the areas in Kenya still wallow in buffoonery politics, following those whom have been endorsed by other political giants to them. We should desist from such kinds of archaic leaderships styles and concentrate more on people who will bring change and not maintaining the horrible status quo they are desperately trying to avert in their various counties.

Struggling communities like the Tana delta region have since independence been  entangled in battles over scarce resources. The Orma and Pokomo have never known peace and they continually fight for the little resource that is available in the region. The government here has failed to address some of the misdeeds that befall the region.

The disturbances experienced in the Tana delta is largely due to political,economic and social scarcity and unequal distribution of resources. These communities are grossly  underprivileged owing to the disparity in resource allocation from the government as compared to other counties in Kenya which enjoy the spoils of the government development kitty.

Media reports allude to the possibility of politics having played a key role in the skirmishes in the region which has led the government to move in expeditiously and mount General Service Unit police to maintain the peace between the waring factions.

Danson Mungatana Member of Parliament for Garsen expressed his disappointment on the Government owing to the slow nature of response being taken to quell the fighting in Tana River. Mungatana called upon the president to treat the brutal killings with utmost urgency and ensure that the lives of all Kenyans are protected at all times.

But as much as the government moved in and has now imposed curfews in the region as the menacing GSU patrol the region seeking out any trouble makers and pacify any hint of agitation from two waring communities, the bone of contention will eventually go unresolved. The fighting between these two communities is not just political but one of resources which needs to be addressed.

Now its due to this supposed lack of resources that has been the bane of fighting between the orma and the pokomo in Tana Delta. The country has witnessed heinous murderous sprees in the region where the Orma are said to have attacked the Pokomo in what the police commissioner Mathew Iteere described as retaliatory attack in Tarassa village giving rise to a vicious cycle of killings and revenge from the Pokomo raiders. The tally of deceased has catapulted to saddening heights of more than 60 people raising eye browse as to what the government is doing to quell the matter.

Despite the police commissioner  Mathew Iteere effort of beefing up security in the region there has been no peace, people are still fighting. Even the government imposed curfew seemed not to raffle a feather since the killings are still going on in the region. We hope that the presence of GSU outfits in the region will work some magic and instill the fear of God among the fighting clans. Kenyans already are scared by the 2007/08 post election fighting which in some quota was spuriously dubbed ethnic cleansing, so i opin that we do not need a repeat of that this time round.

We have a ruling class that seems not to care about lives instead they traverse the country campaigning and making hue of the Tana delta in a bid to win voter sympathy instead of mooting out ways in which they can help the occupants of this region.

The Kenya Red cross and other sympathizer have swiftly moved in to provide food, shelter and medical support to those affected by the fighting. They have even moved a step further in trying to find logistics on how those students who are supposed to sit their end year exams will actually manage to take their exams.

Kenya does not need look warm leaders, we are in dire need of people who can actually make a change in the lives of others and not those  who inherit power and  keen on maintaining the status quo of leadership. We need leaders who will not sit back and watch as Kenyans butcher each other.


what’s hot in Art

courtesy of the black woman paintings

 


What’s hot in Art

courtesy of black art oil paintings


i believe in God, But am an African first.

Christianity and African traditional beliefs at times are such a thorn in the flesh. God is ultimate yes, and all knees shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord above all other ‘gods’. When i think about the sacrifices a person has to make in the name of being Saved, sanctified, set apart, demon set free and all the niceties that the bible enshrines. i pause and ponder, in whose culture was this magnificent book written, is it the Hebrew culture or the new christian culture. But wait a minute , am an African so where does the African Traditional Beliefs come in.

I am undoubtedly sure that the African Traditional beliefs  had and still have a deity somewhere. People believed in a higher power even though they did not know exactly how to call him. All this was just before the White man came into Africa and handed us the bible while taking away all the fertile land our ancestors possessed.

Now where on earth did it say in the Bible that “… i will give you good news, about the salvivic nature of Jesus Christ and you shall give away your fertile lands, minerals and oil field….” and the plethora of maladies goes on an on. i have not seen any such thing in the bible or maybe its in there.

In an article entitled “King Leopold II’s ghost hovers over African still”, he was delivering a speech and urged missionaries being deployed to the Congo 1883,  to interpret the scriptures in a manner that protected the interests of the Belgians.

He, urged his missionaries  to use the knowledge of the scriptures and throw the Africans off balance while taking their land. All  this done by making use of the  Beatitudes to confuse Africans so that they can posses their lands

blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom ………it is Hard for the rich to enter Heaven”

The thought of Getting all the fertile lands and free labor to work on the fields was pleasurable to the colonialists in Africa. We were handed the bible and were content with misinterpreting its message for the benefit of the New elites in our society.

I may not be some hedonistic fella thinking  that pleasure is the universal and ultimate object of endeavor. There is one true God that much i believe, but when you are from another cultural orientation and you deem mine as a lost cause  forgetting that the Bible it self is based on Hebrew culture i get pissed. Advice Viriri in the African cosmology and duality of western hegemony: the search for an African identity, in the Journal of Pan African studies (Vol 3, 2010) asserts that it was  incumbent for the white man to curve out hope and belief for the African man perpetuating the myth that the African is the White-man’s burden. Probably because, Africans inherited the colonial traditions  which are almost unaltered even after most countries were freed from the shackles of colonialism. These same Africans are the same ones who filled the vacant seats left by the white man.

Now these colonial traditions have led some to believe that they are better placed than others, some have even been dubbed the Alienated scholars who are fast at picking on their very own  cultures  when it comes to Christianity and African Traditional beliefs.Now in the light of all the jabber about culture, beliefs, traditions you name it, am  driven to think that the happiness of an individual is whats more important in life compared to the love that we are so fervently asked to share in the Bible.

While trying to get the clear picture of the relationship between the bible and the African culture, pundits argue in the Dialectic model that  gospel and culture are opposed to each other. The two are arguable  in perpetual conflict with each other, and are ultimately irreconcilable. In a research paper conducted by Dr. Ernest Munachi Ezeugo on the Bible and culture in African Theology, moots that Independent African churches remain conservative in believing that the Bible is universal and not subject to cultural interpretations. Thus such accompaniments to worship as hand clapping and dancing are seen as biblical, not cultural.

We have to appreciate the fact that the Gospel is spoken in many tongues , we can not speak together as reformed Christians without knowing the gospel has taken root in various diverse cultures in which our churches bear witness to  the salvivic nature of Christ. So when you are quick to whiplash my culture i would urge you to go back and refer to the definition of culture which i am take the onus of explaining a bit to you.The word culture is derived from the Latin verb “colere” which means to plough the earth, to build and inhabit a house, to revere, to worship, to honor, to respect and to pay homage.

Now where are you showing respect when you are quick at pointing out that African culture is ungodly. Which God do you serve that only has respect for a racist perspective of cultural belief and biased interpretation of the Bible depicting African race as a cursed race in a desperate attempt to reinforce the relationship between primitive and civilized cultures.

so as an African, is one supposed to believe that the early African belief in a deity was simply rudimentary and was characterized with plenty or superstition entangled with fears and irrational taboos.  The way the early church made its entrance in the African communities was pretty wanting.

Missionaries portrayed African traditional beliefs as inimical and urged new converts to disregard these beliefs which were part and parcel of day to day living. Is the present day Africa essentially the European made Africa waiting to be ruled int he western philosophical thinking. When one  negates the sensibility of African Traditional Beliefs by embracing heinous statements like ” it is evil to respect African Culture or African Culture is ungodly” makes me arrive at the conclusion that this person is culturally demented.

Ernest Munachi, in The Bible and Culture in African Theology,  argues that polarity is often expressed in the language of contrasting spatial, temporal, and circumstantial metaphors, such as these: the gospel is from “above,” culture from “below”; the gospel is “divine,” culture “human”; the gospel is “light,” culture “darkness”; the gospel is “eternal,” culture “time-bound”; and so on. The advocates of this school of thought assert that  the dichotomy between the gospel and culture can be resolved in only one possible way, by culture yielding to the demands of the gospel.

These religious beliefs are the same thing that the modern day theologists will want to use to convince me “an African” that i am the descendant of the cursed son of Noah Ham (Genesis 9:20) doomed to serve as a slave to his two other good brothers, and reader just guess who came from the blessed son ‘Japhet’, yeeeeeeep! you are right, the Europeans.  The dualistic view that the African represents evil or curse and the white man represents light and hope is what haunts us and still used to place Africans at the bottom of the racist  human social scale. (Dualism in The Philosophy of the mind being defined as the identity of a person with a composite of soul and body. Richard Swinburne, 1997)

As an African i opin that  the propagators of these archaic mind set that culture is retrogressive and ungodly should sit down and study the inherent attributes of the African culture and try work this out in nurturing what is relevant for the sake of spiritual growth.

In the spirit of creating an understanding between the African Culture and Bible there is a new term i have come to love called inculturation. Here Christians in Africa have come to terms that cultural beliefs shape a person whether we like it or not. we should therefore embrace the good parts of those cultures and work with that in spreading the Gospel of Jesus christ to the masses.


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