By Oswald Hanciles
In early April, 2014, two months before the first Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, at theCouncil of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) building on Kingharman Road in Freetown, where the health minister, Miatta Kargbo, and her team had hosted a meeting to solicit the support of the Inter-Religious Council…in the Ebola War, Bishop Tamba Charles of the Catholic Church, and Bishop Tom Barnett of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone thanked God for God’s grace in miraculously sparing Sierra Leone from the Ebola virus as our country sits bang in the middle of Ebola infected countries of Liberia and Guinea. They prayed that this will be sustained. Clearly, God did not listen to the bishops’ prayers.
God did not listen as Doe chopped off heads of Gio/Mano people
I was working in Monrovia, Liberia, in the late 1980s as President Samuel Kanyan Doe would secretly kill his perceived enemies; as Charles Taylor ignited his war from Nimba County, the traditional home of the Gio-Mano ethnic group on December, 24, 1989 – and, Doe responded by chopping off the heads of Gio-Mano people in the capital city, and, would call THE DAILY OBSERVER newspaper to splatter the gory spectacle on their front page. Confronted by this ghoulish scenario, Liberia’s leading clergy would call all-night prayer sessions. And, they prayed, prayed, prayed …..for God to save Liberia. God did not listen.
God did not listen to Jews during the Nazi Holocaust
During the Second World War, SIX MILLION Jews were herded into concentration camps like sheep in about six years by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany – tortured in nightmarish ways, killed like flies. The Jews WROTE the Bible. They prayed to Jehovah, or Yahweh….or God….to be saved….God snubbed their prayers, clearly.
God did not listen as ‘Kamara Sold Blyden’ into Slavery
You think the ancestors of Oswald Hanciles, Sylvia Blyden, Osho-Coker, Blyden Jenkins-Johnston, etc…did not pray for THREE HUNDRED YEARS…as they were being captured by the Bais, the Kamaras, the Dumbuyas…etc, put on ships across the Atlantic Ocean, enduring the worst psychological bludgeoning of any race ever in human history during the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade? They prayed. God did not listen to them.
If God did not listen as Sierra Leoneans, and Liberians, prayed unceasingly during a decade of nauseous civil wars in which about HALF A MILLION PEOPLE lost their lives, and palpable fear reigned, why should God listen today to our prayers –with only just a THOUSAND PEOPLE killed by the Ebola virus? Or, could it be that our problem is that we have been praying to ‘God’ – and, failing to understand ‘God’? Can we learn the LANGUAGE that God understands?
God’s LANGUAGE in Christianity and Islam
99% of Sierra Leoneans claim adherence to Christianity or Islam. Let’s us examine a bit of God in the holy books of these two major global religions. The Bible in Genesis states: ‘Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”’ (Note there, not rule over viruses like the HIV or Ebola.). God did what God said he would do, according to GENESIS 2:7:“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul…..”
The Quran says this of man: “Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; then We fashioned the drop into a clot, then We fashioned the clot into a little lump, then We fashioned the little lump into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators!” [23:12-14] Islamic scholars may explain to us that “We” there.
The consensus among Muslims is that God has no image and no form. God is the Infinite Who encompasses the whole universe. God has neither a body, nor is God material…..To think that God has a form of a man, to the Muslims, is degrading to the whole concept of God….(That belief in God not being a ‘man’ is a fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam. In Sierra Leone, we gloss over such differences).
God ONLY listens to Knowledge
This writer, now more known as “Guru” in cyberspace, postulate that God is within human knowledge; intelligence; and, intrinsically, God ONLY ‘listens’ to human knowledge. This appears to be in line with Islamic thinking… The Holy Quran puts the highest emphasis on acquisition of knowledge. That knowledge has been at the core of the Islamic world from the very beginning as attested by Surah 96:1-5, which Muslims believe to be the first revelation received by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It says: “Read — for thy Sustainer is the Most Bountiful One who has taught (man) the use of the pen — taught insan what he did not know!”
Know God; Learn the Language of God
After the ‘Big Bang’…..about 13 billion years ago, the planet earth was captured by our sun about 4.6 billion years ago. God ‘created’ complex cells 2 billion years ago; land animals just 475 million years ago; and mammals, a very short time ago – 200million years ago. And man!! We are laughably recent creations – our closest ‘ancestor’ was ‘born’ 2.5 million years ago; and, the one closest…closest to us 200,000 years ago. Put that into perspective: earliest dinosaurs (the fossils of such giant animals are much loved by children in the US today) were around 225 MILLION years ago – and they reigned for about a hundred million years. The learned consensus in our world today is that about 66 million years ago some huge meteor (there are zillions of meteors flying ‘all over the place’) rammed into our planet in what is called the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction – wiping out the mosasuars, pterosaurs, ammonites, belemnites, and all the dinosaurs… Except birds!!! Yes, God created viruses about TWO HUNDRED MILLION YEARS AGO!!!
What is ‘modern man’ was ‘born’ in East Africa just 200,000 years ago; and, we started migrating from Africa to Europe just about 50,000 years ago – put that against the age of the 200 MILLION year old viruses. Be humbled!! The Ebola Virus was here before man; has learned how to survive far earlier and BETTER than us. Only when we understand ‘the LANGUAGE OF GOD’ can we stand a chance against any war against the Ebola virus.
Generally, Africans, even modern Africans, don’t know the language of God, and, thus, FAIL TO SPEAK TO GOD IN LANGUAGE THAT GOD CAN UNDERSTAND – which is knowledge; exponential growth in knowledge. In any great crisis (like with our rebel war), Sierra Leoneans would throng churches and mosques to pray ceaselessly; and, say, ‘Nar God nor more go save we pan dis’!! And, that ‘God’ that Sierra Leoneans EXPECT to save them would be, implicitly, the white man. We are clamoring for ‘God to save us’ – and, God (read: the white man in America) to send us the ZMAPP drugs for us to cure infected persons from the Ebola infection. The scandal of Sierra Leoneans, and Africans generally, is being outwardly and fervently religious while manifesting lack of knowledge of God. This fake religiousity has apparently made God vexed.
Africa’s God-less Leaders leading Africa on Suicidal Path
Generally, our ‘God-less’ leaders in Africa have been championing God-less societies careening on a suicidal path. Survival means going on the path of premium being put on qualitative Knowledge. From the pre-school level to the tertiary level. We cannot treat knowledge acquisition with levity; scorn those who have knowledge, and, then, cry out to the white man to give us the output of his knowledge. African leaders, Africa’s elites, WORSHIP base material things, and teach their people to ‘worship’ those who make these material things (cars, mobile phones, marble houses, etc.). Look around Freetown and see the many mansions worth half a million dollars that have been constructed. Ask any of the owners of these expensive mansions to invest just $10,000 of his/her wealth (90% of the chances, stolen wealth) in a science lab in Freetown, or, to sponsor a new invention like that from 18 year old Kelvin Doe, and, he/she would look at you as if you are crazy. This is worse in petroleum-rich Nigeria. So, fixated are Africa’s leaders to material things that they generally would disdain any rational thought – except, of course, IMPOSED by the ‘Gods’ in America and Europe.
The Ebola War on us today gives us a wonderful opportunity to know God; to learn the language of God; to speak to God so that God can listen to us – within rational knowledge; utilitarian knowledge. Or, else, the Ebola virus will win this war –and, other wars against us. Viruses like the Ebola have been created by God too – to survive. The Ebola virus and the HIV are viruses that have always been with us – WILL ALWAYS be with us!!! There are complex variables of knowledge (international relations; psychology; media; mass mobilization, etc) that must be applied by West Africans to beat the Ebola Enemy is this battle – that means those who know the language of God must come to the fore; and teach the masses ‘The True Language of God’, which is KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge applied. God is NOT going to listen to the prayers of Sierra Leoneans in their churches or mosques, or, in cyber space. Except, Africans learn to inject knowledge in their language to the white man in Europe and America. For example: Africans are ‘Original Man’ that migrated to Europe 50,000 years ago, and started inter-breeding with Neanderthals, who had less brain capacity than ‘African Man’. The ‘African Man’, genetically, unalloyed, could be Superior Man – if the Europe and America lose us; their chances of survival are lessened. When we apply knowledge, that is the line we are take to take advantage of this Ebola War….. Pause, Guru does…