All problems start with inability to appreciate that humanity was created as one, just as God, in whose image humanity was created, is one. There is no ambiguity in everything created by God. Unlike the other species, as reflected in the animal kingdom, humanity was created in oneness, in terms of principle. The fabrication that later came to be, after the fiasco, as narrated in the story of Adam and Eve, is not God’s image:
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27) (ESV).
Theologians are authorities in terms of interpreting Scriptures. I suppose they can be commended for doing a good job, on every other Biblical texts, except this particular Scripture in Genesis. Theologians evolve from the lineage of Adam—whose story is a caricature of failure—leading to current challenges facing humanity.
Absolute truth is reflected in the origin, or from the actual source. It does not come from heresy, or some other data that has got nothing to do with the origins. The starting point is understanding God, who declared Himself as being one, to the Israelites: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4) (ESV).
This Scripture mirrors what was created in God’s image. The moment this Scripture is taken for what it says, all problems of humanity get handled. Unfortunately, the authorities, heretofore, being identified as Theologians, cannot be willing to confront this reality. Unwillingness to confront the truth happens to be what has reduced humanity to the state of insurmountable challenges.
At the bottom of failure to confront is pride. A classic example can be drawn from the Zimbabwean government. With clear leadership failures, due to inability to tackle issues of corruption, the Zimbabwean government maintains that the governance is not to blame. Their finger is pointed at the Western governments, being responsible, as having imposed sanctions, against them.
Introspection is not possible to the proud people. They would rather vilify, invalidate and discredit those coming up with the truth, rather than acknowledge them. This is exactly what has sustained human civilization, ever since humanity existed on earth. Truth has been available in abundance. But how many people are willing to confront the truth, as to be transformed by it?
Racial considerations are sustained by pride, just as tribal considerations are sustained by pride. People assume that happiness is possible, only when raising their own dignity, rather than raising the dignity of other people. If this reflects the current Zimbabwean condition, Zimbabwe should only be regarded as magnifying the state of humanity. Zimbabwe should be considered as being the harbinger of what can befall the entire humanity on this planet.
Both black and white men, live an average life-span that rarely exceeds one hundred years. This is short—when considering that a human being was created in God’s image, whose image is eternity. What prevails in human affairs is sustained in that humanity cannot accept the reality of eternity. Most people believe that this life is meant for only a short period—before one dies, to eventually, fertilize the soil. Though being the center of truth, God’s word is generally not taken seriously.
The racial consideration of physical humanity reveals truth in denial of access to eternity. God, in whose image humanity was created, is neither black nor white. God is also trans-gender and trans-locational. Those engrossed in being God’s enemies are among those determining humanity according to race, or background. For instance, they determine a person’s skin-color as either being what grants beingness, or not.
When wearing a white skin-color, one considers him/herself as different from the blacks. Conversely, when being black, one considers him/herself as different from those who are white. There cannot be truth, in such assumptions, as the product of intermarriages brings children—in need of survival, like everyone else. The survival challenges of humanity could easily be handled when not dispensing racial considerations on human survival.
The African problem should not be regarded as peculiar to black Africans. Similarly, the Europeans’ apparent easy life-styles should not be regarded as peculiar to the whites. The saddest reality ever present is finger-pointing, based on racial considerations, on matters of human survival.
The blacks find the iconic stance taken by the legendary Nelson Mandela, to be not appealing—assumed as favoring whites. In Rhodesia, Sir Garfield Todd, was also rejected by his fellow whites, for seeking to accommodate the viewpoint of the black people. Nevertheless, the mixture of the two racial features produces something that does not, necessarily, project racial consideration.
In other words, there are only two forces, opposed to each other in this universe. These are represented in what is good, as opposed to what is evil. The ultimate destiny, sustaining what goodness implies, is survival. And the ultimate destiny, sustaining what badness implies is perishing, or death. The racial class, or ethnicity of any kind, comprises people who resent death, yet, ignorantly, engaging in activities that lead to death. The same applies to any other humans of tribal, religious, or philosophical consideration.
Humans want survival, but not being aware that survival is possible, only when engaging in activities that lead to other people’s survival. Saying what happens to other people is none of one’s business, is as foolish as saying, one’s own survival is none of one’s own business. This is why, even Jesus confirmed that the Law and the Prophets were codified in this simple axiom: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) (NIV).
While religion appears as focused towards spiritual survival, its failure is basically on inability to appreciate this reality. The religionists also take comfort in whatever sustains their particular doctrinal positions—viewed as better than those of other religions. While racial divisions are crafted into the metrics of survival, religious considerations are similarly taken into the fray. Divisions cannot be viewed as only limited to racial considerations, necessarily.
The recent xenophobic incidences in South Africa, had nothing to do with the racial outlook of those concerned. It may, therefore, not be fair to limit racial considerations, when seeking to address causes of tension in human relations. Those hacking their fellow blacks to death, sought to justify their behavior on inability to find employment in South Africa. The reasons for doing so, can be convincing to the naive.
The marauding job-seekers from other countries, were considered as taking away employment opportunities in South Africa. The complainants could not appreciate the reality in that, like them, the marauding job-seekers also, sought survival. The survival problem gets handled, only if each of these groups sought to care for each other’s problems: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) (NIV).
As the xenophobic activities were taking place, those of other races were gleefully watching—using this as proof that their race was, indeed, superior. The not so wise, of that white population, decide even to relocate to those countries identifying with their racial outlook. But, problems are not solved by running away from them. The stupidity, as apparently, prevailing among black people, is like any communicable disease—carrying the possibility of spreading to other countries of different racial outlook.
The simple principle of survival is that when your neighbor is in trouble, it is incumbent upon you to come to his rescue. Similarly, it is incumbent upon your neighbor to come to your rescue, when you fall into trouble. There is no need to point fingers, when things go wrong. The foolishness of one’s neighbor affects everyone—whether one likes it or not. This is just as the success of one’s neighbor should be regarded as would positively affect others, one way or the other.
If your neighbor displays foolishness, ask yourself, what you did not do or did—causing your neighbor to behave that way. This is different from assuming safety, only when taking care of yourself, without considering the effects of wrong behaviors next door. What currently prevails is ridiculing, instead of taking responsibility on one’s neighbor’s failures. The behavior of Adam’s first son, Cain, is attributed as having initiated the idea of indifference with one’s brother:
“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’” (Genesis 4:9) (NIV). These words came from an apparently, corrupted human mind. Where had Cain obtained the viewpoint of not being his brother’s keeper? This anecdote, is recorded for the careful Bible students to take note. Sin had infiltrated in that which had been created in God’s image.
The foolish ones today, will decry the behavior of Cain—assuming not to be as bad as Cain was. Nevertheless, the behavior of Cain is what removes the safety of humanity, as in the current dungeon of sinfulness. The entire human race cannot escape the effects of not being the keeper of one’s brother. Allowing wickedness to prevail on your neighbor is allowing wickedness to prevail on you. You are not safe, as long as your neighbor is not safe. One of the considered brilliant lawyers in Jesus’ time asked a simple question:
“And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28) (ESV).
Desiring to justify himself, the same lawyer sought to know the meaning of ‘neighborhood. In response, Jesus narrated a parable of the Good Samaritan. This does not, necessarily, imply that Jesus viewed the Samaritans as better than the Jews of that time. Jesus was, basically, teaching the principle of not limiting consideration of neighborhood, to the closest relatives.
Naturally, a human being is effective to those closest to him, due to physical limitations. But that does not mean those further off, should be ignored, necessarily. A person is as dead as unable to help the brother next door. Conversely, a person is as alive as able to help the brother next door. When reduced to corruption, a nation would have long died, as unaware of such behavior being what leads to demise.
Corruption is embedded on not caring about one’s own brothers. But corruption is the cancer that effects the entire humanity. There are countries that are considered as more corrupt than others. But that should not justify any country to consider itself safe, as long as corruption exists, elsewhere. The human race was created as one, just as God is one. No-one should be apologetic, when passionately fighting against corruption and other evils of humanity.
Caring for one’s own brother, is not limited to one’s ethnicity. It caters for the entire human race. One is safe, only as his neighbors are safe. One is in danger, as long as his neighbors are in danger. While making anyone feel good, faultfinding saves only to enforce the cause of iniquity to remain intact. Otherwise, all humans are their brother’s keepers. There is no other hope of human survival, except accepting the principle of oneness—being that which portrays God’s image.
Each individual carries the responsibility for his/her neighbor’s survival. In other words, the individual’s survival is embodied in the survival of his/her neighbor. The safest people on this planet are those occupied in activities that enhance the survival of their neighbors. Yet the most endangered people on this planet are those not bothered about the survival of their neighbors.
The awakening starts with appreciating the reality of that which was created in God’s image. This should be followed by appreciating that pride is the seed of all evil. The inability to carry the burdens of other people, is instigated by pride. This is the only sin, for which Jesus was hung on the cross (John 1:29). We become God’s children when caring for our brothers, just as Jesus left us this perfect example. This principle has got nothing to do with religion, necessarily.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99