We Must Liberate Jesus from Christianity and Ourselves from Individualism

Article excerpt

BYLINE: CEDRIC MAYSON

Ubuntu and its variations is an African concept which has no direct translation into European languages. It means humanness, compassion and co-operation, a concept of communal awareness, responsibility, and enjoyed togetherness, which is the primal experience of human beings - the Earthlings of this planet, now threatened with self destruction later this century.

The crucial ubuntu awareness was destroyed by civilisation when it separated religion from politics and economics. Only the recovery of ubuntu can empower Earthlings to liberate themselves.

It is for this reason that I say: Jesus - yes! But Christianity - no, no, a thousand times no! We need to liberate Jesus from the corruptions of Christianity because there is a major difference between the Good News of Jesus, found in the gospels, and the bad views of Christianity arising from the Church and its creeds.

The way of Jesus is about abundant life, but Christianity has spread an abundance of death by its subservience to economic and political gods.

Jesus proclaimed that the ruling power in the human community is the compassion and co-operation of love. Christianity prioritises the self-love of "prosperity for me"; rejects and opposes all other religions; and its first concern is to perpetuate its own denominational divisions, not the unity of humanity.

The emphasis of Jesus was good news for life on Earth. Christianity focuses on superstitions about life after death. Jesus, and all the prophets of humanity, spoke of similar spiritual truths, like love, joy, and peace. But these were distorted and limited by the religions that followed them. The prophets point to something beyond ecumenism, beyond inter-faith, but our religious institutions hold us back in the past.

As South Africans we have a unique place in history because our belief systems embrace Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Baha'i, African Traditions, and Agnosticism.

Liberating Jesus from Christianity, and all the prophets from their corrupted institutions, enables us to build on our primal beliefs and discover a new experience of ubuntu together.

This is why we need a new liberation struggle. The liberation we have achieved so far is only skin deep. We rejected racism, but the depths of oppressive systems remain. Colonialism still rules. Cecil Rhodes, and Verwoerd, King Leopold of the Belgians and western preachers reappear in darker pigment.

Liberation means designing an economy to honour and delight the needs of the community, not the greed of the elite.

Liberation means empowering politicians to seek global peace and fulfillment for all people on Planet Earth, not to promote themselves and their interests by force;

Liberation means using education and all resources of the media to develop a well-informed mature population, able to resist indoctrination and corruption;

Liberation means empowering our heads and our hearts to grow from divisive competitive religions and emotional superstitions into a united spiritual power of caring and co-operation of ubuntu today;

Liberation means controlling our use of the Earth and its atmosphere and the growth of population to ensure an environment in which all life can prosper. …