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In the Bible, there is near total absence of reference of interventions by the dead in the affairs of the living. People who die a premature death cannot be categorised as ancestors (2007;330). The belief remains that there is an interaction between the invisible and visible worlds (2007;377). We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. Among the Zulu the ancestors are considered as mediators (between the Supreme Being) and nothing more. In other cultural contexts, some people seek providence from their deceased ancestors; this practice is sometimes known as ancestor worship or, more accurately, ancestor veneration. Our only true mediator is the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ. that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? ... What our African ancestors wore before western clothing. Satan is the evil one which represents the embodiment of antithesis to the will and purpose of God (1999;71). Until now, the oldest evidence of human ancestors outside of Africa was in Dmanisi, Georgia. The struggle of the African with the idea of the veneration or mediation of the ancestors is both historical and universal (2007;382). Dr. Kambon is a licensed psychologist as well as an initiated traditional African priestess. In Africa, witchcraft is considered as anti-social and as something that systematically contradicts all the values of society. Another intriguing aspect in those involved in the ritual sacrifice is their tendency to say that they are praying to God and their ancestors. Exercising discernment, is an act of the will and an act of faith. But God is almighty and limits evil and their activities (2007;379). In the African traditional religions, ancestors were never considered demonic or as part of evil spirits (2007;383). Among the visible beings were humans, animals and plants. It’s possible with the use of medical DNA tests to reveal links to ancestors, much like it is used today to relate relatives. Voice of Our African ancestors, The Bronx. God is concerned with all aspects of salvation (Luke 5:23), not just with the spiritual. Some ancestors are considered to play an active role in the lives of the living and are therefore called the living-dead. Our Black Ancestry Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery. Researching our female ancestors can require even more effort when it comes to those who are of African descent. An ancestor is also someone who is remote or distant. Wikipedia defines an ancestor as: “…a parent or (recursively) the parent of an ancestor (i.e., a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent, and so forth)” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancestor ,17 March 2011). Ancestors play a significant role in the day to day live in African society. Christians who decide to stay within the mainline churches, especially where ministries of healing, deliverance and exorcism are lacking, tend to lead a “split-level” Christianity (a dual life). Our Ancestral spirits. The gift of casting out devils is a precious endowment to the church (1999;83). Prayers and offerings are made because it’s believed the spirits of ancestors live on in the natural world and are thus able to influence the futures and fortunes of the living relatives. In the African spirit world for example, spirits appear rather as disorganised and competitive (2007;397). Most of the mainline churches are well aware of this need and that the current teachings are not fully adequate in assisting them to deal with witchcraft and the fear it brings. It is at the cross of Christ, an eternal sacrifice for us, so that our sin might be forgiven and that Satan might be utterly defeated (1999;81). Using online resources like http://www.ancestor.co.za or http://ancestry24.com a person can explore the history of ancestors. portions under the title The Hebrew Heritage of Our West African Ancestors, together with the rights to include our own editorial comments and supplementary information. Find those missing pieces of your identity with this transformative and powerful experience. These structures are there for holding man in bondage but over which Christ has triumphed and which he now wants to employ in his service on earth. In Matthew 22 Jesus explains that the two main reasons that the people stumble is because they do not know the scriptures (something the missionaries tried with limited results) nor the power of God: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Act 19:18-20). Knowing where you're from is a critical component of knowing who you are. The Middle and Later Stone Age, which lasted from about 300 000 to 300 years ago in South Africa, was an important time for the African continent. This includes the removal of negative things (such as disease, demons and sin). The foundational religion of many African groups seems to be ancestor worship. It is believed that a person who is sick for a long time has been chosen as an instrument through which ancestors want to communicate. African Ancestry was founded in 2003 by Dr. Rick Kittles and Gina Paige in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kittles was one of the earliest geneticists to trace the ancestry of Africans through DNA testing. The Bible does show that it is possible for the dead to contact the living but may be unique cases. There are literally trillions to connect with, and many are just waiting for YOU to reach out. Another reason why ancestor practices are common is to endure the hardship of life and to intellectually cope with existential crises and the frustrations that confound them. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We will also look at reasons behind the strong presence of ancestor practices within Africa. This left the African people with the idea that God could not handle the hostile spirits that attacked people on a daily basis. Ancestor worship is found in many cultures all across the world. The belief in missionaries was that the converts to Christianity, after attaining some (western-based) education and religious instruction, would simply outgrow the idea of the existence of the spirit world, but this endeavour did not fully realize under the people for the past two centuries (2007;370). It is for this reason that many missionaries in the past and in the present have regarded ancestor veneration as the centre of African traditional religion and as something in serious conflict to the worship of the true God. *You can also browse our support articles here >. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. © 2020 African Ancestry, Inc. All rights reserved. Browse our resources Discover your African American Ancestry. Ela indicates that the offerings for the ancestors are “signs of respect”, “symbols of the continuity of family”, and “simply a command of the love of children” towards parents. Satan and all that he rule has been defeated by Christ (Luke 11:22). Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (verses 19-21). Society and Culture Page.. Triebel argues that (2007;336), “if one interprets African religion as theistic, centered on the belief in the one God, one cannot accept that the ancestors have their own independent religious function”. It was believed that if someone in the community had caused a breakdown of the balance of relationships with an ancestor, the ancestor could respond by invoking occurrences as prolonged rain or drought, epidemics or earth quakes. From time immemorial, the Zulus have always held a strong belief that the closest human link the living have with God, uMvelinqangi is through the connection they have with amadlozi, a Zulu term for ancestors. We then determine your present-day country and ethnic group (tribe) of origin in Africa. This is common among the Shona and AmaZulu people. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you”. I want to write very briefly here about the various kinds of spirits that can be part of a shamanic calling and become your guides or possess you as you do the work of the ancestors. On the other hand, the ancestors also depend on the living in a sense that only if they are remembered, only if attention is paid to them through veneration and the offering of sacrifices, will they exist as ancestors (2007;329). How Our African Ancestors Made Sound In The Stone Age. Dr. Paige holds a degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. This is contrasted against the highly organised view in Ephesians 6. The Zulus believed that the Supreme Being was in a sense unreachable, so that there was a need for ancestral mediation (1999;73). Although there is the concept of evil forces, it’s not the same as the Christian view in the sense that there exists a single-ruler over all evil powers. In I Corinthians 10 we learn that idolatry is the same as devil-worship, and one should therefore be careful not to make ancestors bigger than they are: “What say I then? Their views of the spirit-world is contrasted in many aspects against the New Testament teachings. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. When we think of our ancestors, most think of our recently deceased. This session is designed to help participants learn African traditional ways of understanding mental/emotional challenges and how this approach can be used as the foundation of treatment in working with people of African ancestry. Witchcraft is described as the human embodiment of evil (2007;344), and the witch takes the place of the devil. It is clear that the tendency in some churches is to incorporate the ancestral belief in the doctrine of the Communion of Saints (2007;337). There are similarities in the spirit world between the first-century New Testament communities and those of Africa, which makes possible some form of dialogue and a background for study (2007;377). The general belief is that ancestors are nearer to God and have mystical powers (2007;333). The best place to start is, well, the place where it all started: East Africa, the cradle of human evolution. These were ridiculed as fairy tales and belief in these was labelled as barbaric and primitive (2007;372). But if there’s one cultural item that would show the oneness of our common culture, it would be the Manunggul Jar, which was found in the Tabon Cave in Palawan, made by our ancestors around 2,800 years ago. The Lord is there and we should call upon him (Jer 33:3): “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”. Genealogy research comes with many challenges, especially with regard to researching certain subsets of our ancestors. The calling to be a Sangoma or shaman is believed to come from various ancestor spirits and your direct ancestor spirits. We will now look at the difference between ancestor worship and ancestor veneration. The belief remains that there is an interaction between the invisible and visible worlds (2007;377). One of the main reasons why ancestor practices play such a prominent role in African religions is because Africa languishes under the yoke of the fear of spirits. Book An African Ancestry Family Reunion To Africa Today. In other words, an ancestor is a person who is deceased and of whom you are a descendent. It is clearly pointed out that the only valid mediator is Jesus Christ: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Joh 14:6). In the African religions there is also those who are called divinities who play the role of mediators between ancestors and the living. Christianity is lived to either strengthen groups’ identity with the ancestors or free self from any attachment with the ancestors depending on two main factors. In Ela’s opinion, these offerings are “only an ‘anthropological reality” and not related to religion at all. The Certificates of Ancestry will be available in series. Neither by means of communication, harm nor blessings in both the Testaments are found (2007;381). The vast majority of Americans of African ancestry in the United States are descendants of the 400,000 enslaved Black people forcibly brought to the New World prior to 1860. In some African Initiated Churches, prophets can be used as a medium channel connecting the living and the dead. It is believed that the interaction between the living and living-dead is possible because there is no difference in kind between worlds (2007;329). (add any others you wish to give praise to) Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Another common thing would be rice terracing, a brilliant way for our ancestors to respond to the challenge of their environment. Khatide (2007;336) is of the opinion that although most Africans prefer the usage of “veneration”, to “worship”, when it comes to ancestral belief, there are still practices that may tilt the argument to worship. The invisible things included deities, divinities and ancestors. In that case, diviners would be consulted to investigate who among the members of the community had caused a breakdown. Whether it be a political, religious or intellectual structure. Do you have a 2:1 degree or higher? Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. All work is written to order. The tendency in South Africa is ancestors pass to linear time (2007;330). But the accepted norm is that the ancestors use dreams to communicate with the living. And we can use what we know, drawing on several lines of evidence, to make some educated estimates. No plagiarism, guaranteed! He is the Comforter and promised to never leave or forsake us. The practice of witchcraft have existed among African Christians because of their spiritual needs. For restoration, diviners would recommend the appropriate remedy, a offering of sacrifice, punishment to guilty individuals, or otherwise (1999;72). Nyirongo (2007;334) explains the relationship between the living and their dead as “demonic illusions” because, according to him, it is impossible for he living to commune with the dead. Reference this. But, having stated this, it should also be mentioned that a survey of the New Testament reveals references to uncanny powers and magical arts that are condemnatory, and link such activities with the devil. In return, the ancestors reveal themselves through dreams by stating their names or through calamity, sickness, barrenness or bad luck, and so forth. The missionaries were met with a “split-level” or “dual system” response. The communication with ancestors is a dynamic one whereby they still relate to the living and still influence the lives of the living (2007;331). The reincarnation of the ancestors in newborn babies is foreign to most of the peoples of Southern Africa. In Christian churches, this could often lead to a dual-life or split-level Christian. Share this: Tweet; More; The Middle and Later Stone Age, which lasted from about 300 000 to 300 years ago in South Africa, was an important time for the African continent. Once such group is women. “Many African societies divide humans into three categories: those still alive on the earth, the sasha, and the zamani. Looking for a flexible role? According to Mbiti, there is a difference between veneration and worship in the sense that naming the dead in prayers and performing rituals show respect for the living-dead but “this does not and cannot mean that they are worshipped”. The cyclic model assumes the possibility of a reincarnation of the ancestor as a newborn. In Africa, the world was believed to be inhabited by beings both visible and invisible. 1st Jan 1970 In the Bible God’s angels are depicted as creatures, holy and uncorrupted spirits with a free will, and therefore not necessarily impervious to temptation and sin (1999;68). Ancestors may also manifest themselves to the living by animals, particularly snakes (1999;75). As keepers of law and order, the ancestors act as representatives of ethical values, traditions and activities (2007;333). 1 year ago 5 min read. By this label serious damage was done to the gospel in Africa. In Africa, the world was believed to be inhabited by beings both visible and invisible. Aug 31, 2020 - See the faces of the people of America’s past. In traditional Africa however, ancestors are never referred to, nor considered, as evil spirits. It is through God and the strength that he provides that we can face the “waters and fires” of this life, and be fully prepared for every good work. Spirit possession by the living-dead is commonly reported. There is a view that states that ancestors are demonic manifestations meant to derail the faithful (2007;383). Although African scholars have done some work of the highest of quality in terms of the concept of God in Africa, not much research has gone into other spiritual entities and realities of the African people. The gender of the person makes no difference whether a person can be an ancestor or not (2007;331). Missionaries coming out of such a world-view, who brought the gospel to Africa, preached a message that left Africans with a perception that the God of the Bible could not supply them in all their spiritual needs. Among the visible beings were humans, animals and plants. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help! Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.” (verses 29-33). We are now in a new family, a godly family with a heavenly Father. See more ideas about gods and goddesses, african, orisha. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. Ancestors connect Africans to their beloved ones, bless their fertility festivals and intervene when spiritual blockages and polluting elements threaten order, happiness, health and life. A part of the cause of this is the inadequate western presentation of the gospel in the African context (2007;341). Welcome to Our Black Ancestry! In this essay we will focus solely on this “type” of ancestor group. This gift is of absolute necessity to the body of Christ because it helps to keep the truth and avoid the destructive lies of evil. Daneel (2007;366) says that during the possession trance, the family may discuss their problems with the possessed medium; for they are actually talking with the ancestors. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. Faith in God as the all-powerful, all-merciful father, as creator and foundation of all being, has dethroned the ancestors from the human-made pedestal (2007;334). Free resources to assist you with your university studies! In these religions there is also the concept of a God, or Supreme Being, although it cannot be proved conclusively in all cases. Though the ideal of mediation is crucial to the understanding of the role of ancestors, it is something that is still imperfectly developed in the African religious thought. But make no mistake: we may not know the day-to-day eating habits of our ancestors, but we know some things. People resort to diviners and healers to supply them with protective objects against witch attacks (2007;350). But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. ABOUT 72,000 years ago in Africa, one of our ancestors had a sudden flash of brilliance. The living expect help of the departed in the fight against the evil forces that pervade the world and threaten them at every turn (2007;333). The desire of an ancestor to possess someone is usually signalled by a long illness, with the host beginning to grow delicate and eccentric, dreaming numerous dreams about wild beasts and serpents and also hearing voices telling the person what to do and where to go. A very important point raised by Khatide, is that of the dependency these people have on the ancestors as the guarantors of life. In Christianity this single ruler is called Satan, among other names. If the living fail to understand the message of the ancestors, they employ the services of a diviner or isangoma who, as a link between the ancestors and the living is able to interpret the message of the ancestors for the living (2007;332). As Africans are generally community-oriented people, it is understandable that the relationship between the living and the dead is appreciated and if at all possible maintained (2007;329). I give praise to the universe I give praise to mother earth I give praise to all of nature and its beings I give praise to all my guiding spirits I give praise to my ancestors I give praise to all that came before me in this struggle I give praise to my elders I give praise to all those who have cared for me, protected me, guided me and loved me I give praise to…. The Nigerian theologian, Idowu, states (2007;335): “Certainly, the cults of the ancestors do not constitute African traditional religion; and it is a gross error to equate them with religion â€¦ Thus the cults are a means of communion and communication between those who are living on earth and those who have gone to live in the spirit world of the ancestors”. The rational behind this is that the good use of magic will counteract the evil use thereof, if the user’s medicine is more powerful than that of the enemy. On our People on the Move show, we heard about science challenging our understanding of when our earliest ancestors moved out of the African continent.. Mathew - This traditional idea of this exodus out of Africa at around 50,000 years ago, isn't entirely correct. Our researchers have also excluded those with more than 5 percent African ancestry with the assumption that it’s more likely that their ancestry is known. The evangelical movement in Africa declared Christ’s sovereign rule over the spirits, but prefers to say little about the spirit world and concentrating rather on the salvation of the individual’s soul. There are also scriptural indications of an angelic fall, under the leadership of Satan. God is not distant like some would believe. During this period humans developed many different strategies to produce a variety of stone tools. For the church there is a general feeling that the people have not been sufficiently armed to fight against witchcraft and sorcery in spite of many Christian teaching that have been thought (2007;351). Exorcism in the New Testament context is the act of deliverance of a person or institution or society from its bondage to evil. A belief in ancestral spirits seems to be the most prominent feature in the African traditional religion because it always resurfaces in one way or another (2007;327). What does the Bible teach about ancestors and the sufficiency of Christ. Mbiti observes (2007;365) that ancestor possession occurs in one form or another in practically every African society. Therefore the ancestors acted as a supportive and protective network (1999;75). In Col. 2:14 – 15 it is written: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them in it.”. Previous genetic research showed that our species interbred with both the Neanderthals and Denisovans, with modern human populations outside of Africa still carrying DNA from both. He uses the example of the building of altars upon which sacrifices are offered to the ancestors and that at such a ritual ceremony, there can be no doubt that the ancestors are invoked; they are the addressees of these prayers and the invocation of God is missing. Study for free with our range of university lectures! The ancestor is supposed to have an existence for a period (the linear model), but he or she does not return to have further human existence. We extract your DNA and compare it against the world's largest database of African lineages. Here, fossils of short people thought to be early H. … Such thinking was to be expected from people (missionaries) who had been born and bred in a world-view that sought to explain life in rationalistic and scientific ways rather than spiritual ones. Some scholars think that it is more of veneration than worship, because the issue at stake, example with the Oruuano Movement, is not worship but veneration because “the ancestors are not gods and they never become gods.” (2007;335). Good angels are portrayed as powerful agencies for the carrying out of God’s will, there is also a well orchestrated army of evil agencies who counterfeit the activities of those good angels (1999;69). 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