Biblical Proof That Ifa Is The Way
Being a practitioner of an African tradition it’s inevitable to be asked for proof that that my belief system is valid. As if anybody’s spirituality can be, or even has to be, proven. And without doubt the people who ask for proof are Christians and that will ask for some biblical proof that my African tradition is indeed a legitimate spirituality.
Recently I was asked to list scripture and verse that would prove Ifa is legitimate. I was taught that to question the Christian doctrine is to show a lack of faith which is a sin in god’s judgment. And the slightest trace of fickleness is enough to condemn a person, especially an impressionable young kid trying to take his spiritual development seriously. So it stands to reason that I’d have great difficulty finding the bible verse that says Ifa is the true faith and Christianity is not the way.
Instead of wasting time trying to find such a bible verse, I asked for biblical proof that requires a non Christian to provide the Christian believer proof and I asked for non biblical proof that the bible is truly the word of god.
My Christian questioner admitted that there is no biblical requirement that the non Christian believer prove their beliefs. Everyone is entitled to believe whatever they see fit. But my second query, the one asking about non biblical proof that the bible is the word of god, received a number of bible verses as a response that would have made any Christian proud. The only problem is that a Christian already believes in the bible so it would be a moot point. I was asking for non-biblical proof that the bible is the word of god. If one already believes that the bible is the true word of god then it isn’t a problem to believe that everything written in it is the word of god. But on the other hand, if you are trying to convince someone who may be skeptical about the authenticity of the bible as god’s word then someone quoting scripture may not actually be the best way to convince the nonbeliever.
The way I understand it, the bible is a history book filled with excerpts from a number of writers. I would expect a history book to be accurate. If its not then it is a work of fiction and we must ask ourselves why are we bothering to study it so much?
There are other writers of ancient verses who have not been added to this list of bible authors. For example, the scripture according to Judas is not included in the bible. The same is true for the scripture according to Mary Magdalene. While it is a common belief that Judas betrayed Jesus and then ran off to kill him self as depicted in Matthew 27:5, the scripture according to Judas appears to be evidence that Judas not only survived the crucifixion of Jesus but wrote about the event from his own perspective. The fact that Judas had time to put pen to paper and spread his own verses should be one example of some of the human influence to manipulate scripture.
To add insult to injury the bible has gone through translations and through many interpretations and reinterpretations so that the accuracy of the original scripture may not be as correct and free of translators prejudice as it should be.
I find if difficult to be inspired by a book written three thousand years ago about things that happened two thousand years ago. I would be much more impressed if the bible was making more timely prophesies. And if the ability to predict prophesy is a factor for inclusion then why not added the gospel according to Nostradamus? Many people claim that Nostradamus predicted many events such as the collapse of the World Trade Center. But nobody is saying that Nostradamus is man of god and his writings should be added to the Christian bible. Therefore, I can only conclude that there is a specific and narrowly defined set of criteria of what is acceptable for inclusion.
For me, the bottom line is that there are many more authors with spiritually inspired writings that are not included in the bible than those who are included. I believe I would be severely limiting myself if I only accepted the writings of the bible as the only source for spiritual inspiration.
Back in Sunday school, I learned that the Christian god knows all. He is omniscient. But for some reason the bible is full of examples where god has to test the devotion of various bible characters. Genesis 22 tells the story of Abraham and Isaac where god wants to test Abraham’s devotion by telling him to sacrifice his son. Coming from a god that is supposed to know all and a god that is supposed to love people and provide for people, this sounds seriously cruel. Imagine what you would feel, how you would feel, if god came to you and told you to murder your only son. Imagine how heavy that burden would feel. And then you discover god, who already knows your heart, wants to put you through unnecessary grief. If god knows all why does he have to subject people to such cruel testing? Why is god so insecure that he requires such confirmation and assurances?
In my own talks with god, I have found him to be anything but the insecure Supreme Being that I learned of in Sunday school so many years ago. The god that I have had the pleasure of communing with is quite comfortable in the knowledge of who he is and what he is. The god I know isn’t addicted to praise and prayer, especially not from anything as fickle and deceptive as the average human being. God isn’t about proving his sovereignty over anyone. That would be like somebody going around trying to prove to ants how sovereign he or she is. It’s truly not important for anybody to rule ants that are just trying to go about their day. By the same token it’s not important for the Supreme Being to rule over us.
If someone believes in the Christian bible and that truly works for them then they are truly fortunate. However, the conversation with god didn’t stop when that last period was made in the book of Revelations. I believe that spirituality continues to inspire us on a constant basis if we would just take the time to remove all distractions, sit still, and open our minds to it. I find it difficult to develop spirituality when I allow myself to be relegated to the spirituality of the words in the bible written three thousand years ago and translated over the years into various languages by various mindsets. Those words are proof of somebody else’s spirituality put to paper in a totally different time. What does spirituality have to say about the now?