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Understanding the America presided over by Obama

By John Moyibi Amoda
IN Matthew Holden’s(JR.), The White Man’s Burden, he addressed a question asked by St. Clair Drake, a Black American of West Indian background, an Africanist, urban sociology and anthropologist, the author of the tome titled Black Metropolis: “Why is not the United States more like South Africa”.

As  for World War I, he suggests the racial patterns of the two countries were remarkably similar, but their broad tendency since then has been divergent. Holden in the chapter of the book titled Racial Politics as a study in paradox, examines this proposition in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the research, writing and publication of this book were accomplished.

The above terms of the above comparison seem contemporarily self-evident. But since the 1990s with emergence of a Mandela South Africa, the question asked by St. Drake has become of strategic interest in appraising the structure and type of political changes which have apparently made the two countries again more similar in their espousal of multi-racial democracy. And this observation is in fact of more urgent importance today in view of the Obama phenomenon.

Is there a warrant for the supposition that both South Africa and the United States are now in the trajectory of irreversible de-racialisation of their respective politics? The answer to this question is not an obvious and resounding yes.

The support of White Americans and South Africans for racialist organisation of politics seems to be one of ambivalence in both countries.

This hypothesis of the quality of support and therefore of opposition to racialism in the United States and South Africa seem strengthened by the loss to the Republican party candidate of the Senate’s seat held by Senator Edward Kennedy almost as a personal right in the election to fill the vacancy created by Kennedy’s death.

How much can one therefore predict about changes of the balance of power that produced the presidencies of Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama?

This question is cast in historical terms by Matthew Holden’s reflection on the ambivalence of White support for and opposition to White supremacy in the United States and South Africa by extension. The reader’s views on such matters will be refined by the careful reading of this excerpt from Holden subtitled: Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Policy: Historical Perspective:

Excerpts from Holden:

Ambiguity and ambivalence are something more than the problems of discrete individuals. When there are substantial blocs of opinion or interest in disagreement about some matter, it is also possible to perceive collective ambivalence, and to perceive ambiguity in the statement of policy. This is an obvious fact of United States politics-what people usually mean by “compromise politics”. Continues next week

Mega pentecostal corps and Old Testament foundations

Continues from last week
THE question Paul asked the Galatians goes to the heart of the problem. Paul seeks to know upon what basis do the leaders of the churches rule their congregations?

Is the authority of the pastors based on their followers’ obedience of the law of commandments contained in ordinances or on the basis of the leading by the Spirit? Hierarchy and kingly authority can only be on the basis of laws of commandments, and never on the basis of the redemption.

The law ordains the regime of the rule for sinners, under the dominion of sin. The Spirit rules the spirit of sons of God by His witness to their spirits, for the Spirit leads only the children of God:

“For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby, we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:14-17).

It is not by works of righteousness that believers in Christ receive the adoption of sons and daughters of God.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jews nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ” (Galatians 3:27-28). The Gospel declares that: “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).

In Christ Jesus therefore there are no redemption basis for hierarchy, classes and differences in rights. There is a gaping gulf between the gospel relationship and constitution of the church of Christ and the relationship between the Pentecostal clergy and laity.

The followership legitimises the un-gospel stratification of Christian congregation and supports the “royal priesthood” of the pastors; but upon what basis? And if the Gospel provides no ground for the inequality of power and privilege in the affairs of the church, how do we reconcile pastor’s teachings on Christian obedience with the declarations of the Gospel?

And more specifically in the area that is most relevant to pastoral entrepreneurial activities, that is, in the finances of the church how are the doctrines on Christian giving popularised in Pentecostal congregations to be reconciled with the Gospel of Christ? These issues will be addressed in subsequent expositions in this column.


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