What is our Theology?
In order to answer this question one must define what we mean when we use the term theology. For the purpose of this paper we are defining theology as a discourse or conversation a people has had with their God and about their God. When we look at the discourse or conversation a people has about and with their God it is as a result of their collective identity and experiences.
The essential element in any peoples’ conversation or theology about their God is the question of how did man and woman come into existence. Once one has revealed their ideas and ideals about how they came into existence they are going to create their social, political, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems based on the conversation they have had with their God and the conversations they have had about their God.
We find in the Christian Bible, western man's attempt to write the conversation they have had with their God and about their God. Paramount in this conversation about God, we find that there are two different creation stories of how man and woman came into existence. In the first conversation, in Genesis Chapter One, we find that man and woman was created in the image of God. We find that man was given dominion over everything God created. Then in Chapter Two we find man, Adam, was created first and then woman, Eve, was created out of his loneliness.
Let us for a moment reflect on what the writers of the Genesis story are saying to us; man must dominate over everything God has created. Man's job or duty is not to live in harmony with what God has created, but to dominate or have power and control over what God has created. Then in Chapter Two, God did not know Adam would be lonely so there was no need for him to have a companion at the time of creation. This is indeed interesting when one considers that all the animals had mates, yet God did not think man needed a mate. We find in this story that God does not create Eve in the same way Adam was created, he (and I do mean "he") takes one of Adam’s ribs and creates woman, however not as his equal but as his help mate.
Upon further reflection, we find that God at the time of creation has set-up a hierarchy. Man is at the top and woman is just an afterthought of God. Man becomes the most important being that God created with woman having secondary status.
Western man's conversation about their God does not stop there, it goes on to say that there are two trees in the Garden of Creation. One tree is called the tree of life which man is allowed to eat the fruit it bears, then there is the tree of knowledge of which man is not allowed to eat its fruit. What we also find out in this story is God has this conversation with Adam, but not Eve. So, Adam is told not to eat the forbidden fruit; there is no commentary as to whether Eve ever knew that the fruit from the tree of knowledge was forbidden to eat.
Let us once again reflect on what this might mean. Man, God’s greatest gift to the world is only allowed to eat the fruit from the tree of life but should not eat from the tree of knowledge. So, I can have life without knowledge of how that life should be lived. This would mean then that man can only “believe” and can never “know.” This then leaves it up to man to determine what can be known and what should be known.
As this discourse moves on, we find that Eve eats of the forbidden fruit and then persuades Adam to do the same. God then comes to Adam, asks him about eating the forbidden fruit and Adam blames Eve. God goes to Eve and she blames the snake/serpent.
Let us once again reflect on what this might mean, we see at the time of creation when man and woman are confronted about taking responsibility for their actions, they play the shift-the-blame game.
Finally, when a group of people write about their conversation with and about their God they are revealing something they believe about themselves. When we see that a hierarchy is created at the time of creation and man sits at the top and woman as an afterthought of God, then that people’s political, social, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems will reflect that kind of theology.
When a people's theology or conversation with and about their God tells them to have dominion over everything then their political, social, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems will reflect the power over and control of these systems and the people that use them.
When a people's conversation with and about their God includes a theology that says they can only believe and not know, then their political, social, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems will be based on what those who are in control want you to believe rather than know.
When a people's conversation with and about their God includes a theology that says do not take responsibility for your own actions, even when their Creator asked what happened, then their political, social, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems will have people who take no responsibility for their actions.
When a people's conversation with and about their God says, sin, man's fall from grace was created by woman then the political, social, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems will blame woman for what is wrong with society and will dominate her through having power over her and trying to control her.
Welcome to the western world and America, where the political, social, economic, educational, value and behavioral systems reflect the theology, the conversation of those who founded this country. We as a people of Afrikan ancestry have become enslaved by that conversation. What is truly sad, is that we don't even want to change the conversation.