Black Spirituality Religion : Idol Worship...What is it?

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Blackbird, May 31, 2004.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    I have a question. What is idol worship to you? First describe or discuss what an idol is. Next, elaborate on what constitutes worship of it.

    Blackbird
     
  2. Joyce

    Joyce Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    An idol is any person or thing in which adoration is bestowed upon to the point of obsession.

    What constitues the worship of an idol depends on many things.
    Some think of worship as a bowing down in submission to one who is higher.
    Yet, worship goes deeper than that...even to the washing and caring of a car.
    With some it is such an obsession that the object thereof is thought about and meditated upon...daily with one's life evolving around it.
    All of this is measured by the position of one's heart toward an object or person. With idol worship having it's foundation built from the heart, only God and that person can judge or question it's validity.

    ~j
     
  3. IssaEl21

    IssaEl21 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What is idol worship


    Idol Worshipping Is Worship Any Image And Calling It The Creator , Exodus 20; 5 ..Thou < Shalt > not < Bow Down > Thyself To Them Nor Serve Them ; For I The Lord Thy God Am A < Jealous God >Visiting > The < Iniquity > Of The < Father > Upon The Children Unto TheThird And Fourth Generation Of Them That He Me ....1John 5 ; 21 = Little Children Keeps Yourselves From Idol's Amen ... Also Read Exodus 20 ; 4 ... Like Cross & Images In Churchs Etc. :nono:
     
  4. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother BlackBird ... here's my response ... Worshipping False Idols.

    Didn't know you had even started this thread!

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  5. cursed heart

    cursed heart Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Catholic church is greatly known for this
     
  6. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    (Blackbird) - Idol Worship...What is it?

    a) a degredation in thought, as a result of forgetting the true symbolism and meaning of a statue or image. thus, a practice that is motivated by superstition.

    b) a calculated assault on traditional african spiritual practices. our ancestors knew of the inherent power of giving the conscious mind a symbol or image to focus on, and in speaking to the subconscious mind through symbolism. certain religions directly assualt this and other african spiritual practices.

    if you look at some european accounts of kemet; they are often puzzled as to why medu neter retained it's pictoral form (hieroglyphics) after hieratic and demotic scripts had been developed. the answer is simple: there is power in the imagery, that is lost in demotic. thus sacred writings need to reserve their visual power.

    we really need to investigate who created that concept and why...
     
  7. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I believe I can help answer your questions on this matter

    First of all, the term “idol worship” means nothing to me. Just another one of the “many” terms invented by White people to try and oppress us.

    What Christians and Muslims very ignorantly like to call “idols” are the various figures and objects used in religious worship around the world. These figures, more correctly called “images” or “symbols,” are merely representations of deity and are not in themselves objects of worship. They instead symbolize and bring focus to the particular aspect of God that is actually being accessed and venerated. Do you really think that our ancestors would actually carve something out of wood or stone and then begin to worship it as God? That’s ridiculous. These symbols perform the same function as a Christian cross, a Bible, or a Holy Koran. It is not the wood, or the stone, or the piece of medal, or the pages of the book that are being worshipped. All of these things are considered sacred because they symbolize deity and help us to gain a clearer understanding of awesome and very complex supernatural forces.

    From the African perspective the Almighty God is without beginning or end, and is simply beyond human comprehension. That’s why our ancestors generally did not make any kind of image or physical representation of the Almighty God. It’s considered blasphemous to even think that one could ever understand the Almighty enough to form a physical image of him/her. You will not find many if any shrines or temples dedicated to the Almighty because the understanding is, as the Yoruba say, “if you want to talk to the Almighty simply speak to the wind.” The Almighty is everywhere at once. Being that the Almighty God is beyond understanding in his/her entirety, what white people like to call “idols” are actually physical representations of the lesser and more understandable aspects of God (with a capital “G“,) commonly referred to as the “gods” (always with a lower case “g”.) Examples would be the spirit of the sun, moon, mountains, oceans, fire, love, medicine, warfare, motherhood, etc. Each is seen, much like we are, as lesser aspects of the Almighty God and worshipped as such. Images are made of these various aspects (of which there are more than can be counted,) but never of the Almighty. This is the nature of the infamous “polytheism” that white Christians so often refer to, when in actuality there is none.

    Judeo-Christians call the gods “angels.” We read that before Moses introduced Yahweh to the Hebrews their name for God was “El,” and the lesser more understandable aspects of El would naturally be referred to as the “els.“ This explains why so many of the Judeo-Christian angels have “el” as part of their names (Michael, Ariel, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, etc.) Their names are supposed to mean “_____ God” (example: Light of God, Messenger of God, etc.) Having no true human form, gods are commonly depicted as looking like the people who are worshipping them, and therefore Black people have Black gods, White people have white gods, Asian people have Asian gods, etc. We can see that when Judaism was imported to the Angle tribes of Briton now called England, originally called and commonly pronounced “Ang-land,” the Anglo Saxon people would naturally depict the Hebrew gods as looking like themselves, who could then be referred to as the “ang-els.” While Judeo-Christians and Muslims recognize the existence of the gods/angels, (with some notable exceptions) they generally make little or no attempt to form a relationship with them, communicate with them, or gain any understanding of them at all. Spiritualities more closely in line with the African understanding do all of these things on a constant and regular basis.

    Africans recognized the world to be in duality, with one part being spiritual and the other part being physical. The spiritual world is understood to be the “real” world, and the physical world is looked upon as simply a mirror reflection of it. Human beings as we know are spiritual beings, and are only connected to a physical body for a short amount of time. When two people are communicating with each other for example, a truly ignorant person might believe that two physical bodies are talking to each other. But anyone beyond spiritual kindergarten would understand that it is actually the interaction of two spirits that they are observing. The bodies only provide the necessary medium and the focal point of interaction, and one day perhaps we will progress beyond the need for physical communication and be able to address each other directly, soul to soul. When I think of my brother for instance I see his face and physical body in my mind, but his physical body is only the crude representation of his true spiritual self. Trying to picture my brother’s true self, his actual spirit, is simply beyond my capabilities at this primitive stage of my human evolution, so I make use of a physical image when attempting to understand and relate to him. The same is done for the lesser aspects of the Almighty God, the gods. And to understand the gods you only need to understand yourself, because human beings represent still lesser (far lesser) aspects of the Almighty God. Hotep.

    The Almighty God by definition is omnipresent and in all places at once. So where exactly is there room for anything else? Simple, there is none. The African understands this. God is in “all” places. God is therefore in “all” things. God is “all” things. There is no thing that is not God. There is nothing but God. All things in existence are understood to make up tiny portions of the great spirit that is God. Human beings are spiritual beings that are represented by human bodies. We know this because if we cut off any part of our bodies and throw it across the room, we can see that we are not over there, and that when the human being dies his living essence ceases to inhabit the body anymore. This is immediately evident when looking at a spiritless body, especially that of a loved one. I was of course quite sad at my Great Grandmother’s passing, but when I looked at her earthly remains at her funeral I felt nothing, because I could see instantly that my Grandmother was not there. Her essence, her spiritual presence that I had sensed so many times before was not present in that withered body, so I had no reaction to it, and my mother said the exact same thing. Just as it is evident that our physical bodies are endowed with a mortal spirit (goes through cycles of life and death,) the elements of creation that are endowed with immortal spirit (never experiencing death) are referred to as gods.

    Each of us has a recognizable nature, certain qualities, talents and capabilities that make up our unique individual spiritual identity. The gods are the same. Calm waters, for example, can be seen to have a maternal and nurturing quality like the amniotic fluid that lovingly envelopes, nurtures and protects the baby inside its mother, and a creative life-giving quality as expressed in the Egyptian concept of the “primordial waters“ where all life on earth came from (interesting to note that modern science is now saying the same thing.) To help us gain a workable understanding of this awesomely powerful spiritual force it is personified and given a human identity whose complex metaphysical qualities are explained in simplistic human terms. The spirit of water then in Yoruba is named “Yemonja,” which is described as being female in nature and represents the essence of motherhood, nurturing, and maternal protection.

    The intensely powerful spirit of lightening is referred to as “Shango,” which is said to be male in nature and is personified as the warrior, and the strategist. In Ifa mythology his first wife is “Oya,” the beautiful, bearded female warrior, the spirit of the Niger river, the tornado, the whirlwind, the marketplace, the gatekeeper to the cemetery, the essence of female anger, of change, the difficult to know, the essential to know. (sound like female anger?) Shango is said to have been an actual person in Yoruba history, a former king of Oyo, who personified the spirit of thunder and lightening with his quick temper, verbal rage, and military might to such a degree that when he died the spirit of thunder (said to be originally called “Jakuta”) would from them on be remembered by the people as Sango. Many gods of many countries around the world received their names and personal identities in this manner. The simple minded however fail to realize and often forget that it is not the human personality that is being worshipped, but the powerful aspect of God/force of nature that the person seemed to personify that is actually worthy of worship. Make sense?

    Just as every human being has both positive and negative, constructive and destructive aspects of his/her character, so do the gods. Water is the most essential mineral in the body, the body from which life on earth has sprung, more than three days without it and we’re dead. It is also the powerful ocean, the tidal wave, the mysterious depths of the sea, and as little as one cup of it in our lungs can kill us. This aspect of the spirit of water is recognized as being male in nature and is referred to in Yoruba as “Olukun.” So just as science has recognized that all human beings actually have both male and female aspects with one or the other being dominant, Africans traditionally recognize this same quality in the gods. Africans gods are generally seen as being both male and female in duality, with one identity being more dominant than the other. Therefore the general spirit of water in Yoruba can be expressed as “Yemonja/Olukun.”

    We call on doctors when we are sick. We call on teachers when we are in need of education. We call on warriors in times of war. And most human beings are much more likely to heed our call and help us if we offer them something in return for their kindness (love, friendship, material compensation, etc.) Our relationship with the gods is much the same. Our ancestors understood that “fair exchange” does as well to promote good relationships with the gods as it does with human beings. To build a positive relationship between gods and men, Africans seek to stay in constant communication with the gods (prayer,) and offer things of value (sacrifices) to promote a favorable response to their prayers. These most often take the form of food, drink, money, blood for very serious concerns, etc. Although we as human beings have need of and therefore place value on these physical things, the gods of course do not. What can be seen as desirable to the gods however is our willingness to make sacrifices, especially on their behalf. Could it be that the gods are like us in yet another way in that all they really want is love? Interesting thought.

    But while the Almighty is in possession of all things, and is therefore in need of nothing, we are in need of many things and so are the other lesser aspects of God. Many Africans throughout history have done many things in service to the gods. But just a thought- since the Almighty God has all things, and is therefore in need of nothing, 1) Why would it be necessary to sacrifice to/for the Almighty. From what I have seen, Africans generally do not do this, and only offer sacrifices to the lesser gods. And 2) Since Moses was “learned in all the ways of the Egyptians” why would he instruct the Hebrews to offer sacrifices to Yahweh? Perhaps this is why Moses’ god gets jealous, kills people, talks to people in tents, writes on tablets, and does all kinds of other “lesser aspect” type things. Do these qualities and actions seem to be descriptive of the Almighty? Hmmm.

    I guess I’ll stop here. Forgive the lengthy reply but there is a lot of confusion that needs to be addressed. We’ll find our way through it soon. I hope this helps. Peace.
     
  8. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    (Love_Unknown) - <snip>incredible post</snip>

    that was brilliant!
     
  9. Love_Unknown

    Love_Unknown Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hello Nibs.
    Yours is the first response to any of my posts and I couldn't ask for more encouraging words than that. Very encouraging. I have also enjoyed many of your posts. You have a strong mind. It's wonderful to see. In the future I will try my best to summarize, although i do have a lot more to say. Ase.
     
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ase, ase...

    This is what I have been communicating.

    Modupe Love Unknown,

    Blackbird
     
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