Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Blessed be Egypt...My People!
There is one peculiar thing we notice in prayers that Africans address to God as they come together in their worship places. It is the obsession with Egypt that has always been perceived exclusively as a land of captivity, perdition and desolation. More than Sodome and Gomorrah, and Babylon gathered. We truly wonder why so much attention has always been paid to Pharaoh and Egypt from which Christians repeatedly ask to be freed in their prayers, even when Moses is supposed to have successfully done the job for the Jews.
Interestingly, while attention is diverted to an irrelevant place of captivity and a defeated oppressor, very little attention is paid to the real oppressor who has ruled a whole empire of enslaved tax-serfs for millennia and who happened to be the sole exclusive mastermind of the assassination of Christ. Namingly Caesar, the Roman dictator.
Despite the appalling evidences of a global predation on ordinary human beings mostly carried out by a vicious financial control, nobody in the Christian world ever question the role of Rome. Its authority. Let alone its authenticity. Long after the exodus, Pharaoh is still the one to be blamed for all the sins of Israel.
We might wonder how Rome does even relate to financial control and then be tempted to discard the whole idea as some conspiracy theory while maintaining ourselves in our comfort zone of modern slavery in the empire.
However, a closer look at both history and the scriptures shows that despite the changes in the appearance throughout time and space, the same system of imperial control remains amazingly unchanged. As a matter of fact, the business of debt we know today is a very old institution that dates back to the Babylonians, long before the Romans adopted its instruments which remain almost the same up until now. One of the thing that proves Christ as the greatest of all is certainly the fact that, back then, He would clearly identify the evil behind the business of debt in His Lord's prayer. A prayer that, interestingly, virtually all translations of the bible in the Roman "empire" have somehow maliciously distorted.
In most versions of the Bible, reference in the Lord's prayer is often made to either the sins or the trespasses that are to be forgiven. While in contrast, the Latin version, with a few other exceptions like the lesser Roman KJV, actually refer to debt (debita) instead of "sin". Why debt cancellation was changed into "sin" forgiveness is certainly an interesting move to note in a particularly financialized system this world ended up to be. Why today liability in debt is called credit while liquidity with a positive bank-account balance is associated with "debit" is even more interesting to ask.
Now how debt back then could be related to the Romans from Christ's point of view ? The scriptures show that, at least in the Roman context, debt was a major issue back then and freedom from its bondage was to be pursued just as from equally binding temptations, or addictions in a more current denomination, and also evil. Though Christ would never openly confront the brutal Roman empire, we all know that the Messiah in the Jewish situation was expected to end the Roman occupation. And Christ, though operating in the spiritual realm, acknowledged that He was the Messiah (John 4:26 KJV). As such, He certainly was not unaware of the political expectations of the Jews. The Kingdom of Heavens He mentions in His Lord's Prayer, which has to replace the earthly rule, was clearly a reference to the occupying Roman rule. Of course, not just in Israel, but as a matter of historical fact, in a lot of other places on earth. And Jesus had certainly the big picture. And in His prayer, the freedom from debt, just as the freedom from evil, is unquestionably linked with such an earthly rule that He called to end.
A honest look at things compels us to acknowledge that not much has changed ever since. Today the Roman empire morphed into the so-called Western world, as a direct product of the...Western Roman empire. Caesar is not necessarily an individual behind the title, but he seems to have adopted multiple forms as the empire restructured itself into separate political, military, financial and religious entities. Respectively, the UN, the NATO, the "World bank" and the IMF - with the US as a major player- , and the Roman catholic church. Both the US and the Roman Catholic church appear to be the secular and the spiritual branches of the same Western Roman empire. And debt is precisely at the core of a financial system ruled by the US dollar which relies exclusively on it to be sustained since it is backed by no justifiable opposable intrinsic value such as gold. Which, by the way, as we know belongs to...God.
"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts." Haggai 2:8. KJV.
The sole "value" the US dollars has, proceeds from the "credit" or confidence the entire world places on it as the instrument for global exchanges. Though generally and understandably at gunpoint.
The corollary to the system of debt is of course slavery, which is a cornerstone in the Western world building. Though the business of debt and slavery originated with the Babylonians and found significant reforms with the Greeks and Solon, it was reinstated by the rise of the Romans who lifted up the ban on personal slavery associated with debt. Embattled Greeks previously introduced such a ban as they were trying to reform an industry of slavery that went seriously wrong.
Today the Western world is almost exclusively built after the Roman model. Though the rules do not necessarily allow clearly objectionable practices, the doctrines have remained intact as part of customs, jurisprudence and other unwritten laws in the British realm for instance. And interestingly, the same English law is based on the principle that which is not forbidden is allowed...
With slavery and debt, the captivity in Rome is of a much more concern for Christians today than any other issue, past or present. As a matter of fact, Christ happens to be the precise answer to these two issues as His action is mostly based on the freeing of the captives by the establishment of the Kingdom of heavens on earth with debt cancellation as part of it (Matthew 6 KJV) and the power of Truth. The Truth He established as the path to freedom (John 8:32 KJV).
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," Luke 4:18 KJV.
As Christians, the true enemy appears to be Caesar. Certainly not Pharaoh. Why virtually all the pastors in Churches would never dare to confront local authorities in the countries where they "minister" and which are actually Roman provinces, is an interesting question to answer in a whole post. Why these Churches seem to operate as relays to local authorities to spy, manipulate and control individuals and entire communities is equally worth to be considered in a thorough analysis.
However, the answer in short is found in the book of...the Romans. In Romans 13 KJV , Paul of Tarsus states:
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
In many translations, "powers" have been purposedly substituted by "authorities". It's interesting to observe that outside Rome, the same Paul of Tarsus maintains a radically different view on powers:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12 KJV.
It clearly appears that the whole Church is subjected to the authority of Rome, not of Christ. We need to question the legitimacy of such an authority as far as the mission of Christ is concerned. Rather than focusing on Pharaoh, our main concern is surely Rome which by all standards supersedes any form of evil oppression that any people have ever been submitted to anywhere in history.
As Africans, building on Rome model is truly a disturbing situation when Rome and slavery are more of the same. And Africa, given its historical context, is certainly not part of the most considered provinces in the Roman empire. In fact, the Roman catholic church is the one which formally instated slavery in Africa based on some obscure interpretation of the bible while the doctrines were actually Roman.
Genuine Christianity as the true movement of Christ which aims to end the Roman dominion is without a doubt the way to go for black people for their franchisement. Getting rid of the Roman model which virtually rules all aspects of our enslaved societies is a prerequisite to freedom.
The more spiritual and sophisticated model of our ancestors in Egypt which ran an economy that was not based on debt is certainly something to seriously take into consideration. And as genuine Christians, not official ones ruled by the empire through the doctrines of Paul of Tarsus the Pharisee, we clearly have a choice to make. Either we remain in the bondage of the Law by looking back at the Sodom of the old alliance or we choose to embrace Grace and Truth in Christ's alliance.
The whole theology based on the demonization of Egypt is not scripturally supported. It diverts us from the true enemy while maintaining us in a system of bondage both of the law of Moses and of the dominion of Rome. Both advocated by Paul of Tarsus (Hebrews 6:1). Which Paul, by the way, understandably, never claimed that his mission was aimed to the Egyptians or the Ethiopians, i.e the Africans. But the Gentiles. In other words, the Greeks and the Barbarians and also the Romans, i.e, the Europeans. Romans 1:14 KJV.
Black people need to choose the model on which they wish to build their reality. Being immensely blessed with God-Given Gold while maintained under utter poverty because of a Western economical model we like to slavishly mimic is profoundly disconcerting. A Western model which got around not only gold, but God Himself. No wonder it simply does not work anywhere. Haggai 1:7-9.
We need to claim back which belongs to our Father and leave the greenbacks leafs to Caesar and his Gentiles. Mark 7:27 KJV. And no one before Christ introduced us to God as our Father (Matt 6:9 KJV) so that today we can take possession of our due heritage as natural heirs of God (Isa 19:25 KJV) and drop the yoke of debt, break the chains of slavery and smash the fetters of poverty into irreparable pieces.
Under the Roman rule, when his life was in peril, Jesus with his parents took refuge in Egypt. To escape the lethal threat of the Roman empire to our civilization, we need to follow in the footsteps of the Master by allegorically taking refuge in the land of the people of God Himself while anchoring ourselves in the Truth.
"Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance." Isa 19:25 KJV
As of Christ, we do not accuse. Neither do we judge, nor condemn. We do not stone. We do not curse. We bless our enemies and persecutors. While we let the dead bury their own dead, as we pick up our Cross, we revive our loved ones from lethal errors.