ANCESTORS VS CHRISTIANITY
By: Nosipho Ntombela
According to the dictionary an ancestor is a person from whom one is descended- forbear, progenitor. Biblically an ancestor is a family member that has passed on. Many cultures, including many in South Africa, define an ancestor as a family member that is living in the world of the dead. His duty is to watch, protect and bless the remaining family members.
There are many arguments when it comes to believing in ancestors, and believing in God. I decided to get other peoples view on this matter.
“Ancestors are spirited beings and they do exist. The majority of the so called “Christians” do practice these rituals because it is our roots. Our elders have lived by these rituals and they never had problems. We are now exposed to the English lifestyle and we tend to forget who we really are.” Said Nombuso Mhlongo.
Samkelo Khumalo said that she only believes in God and praying. Even though she knows and respects belief in the ancestors, she has never believed they can do anything for her. She believes in God alone.
We are judgmental when it comes to religion to the point that we obsess about who believes what and why. The decision is yours. As the saying says, if it is your life, then it is your rules. Believe what works for you. If you believe that the ancestors are there for you and you are alright, then you are right. If on the other hand you say God is the way then again he is- you do not have to feel guilty or embarrassed because of your beliefs.
“Growing up my father told me we had a family snake. The snake was my ancestor and no one was supposed to hit it. If we saw the snake then it meant our ancestors were sending us a message. I never understood it and I still do not,” stated Anele Msomi.
There are situations and things in life that we do and do not understand. We search for answers but we never get them. We believe that there are answers for everything, but not until you come across this situation. Then we learn to know that is not true. You can never understand something if you not partnering in it. If you are not dead how can you know what is happening in the world of the dead? Again how can the dead know what is happening in the world of the living?
Joseph Zondi, a motivational speaker who studied information science at the University of Zululand, said that God cannot be worshipped together with any other God because according to Exodus 20 he is a “jealous god.” Exodus 20 states, “You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”
It does not matter who you believe in as long as you respect one another. You do not have to disrespect someone because you do not believe in what they believe in- after all we cannot all believe in the same thing. The world is fun because of who we are, because of our differences.