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Wednesday, 13 September 2006

The First Grandfathers

From a brother in West Africa comes the following:

Three nights ago I was in a village in Northern Ghana. Two tribal leaders from other villages accompanied me and we preached the Word to them. After the teaching, an old man asked us a bit condescendingly if we have no regard for the ancestors and their ways? Don't we know that God intended for people to honor their ancestors and follow the ways passed down to them?

I tried to carefully and respectfully explain that I DO believe in honoring and respecting my forefathers. But I want to go back to the ORIGINAL forefathers, our first grandparents, Adam and Eve. They worshiped God and did not follow mediating spirits. One of the tribal leaders who had accompanied me then came up with this wonderful explanation which is so pertinent to an animistic antagonist: "We have been following the middle grandfathers, not knowing that they have corrupted the original grandfathers' culture! Now we want to follow in the way of the first grandfathers."
So . . . does it matter if we believe that the book of Genesis is literal history or not?

To some tradition-bound pagans in Ghana, it makes all the difference in the world.

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