Biblical and Philosophic Prophecies (5)

Biblical & Philosophic prophecies can instill ethics of value

The moral notion of ‘Truth’ is crucial in nation-building. It is shown that giving truth its rightful position in society creates an excellent social and political order which African states have been trying to achieve since they began to gain independence (Oduwole, 2011b). Only the ‘Truth’ can liberate the people from social and political malaise. The Spirit of ‘Truth’ is the source of Biblical & Philosophic Prophecies. If the truth can be firmly entrenched in the people, religious and political leadership, there will be a socio-political liberation. Prophecy and social Liberation enhance institutions that also influence the socio-political life of any society. The result is the restoration of qualities like love, empathy, justice, peace, and harmonic coexistence among the people.

Illustration from European theologies and Marxism, Latin American theologians established their belief by radically reinterpreting Scripture with “bias towards the poor.” In the same way, South Africans developed their brand of Liberation during and after the apartheid regime. The attitudinal aspect of Freedom involves the sensitization of upper and middle-class elites to the factual nature and scope of the predicament of the oppressed, thereby seeking their change of attitude, understanding, and commitment to their cause. It may be that some of them do not realize the full implications and effects of their activities on the masses. They may likely change for the better and help improve their colleagues when their consciences are awakened.

Liberation Notion of Development:
Liberationists advocate the eradication of poverty by removing Capitalists’ economic and political structures, which are responsible for injustice and poverty. The achievement of this aim relates to the notion of development. Gutierrez, TL, 1972, 36 cited in Muskus. explained:
Recently, there has been much discussion regarding the development; of aid to the developing countries. Attempts to produce development in the 1950s aroused hopes. But because they did not hit the root of the evil, they failed and have led to deception, confusion, and frustration. One of the most important causes of this situation is that in its strictly economic, modernizing sense, development was advanced by international agencies backed by groups that control the financial world. Therefore, the changes proposed were avoided sedulously, attacking the powerful international economic interests and those of their natural allies: the national oligarchies.

Gutierrez sees the response of developed countries as totally out of touch with the real problem. Liberation is needed because it is more accurate and better conveys the human side of the problem. The fact that aid comes from nations that are oppressing and exploiting the Third World makes the issue of dependency more acute. It is the task of these developing nations to take their destiny into their own hands. Gutierrez sees this reality as expressing ‘the profound meaning of Hegel’s dialectic Master-Slave.’ He further adds: that Liberation seems to express better both the hopes of oppressed peoples and the fullness of a view in which man is seen not as a passive element but as an agent of history.

There are three levels of meaning to the term “Liberation”:

  • The political Liberation of oppressed peoples and social classes;
  • Man’s Liberation in the course of history; and
  • Liberation from sin as a condition of a life of communion of all men with the Lord, (Erickson, 1983: 592).

Latin America became a dependent colony of the Spanish and Portuguese empires five centuries ago, and this prolonged dependency must be understood to appreciate why Liberation is sought so fervently. Gutierrez prioritizes Liberation in the political and socio-economical spheres of oppressed people. The plight of this social class has molded his understanding. Gutierrez speaks of the need for profound transformation, a social revolution that will drastically and qualitatively change the conditions in which they now live.

Liberation theologians are shifting the balance to a more socially involved Church. They deliberately reduce to a non-priority level and reinterpret the answers that the gospel offers to the plight of human beings. ***To be concluded on Saturday, May 21, 2022.


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