Updated: Aug 11
From the beginning of time, humans have sought to answer the question, who or what is God?
The concept of God is a complex and multifaceted one that has been discussed and debated by theologians, philosophers, scientists and believers for thousands of years. The definition and understanding of God vary greatly depending on cultural, religious, and philosophical contexts.
In monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, God is often understood as an all-powerful, all-knowing, and benevolent creator of the universe who is worshipped as the supreme being. In Hinduism, there are many gods and goddesses who represent different aspects of the divine, while in Buddhism, there is no concept of a creator God, but rather a focus on individual spiritual development. The Humanistic Temple of Alkebulan church takes the Buddhist view in terms of focusing on individual spiritual development and rejects the concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and benevolent creator of the universe who intercedes in the everyday lives of every living human.
Outside of religious contexts, the concept of God has been approached from philosophical and scientific perspectives, with debates over the existence of God and the nature of the divine. Some philosophers argue that God is a necessary concept to explain the existence and order of the universe, while others reject the idea of God as an unnecessary and unprovable hypothesis.
What We Teach
The Humanistic Temple of Alkebulan church teaches that God is Life and life is an energy that flows throughout the Universe. The church teaches that in a religious aspect, God is the divine life energy that flows in us and that has gifted us with the ability to think, make our own choices, take actions to control our own destiny and manipulate the physical environment within the limits of our own intelligence. This divine life energy is also what animates our physical body and gives us consciousness and when this physical body dies, this divine life energy will return to the universe from whence it came. The Humanistic Temple of Alkebulan church also teaches that everyone has a human obligation to make the world a better place for all living things and must use its own faculties (science, logic and reason) to make this happen while not relying on any supernatural intervention in the everyday lives of humans.
We recognize that many religious doctrines and ideology is often misinterpreted texts, mythology or superstitions of our ancient human ancestors. They were great observers of the natural world and celestial skies but did have the benefits of the sciences, logic and reason that we have today. See "People Are Joining the Humanistic Temple of Alkebulan, Here's Why." The Humanistic Temple of Alkebulan church focuses on nurturing the divine energy by promoting environmental harmony and virtuous living to maximize human potential, end suffering and create a better world for everyone. This is accomplished by endeavoring to abide by the institution's 20 virtues of the Temple Code.
Why does the African Diaspora have a particular view of God?
The vast majority of the African diaspora are monotheistic, associated with Christianity or Islam. Islam and Christianity came to the African continent through different historical processes and at different times.
Islam was introduced to Africa in the 7th century through the Arab conquest of North Africa. The Arab armies, led by generals such as Uqba ibn Nafi and Musa ibn Nusayr, conquered the region and spread Islam through trade, intermarriage, and missionary activities. Over time, Islam became the dominant religion in North Africa, and it also spread to other parts of the continent through trade routes and missionary activities. The trans-Saharan trade routes played a significant role in the spread of Islam to West Africa, while the Swahili coast of East Africa was influenced by Arab traders and scholars who introduced Islam to the region.
Christianity, on the other hand, was introduced to Africa much later, in the 15th century, through the arrival of European colonizers. Portuguese explorers, such as Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias, were the first Europeans to reach the African continent. They were followed by Christian missionaries who sought to spread Christianity and convert the local populations to their faith. Christian missionaries established churches, schools, and hospitals throughout Africa, and their activities played a significant role in the spread of Christianity across the continent.
Today, both Islam and Christianity are widely practiced throughout Africa, with significant Muslim populations in North, West, and East Africa, and significant Christian populations in Central and Southern Africa.
As for Africans in the United States and the Caribbean, it was a somewhat different case. The introduction of Christianity to black people in the United States can be traced back to the time of slavery. Many enslaved Africans were brought to the United States by European slave traders who were Christians, and the slaves were often forced to convert to Christianity as part of their enslavement. The enslaved Africans were not allowed to learn to read with the exception of certain Bible verses. Slave owners believed that Christianity would make their slaves more docile and easier to control.
As for Islam, its introduction to black people in the United States happened much later, during the 20th century. The first known Muslim community in the United States was founded by Lebanese immigrants in North Dakota in the late 1800s, but it was not until the 20th century that significant numbers of black people in the United States began to convert to Islam. One of the most significant figures in the history of Islam in the United States is Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, which was a black nationalist organization that promoted Islamic teachings. The Nation of Islam, and its most famous member Malcolm X, who later converted to mainstream Sunni Islam gained a large following among black people in the United States in the mid-20th century. Today, Islam is practiced by a diverse range of people in the United States, including many black Americans.
Ultimately, the question of who or what God is remains a matter of personal belief and interpretation, shaped by cultural, religious, and philosophical contexts.