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Danger! Iniquity in the name of Culture



Editor: There has, in recent years in SVG, been a drive for a ‘return to our roots.’

The various races in SVG have in one way or the other, been seeking to revive their indigenous cultures and practices.

However, in the process of doing this, one must remember that there are many negative traditions and practices of each culture.{{more}}

For example, in one culture, it was the tradition that when a husband died, his grieving widow was put to death with him.

One may say that we have advanced enough to reject the negative aspects, and adopt only the positive. However, this is not so, as proven in our newspapers of the past week.

In the Searchlight issued on April 5, 2007, there was a photo on the back page captioned, “Two Garifuna women from Belize offering gifts of food to their ancestors who lost their lives at the hands of the British.”

This may seem a simple practice, at first glance.

But once we learn of the motive behind the action, we should be concerned.

The news article which related to the photo explained, “There was the ceremonial lighting of the gums…

This flame was lit to symbolize the soulful presence of the hundreds of Garifunas who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the island. The Urawani Dance Group led all present in performing a sacred ritual known as the Mali. This involved drumming, chanting, and dancing around the flame of the gums along with the food and drink placed as an offering to the souls of the departed that remain on Balliceaux.”

If the information in this article is correct, (and I have no reason to doubt it) then according to the Word of Yahweh, this was an act of worship of the dead.

There are several troubling observations.

The dance group “led all present” in performing this “sacred ritual.”

It is troubling that none recognized this act for what it really is – a slap in the face of the Lord God, Yahweh.

The LORD clearly indicated that, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, …or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD.” [Deuteronomy 18:10-12 – MKJV]

According to the article, this is not a commemoration of those who have died, but an offering to the dead – an act of worship. I quote, “food and drink placed as an offering to the souls of the departed that remain on Balliceaux.”

Then there is the belief of the “the soulful presence of the hundreds of Garifunas…”

The dead are not ‘soulfully present.’

According to Scripture, “…man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” [Job 14:12 – KJV]

The Scriptures teach us that the dead sleep until the future day of resurrection. On that day, “…all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” [John 5:28-29 – KJV]

The Holy Scriptures warn us that, “…the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing…; Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” [Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 – KJV]

The dead, according to God’s Word, are not aware of ANYTHING that is done for them, or that is offered to them. They have no need for our food and drink. I cannot stress enough that God considers those who participate such practices as “an abomination to the LORD.”

The scriptures speak of EVIL spirits who are quite willing to impersonate the dead, if we indulge in worshiping the dead.

Finally, it is troubling that this was a government-sanctioned activity. Should not the prophets of God who are close to the government, advise the leaders of the nation, lest they lead the nation into idolatry and iniquity?

Let us not allow our desire to recognize and honour the contributions of our ancestors, cause us to transgress the Word of God. If we neglect the Truth, we open ourselves to be overrun by Evil.

The Sword