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  • Writer's pictureKent Hodge

Rebuilding the World

Lesson From Nigeria

This enquiry began for us about four years ago. We have been involved in peace building through the message of Christ’s gospel and have seen the Lord do so many amazing things. We have learnt many lessons along the way. But when you dig down into the reasons for violence in a nation, you inevitably come across some buried things, and to bring these to the light of day isn’t a simple matter. First, there is the learning curve, how to understand what you are finding. It gets complex. When we first came to Africa in 1986, we already had the blessing of being brought up in a developed, peaceful and in many ways Christian nation. We wanted to share these blessings. The main way of doing that was through the gospel, discipling and training leaders, missionaries and church planters, especially from diverse ethnicities and from grassroots backgrounds. This is still our main way of working with the Lord in reaching and transforming a nation.

We saw the problems in Nigeria in traditional ways: local and national corruption, interethnic violence, lack of education, violence from those of other faiths, and we still know that the gospel is the sure way of ending all these. We saw the global economic scene in the main as benevolent and free in enterprise, so only local corruption had to be dealt with. We don’t see ourselves as economists, but just desiring to help with the so many thousands of youths we are constantly connecting with, their struggles and aspirations. The decades in which we have been in Nigeria have only seen the situation grow much worse. When we came, one US dollar was worth one naira (local currency.) Now it takes almost 800 naira to buy one dollar. Inflation has destroyed industry, infrastructure, and savings throughout the country.

So, you stand looking at the ruins, the hundreds of thousands killed in terrorism, or killed for the gospel, and the millions made homeless, and countless more without schools. You see containers full of Nigerians literally being sold today as slaves in north Africa, or desperate and drowning in the Mediterranean. This is so common it isn’t really considered news anymore. Most of these don’t want to leave their beloved nation, but most of their nation’s wealth has been shipped overseas during these decades, and they don’t think they have a choice. They are just trying to catch up with a little of what has been taken. But the biggest thing, is you stand before community after community, and in your mind’s eye, you see hundreds of thousands of such communities across the vast land, only declining further each year. And, of course, you ask why?

Many Nigerians blame themselves. This is a common narrative around the world, what they hear, often from the experts, so who are they to think otherwise? I remember looking over the distant landscape from our site at Wurin Alheri: desolate, the sense of hopelessness, the pervading awareness that there is no scope for children or youth to see a future. There is a strong awareness of the vulnerability of life. We don’t share this way with locals, but always speak of hope, gospel hope, especially hope that God has a plan for this nation’s future, hope that they can do something about it, in their own gospel-transformed lives and relationships, spreading healing in the hurt, building cohesion in communities, learning vocational skills to trade and earn a living. This makes a huge difference to so many lives. But how can these youth gain an understanding of other issues that are also gospel, like good governance, economies of jubilee, how to build a nation? Can they learn about what is devastating every community across this land, from the macro level, and work in peace to bring about change?

You ask why the land doesn’t develop! That is a very good question. There may be traditional answers, like the people just haven’t got their act together, or there may be entrenched market issues, or there may be geopolitical issues that just can’t be shifted, no matter how hard they try. If we live in another nation, we might ask what this has to do with us? The answers to Nigeria’s situation may shed some light on common issues around the world that bedevil all. All people should be living well above the poverty-lines in all matters of life. There is plenty for everybody. Africa is probably the most resource-rich continent in the world. The income generated by global wealth is enough for everyone to live well, but it is largely siphoned off into the reserves of a few. You know, nought-point-one of one percent owns most of the world’s wealth. This certainly isn’t the aim of the Torah, nor of the teachings of Christ. The Torah and Christ both addressed these things head on. Shouldn’t we? This is one of the main issues that got Christ done-in, to die for our sins and rise again, to open a kingdom of care, which is forming a new creation today. Many others have been done-in since Christ for the same reason.

In looking for an enduring peace in our region we turned to environmental and agricultural issues. Was the hugely devastating conflict between Christian crop farmers and Muslim cattle herders simply religious, or did it have some environmental causes? We found that long term reliance on synthetic chemicals in crop farming had eliminated cooperative and holistic practice and estranged ethnic groups. Cash-cropping for export, introduced by colonialists for global markets, had also negatively impacted the ecosystem, while stripping rural communities of sustainable environments and wealth. Our region around Jos was, until 4 decades ago, a rain forest, but vegetation is now sparse, and wildlife, once abundant, is disappearing. The system resembles being addicted to a foreign drug dealer. There has been no climate change in the 37 years we have been here. The human population has grown, but the reason for the environmental loss is our moving away from diversity in cropping. We found that the global monopolies that promote monoculture in farming, through synthetic solutions and cash-cropping, were at the root of the problem. Yet, these same monopolies aggressively push the Malthusian concept that humanity itself is the problem, and depopulation and zero economic development are the solution. Please, look up “Malthusianism,” if you don’t already know about it. It will show you a lot. When you run up against monopolies, you run up against their sophisticated control systems.

Therefore, four years ago, we began writing about monopolies. Some might ask, what’s this got to do with the gospel? The whole tenor of scripture is that we should help the weak, those being trodden down by the strong. This is what Christ did in dying for us. So, if we see a problem that is contributing to massive human suffering, exploitation and regional violence, and children out of school, we should speak up. Our missionaries began implementing agricultural change in their locations, some impacting massive regions, and bringing an end to endemic interethnic violence. Then we addressed the need for economic cohesion in our communities. Instead of buying from the global corporations, that use our money to lobby the United Nations to implement policies for family disintegration in Nigeria, we circulate our money as much as possible in our own communities, by buying from one another and promoting local ingenuity and produce. CFM’s vocational institute and promotion of local markets are a part of this.

Then there is the whole aid issue with Africa. Africa doesn’t need aid. What it needs is for the global community to stop stealing its resources. Africa is a net aid giver to the world, not aid receiver. If this could be stopped, then local communities would flourish. What do I mean by stealing its resources? We could begin with Henry Kissinger, the foremost policy adviser on geopolitics in America for the last fifty years, finally sacked by Donald Trump. In his then-secret 1970’s policy report (now easily accessible online), he stated emphatically that Nigeria’s industrial development must be curtailed and turned backwards, to ensure her resources remained the property of foreign interests. This may be a surprise to you, but the International Monetary Fund has followed this policy in Africa since that time. This is what I meant above, when I said we were naïve to believe that Nigeria was a participant within a largely benevolent global economic environment. African nations have been forced to open their economic borders to foreign financial raids, which have destroyed most of her industrial and energy infrastructure. African economies have been forcefully prevented from trading together, using their own currencies or resources to barter, as sovereign nations. Whenever they have attempted this, they have been met with debilitating sanctions, and deliberate moves to destabilise the nation socially and politically. Once a friend asked how long the West will have to support African nations. I replied, “So long as the IMF stands in its current form.”

So, what does this mean, if we wish to pass on the good news of the gospel, in areas that will enhance the natural wellbeing of our communities? How can we share about this with our students in a way that will promote further peace in our relationships? Well, to start with, it’s good that our students aren’t left naïve, particularly in the politics that divide the people into conflict, looking for scapegoats, to hide the exploiter-in-chief. It’s good that we become conversant with the lies that enable this destructive economic system to be built, and the alternative will of God for the people’s welfare. This is what Moses did when God brought Israel out of Egypt – to move from dictatorship to sovereign/ sabbath/ jubilee economies of peace. It’s populous ignorance that enables us to be hoodwinked. Or, as the scripture states, “Without a vision, the people perish.” This exactly describes our situation. We need knowledge about sovereign nations and freedom, about voluntary cooperation with nations in our regions and around the world, without our politicians yielding to often very dangerous threats and selling our freedom to the financial powers. It’s good that we spread this knowledge, so economic slavery can be turned around. And, as Christians, it’s very good that we be at the forefront, so we can explain the goal. It isn’t so we can enrich ourselves personally, but so we can build a nation of economic justice for all ethnicities and religions, that means crime rates and terrorism greatly reduce. As Christians following the Prince of Peace, it means that we promote a peaceful and lawful response to the issues that need addressing. If Christians aren’t at the forefront, then the response to injustice in the nation is violence, or the nation being undermined by a communist/ colour revolution, just to implement an even more egregious slavery to the global financial powers.

So here, we see that Nigeria, once again, is a microcosm, reflecting many issues that the world is experiencing, and Nigeria also shows some solutions. In a region of religious and ethnic diversity, like many nations have become in recent years, some in Nigeria showed the way out of the fear, by reflecting Christ in our relationships, bringing both peace and gospel freedom. When the world was in the grip of a “war on terror,” Nigeria showed, by building cohesive communities, how to overcome terror, without becoming a surveillance society that takes away human rights and freedoms. When the world is being brutalised by a woke culture thar rips families apart and lays the weak vulnerable, Nigeria responded by enhancing traditional faith and social values to protect her citizens. Now, in our terrible economic experiences in the last five decades, Nigeria highlights the problems the whole world is facing. There is a corporate takeover of the resources, communication, education, and political process going on in most nations today. This process has reached a critical stage. Our politicians need to be freed from this process, and they mostly will not have the political will to achieve this without the populous being involved, at the forefront, spelling out truth and justice for the nation. Again, Christians need to be at the forefront of this, because only they can articulate a vision of the cross that covers all bases. The cross means we don’t back away from the beast in fear and self-preservation, but we engage evil as salt and light, just as the Sermon on the Mount describes. We follow Christ, who, when advised to “save yourself,” replied that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground it remains alone but if it dies it bears much fruit.” If Christians draw back from the battle, then we allow others to take our place, who will respond without the Christ-values our nations so desperately need.

Monopolies have traditionally been frowned upon. However, John D Rockefeller built a massive oil monopoly, followed by Bill Gates more recently. Both turned to philanthropy and to “green,” to launder their reputation, while using philanthropy to gain wider control in health, education, food, and even in governance through public institutions, using the same monopoly tactics of closing medium size and family business, impoverishing humanity of diversity, invention, and sovereignty. The banking sector is today a cartel. Once the American dollar became the global reserve currency, it meant trillions could be printed and used to establish networks of corruption, taking over governments, bringing us into one war after another, and finally spying on and targeting home citizens as “domestic terrorists.” We saw this coming for years, as corporate interests pommelled one nation after another, killing millions and making millions of refugees. If our conscience doesn’t awaken to the suffering abroad, these corporate interests will visit the same impunity upon the West. You know the famous poem by German pastor Martin Niemöller, here paraphrased, “They came for the socialists, and I wasn’t a socialist, so I did nothing…. They came for the Jews, and I wasn’t a Jew, so I did nothing. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to save me.” This is why the World Economic Forum was established by the likes of George Soros (so many crimes against humanity), Henry Kissinger, Klaus Schwab (front men of the most elite families), not to find ways of improving the world, but of owning and controlling more of it. If we sit back, so shall it be. If we say no, especially as Christians, and point to Christ’s way of freedom and justice, then that will be our future. If we say the current situation is the will of God, or not ours to interfere, then it will be said we failed to act. Our ancestors acted when faced by the same slavery and social injustice issues in their day. We must act robustly, but do so in the knowledge and image of Christ: strength with compassion, driven by the love of the Father, not by self.

It's our hope that the banking and economic scares of our time won’t be as bad as current fear-porn suggests. It is certain there will be major shifts in geopolitics, and the dollar will be used less as the world’s reserve currency. This will give nations like Nigeria opportunity for economic relationships with others, and to develop resources regionally for West African infrastructure and energy. It’s a great hope for this nation. But we believe this shift to a multipolar, and hopefully a more just world, is being coordinated behind the scenes by leaders who reject the hegemony and corruption of the WEF, and who aim at cooperation rather than destruction, to build an environment conducive for all populations. (We also have hope that these same leaders are preventing WWIII.) We see a lot of discussion along this line, and evidence that this objective is being empowered in the world today, though it is being fiercely resisted, and mainline media won’t share our hope. We also see the woke culture coming to ruins, as its nature is being laid bare for all to see, and traditional faith and family culture, as we see in Africa, will rise from its violent suppression. Christians have a lot of reason for hope, first in the gospel and then in the gospel’s power in the world through us, not to build supremacy for ourselves, but to defeat darkness in our societies, and establish accountability and freedom that builds life for all, rather than destroy it. Christ promised the meek shall inherit the earth. The way ahead will be complex: what we aim at won’t be achieved in a day. There will be many hiccups and threats, but this is what we have been born to, not to ease and desire for calm. The calm is in our souls. We are called to put on the full armour of God and fight the good fight of laying ourselves down for those to come. This is responsibility and to be responsible is our calling.

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