Would you serve a black Jesus?

As I was watching television last night, the station continually showed these pictures of the person they said was Jesus. The thing that got my attention was that every picture they showed was a picture of a blond haired, blue eyed Jesus. Truthfully many of the great theologians are depicted with white faces; St. Augustine, Origen, Tertullian but upon discovery we find that they are actually black. This really began to play with my psyche and disgust me.  I wondered if most white, evangelical Christians would really serve a Jesus that looked like me. Now the Bible, as well as other articles has always clearly shown that he could not be a person with white skin. But amazingly, many of the images show that he was a white guy with blue eyes.

I remember watching Good Times and seeing this played out on the screen. JJ had painted a portrait he called “Black Jesus” and Michael hung it on the wall after taking down the picture of the white Jesus. When Florida came home and saw the picture, she went loony. She said, “this is the only Jesus she knew”- that being the white Jesus. She bought into the mis-education that Jesus had to be white in order to rule. This is really how it is in many of the black households, rather we want to accept it or not, Jesus is depicted and is a white man. In many black churches you find that the image of a white Jesus image.

When challenged on the fact, many would respond with “it doesn’t matter, he is still Lord.” But I wonder if that is really true. The impact of having a savior that resembles you is highly emblematic and extremely problematic if he does not resemble you.  The Willie Lynch theory is a massive undertaking that has really rocked the black community for years and still has a lasting effect- whether true or not the implications are real. I know older folks who will not hire blacks to do anything, but manual labor, and definitely will not allow them to do anything that requires the handling of money. But in retrospect, they love Barack. So to have a black Jesus would appear unrealistic as they have become indoctrinated to the fact, that Jesus does not look like them.

As for my white brother and sisters, I wonder how they would take it as well. If we found out today at 2:00pm that Jesus was definitely a black dude with dreadlocks; how would they receive that news? It would be a hard thing to call a black person, a nigger after that bit of information. I am not inquiring that all whites call black people niggers, but it would be like me saying that I have never called a white person a cracker. We both have done it and when the moment gets heated enough will probably do it again, if not careful. I wonder, can white America really bow to a Jesus that is black? I wonder, would all the churches throughout America take down the pictures of the white Jesus and place pictures of the black Jesus?

I don’t think that would ever happen because deep down white supremacy effects the movement of the church. White evangelical pastors really would be lost for words if this happen. Would RC Sproul really be able to pontificate with such vigor if he saw Jesus as a black man? Could Jonathan Edwards really have stood before people and made claims of Christ, knowing he had people enslaved at his crib that looked just like Jesus? So I understand the plight of the Black Liberation Theology and truthfully it is needed in the black community. When an oppressed people have an opportunity to experience freedom you must believe that they will do all they can to stay free.

Let’s be clear that when folks think about Christ, they see a long haired blonde guy with blue eyes. It is instilled and embedded in the minds of us all. But when I think about Christ I see a strong black man. Now that did not come overnight but I have destroyed the myth that Jesus was white. Now some may say that I am making a big deal of this truth, but I think that it is the other way around-a big enough deal is not being made of this.(Edward Blum and Paul Harvey have written an text on this called the Color of Christ. John Jackson, Dr. Ben Jochannan and Ishakamusa Barashango have also written more scholastic works on this topic than I could name.)

So if you can’t insert a black Jesus into you Jesus structure and have the same relationship with him as you do now. You may want to eat some carpet–pray.

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9 thoughts on “Would you serve a black Jesus?

  1. Good post … Actually he was likely neither white nor black. He was a mid-eastern Jew and probably looked more like an Arab. Given the prejudice towards many of Arabic descent because of Islam and radical Arabs, your post is still poignant. And, as you note, it doesn’t really matter — He is still Lord and one day, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that truth — He is Lord.

    1. Even the Arabic concept is questionable because they are an amalgamation of European mixture over the years. But nonetheless your statement speaks to another problem that is looming in America-the myth that Islam is some might terrorist group.

  2. We look at the people today and place are judgment, they were people of. Black before we got what we call invaders, the biggest problem with black people today is we keep trying to include them in are history and who we are spiritually, are true knowledge of got and who we are got destroyed by the same people who is feeding us this B.S Christianity, it clearly says in the Bible his feet was bronze, bronze is the dark for brown, that show that the people we see there today was not the one’s that was there when Jesus was there, he also had hair of wool, and they had hide him in Egypt, how can u hide in a land were the sun all ways hit being with? White skin cant handle the heat only blacks can, plus if he didnt look black then how can he not get spotted.

  3. Of course I would bow to a black Jesus because he is JESUS and I am a mere man.
    It isn’t like Jesus is black and therefore God is black so he sees white people as lesser, Jesus would be black because God decided that is the form that Jesus should take.
    It is entirely possible that Jesus could be reborn as a white man someday and then black people would be presented with a similar challenge.
    But seriously it is ridiculous to assume that white people wouldn’t worship a black Jesus who is going around healing people of all races, bless their lives with happiness and causing world peace.

  4. Image matters: for example, what if Jesus were a woman? is it possible to affirm the image of God, not regardless of, but seeing the exterior?

    I must admit my cultural image of Jesus is still pretty European, but that’s something to keep working on because he would ‘ve at least looked as dark as many middle easterners and might well have looked significantly African.

  5. my studies lead me to believe that Jesus appeared different to who ever was looking at him. that is why he could disappear in a crowd. as to the color of his skin, the argument about ethnicity, darkness or lightness is destroyed by the idea that his dna was not inherited, but primary. he was implanted by the holy spirit. the bronze and wool argument is fascinating, because if had white hair, surely he would have been out of place amongst his disciples and would have stood out. i think jacob used the hysop branch to breed superior sheep, and those sheep and goats were spotted and striped. they carried a mixed variation of characteristics. now could most of us wasps accept a black christ? frankly, i think it would be hard for many. and it saddens me to say that. as for myself, i see all of humanity in his eyes, and discover him in people in the most surprising of places. is he black? yes/ brown? yes. yellow? yes. red? yes. white? yes. i am more worried about how the bride looks. jesus was striped, and by those stripes we are healed. is the bride, however, unblemished? (by the way, i remember that episode of good times, and the uproar it caused. it allowed many to re-examine their concept of christ. unfortunately many saw it as mere subversive saber rattling, and became more race angry than ever) thank you father foulks for the chance to re-examine this issue, and for again calling us to examine our hearts.

  6. I love this post.
    I know for one thing that Christ has already returned reincarnated, with a new name and he is in Africa. http://www.ooo-bcs.org/

    I believe that God will use the foolishness of man to reveal his work.
    Most people never look at it that way, but you gave the best description I’ve heard yet.

    God bless.

  7. “This really began to play with my psyche and disgust me. I wondered if most white, evangelical Christians would really serve a Jesus that looked like me.”

    “As for my white brother and sisters, I wonder how they would take it as well. If we found out today at 2:00 that Jesus was definitely a black dude with dreadlocks how would they receive that news. It would be a hard thing to call a black person, a nigger after that bit of information. I am not inquiring that all whites call black people niggers but it would be like me saying that I have never called a white person a cracker. We both have done it and when the moment gets heated enough will probably do it again if not careful. But my point is can white America really bow to a Jesus that is black. I wonder would all the churches throughout America take down the pictures of the white Jesus and place pictures of the black Jesus.”

    Brian I am confused. Is this not the same position that created a dominant but false depiction of a blue eyed Irish Jesus? It seems to put the incarnation and it purpose centered on ethnicity. Theologians are always trying to find their theological center. If we continue to pull the Gods on my side card we will continue to rip him to pieces and remain theologically tribal and ethnocentric. If our theological paradigm is one centered on race rather than one that has racial and ethnic implications I am afraid we may never be delivered from ethnocentric theological sectarianism. If we make God black or white are we still not falling into the error of making God in our image? This seems to be a reverse incarnation.

    Be patient with me here. I’m a white guy from the Pacific Northwest trying to understand you and I have very few black friends 😉

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