The “Christianity is a White Man’s Religion” Lie Sends Blacks to Hell
For hundreds of years, the major outside force of oppression for people of African descent have been white. It started with white Europeans who divided up Africa for their own economic and nationalistic interests, subjugating, murdering, and enslaving it peoples while exploiting their land. White Europeans presided over the holocaust called the Atlantic slave trade where millions of Africans died. The negative effect of white on black oppression extended through slavery, colonialism, Jim Crow, and even current racism domestically and internationally.
Many Blacks aware of this oppressive legacy are wary of white people. They may not hate them but they are suspicious of them. Spiritually, these Black men and women are sinners in need of a savior. The only way that they can be reconciled to God is through Jesus Christ. He said in John 14:6, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.” Unfortunately, many Blacks categorically reject Jesus and the Christian faith centered on him because of a lie, “Christianity is a White man’s religion.” They believe that Jesus was white and that Christianity was and is primarily a tool used by white men to subjugate others.
An unlikely coalition of liars has conspired to propagate this demonic myth: white Christians, Afrocentric blacks, and Muslims. Let’s start with white Christians. They are the originators and propagators of the myth that Jesus is white. Scholars readily admit that we do not know what Jesus looked like. However, I am sure that whatever he actually looked like, he was not Caucasian. Caucasians did not inhabit the Middle East where he was born. Even today, after white Greek occupation, white Roman occupation, and British colonialism the native residents of the Middle East do not appear to be Caucasian. Undoubtedly, they would have been even browner skinned in Jesus’ time. Jesus probably did not look like a Ghanaian or Nigerian but probably like a modern Somali or Ethiopian. He certainly did not look like an Italian. However, if you just Google images of Jesus, 99% of them are Caucasian. If you examine the Sunday school literature and pictures of Jesus in illustrated Christian works, 99% of the images are Caucasian. If you look at movies where Jesus is depicted virtually all of actors playing Jesus are Caucasian. Even in The Passion of Christ which in an attempt to be as accurate as possible had the actors speaking Aramaic, Jesus was portrayed by a white actor.
Afrocentrists and Muslims are often Black purveyors of the lie. Afrocentric advocates identify Christianity only with oppression on the Continent and in the New World. Many believe that it was used to promote docile acquiescence to white oppression. They often maintain that without the “turn the other cheek” attitude and a heavenly focus, Blacks would have long ago thrown off the yoke of the oppressor. Many Muslims claim that Islam was the indigenous religion of the Black man. They mistakenly think that Blacks need to discard the white Christianity for the real religion of the Black man, Islam. The Black liars don’t understand the true origins of Christianity and way that God used it save a people in spite of the white man.
Here are a few facts about the African history of Christianity. A number of the Jews in Jerusalem for Pentecost when God poured out his Spirit on the church in Acts 2 were Africans from Egypt and Libya. Many of the early church fathers including Tertullian who was the first to clearly articulate the doctrine of the Trinity were African. In fact, the man jointly revered as a foundational theologian by the Catholic and Protestant churches, Augustine, was an African. The African cities of Alexandria and Carthage competed with Rome in the early centuries for prominence in Christianity. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Coptic church were in existence long before the first European missionaries spread throughout the world.
In America, Blacks embraced the message of Christ in a liberating manner. In fact, the spread of Christianity among enslaved Blacks was America’s greatest revival. It can only be compared with the spread of Christianity throughout the first three centuries of the early church. Generally, without the right to assemble, to construct schools and churches, Christianity spread throughout America. It was not the Christianity of the slave owner or even the Christianity of the abolitionist. It was the response of Africans in America to God. They expressed their theology in the words of the songs that we now call Negro Spirituals. That theology more closely mapped with the mind of Christ than the sterile philosophical propositional Orthodoxy of the white man.
Liars who are white and liars who are Black serve the bidding of the Father of Lies, Satan. They unconsciously are damming many Black men. Let’s start telling the truth. The truth will set you free.