I was recently engaged in a conversation with a colleague regarding race, specifically on the importance of the race of Jesus. The conversation is posted below. His argument, in summary, is that the skin tone of Jesus is of great importance in knowing "the truth". In other words, Jesus was Black or descended from blacks (which I am not interested in arguing), and that knowing this is TRUTH and it will set you free (which I am arguing). You’ve got to be kidding me. I had no plans of sharing the conversation, but I decided to just because it really infuriates me. It is so sad. This points to a greater human problem of drawing boundaries between itself based on trivial human matters like race, and other physical, economical, and ideological characteristics—the same boundaries that the theologically, spiritually, and historically true Christ came to erase. The only boundary Christ upheld was that one which divided evil from good. Historically, Jesus was one of the first, if not the major, influential people to stir controversy by going against societal and cultural norms in views regarding race, nationality, gender, economic class, religious class. And he was HATED and killed for that by Pharisees, who were the intellectuals and the religious Ph.Ds of the time.
They wrote:I never did get back with you about why does Christ shade of skin matters. Instead of just giving you a plethora of information. I'll just drive to the point of why it matters. Before I say anything in regards to that, let me ask you a couple of questions so we can build some level of consensus.Do you believe in the bible from Genesis all the way to Revelation? Do you uphold truth over lies and opinions?I need to know these answers because if you do not believe in the bible then this conversation does not matter and nothing fruitful will become of it. Two, if you honor peoples opinions that can be disputed it will be very hard for you to see truth.Also to add to that question, if you uphold truth over lies and opinions then what is truth?My Response:I believe in God, in Christ, and in every letter and word of the Bible. And in the Bible, Christ's race is not the focus. And race in general is not the focus. Salvation is for everyone, not just for a specific race, but everyone. Anything else, is heresy. I am not really interested in getting into an intellectual debate about racial matters, specifically if they relate to God, because those two don't go together. Let's talk about racism in the world, but not Christ's race. Let's talk about economic disparities and injustice, prejudice which Jesus was more interested in, not about Christ's race or God's gender and all that other meaningless jazz that is dividing humanity and even getting Christians divided against one another. At the end of the day, race is as trivial as gender, body weight, height, etc. I respect and trust your intellectual understanding of truth and the Bible. If you do want to have this conversation, all I ask is for 1 or 2 scriptures from the Bible that say race is important. I can give you many scriptures that say our indwelling sin is more important and that Christ is our cure, and of greater importance[Name removed], I trust you are on the search for truth brother, and I pray you find it and that it changes who you are on the inside, and I think all of us are. But let's not deviate too far into intellectuallism and man-made teachings that don't really give us freedom from slavery of our own messed up desires, that we are all so aware of.I [absolutely] love intellectual conversations, and I can have those, but I have learned to be careful to not mix intellectuallism with spiritualism, especially as it relates to God. God's intellect is above human wisdom and intelligence. I tried to mix those two this year, and it was a disaster. But I don't question your knowledge bro, but I do hope down the line, you can accept the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ, which is God-centered, Christ-centered, to all races, genders, sexual orientations, etc.They wrote:Ok you have said a mouthfull and I would certainly like to discuss the things you have mentioned, but could you please answer my second question: Do you uphold truth over lies and opinons? And if you uphold truth over lies and opinions then what is truth?My response:My answer to those questions doesn't really matter. But yes I uphold truth, and Truth is God. Read 2nd Peter 2. And share that with people you look up to and mentor you. I really don't want to engage in a debate because those don't go anywhere. If you want to communicate truth to me, point to 1-2 verses in the Bible, without any extra explanations. That's all I ask for. I am open to being wrong, but as far as I know, race is MEANINGLESS.They wrote:(Ok, well your answer does matter brother and I am going to show you why. Here is The Truth:)Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (Psalm 119:142 KJV)Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)(Now you ask me not to explain and I am not, but can we agree that these two scriptures say that The Law is truth and Christ is The Truth?)My response:No, I said give me a verse or two that says Christ's race matters. Without extra explanations and interpretations.They wrote:Oh ok, I misunderstood your question, I thought you were asking in regard to truth. Keep those scriptures in mind though.Hold on(Let me just start off with a couple of scriptures:)And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3 KJV)For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7 KJV)(From these scriptures we can see that "every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God" and "many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." Now, my question to you is what did/does His flesh look like?)My response:Alright brother, I am no longer interested in talking. I appreciate you sharing the "truth". If you want to write a long explanation and twisted scripture, write and I will read later this week, but I am sad that someone is teaching you lies bro, and to explain the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ, you can't just offer me one scripture to help my blindness that perhaps I have and I can't see. A lot of things in [the] Bible can be taken out of context, especially when people intellectualize every word. Christ came to erase boundaries between people--racial, intellectual, economic, etc. He also came to erase the boundary line between us and God that was caused because of our own sin, and sometimes our greatest sin is the idolatry of constructing a God of our own, a black God, a white God, an Asian God, a God who doesn't care how you live your life, a Female God, a Male God, A God to suit our little preferences and understanding of life. When clearly, God is written in scripture, God surpassing all racial categories, human defined characteristics, who for the sake relating to our humanity did come down as a man as Jesus Christ, and descended from the tribe of Israel, a Jew, who proclaimed freedom and salvation for all who believe.If you want to write a longer interpretation of scripture, I will read another time. But all it takes is ONE verse.They wrote:Brother, do me a favor and use scripture. A lot of what you brought forth I do want to touch on, but you gave me NO scripture.Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Psalm (119:104 KJV)Do you know what a precept is Pascal?I'm driving to a point, bear with me and we will bring this whole conversation to a complete circle. Because the whole reason in putting this out there in the first place was not to prove that Christ is dark-skinned man, but use it as a driving point. Because many including myself have been like "So what?”My response:I will read your point later. And while you make the point, do let me know how Christ's race has saved you.Also while you write up the argument, perhaps this short article will help you see the confusion in the logic you are being taught. http://erlc.com/article/the-bible-speaks-on-race/