White Man’s Religion

The White Man’s Religion

Over the years I’ve met a lot black people who’ve questioned my reasoning for being Christian. They think Christianity is the “whiteman” religion.  The origin of Christianity is a little more complicated than that! You have to know the past to understand the present so let’s start with the past.

Birth of Christ 

Christianity is founded on the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus the Nazarene, Emmanuel God among us, born of a virgin, Mary and fathered by the Holy Spirit. Christanity begin and spread throughout the Roman Empire during the reign of Pointious Pilate. The message of Christ is a message of hope and redemption. Followers believe he is the promised Messiah prophesied by the old testament prophet Isiah. Shortly after the birth of Christ his mother Mary and natural father Joseph fled to Egypt for fear of Jesus’ life and then to Nazareth (Matthew 2:14).

Birth of Jesus’s Minstry

Matthew introduced John the Baptist whose mother is Elizabeth, Elizabeth was the older cousin of Mary. Both Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time John is a few months older than Jesus.  John had followers and his ministry was the precursor to the ministry of Jesus. John lived off the land eating wild locust and honey  and preached of repentance. Jesus’ ministry began when he was baptised in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Jesus’ ministry was approximately three years during the three year time frame he was called, a teacher and Rabbi and had 12 disciples Matthew being one. 

People were unimpressed with Jesus; he wasn’t flashy or royalty. He was humble, with great power able to heal the sick, raise the dead and had a large following. The Pharisees rejected Jesus’ teachings. Jesus was the son of a carpenter seen as an ordinary man who had the power to heal people, offer forgiveness of sins and cast out demons. He was  seen as a rebel and a troublemaker.  He spoke about matters concerning the hearts of his followers; he never knew earthly riches yet he spoke about riches in heaven. He was tempted by the evil one and later crucified on the cross where he died and was placed in a tomb. On the third day he rose and revealed himself to many people including his followers. 

The Birth of Christanity

Jesus’ disciples minus Judas who betrayed him for thirty shekels of silver and later killed himself out of guilt and shame went out into the world to share the teachings of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t easy, this was a new religion and the teachings were different from that of its time. Initially Chrisanity was seen as a sect of Judaism and the Roman emperor at the time Caesar Augustus was ok with Christianity as long as it did not spread and stayed small and manageable. But Christanity took off new converts who were feeding the poor, sharing Jesus’s teachings and that became a threat to the Roman Empire. The disciples and new converts were being slaughtered for their beliefs. Paul of Tarsus, you know the one who had the conversion on Damascus road, the one whose name changed from Saul to Paul. Paul was one of Caesar’s loyal servants who killed Chritians and after his conversion and repentance he became an apostle of Jesus Christ and traveled spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel of hope and salvation to both Jew and Gentile.

Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire which included the continent of Africa. Christanity existed on the continent of Africa centuries before the Transalantic slave trade. Not all Africans were Christan but not all Africans were introduced to Chrsitanity from slave owners. We can’t assume African slaves were docile; it’s quite offensive. I believe those who didn’t believe or chose to practice didn’t. Being physically present in church doesn’t mean your heart is. I’ve met people who grew up in Church, forced to go and when they got older and or moved out on their own they have no relationship with the church some of them are not believers in Christ and or tend to lean more towards eastern religions.

Birth of White Jesus 

In many parts of the world primarily in Europe Jesus was depicted as a man of color. There’s no photograph or official portrait of the Messiah so over the years people painted him based on their image and likeness. It’s about power and control. The white man appears more powerful if the image of Christ is that of a white man. Overtime Jesus was white washed and his hair was changed to blonde and eyes blue. In the 1940’s Warner Sallman painted “The head of Christ ” that became the American Mascot for Jesus Christ. This image of Jesus’ head was hung in every bible believing household both black and white and everything in between. People have used Christanity and other religious groups, cults, etc to control and divide groups of people and nations. Christanity was forced onto Native Americans and unbelieving Africans. It’s not Christanity that’s the problem, it’s the people who use it to exploit others. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church sold indulgences which were certificates to ultimately increase your chance of going to heaven.

Indulgences had nothing to do with tithing and parishioners were also allowed to buy indulgences for family members. Again people have exploited Christanity for personal and political gain and unfortunately that trend has continued to the present day.

Christanity is not the white man’s religion, it’s not about race at all. It’s actually pretty exciting when you sit and study the word. You have to disconnect yourself from all the distractions around you and bad experiences within the church community. Awkward experiences aside, my Pastor or whoever I fellowship with isn’t my savior  and should not influence my relationship with the Messiah. I understand that people are flawed and  that’s between them and the father.  Whatever you choose to believe, believe it independently from what’s going on around you. This is true for anything that you chose to do in life. 

Until next time…

You’ve Got What You Need

A local hair stylist launched a new product and advertised it on Facebook. So, I visited her booth at a vendor show and I bought a huge bottle of the product, Whisper Whip. 

The owner explained the product could do it all. It was a shampoo, a co-wash, a leave in conditioner, and a moisturizer. I used it as a moisturizer. It was light, didn’t weigh my hair down, and left it feeling great. For years, Whisper Whip was in my rotation for wash days, styling days and every day. My hair is coily, has fine strands, is low porosity and prone to tangle. Because of this I do not wear my hair down. A wash n go hairstyle would mean a life sentence of detangling and I have neither patience nor the time.

It turns out I had what I needed all along. The product was good for everything. And so, it is with our faith walk. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We have everything we need to reach our God given goals and the courage to use our talents. Believe the creator when He tells us he is everything, El Shaddai. Are you just relying on God in one way? You may be missing out on His love in other areas of your life. Do you think a prosperous, abundant life is for others, but not for you? I thought wash n go styles were not for my hair type. My beliefs about my hair kept me from having a fabulous hairstyle. What beliefs about yourself are keeping you from having a fabulous life? Let God into those areas; he created you and knows what you can do.

* Whisper Whip is a trademarked brand of Healthy Hair Solutions and is in no way affiliated with this blog.*
The results of my hair transformation!
The results of my transformation!

 

Press Through

I haven’t blogged in a really long time and with all of the things happening in the US, there’s plenty to talk about. I have so many things to share, but I will keep it simple and focus on what’s been pressing at my heart.

I spent time with a really good friend of mine this weekend and we were talking about life, faith, family and community. She said something that really resonated with me…she said, “we need to turn our pain into purpose”. She’s right! With all the crime, racial and political division, depression, poverty etc. it is easy to get caught up in the hype of it all. We’re so focused on the presidential campaign that we’re forgetting people are still without basic needs, food, shelter, clothing.

This has been a really emotional year for me. With all of the many challenges I’ve faced this year such as; someone breaking into my home and struggling to replace the things that were stolen from my family. My eleven year old is now too afraid to sleep in his room or live in the house. The good thing is we live in a rental and the lease will be up next month. It’s been hard to pull up in front of a house that was vandalized and call it home. I wanted to break my lease and run away I felt so violated but, I had to press through and encourage my son when I needed someone to encourage me. Some of the people at work were shocked when I told them about the robbery because I kept smiling and coming in to work. You have to press through the bad days in order to get to the good days.

We all have something that we’re struggling with. We must move forward and redirect our focus from our pain and turn into something purposeful. Participate in a cause or group that shares your same life mission. Help others to overcome their fears and challenges. Start a group or a club with other like minded people. Do whatever it takes to start feeling better about life. Someone needs to know your story because it will give them hope and empower them to be free.

Until next time…

ACTION

Do you wish that life could be scripted? Life would be so much easier if you knew just how to respond to certain inquires… if you knew your cue to talk or to laugh or even to be upset. What if you knew how long you should be upset about a particular issue or if you should be upset at all! I know that this is may be completely unreal for most people but I have had moments in my life where I wish I was able to take back and start all over again!  I’ve said things that are inappropriate and as soon as the words started to roll out of my mouth I knew that it was wrong but it felt so good! It would have been nice if I all of a sudden I heard the director yell CUT and allowed me run my lines again. I would make sure my second take was very prim and proper.

I know that life doesn’t work like that. A girl can imagine! I do know that…God is your director, producer, manager and whatever else you may need. He’ll sit with you when there’s no one else around.  He will advise and direct you if you allow him to do so. You may feel alone and unsure… but trust he is near.

Until next time!

Marriage, Is It Right For Me? (Part II)

Allow Him to pour into you. Don’t compare your partner to the last person you dated or to your friends and family who went through something similar. Their experiences are helpful at times. However, you cannot walk in peace and reverence with God if you only refer to their experiences. You don’t want to limit what God is able do in your life. He will only operate within what you believe. So, if you believe all men cheat, then that’s what you will deal with. When you marry the person that God has ordained to be your spouse, you will need to grow closer to God and keep Him centered in the marriage, not the kids, routines, vacations, or another repair to your body or your house. Some people think, if we add another child to the family, things will be better for my husband and me. Or maybe if I get a better paying job. Maybe I should lose some weight. Or, when the kids get a little older, we will be okay.

The truth is you will be okay when the two of you seek God together and find out what he has for the two of you to do. Petition the Lord for an assignment. Be prepared for what he may show you. He may tell you to have a Bible study in your home. He may say that you need to slow down and seek Him more. Again, marriage is not about how the world views it. Look to God for discernment and know that marriage is God, man, and wife. They are one in the same, just as God is the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. You can’t have one without the other.

Are there any family traditions or childhood experiences that have affected how you view marriage? If so, how did you work to overcome them? Do you struggle with commitment, and why do you think that is? Has God given you a mission for your marriage?

Until next time…