Ok, there are some white people in the Bible. Maybe if we look in the background at the Romans or perhaps even the Gentiles in Galatia or Ephesus. But the main players – Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jesus, Peter, James, John, Paul, etc. – are all brown, Middle Eastern people, not white.
Why should I even have to take time to say this? What’s the point of calling this out?
Well, maybe because some Christians haven’t gotten the memo. They seem to think that the Bible is about white people and that marginalizing brown people is acceptable to the Scriptures they love and the God they worship.
So, they have no problem calling themselves “Christians” while they support policies that oppress brown families seeking asylum in their nation, or look the other way while their military supports a war in Yemen where millions of children and innocent people suffer famine and disease.
This is the mindset that fuels people like the shooter at the Synagogue in San Diego over the weekend, or the Tree of Life Synagogue last October, or the shooter at the New Zealand Mosque last month, or the shooter at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC a few years ago. You get the idea.
Some American Christians even think it’s okay to run down a family with your car on the way to your Bible Study group just because “they look Muslim.” And when you’re done you can get out of your car saying, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you Jesus.”
The real irony is, if Jesus and his disciples had been walking along that same road, there’s a very good chance this man would have run them over too, because they would certainly have “looked Muslim” to his American eyes.
Now, in that particular case, the irony is that the Christian in question was not white. But, it still testifies to our Americanized version of the Gospel that allows us to hate those who are not like us, and to even believe that Jesus would be okay with that.
“But, Keith, the Gospel is not about race,” you might say. “The Kingdom of God is made of every tongue, and tribe and nation. Why are you making this about race?”
Well, I’m not making it about race. I’m actually trying to speak to those who do make it about race, to help them see that Jesus is brown, and every major person of faith in the Bible is brown, and that we need to learn to love all the colors of the rainbow [remember that song we learned in Sunday School?].
I wonder sometimes if the real reason some Christians get upset when I post statements like this one, is that they don’t like the idea of being the minority within their own religion. We in America especially tend to want to be the stars of the show. We’re not comfortable being an extra in the background. We want to play the lead role and take the spotlight. Unfortunately, our minority status within Christianity isn’t limited to the Biblical side. We’re also not the largest group of Christians on the planet. Most of our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe are not American. That means they’re also not white, or Capitalist, or Republican, or Democrat.
But, if we were really following Jesus, we’d be totally okay with this. Because Jesus tells us several times in that brown-skinned Gospel voice of his, that the greatest among us is the slave of all, and that the first will be last, and to put the needs of others over our own.
So, it’s actually really great news that there are no White people in the Bible. That’s as it should be. We are tiny white sprinkles in a sea of black and brown and yellow and red. Our place is at the bottom, not the top. Our goal is to lift up those who are different than we are. Our mission is to love everyone we see, even if they’re not like us. Especially if they are not like us.
“For now [in the Body of Christ] there are no longer any Jews or Gentiles, Slave or Free, Male or Female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Gal. 3:28]
Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.
His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.
Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean.
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Join me this summer at one of these upcoming events:
*El Paso, TX – May 19 “United We Stand”
*Costa Mesa, CA – June 22 “United We Stand”
*Hot Springs, NC – July 11-14 “Wild Goose Festival”
Want Keith to come speak at your church or in your home town? Learn more HERE