There Are No White People In The Bible

There Are No White People In The Bible April 29, 2019


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.

Let’s celebrate the beautiful diversity of the multi-colored Body of Christ.

“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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  • Chuck Johnson

    My mother’s parents were from Shweir, Lebanon.
    Her skin was only brown in the summertime.
    Especially with the last name of Johnson, she thought of herself and was treated as a white person.
    Until recently, I thought of myself as having European ancestry, but now I see that I am Asian, too.
    Lebanon is in Asia.

    Keith, it looks to me like people (including mass murderers) in this day and age find ideas, beliefs loyalties and religions to be more significant than ethnicity or skin color.

    Ethnicity and skin color do come into play when someone is looking for a quick and simple identifier for political or religious beliefs. Then bigotry or even mass murder is perpetrated against those people who look like they might represent the wrong politics or wrong religion.

  • Armed Citizen

    deeply thought out and well written page, Keith – thanks for that!
    racism is such a sickening thing that we are infected with today, this page should really hammer home how unimportant our color or backgrounds are.
    there is no such thing as ‘Salvation by Pigmentation’.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “racism is such a sickening thing that we are infected with today . . . ”

    Today in the industrialized world, racism is less present than in the past.
    Racism continues to decline.
    Many different social customs and legal mechanisms are in place to help cause racism to continue to diminish.

  • Armed Citizen

    not too sure i’d agree there Sir – but i do believe firmly that there are now many more reasons for disunity and abuse of our fellow man.

    i don’t believe that the social customs and legal mechanisms delete the ignorance of those who hate because of our skin color. in fact, i believe that some of these ‘reforms’ actually can be cause of more division and frustration.

  • pen44

    You are correct, Armed Citizen!! I’m 75, and I see it building again like in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.

    Individual 1 and his minions are making it more acceptable to the knuckle draggers.

  • pen44

    Chuck Johnson, Muslims are usually brown or black, a lot of Jewish people have dark hair and eyes, some even wear clothing that identifies them, they attend houses of worship that aren’t Christian, and they are not white people. Yes, I’ve known blue eyed, red-haired or blond Jewish people.

    So it seems that the bigotry is loud and strong, whether it’s Muslims, Black people or Jewish people….just like it has been for hundreds of years. Only now, we can add the Native Americans, even if they are Christians, and the Asian population. So it seems that the color of the skin is still very much a bone of contention among the Caucasian/White population……………….

  • Given that there were no mass anti-Muslim reactions in this country after 9/11 it is hard to understand you comment below except as inflammatory rhetoric?

    “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.””

    Where do you get the facts to back up that belief?

  • Armed Citizen

    Amen Friend – it’s creating open handed weaklings who don’t care to work because of their ‘entitlement’ status.
    ‘I’m American so i deserve…..’

  • Ellen Hammond

    Well said, Keith! I remember even as a young child, I questioned the white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, pictures of ‘Jesus’ that were so common in the 1950’s and 60’s. Having met several Jewish people who all had slightly darker skin, darker hair, and brown eyes, I wondered how Jesus could possibly be like the pictures. I often wonder why so many adult, white Christians, just seem to illogically think Jesus was white too, and that somehow makes Caucasians, superior to other races. I can’t help but think those pictures that many of us grew up seeing, were intentional propaganda used to push the myth of white supremacy, especially in the US.

  • He’s probably using the facts from the time last week when that happened. But it didn’t make the far-Reich news sites, so maybe you missed it?
    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2019/04/christian-terrorist-deliberately-drove-into-crowd-believing-some-were-muslim

  • R/R 2016

    “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.”

    The irony is that the problem “to hate those who are not like us” isn’t exclusive to white Christians, yet even non-examples are still aggregated to prove the rule. Confirmation bias.

  • fractal

    Great article!

    Now lets talk about how women have been marginalized by the Abrahamic Triad.
    After all, have you ever met a racist, that wasn’t also sexist?
    Could it be that racist/sexist people are drawn to the ‘holy books’ of the Abrahamic Triad, simply BECAUSE they are inherently sexist and racist?

  • Click on that phrase “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus” in the article above and you’ll see that it links to the news story where that is reported.

    https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Sunnyvale-Army-Vet-Charged-With-Injuring-8-People-in-Intentional-Crash-509102471.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_BAYBrand

  • I just read the story. It appears that Army Iraq war veteran Peoples did run into the crowd. It is not clear why but I don’t believe that he is a fair example of your point in any way.

  • R/R 2016

    Hey, Keith. In your “Love Beyond Labels” post, you insisted that one can’t show love, respect, or dignity to a person and refer to them as part of some anonymous collective, but here you have no problem saying that “some Christians” have the same mindset as mass murderers(!!) by virtue of a border policy disagreement. You’re so cool. Care to reconcile the two?

  • Would you say that it is NOT true that “some Christians” are fearful of Muslims? The “Love Beyond Labels” post describes this mindset and points out that you cannot “other” Muslims until you know them personally and stop thinking of them as “them” but start to see them as humans like yourself.

    If the Christian who ran over this family with his car had taken the time to do that, he wouldn’t have been capable of seeing these “Muslim-looking” people as the enemy that he needed to respond to with violence.

    Can you not reconcile these two articles?

    Are you saying that I need to humanize Christians who feel justified in running over a family on the sidewalk because they look Muslim? And that, until I can do that, I cannot show love, respect and dignity to Christians who hate Muslims enough to kill them with their cars on their way to a Bible Study?

  • R/R 2016

    You’ve made an anonymous “them”, brushed them white, and gave them the mind of mass murderers. We don’t need a hypothetical to explore why people would kill Jesus, you idiot. And he certainly didn’t use the experience to direct our disapproval to those “some people”.

  • billwald

    “White” is a very, very recessive characteristic. “Diversity” a.k.a miscegenation is invading the few remaining very small “white” nations in northern Europe.

    That’s OK! At least in our Pacific Northwest states, another generation or so and we will have a large majority of “mixed race” people with nice, tan/brown skin color.

    That’s better than OK. Why? We can then return to openly discriminating on the basis of civility, education, ambition . . . winners with winners and losers with losers. Honest social/economic classes. Winners, losers, and a fluid middle class in the middle.

    50% losers, 20% winners, and 30% in the middle, more or less. That’s how the math works.

    Think about it. For every “shop” of 5 or10 or 40 or whatever working class people, we have one shop foreman. For 1 or 2 or whatever shops, we have a shift manager. For every 1 or 2 or 3 shifts, we have a plant manager. The food chain is a food pyramid. Each level requires more responsibility and earns higher wages. How can it be otherwise?