Christianity - Not a White Mans Religion
Christianity: White man's religion?
Martin Luther King referred to Sunday as being "the most segregated day in America."
Truer words were never spoken.
A few years ago I was preaching and, Lord, help me, my opening words were, "Look around. What do you see? I see a church full of white people." The Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and others.... they'd all been there, but we had holes in our net and hadn't been able to keep 'em. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is like a net, catching ALL kinds of fish..." (Matt 13:47) and that includes black ones, brown ones, red, yellow, Protestant and Catholic, young, old, male and female.
As Americans, we often project an imperialistic attitude that the rest of the world detests. Regarding American CHRISTIANS, I've often heard and read of third world pastors telling how they only wish they had the money the Americans raised to take their "missionary journeys" so that they could better care for their own families and congregations... purchase bibles and study tools, attend seminary. Can we even imagine a group of half naked primitives coming into our churches to share the latest "revelation" God had given their tribe? Yet we spend a fortune crossing the pond for these "life changing" (whose life?) short-term missions experiences. Don't get me wrong, I believe in missions, most especially those geared toward helping the sick and the children, but I've heard too many stories from missionaries who admitted they felt they made NO difference on their missions trip and from Nationals who could have used a nice healthy love offering instead.
I once taught a Sunday school class to a room fullof mostly Black African pastors, their small frames lost within their too-large, out-of -date suits and ties. Between them, their congregations ranged in the area of 40,000 people. These humble men were taking notes, asking questions, hanging on my every word. I don't know about them but, for me, THAT was life-changing! God bless those who were wise enough to fly these African pastors to the USA so they could return home and teach those with whom they already had relationship (key word).
Regarding this so-called "white man's religion," it's true that some mistakenly believe Christianity is the religion of Whites in the same way others consider Islam to be the religion of the Blacks. Folks, Hosea 4:6 declares, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...." Let us strive to KNOW the truth for the Scripture says, "they shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free,"(Jn 8:32). What you're about to read, I believe, will be VERY liberating.
THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR ANCESTORY
Black Christianity did not start in America with the slaves that converted to their master's religion. Genesis 10 shows us where all the races originated. The Black lineage is presented by family, languages, locations and nations. The Bible tells us, in Genesis, that everyone began with Adam and Eve. EVERYONE! Genesis 2:7 tells us Adam was made from the earth. Science has proven that we're all made from the same materials as are found in the earth. The Hebrew word for Adam is Adahm, meaning "red" or "from red earth."
Yes, Adam was a person of color!
After the flood, it was Noah and his kids that populated the earth (Acts 17:26; Gen 9:18,19). His sons were named Ham, Shem, and Japheth. These names mean Black, Dusky and Bright, or "fair," respectively. Biblical historians agree that Ham is the ancestral father of the Black races - the Mongoloids, Egyptians, Ethiopians, the Canaanites, and the Indians. From Shem descended the Jews, Arabs and Persians. From Japheth came the Greeks, Caucasians, Russians, the Indo-Europeans.
One Black son out of three? Well, we don't know exactly HOW dark the pigment was of the other two but, is that possible? With God, ALL things are possible. Face it, if YOU were the Supreme Creative Being, wouldn't YOU get creative when making people and animals?
Look around. Look in the mirror... God's been VERY creative. Medical research tells us it IS possible to have children that are very different in color, especially if one or both parents are dark-complexioned, but it's impossible for a fair complexioned person to produce a dark-skinned child. So, for Noah to have fathered a "black" son, he or his wife had to have been dark-skinned, too.
Noah's son, Ham, father of African and Black races, had four boys... Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan, Genesis 10:6. Cush was father of the Ethiopians (Gen 2:13; 10:6) and the people living within Asia and Africa. Cush means "black" and Ethiopia means "man witha sunburned face." Jeremiah13:23 says, "Can the Ethiopian changehis skin...?"
Mizraim fathered the Egyptians and his name means "children of the sun." Eventually, they even started worshipping it, but that's another story. Ham is derived from the Egyptian name "Kam," the srongest word in the Egyptian language for "black." The book of Psalms refers to Egypt as "the land of Ham" (Ps 78:51; 105:23, 26. 27; 106:21,22). Phut was father of the nation of Libya, (Ezekiel 27:10; 38:5; Jer 46:9 and Nah 3:9). Libya means "black" also.
Ham's youngest son was Canaan, cursed by Noah in Genesis 9:20-26. Though we've all heard of Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya, strange how there's no Canaan today. Note: Contrary to the teaching of SOME, it was NOT the entire black race that was cursed, only the Canaanites, because of Canaan's sin. They were the original inhabitants of Israel (1 Chr 4:40) but exist no more. My, how they could have been blessed! Yes, there ARE long-term consequences for sin, affecting even our descendants.
Noah's sons migrated, spreading out all over the earth: Japheth's people to modern Europe, Shem's to the Middle East. Ham's descendants went to southern Arabia, Africa, and India. Cush had a son named Nimrod (Gen 10:10) who built the tower of Babel as well as Erech, Accad and Calneh near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the starting point of all civilization (Gen 10:10; 11:1).
Cush's descendants founded powerful Assyria,builders of Ninevah.
The Bible gives no record of Phut's geneology.
Ham's decendants included Menelik, offspring of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, to whom Ethiopians trace their historical roots.
Joseph married an Egyptian woman (Gen 41:50-52) so his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim definitely had Hamitic (Black) blood.
Jethro was Ethiopian and converted to Judaism because of Moses' testimony (Ex 18:1-12).
Moses was married to an Ethiopian woman, too, (Numbers 12:1). Was she black? Could have been! In Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron began opposing Moses because of his Cushite (Ethiopian) wife, showing contempt for her ancestry. This angered the Lord and Miriam was stricken with leprosy (interestingly, this disease would not only make MIRIAM the outcast from the community, but her skin became REALLY white as a result of the disease. Poetic justice? After Moses pleaded on her behalf, God healed her and returned her to the camp). NOTE: It is my contention that Miriam's REAL problem was not so much with Moses' wife as it was with his prophetic gift and his special relationship with God. Perhaps she went for the obvious (Miriam's fleshtone) rather than humbllng herself and admitting to Moses how she envied him.
The Scripture does not indicate any prohibition against Jews marrying Cushites (Ethiopians) and they seemed to have had good relations with them (Amos 9:7; Ps 68:31; Zeph 3:10; Is 11:11).
Jehudi was a secretary in the king's court during Jeremiah's time and was a descendeant of Cushi (Jer 36:14,21,23) as was the prophet Zephaniah.
From Ham's lineage came Joshua, and David'sgrandmother, Rahab, a Canaanite. Bath-sheba means"daughterof Sheba." Sheba is listed in Ham's family registry, Genesis 7.
Bath-sheba was married to Uriah the Hittite, whose roots can be traced to Ham's grandson, Heth (Gen 10:15). King Solomon's complexion and hair are described as black but beautiful (Song of Solomon 5:10,11).
Moving to the New Testament times, scholars believe the wise men who sought the baby Jesus (no biblical record of there being only three) were Ethiopians because the gold, frankincense, and myrrh were plentiful in southern Arabia and east Africa.
The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39 undoubtedly brought Christianity to Ethiopia. Simon the Canaanite was considered to be a Black apostle (Matt 10:4).
Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus carry His cross, was probably a descendant of Ham since Cyrene was in North Africa.
Apollos (Acts 18:24) came from Ham, too. Certainly, nations that descended from Ham were there at Pentecost (Acts 2) with the establishment of the Church.
Simeon, or Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene were leaders of the Antioch Church (Acts 13:1). The people of these regions were black. These were the men who ordained and commissioned the great apostle Paul.
JESUS: Man of Many Colors
Jesus was of mixed ancestory. You heard right... Jesus was mixed! Our Lord was a person of color! Though He was primarily Semetic, of the five ladies referred to in His geneology, Tama, Rahab, Ruth, Bath-sheba, and Mary, the first four descended from Ham, Noah's Black son (Matt 1:1-16).
Let's face it, folks, man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). It doesn't matter if you're green with orange spots! He's not looking for complexion or physical features. He's not impressed by what we look like, talklike, or where we live. He doesn't care how religious we are or how beautiful our church is. He doesn't care how we dress, drive or what denomination we claim.
You see, there was no room at the Inn when our Saviour was born and now He's looking at our hearts, regardless of our epidermal hue, to see if there's room there for Him to rule each individual's life as Lord.
No matter what color our epidermis may be, the question we must answer is: are we available?
Need pastoral counseling and prayer? Write or IM me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Michael has been eMailing weekly broadcasts of discipleship and encouragement to Christians of all denominations since 1999. He also does a great deal of IM and eMail pastoral counseling.
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