By Roy Douglas Malonson
Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. We must learn to hate, and if we can learn to hate, then we can be taught to love, because love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
A Ball of Confusion
This ideology is the same with nearly every aspect of human life and behavior. Many concepts and misconceptions are formed from fundamental teachings and trainings. Anytime an individual’s mind is trained, controlled and molded to think and believe a certain way, the behavior of a person will reflect those teachings. Many Africans living in America have already been systematically programmed to believe that the Black race is inferior to all others. Just as there has been a misconception that any associated with the color “White” is a representation of all things, pure, clean, immaculate and exceptional. Adjectives and insinuations such as: “free from spot or blemish (moral impurity), not intended to cause harm and notably ardent (passionate),” are just a few descriptions listed by Webster as the definition of White.
On the contrary, the shade of “Black” has always been paralleled to, wickedness, darkness and or a portrait of unclean things. So, what does Webster has to say about Blackness? “Dirty, soiled, thoroughly sinister or evil, indicative of condemnation or discredit, connected with or invoking the supernatural and especially the devil; very sad or gloomy and characterized by hostility or angry discontent,” all representations of the color.
It is one thing for other races and society to paint a certain picture of the way they envision, but why must we continue on in a ball of confusion that others have created? Did not St. John 8:32 say, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”? Well, the truth according to biblical teachings reveals that Jesus was not a White man! With that being stated, I must ask, ‘Why are some of the Black religious facilities continuing on in the tradition of promoting a lie… IN THE NAME OF THE LORD?’
In the Name of the Lord
Over the years, the “church house” in the Black community has been one of the most influential teaching institutions to exist. Primarily because, there was a time when it was illegal for a Negro to be taught anything in terms of reading and writing. During the period when Blacks were segregated, it was the “church house” that served as the “school house”. It was at the church that many of our parents, grandparents and other ancestors first received any type of formal education, if they were allowed to receive it all. Furthermore, majority of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities were first established in the church.
This truth regarding Our History, further adds to the dire need of our people knowing the truth about who they serve. Because, for too long the authentic shade of the Savior of the world has been hidden and downplayed throughout these United States. While Jesus Christ may not have been a full-blooded Negro as we would define it, his complexion still would reflect the shade of one closer to a person of African descent than it would our White counterparts. Realistically, how could a long-haired, white-skinned, blue-eyed person reside in the Middle Eastern region and not have a tan, at least… Yet, these mis-representations are displayed throughout local churches and they are envisionments of lies – but it’s all being done in the Name of the Lord.
Joan E. Taylor noted several factors in her book titled, What did Jesus look like? She writes, “In the Gospels, he is not described, either as tall or short, good-looking or plain, muscular or frail. We are told his age, as “about 30 years of age” (Luke 3:23), but there is nothing that dramatically distinguishes him, at least at first sight. We do not notice this omission of any description of Jesus, because we “know” what he looked like thanks to all the images we have. But the Jesus we recognise so easily is the result of cultural history. The early depictions of Jesus that set the template for the way he continues to be depicted today were based on the image of an enthroned emperor and influenced by presentations of pagan gods. The long hair and beard are imported specifically from the iconography of the Graeco-Roman world. Some of the oldest surviving depictions of Jesus portray him as essentially a younger version of Jupiter, Neptune or Serapis. As time went on the halo from the sun god Apollo was added to Jesus’s head to show his heavenly nature. In early Christian art, he often had the big, curly hair of Dionysus.”
Continuing she documents, “As for Jesus’s body, I’ve consulted experts on ancient skeletons in Israel. What I have learnt is that Judaeans of this time were closest biologically to Iraqi Jews of the contemporary world. In terms of a colour palette then, think dark-brown to black hair, deep brown eyes, olive-brown skin. Jesus would have been a man of Middle Eastern appearance. In terms of height, an average man of this time stood 5 ft 5 inches tall.”
Concluding, as we enter this holiday season, we should be inclined to remember that conventional knowledge and depictions are not always right. In certain cases, even some aspects of religion as we know it must be challenged, lest we find ourselves in a Ball of Confusion, In the Name of the Lord.