Category Archives: Christian

Jesus Was Not White. Here Is Why Recognizing That Matters.


I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved it. In this picture, Jesus looks kind and gentle, he gazes down at me lovingly. He is also light-haired, blue-eyed, and very white.
The problem is, Jesus was not white. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise if you’ve ever entered a Western church or visited an art gallery. But while there is no physical description of him in the Bible, there is also no doubt that the historical Jesus, the man who was executed by the Roman State in the first century CE, was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew.
This is not controversial from a scholarly point of view, but somehow it is a forgotten detail for many of the millions of Christians who will gather to celebrate Easter this week.
On Good Friday, Christians attend churches to worship Jesus and, in particular, remember his death on a cross. In most of these churches, Jesus will be depicted as a white man, a guy that looks like Anglo-Australians, a guy easy for other Anglo-Australians to identify with.
Think for a moment of the rather dashing Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. He is an Irish-American actor. Or call to mind some of the most famous artworks of Jesus’ crucifixion—Ruben, Grunewald, Giotto—and again we see the European bias in depicting a white-skinned Jesus.
Does any of this matter? Yes, it really does. As a society, we are well aware of the power of representation and the importance of diverse role models.
After winning the 2013 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave, Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o shot to fame. In interviews since then, Nyong’o has repeatedly articulated her feelings of inferiority as a young woman because all the images of beauty she saw around her were of lighter-skinned women. It was only when she saw the fashion world embracing Sudanese model Alek Wek that she realised black could be beautiful too.
If we can recognise the importance of ethnically and physically diverse role models in our media, why can’t we do the same for faith? Why do we continue to allow images of a whitened Jesus to dominate?
Many churches and cultures do depict Jesus as a brown or black man. Orthodox Christians usually have a very different iconography to that of European art – if you enter a church in Africa, you’ll likely see an African Jesus on display.
But these are rarely the images we see in Australian Protestant and Catholic churches, and it is our loss. It allows the mainstream Christian community to separate their devotion to Jesus from compassionate regard for those who look different.
I would even go so far as to say it creates a cognitive disconnect, where one can feel deep affection for Jesus but little empathy for a Middle Eastern person. It likewise has implications for the theological claim that humans are made in God’s image. If God is always imaged as white, then the default human becomes white and such thinking undergirds racism.
Historically, the whitewashing of Jesus contributed to Christians being some of the worst perpetrators of anti-Semitism and it continues to manifest in the “othering” of non-Anglo Saxon Australians.
This Easter, I can’t help but wonder, what would our church and society look like if we just remembered that Jesus was brown? If we were confronted with the reality that the body hung on the cross was a brown body: one broken, tortured, and publicly executed by an oppressive regime.
How might it change our attitudes if we could see that the unjust imprisonment, abuse, and execution of the historical Jesus has more in common with the experience of Indigenous Australians or asylum seekers than it does with those who hold power in the church and usually represent Christ?
Perhaps most radical of all, I can’t help but wonder what might change if we were more mindful that the person Christians celebrate as God in the flesh and saviour of the entire world was not a white man, but a Middle Eastern Jew

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When Christian Suffers.


When Christian suffers, he or she says, God has touched me. The words are pre-eminently true, though their simplicity summarizes a very complex series of spiritual operations; and it is only when we have gone right through that whole series of operations that we have the right to speak those words.
For if, in the course of our encounters with evil, we try to distingush what the schoolmen term the instants of nature, we shall have on the contrary, to begin by saying, God wants to free me from this diminish-ment God wants me to help him to take this cup from me.
To struggle against evil, and to reduce to a minimum even the ordinary physical evil which threatens us,is unquestionably the first act of our Father who is in heaven; it would be impossible to conceive him in any other way, and still more impossible to love him.
It is a perfectly correct view of things and strictly consonant with the Gospel to regard providence across the ages as brooding over the world in ceaseless effort to spare that world its bitter wounds and bind up its hurts.
Most certainly it is God himself who,in the course of the centuries, awakens the great benefactors of humankind, and the great physicians, in ways that agree with the general rhythm of progress. He it is who inspires, even among those furthest from acknowledging his existence, the quest for every means of comfort and every means of healing.
Do not men acknowledge by instinct this divine presence when hatreds are quenched and their protesting un-certainty resolved as they kneel to thank each one of those who have helped their body or their mind to freedom? Can there be any doubt of it?
At the first approach of the diminish – ments we cannot hope to find God except by loathing what is coming upon us and doing our best to avoid it.
The more we repel suffering at that moment with our whole heart and our whole strength, the more closely we cleave to the heart and action of God.

Death Through Passivity.


Here we must be most careful to distinguish the two phases in the implementing, in the world around us, of the will of God: in other words, in the animation of secondary causes by the influx of the universal Christ.
In itself, and directly, our bondage to the world particularly those forms of it that irk us, that diminish us, that kill us is not divine, nor is it in any way willed by God.
It represents that portion of incompleteness and disorder which mars a creation that is still imperfectly unified.
In so far as they are such, these forms of bondage are displeasing to God: and in a first stage, God fights with us and in us against them.
One day he will triumph; but, because the duration of our individual lives is out of all proportion to the slow evolution of the total Christ, it is inevitable that we shall never during our time on earth, see the final victory.
Almost every moment brings another check to our effort to grow, undermines it and sooner or later we shall all experience decline and death.
Christ, never the less can never be overcome. If then we ask how the almighty power, which is his in virtue of his cosmic function, of saving and beatifying the elements of his Body in growth, will in some way re-establish itself, the answer is that it will do so by a remarkable transformation.
The Incarnate Word masters the limitations and diminishments that the general progress of the cosmos does not allow him to remove in the same way as a skilful sculptor masters the short comings of his marble, by integrating them though without changing them in a higher spiritualization of our beings.
That is why when we have fought to the bitter end to develop ourselves and win through, and find ourselves halted, beaten, by forces of the world, then if we believe, the power with which we clash so agonizingly suddenly ceases to be a blind or evil energy.
Hostile matter vanishes. And in its place, we find the divine Master of the world who under the species and appearance of each and every event, moulds us, empties us of our self-love, and penetrates into us.

The Teilhard de Chardin Experience.


Recently I came across some very interesting books which were inspired by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Mystic,Philosophy,Theological and Geologist.
What I have learnt about Teilhard is that he was seeking the perfect solution to nonperishable which took him through many experiment but his experiment was lead him to the Spirit of the Higher Force.
Anyhow the deeper I get into his studies, I have come to conclude that my belief in another world do exist which is the Spiritual world.
He also conclude that there are three types of Religion which is the Christianity, Human and Universal of which he also call the Triad.
For Teilhard a complete religion would involve elements from all three and he believed this new religion was soon to appear.
It would develop out of the ongoing confluence of all three religious currents.
Thus the three religions are necessary in order that the final religion, that of the universal Christ, might be complete.
Quote
In the great river of mankind, the three currents ( Eastern, Human and Christian ) are still at cross-purposes. Never-theless, there are sure indications which make it clear that they are coming to run together.

Christians offered chance to swap lovers


A new dating website offering committed Christian couples the chance to find ‘swinging’ partners has provoked backlash from Jamaican Christians and some unsaved persons.

The American site ChristianSwingers, which seems to be a work-in-progress but is already getting quite some attention, makes it clear that its target audience is Christian adulterers who want to explore and share their love life with others.

A welcoming note on the website appeals to devoted Christians who have always been interested in exchanging their partners for a time of bliss but who have been stifled or afraid to do so before, to come forward now.

‘For Christian Swingers things are not easy – often other religious people judge you, out of ignorance or envy, telling you that your lifestyle and love practices are wrong. But the Bible teaches us “Judge not, lest ye be judged” and there’s that verse about the first stone …’.

The note further claimed that ‘If you’re keen on keeping your privacy, well – yours, and don’t want your friends, co-workers, other PTA members or just about anyone else to know that you don’t have a problem with faith and enjoying free love with other couples, this site can help you. It is designed to cater to the needs of those like you: devout Christian couples who still want to have an active love life and share it with another, in good faith! ‘

When THE WEEKEND STAR contacted one devoted Christian in Jamaica, Monique, she expressed her disapproval. “Clearly, the persons involved here are not really Christians but just churchgoers maybe. I guess they want to cheat and this is the way to do it with less judgement or without feeling like they’re sinning.”

In the case of San, another Christian, he also denounced the site. “There is nothing Christian about that. It goes against the very plan of God for relationship. One man and one woman. It’s promiscuous and immoral to say the least.”

Online users on Facebook found the idea amusing. Simmie Blair posted, “I guess they will be doing the missionary style, lol”, while Andrew Lumsden posted, “Jacob had two wives and two babymothers.”

DEACON, PASTOR SEX ACT BUSTED AT CHURCH


Work Continues on The Rock Church
Work Continues on The Rock Church (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)
Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church.
Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rear view of a church building changing owners
Rear view of a church building changing owners (Photo credit: JDB Photos)
Català: Església de Sant Just i Pastor (Barcelona)
Català: Església de Sant Just i Pastor (Barcelona) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Different Church Building
A Different Church Building (Photo credit: justshootingmemories)

A community in Manchester has been left in a state of shock when a male pastor and a deacon were caught having sex inside the church.

A church member who spoke to THE WEEKEND STAR said that the men were discovered having sex when a young church brother, who had been suspicious of the pastor’s ‘undercover activities’, one night came across his vehicle at the church.

His suspicions were further fuelled by the realisation that there were no scheduled meetings that night, and that the grill to the front of the church was also closed.

It was said that the church brother decided to ‘screechie’ into the church from a window at the side of the building.

On entering the church, the young man was hit with the sight of the men in a sexual act. The church brother at first kept his discovery to himself but with the knowledge of the incident so overbearing he eventually told a church officer who convened a meeting with the pastor and other church officers.

The pastor is reported to have admitted to the incident, and has since resigned while the deacon has stopped attending the church.

“The act itself is bad but to do that in the church is just disgraceful,” the very disturbed church member said.

Efforts by THE WEEKEND STAR to get an official comment from the church were futile.

For the Men: The Right Way to Grab Your Wife’s Boobs


 

My Boobs Are OK
My Boobs Are OK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Jorge in Boob's World
Jorge in Boob’s World (Photo credit: Daniel Spillere Andrade)

 

 

 

Flickr is scared of boobs
Flickr is scared of boobs (Photo credit: Malingering)

 

For the Men: The Right Way to Grab Your Wife’s Boobs.