Dylann Roof, the white Christian man who murdered nine African Americans during the closing prayer of a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015, was back in the news recently after a federal appeals court upheld his conviction…
Our dominant, white Christian culture has white-washed Jesus. Instead of expanding our understanding of those who are different from us, we have replaced them and their stories with a light brown-haired, blue-eyed lie.
I was raised in a brown evangelical church in a small, predominantly white town in central Texas. Our “mother” church was one of the many First Baptist Churches in the Texas Bible Belt. Our congregation was composed mainly of poor, uneducated, largely undocumented migrants from rural Mexico. And while we were a brown church, the Jesus we worshiped was white.
Among the unavoidable claims of the gospel is that those following in the way of Jesus will be wounded. The Way leads to abundance, but it is not painless. A false gospel — or a half-gospel — wounds, but not in a way that brings about healing. White Jesus wounds the body and soul of everyone he encounters, but lacks either the power or the gentle touch to bind up our wounds.