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a291: Post 246: archim responds to Pina's unexpected question (fwd)
From: Fr. Michael Graves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
About twelve years ago (and I've been living in Haiti
longer than that!) I had to go to the Franchise
Division of the Ministry of Finance to finish the
paper work for a Cherokee which had been sent to us
from the USA. (It was easier then!!!) I was told to
arrive at 8am, which I did. It seems that the director
of the department conducted a Bible-study every
morning before work began. I was welcomed into the
office and listened respectfully, making no comments
even though some of the points discussed made me want
to jump-in and correct. (I'm a former seminary
When the thirty-minute session was over, the
director turned to me and asked very politely if I
wished to add anything to the discussion. There were
actually lots of things I wanted to add, but I
considered that the most important comment I could
make was to ask the assembled group if they really
thought Jesus looked like the big picture on the wall:
long blonde hair, blue eyes, white skinned, etc. This
is/was the common picture found all over Haiti at that
time: the white Jesus surrounded by struggling/working
Haitians, and with the caption: "Kris Kapab" (Christ
The group looked at me in astonishment and one by
one the members said "why, yes".
I wasted no time in explaining to them that Jesus
was not a white man; that He was a Semite...a Jew,
even, and no one knows for sure if he had blonde hair
and blue eyes. The group began to listen. I explained
further that as far as I was concerned (and I am a
white man with blonde hair and blue eyes), that
picture was an attempt by the artist or the group
printing the picture (obviously a white person)to tell
Haitians (and maybe all non-white folks) that "Jesus
was one of our people, and you guys better fall into
line or we will have one of our other guys get you!"
Unfortunately that seems to be what too many
Christian groups wish to portray: "Jesus was white and
he was one of us, so we have connections". But that is
oh so wrong!
Now Kevin's referal of the question regarding the
color of God falls right into the same category. White
men want to think of God as being one of them: white.
Black persons wish to think of God as being just like
them: black. Probably other colors of folks imagine
God in some anthropomorphic form and color which is
the same as they.
But God is not a man and God is not black or white.
God is a spirit. "God" is the name we give to the
Source of all Being; the Divine Mover; the First
Cause; the Creator of all things. The question as to
whether God is white or black or yellow or brown is s
thoughtless question, because God is colorless and
Now there was a time in the history of the world
when God decided to enter the world in the same manner
as other humans (from a mother...Mary), and took on
the form of a Jewish male. That's right; God became
human...which He was not before, with all the
limitations of humanity, but with the attributes of
Divinity. "God became man so that man might become
God". That's right; God who was spirit became as one
of us so that we might become one with Him, which was
His original plan.
The great thing about all of this is that in
becoming one with us, He became one with us no matter
what the color.
So to even question the color of God is an exercise
in futility. God exists, to be sure, but He exists as
spirit, "and all that worship Him must worship Him in
spirit and in truth". (St. John 4:24) God took on the
form of man (Jesus) so that man (and that includes
woman!!!) in following Him could eventually become one
with Him, and that's what we mean by "salvation".
Hope this answers some questions; I already
telephoned Kevin and explained it to him.
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