Being homeschooled is the best, you completely miss big controversies till weeks after they happened.
I heard about this Kanye West thing, but didn’t know what it was about till today.
And, taking my cue from BlimeyCow, one of my favorite YouTubers, I don’t really see it as imperative that I comment on Kanye West’s personal life.
I might listen to the album though, I like rap and Gospel both, so who knows, maybe I’d like them together. (Roll your eyes all you want people over 30.)
But, I couldn’t help noticing some things popping up that I notice a lot with controversy and identity politics and stuff, and since Kanye West’s reception is simply a microcosm of it, I think I can comment on that using this as an example.
This whole thing has brought out the best and worst in the Black Christian Culture, from what I can see, and the White…and anyone who cares.
I read of one person criticizing West’s political standpoints by saying their blackness and their religion (Christianity) were tied too closely together, and he disrespected that. (By supporting Trump, I suppose.)
All political opinions aside…what…?
In the New Testament, Paul declares that there is no race, no gender, no slave nor free, in Christ. ( Galatians 3:28)
That passage does not mean that race, gender, and freedom do not matter at all, it means that when it comes to God, there is no favoritism. Whatever you are, you inherit the same thing in Christ. all of us pray, all of us receive help from God, all of us are called to the same mission, that supersedes all the other differences.
Of course, if someone discriminates based on race, gender, or freedom, then do something about it, Christianity is the best basis for equal rights. Anyone is able to be a Christian, and Christians do not focus just on the free and respected people.
Ours is a religion of going to remote tribes, prisons, jails, ghettos, gangs, slaves, junkies, hospitals, mental institutions, new civilizations, old civilizations, anywhere and everywhere we go.
Christians stand before kings and culprits alike, and do not care. It’s historical as well as doctrinal.
For this very reason, if someone is tying religion to their race, history, or gender, I already have to wonder about what they believe. Certainly, it’s not the Bible.
Now, there are plenty of religions that allow for the superiority of one race…but Christianity is not one of them.
Though it has been used that way but that was when it was mixed with other ideas and what was actually in the Bible was ignored.
Look, I’m not trying to insult anyone, but is Jesus only the savior of black people? Or is He the Savior of white, Latino, Asian, and every other race under the sun. Heck, if a race of people lived underground their whole lives, He’d be their Savior too.
When white people regrettably brought slaves to my country, it wasn’t right (though, it also wasn’t just the white people, the Africans sold each other too.)
But oddly enough, even as cruel as we were, we shared the most important thing of all with the slaves: Our faith.
Strangely enough, this things that matters most, that is the key to life, is the one thing we weren’t holding back from them.
It’s not really a thing to brag about, because strangely, this is a common theme in history. People can be cruel to each other, but, somehow, a lot of the more organized empires have always stressed sharing religion as the most important thing.
To share truth, and God, is rather strange, because God may take pity on the people you’ve conquered, and decide to help them…so why tell them who to ask?
Yet, it’s all over. From Rome to Babylon. I won’t say the religions were always good ones, but the fact that humans are so adamant about sharing what they think is the real God with each other it really rather a strange phenomenon, we’re so selfish about most things.
Religion was used against black people, but it ultimately was the main reason they were freed and makes the best case for Civil Rights. Also, many slave holders, contrary to what you might hear, treated their slaves better when they believed the most in the Bible. Because it says to treat slaves well, not all masters were terrible people.
I also find is rather ironic to say that your blackness is tied to your religion, and its history, when the Bible doesn’t actually condemn slavery…
Nor does it say it’s exactly right. But that’s another story.
Now, I’m not just picking on black people here, this happens all over the place. This incident highlights one place is all. Identity-based religion and politics always ends up compromising some of the religion or politics itself, just for the sake of affirming one’s identity.
I want to be thankful to the many people who refuse to be stereotyped or to use their race or gender as leverage.
I’d personally give Kanye West credit for at least not being intimidated about it, if nothing else.
I”m grateful for the readers who don’t give me hate comments for stating these opinions, I’m aware I would be ripped to shreds on many other blogs just for daring to say that black people can mishandle these issues at all.
Also, I spent 6 years of my life going to an almost all-black church, the pastor like to say there was no such thing as a black or white church.
I can say the style is different, and often the doctrine is different too. I didn’t like it overmuch but it’s not like I never have issues with white churches either.
Really, I think it has more to do with the faith of the people and not what color they are. There are black people at my mostly white and Hispanic church, so clearly, it’s not a race-based difference.
I could spend a whole post comparing the pros and cons of each, but does it really matter?
Anyway, I guess my main point was, if we’re going to criticize people, it needs to be for a real reason. And more importantly, Christians should never ever act like they own their religion, like they have the only right way of expressing it, and like they have more of a right to God because of their history.
In the history of human suffering every race has its share of hard periods, but I think the Jews have the worst of it overall. They don’t even get to be left alone in their own country. (And I am part Jewish.)
I do not say this to minimize anything, but to give the proper respect to all people. We all have it bad, we all have it good. We all suffer, yet God takes care of all of us.
And God himself suffers.
So, today, I’m just grateful to worship a God who won’t turn away anyone who seeks Him for help.
Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving, –Natasha.
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