We're beyond weary of a phenomenon we've experienced since we started as a Facebook Group in 2009, 13 years ago. Every time we create any kind of post depicting Jesus, a good number of people think they're being witty when they say things like, "Jesus wasn't white," "White Jesus!" "European Jesus!" on, and on, and on, and on. We get really tired of it and it never ends. It distracts discussion threads, dilutes the message, and disrupts the community.
Time to take action. We should have done this long ago.
Yesterday we created the sticker below.
Most people loved it, probably 95%. As usual with topics like this some people told us off in one way or another. There was considerable trolling and concern trolling, something we've prohibited from the beginning. The comments ranged from "Who cares!" to outright accusations that we were "race bating." It was ridiculous to say the least. We ended up deleting the post because we were tired of babysitting the thread.
The die cut sticker is still available here.
The nice thing about discussions like this is that we almost always gain at least one good insight. One community member pointed out that after Jesus' death he appeared several times where people didn't recognize him, even his disciples. They noted that, "These narratives are there to tell us that Jesus was no longer a regular flesh and blood human being. He was resurrected and transcended. His appearance wasn't the same as when he walked with us on earth."
So what DID Jesus look like? We have very few clues from scripture. Some scholars point to Revelation 1:14-15, "The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace." Others have noted that he was a Palestinian Jewish man living in Galilee in the first century. He would have looked like a first century Jewish Galilean. Isaiah 53:2 says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”
One thing is certain. He wasn't white.
To address this ongoing problem we're announcing a contest! Calling all artists, painters, sketchers, graphic artists, and all artistic followers of Jesus!
Create a depiction as Jesus as a person of color! Send it to us at TCL@TheChristianLeft.org.
We will accept entries until the end of April.
In early May we will announce a winner, post their creation, give them credit, and award them with $100.
For all other entries we will give them honorable mention by posting their creations in a blog post with credit to the artist.
All participants must give The Christian Left the rights to their creation. We need a trove of pictures of Jesus as a person of color. As usual, some folks will take issue with this stipulation. What we say to them is that no one is forcing anyone to submit an entry. This is a contest. Everyone is free to participate or not participate.
Here's one example we found long ago.
Good luck! Let's get some great art of Jesus going!
-- The Christian Left
P.S.: Since we've highlighted our email address in this blog post we should let everyone know that we don't accept hate mail. When we open a piece of mail and read the first few sentences, if we see that it's hate mail of any kind we close it and delete it. Don't even bother. Same goes with anyone wanting to concern troll us (lectures or scold us) by mail. After 13 years we've seen and heard it all.
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.