Religion Essay Example: Black Jesus

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Religious issues can be very challenging. The fact that they are mostly based on faith and a persons beliefs makes most arguments concerning the same null and void. Despite the fact that all religions have different viewpoints and belief system, one thing is common, they all believe in a supernatural being that is above man, and that controls that which man cannot. In most cases, each religion tries to allude the past with their culture and people to feel the connection and to make its believers follow. For instance, the Muslims talk of Allah and Mohammed is his earliest and most trusted profit. For Christians, they talk about Jesus and his other disciples. When it comes to black people, however, there have been no figure in the scriptures to allude their faith too. James H. Cone, an excellent scholar, and a dedicated theologian have done an incredible work by researching on the same. Over the years, Cone has critically analyzed the whole context of black Christianity and come up with various theories concerning the same. Consequentially, these theories have been a cause of discussion among both Christians and non-Christians alike, and this essay is going to expound on the claim of Black Jesus.

For starters, Cones approach about Black Jesus was meant to empower black Christians. Although no one can attest to know the race of Jesus, many people believe He was white. Over the years, the white people have claimed superiority over the blacks. Before the campaigns and social awareness brought about by Martin Luther King, the world was no place for the blacks. The white took it upon them to mistreat and oppress the black in nearly all sectors; economic, political, social, and religious. After colonization, they made the black people believe that Christianity was a religion for the whites (Fernandez, 244). They went ahead and painted that Jesus was white to sell their religion as well as their superiority without any proof. Cones work seeks to evaluate the baseless claims brought by the whites by challenging them. From a neutral ground, Cone intends to liberate the Christians by coming up with new evidence and school of thought that should be of interest to all Christians. Working closely with a colleague called Dwight N. Hopkins, Cone has introduced a fresh argument against exclusivists notions that they have every reason to believe that they are articulated and promoted by those in power.

As a black minister and a passionate theologian, Cone came up with the ideology of Black Jesus to relate to the struggle of being black. As much as they call America, the model of a free world, there are relatable cases of racism now and then, and many are the times that blacks are on the receiving end. Being black in America is a struggle by itself, let alone being a black Christian. The system of America is not designed to favor black people, and for this reason, they always feel the need to stand up for themselves. James H. Cone is present day Martin Luther, and his concerns are purely for the best interests of the black community. Cone believes that Jesus went through suffering and many trials just like the black people do (Fernandez, 245). The oppression he was put through has a striking similarity to that of people from African origin, and for that reason, he might as well have been black.

The black liberation theory critiques everything that the world knows of white theology and challenges the very people who came up with it. In the Holy Bible, the book of Amos, the Holy Scripture talks of the relationship between God and the Israelites. We see that the Israelites were so self-aware and arrogant especially after being called the children of God. For this reason, they thought that they were the better class of people and that their relationship with God was exclusive. As a result, they started doing whatever they pleased not caring whether it was right or wrong. The exclusivity of the Israelites blinded them into thinking that they could get away with just about anything as they were the favored lot. The Israelites could not have been any more wrong. The same has been happening in America. The white people of America have always had a certain sense of entitlement that blinds them. They claim to know the way and talk to America as the home of the free and the brave.

However, it is sorry to say, that America is not that great and free nation as they portray it. It is a land that has its fair share of social injustices and longstanding oppression that is covered by the good words that they put into it (Fernandez, 246). It is a country that is punctuated with white dominance, and often white Christians have manipulated the Bible to fit their unacceptable ways and self-proclaimed superiority. Cone goes on the offensive on this by coming up with a theology that counteracts the earlier claims that have been centered around white people. Cone stresses that if Christianity is not founded on liberation, then it is just another scheme to expedite white supremacy. In the Holy Bible, Jesus identified a lot with the oppressed, and in the contemporary world, black people are the oppressed. Cone argues that Jesus was black because he was a Jew. To date, Jews are the minority group and their cultures and traditions are ridiculed. Relating that dialectically with the position of the black person in the society, there is a lot of similarities.

In the event of social injustice, the oppressed turn to God for help as they have no other person to look up to. During his suffering and oppressions, Jesus did not have friends in authority nor high places to stand up for him. Jesus always turned to God to see Him through trials and sufferings. The above allusion is of much importance to Cone as he lived through the days of black oppression and the infamous Jim Crow era. The low social status and economic hardships that Jesus went through in his life on earth are a perfect representation of the black people. Perhaps, had Jesus been white as white theologists claim, He would have at least had a simpler life; one that people were not so rude and hard on him for no apparent reason. Jesus would have stood a better trial chance by the courts and could have gotten away with a lesser punishment than crucifixion. The fact that Jesus was not accustomed to any privileges and most of the treatment He got was in the form of oppression makes Cones argument somewhat correct.


Work Cited

S. Fernandez, Eleazar. "Exodus-Towards-Egypt: Filipino-Americans Struggle To Realize The Promised Land In America." 2017, pp. 243-250.


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