Five Theses about God, Christianity, Jesus, slavery, and colonization
- The God of the slave masters and European colonialists is not the true God of the Bible nor the God whose preferential option is for the poor and oppressed.
*The Biblical God is a God of love, freedom, and justice. God’s ultimate desire for every individual is to experience freedom, peace, and love—in relationship with him and in relationship with each other.
- The Jesus of the slave masters and European colonialists is not the real Christ nor the biblical Jesus.
*While “Christ” means “the anointed one” or “messiah,” the Christ was a historical person the same was Jesus was a historical figure. Interestingly, both early and contemporary Christians believe that “Jesus was/is the Christ/Messiah.”
- Colonial Christianity is a false religion and not true or biblical Christianity.
*Colonial Christianity enslaved people and did not liberate them from oppression and the labyrinth of slavery. Colonial Christianity was an oppressive religion that failed to promote equality, justice, human dignity, reconciliation, and shalom.
- Christianity as a religion was misused to enslave, subjugate, and colonize African slaves and other colonial subjects.
*One should not equate the use of a religion as a tool or instrument with the essence and teaching of that religion. Any system or institution could use any religion to carry out any desirable goals or intended objectives. This principle also applies to the misapplication of the name of God and the name of Jesus. Therefore, it is a logical fallacy to state that black people in the African Diaspora, whose African ancestors have been victims of colonial Christianity and Christianity of the slavers, should not become Christians or worship the God of their ancestors’ masters.
Black Christians do not worship a “dead Messiah,” but one who is living and has conquered death on the third day. Correspondingly, Black Christians do not follow a “blind faith,” but one that is grounded both in faith and reason, what many thinkers have phrased “reasonable faith.”
- One should separate the cultural construction of Christianity and biblical Christianity; in the same vein, one should not equate the cultural construction of the person and deeds of Jesus Christ in Western societies and history of thought with the biblical and Palestinian Jewish brown-skinned male named Yeshua.
Blessings in Christ,
Celucien L. Joseph