“God is a white man.” This is not a new declaration but an old reduction made by persons who argue against a belief in the God of Christianity because in the name of this God, persons have stolen, enslaved, sold, raped, murdered, pillaged and annihilated indigenous cultures of the earth. They surmise, God must be white because they are not being punished but are getting away with it. It is a judgment against God, now viewed as giving them a pass and their privilege, labeled whiteness. I suppose that many of us are looking for an Old Testament demonstration of who God is for and who God is against.
But, as Christians, it is not whiteness that saves any of us but the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Our belief in whiteness suggests that there is within some of us, literally and quite physically on us, the ability to save us. Our faith in the deliverance of whiteness nullifies the salvific work of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is whiteness– not his blood– that makes the difference.
“God is a white man.” This is also a statement of faith for those who believe that they have a divine right to dominate, oppress and colonize other people, that “the earth is theirs and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24.1). It is the belief that socially colored white people were made by God to dehumanize other people. This is a faith that denies the inherent worth of all human beings and the unconditional love that God has for all people. And it is about the goodness of people, particularly socially colored white people, not Jesus and the two are not synonymous.
“God is a white man.” If we think this is true, then we are saying that God is in cahoots with the socially constructed white race, that those who oppress are all- powerful because it is usurped from a divine source. If we think that God is a white man, then God created some and not all in the Divine image. The rest of us are rejects, having no place with God or humanity. It also suggests then that God has a holy ax to grind against “them” and we are being used to cut them off– because they are not the right people because they are not white people.
But, while there is social support for this idea, there is no scriptural support for this confession. God took on the form of a human being but God is not a human being. Consequently, when we say that God is a white man, we are in fact interpreting God through the lens of race, making God one of us, writing another salvation narrative: “For God so hated socially colored beige, black, brown, yellow and red people, that God sent socially colored white people into the world.”
That’s not the gospel of Jesus Christ and that’s not the God of the Bible, of history, experience and revelation. That’s our racialized imaginations running wild.