How did the invisible, immortal and eternal God become a blonde haired, blue eyed socially colored white man? Who approved of this gross social reduction and theological diminishing of the Divine? And why do we continue to go along with it?
Why do we worship whiteness as if the God of the Christian faith? Why do we look to those we have made socially colored white as saviors and deliverers? Why do we place our hope in them? Why do we celebrate this image above all others– even God’s? And why does the Church cherish, celebrate, form its doctrines, write hymns, start churches, do missions based on this idea?
I have so many questions as to why whiteness became the answer to the human condition. Why do we believe that whiteness is the solution to all of our problems? That whiteness is the cure and our saving grace?
Surely, if our hands are too short to box with God, they are not long enough to paint God white. So, it is our imagination. In our minds, God is ‘a white man.’ But, what does this private confession mean for the practice of our faith, the nature of fellowship, the command to love and live as Christ did? How does our belief in whiteness impede our conversations about God and with God? How has the social construct of race gotten in the way of our relationship with God?
Now, if we think that God is just fine with this arrangement, then our assumption is false. God is self- existent; consequently, our attempt to paint God in, to hold paint brushes, crayons and markers as if we can not only see God face- to- face but know exactly how it looks (or perhaps, should look), goes against this truth. Because God is self- existent, God can and does live without human needs, especially the human and acutely American one to identify with a race.
God is not made in the image of whiteness because God is not made with human hands, that would be a reversal of the creation narrative. This attempt to describe God in colors suggests that we have a kind of insider knowledge about the Divine, that God is really one of us. But, this is simply not true.
God is not white because we are made in God’s image; God is not made in ours. So, God is not coming back for a “race” of people, a particular culture, only one country or continent. Color may dictate our will but not God’s. It may be a part of our imagination but that has no bearing on the image of God, where God can be seen and who God walks with in the world.
Making God in the image of whiteness blinds us from seeing God altogether.