One of the most important parts of my life is my Christian faith. No matter what I accomplish or fail at, I pray to always be a child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ. But as an African American who believes in Jesus Christ, my faith gets challenged sometimes by people (from a variety of races) who feel that Christianity should NOT be the religion of black people.
One of the most consistent arguments in this regard comes from the large number of black people who think that Christianity is "the white man's religion" and something created and used for the sole purpose of oppressing African people. While I do acknowledge that Christianity has been falsely used to justify many acts of oppression, I sincerely believe that (in its pure form) it is a faith of love and justice for all who would believe in Jesus Christ.
Another reason that black people who follow Christ are often questioned for doing so is because of the belief that there are no black people in the Bible. Based on this belief, many feel that Black Christians are betraying their ethnicity, following a religion that uplifts other races and degrades their own. This belief is the one that disheartens me the most, because it is based on a lie. The Bible is not about one particular ethnicity, it is about the human race, because it is the story of humanity and the spiritual destiny God desires for us.
In addition...there are many people in the Bible who are African/Black, and are also lifted up as examples for us to learn from (through their mistakes and/or triumphs). So, for Black History Month, I want to highlight some of those people. In doing so, I will not gloss over the lives of the people I highlight, because the Bible doesn't do that for anybody featured in it. From Abraham to the Disciple Peter, the heroes and heroines in the Bible are not portrayed as faultless individuals worthy of worship, but human beings who made mistakes and overcame those mistakes through their faith in God.
I will not cover every single black person in the Bible, but focus on the ones who stand out to me for various reasons. I hope you enjoy these posts over the next month. Let me know!